OnePlus 12R Review: Epic Performance, Value

OnePlus 12R review: top performance, record battery life, and great value for money.

OnePlus 12R Front View: Front view of the OnePlus 12R showcasing its bright, colorful display.
Image Credit: OnePlus

OnePlus 12R Review: One Amazing Value

Outstanding Performance and Record-Setting Battery Life for a Surprisingly Low Price


  • Epic battery life
  • Strong Snapdragon performance
  • Bright, colorful display
  • Compelling budget price in the U.S.


  • No wireless charging
  • Cheaper model not available in Europe
  • Software support could be longer


OnePlus has always been known for its ability to deliver high-quality smartphones at competitive prices, and the OnePlus 12R is no exception. In a market where flagship smartphones often come with hefty price tags, the OnePlus 12R stands out as a beacon of value. While the OnePlus 12 takes the spotlight as the brand’s flagship device, the 12R has managed to capture significant attention, thanks to its impressive performance and budget-friendly price point.

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The OnePlus 12R continues the tradition of the R series, which aims to provide a more affordable alternative to the flagship models by scaling back some features. This strategic compromise allows OnePlus to offer a device that retains much of the high-end experience without breaking the bank. Interestingly, the 12R marks the first time an R series device has launched outside of India and China, signaling OnePlus’s intent to reach a broader audience with this midrange marvel.

In this detailed review, we’ll explore the design, display, performance, battery life, camera capabilities, and software support of the OnePlus 12R, comparing it with its flagship sibling, the OnePlus 12, and other competitors in its price range. Spoiler alert: Midrange smartphones have a reason to start sweating.

Design and Build Quality

The OnePlus 12R may be the more affordable of the two new OnePlus phones, but it doesn’t skimp on design. From a glance, you’d be hard-pressed to distinguish it from the OnePlus 12. Both phones share a similar aesthetic, including the circular camera array on the back that has become a hallmark of OnePlus design.

The 12R’s build quality is also commendable. It features a robust aluminum frame that feels solid and premium in hand. The materials used give it a heft and sturdiness that belie its price point. One minor gripe, however, is a slight ridge at the bottom of the phone where the display meets the frame. While not a deal-breaker, it’s noticeable upon closer inspection.

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The OnePlus 12R retains the beloved alert slider, which was notably absent in the OnePlus 10T. Located on the left side of the phone, it provides a quick and tactile way to switch between silent, vibrate, and ring modes. The volume and power buttons are on the opposite side, ensuring a balanced feel.

One area where the OnePlus 12R shows its midrange nature is in its water resistance rating. It features an IP64 rating, a step down from the OnePlus 12’s IP65 rating. While this means it can handle splashes of water, it’s less robust compared to competitors like the Pixel 7a and Galaxy A54, which boast IP67 ratings and can survive submersion in water.


The OnePlus 12R is equipped with a 6.78-inch LTPO AMOLED display, slightly smaller than the 6.82-inch screen on the OnePlus 12 but still generously sized. The use of LTPO technology allows the phone to dynamically adjust its refresh rate up to 120Hz, ensuring smooth scrolling and a responsive touch experience. This is a feature increasingly found in midrange devices, but it’s still a welcome inclusion.

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The bezels around the display are minimal, enhancing the immersive experience. The screen itself curves gently around the edges of the phone, which may not be to everyone’s taste due to potential for inadvertent touches, but I didn’t encounter any significant issues during my use.

OnePlus claims the display can reach a peak brightness of 4,500 nits, with HDR content hitting 1,600 nits. These figures are impressive on paper, though real-world usage often falls short of these peak values. In our testing, the OnePlus 12R’s display peaked at 1,131 nits. While this is significantly lower than the advertised brightness, it’s still plenty bright for most conditions, including direct sunlight.

The color reproduction of the OnePlus 12R’s display is excellent. Watching the trailer for “Monkey Man” or streaming “True Grit” on Peacock, the colors were vibrant and the details crisp. Our testing backed up this subjective experience, with the display covering 113.8% of the DCI-P3 color spectrum in its default Vivid mode. For context, the Pixel 7a covers 91.9%.

However, color accuracy could be better. In Vivid mode, the Delta-E rating (where lower numbers indicate better accuracy) is 0.39, improving to 0.21 in Natural mode. For comparison, the Pixel 7a achieves a Delta-E of 0.11 in Natural mode.

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Under the hood, the OnePlus 12R is powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset. While the flagship OnePlus 12 uses the newer Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, the 8 Gen 2 is still a powerhouse, offering performance that outstrips most midrange competitors.

In benchmark tests, the OnePlus 12R delivers impressive results. In Geekbench, it achieved single- and multicore scores of 1,553 and 5,135, respectively. These scores are comparable to last year’s Galaxy S23, which costs significantly more. For graphics, the 12R recorded 84.4 frames per second in the 3DMark Wild Life Unlimited benchmark, outperforming even the iPhone 15’s A16 Bionic chip.

Real-world performance matches these benchmarks. The OnePlus 12R handles demanding games, multitasking, and media consumption with ease. The only area where it stumbled slightly was in video transcoding using Adobe Premiere Rush, taking 1 minute and 9 seconds to complete the task. This is slower than both the regular OnePlus 12 and the Pixel 7a.

Storage and RAM options for the OnePlus 12R are generous. The widely available model features 256GB of storage and 16GB of RAM, a configuration that’s typically reserved for high-end flagships. There’s also a more affordable 8GB/128GB model available in the U.S., providing excellent value for money.

Battery Life and Charging

Battery life is where the OnePlus 12R truly shines. Equipped with a 5,500 mAh battery, it achieved an outstanding time of 18 hours and 42 minutes on our battery test, which involves continuous web surfing over cellular until the battery depletes. This is the second-best result we’ve ever recorded, only beaten by a gaming phone specifically designed for endurance.

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The combination of a large battery and the efficient Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset ensures that the OnePlus 12R can easily last through a full day of heavy use, and often well into a second day. In comparison, the Galaxy A54 reached 11 hours and 46 minutes with its refresh rate set to 60Hz, a decent performance but not in the same league as the OnePlus 12R.

Charging speeds are also impressive, though there’s a caveat. The OnePlus 12R supports 80W wired charging in the U.S. (100W in other regions), allowing it to reach 96% battery in just 30 minutes. However, the phone lacks wireless charging, a feature that’s becoming increasingly common even in midrange devices.


Camera performance is typically an area where midrange phones make compromises, and the OnePlus 12R is no different. The camera setup includes a 50MP main sensor, an 8MP ultrawide lens with a 112-degree field of view, and a 2MP macro sensor. Notably, it omits the telephoto lens found on the OnePlus 12 and lacks the Hasselblad branding that has been a feature of recent OnePlus flagships.

In good lighting, the OnePlus 12R’s main camera performs admirably, capturing vibrant and detailed photos. For example, a shot of a plate of scrambled eggs showed much more vibrant colors compared to the Pixel 7a, which tends to favor darker tones. However, the OnePlus 12R struggles with dynamic range, as evidenced by overexposure in areas with bright light.

The ultrawide camera offers a decent field of view but doesn’t quite match the detail and color accuracy of the main sensor. The macro lens, while a fun addition, feels somewhat unnecessary and is included more to inflate the camera count than to provide significant value. That said, it does capture detailed close-ups, albeit with some loss of focus around the edges.

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Portrait mode on the OnePlus 12R is capable but not perfect. Background blur is stylish, and colors are accurate, but edge detection around subjects can be choppy. The Pixel 7a, in comparison, offers more natural separation between subject and background.

Night mode is another area where the OnePlus 12R lags behind. Photos taken in low light are often underexposed and lack detail. The Pixel 7a’s night shots are much brighter and clearer, highlighting the difference in camera processing capabilities.

The 16MP front camera on the OnePlus 12R produces decent selfies with good color balance and detail. However, it doesn’t quite match the warmth and accuracy of the Pixel 7a’s front camera.


The OnePlus 12R runs on OxygenOS, which is based on Android. OxygenOS is known for its clean, near-stock Android experience with useful customizations. However, software support is an area where the OnePlus 12R falls short compared to its competitors. OnePlus promises three

years of major Android updates and four years of security patches. While this is an improvement from previous OnePlus devices, it still trails behind Samsung’s commitment of four years of Android updates and five years of security patches for its Galaxy devices.

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OxygenOS offers a range of customization options, including the ability to change icon shapes, colors, and system-wide themes. The interface is smooth and responsive, thanks in part to the high refresh rate display. OnePlus has also included a range of useful features such as Zen Mode, which helps users take a break from their devices, and a robust Game Mode for optimizing performance during gaming sessions.

Comparison with Competitors

The OnePlus 12R is positioned in a highly competitive segment of the market, facing stiff competition from devices like the Google Pixel 7a and the Samsung Galaxy A54. Here’s how it stacks up:

  • Google Pixel 7a: The Pixel 7a excels in camera performance, particularly in low light, and offers longer software support. However, it can’t match the battery life or performance of the OnePlus 12R. The Pixel 7a also features wireless charging, which the 12R lacks.
  • Samsung Galaxy A54: The Galaxy A54 offers a more robust water resistance rating (IP67) and longer software support. However, its Exynos 1380 chipset can’t compete with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 in terms of performance. The A54 also falls short in battery life compared to the 12R.
  • iPhone SE (2024): The iPhone SE offers a compact form factor and the power of Apple’s A16 Bionic chip. However, its design feels outdated, and it doesn’t match the OnePlus 12R in terms of display size, battery life, or overall value.


The OnePlus 12R is a compelling midrange smartphone that offers outstanding performance, exceptional battery life, and a bright, vibrant display, all at a price point that undercuts many of its competitors. While it does make some compromises, particularly in terms of camera performance and lack of wireless charging, these are understandable given its price.

For users looking for a high-performance device without breaking the bank, the OnePlus 12R is an excellent choice. It’s particularly suited for those who prioritize battery life and overall performance over camera capabilities. With the OnePlus 12R, OnePlus has once again demonstrated its ability to deliver flagship-level experiences at midrange prices.


Q: Does the OnePlus 12R have wireless charging?
A: No, the OnePlus 12R does not support wireless charging.

Q: What is the battery life of the OnePlus 12R?
A: The OnePlus 12R has a battery life of up to 18 hours and 42 minutes on our continuous web surfing test, which is outstanding.

Q: How does the OnePlus 12R compare to the OnePlus 12?
A: The OnePlus 12R offers a similar design and many of the same features as the OnePlus 12 but at a lower price. It has a slightly smaller display, a lower IP rating, and lacks the telephoto lens and Hasselblad branding on the camera.

Q: What chipset does the OnePlus 12R use?
A: The OnePlus 12R is powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset.

Q: Is the OnePlus 12R water-resistant?
A: Yes, the OnePlus 12R has an IP64 rating, meaning it is resistant to splashes but not suitable for submersion in water.

Q: What storage options are available for the OnePlus 12R?
A: The OnePlus 12R is available with 256GB of storage and 16GB of RAM. There is also a more affordable model with 128GB of storage and 8GB of RAM in the U.S.

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Q: How does the camera performance of the OnePlus 12R compare to other midrange phones?
A: The OnePlus 12R’s camera performs well in good lighting but struggles with dynamic range and low light conditions. It is outperformed by the Google Pixel 7a, especially in low light photography.

Q: What is the software support for the OnePlus 12R?
A: OnePlus promises three years of major Android updates and four years of security patches for the OnePlus 12R.

Q: Can the OnePlus 12R handle demanding games?
A: Yes, the OnePlus 12R’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset and high refresh rate display make it well-suited for demanding games and multitasking.

Q: Does the OnePlus 12R have a good display?
A: Yes, the OnePlus 12R features a 6.78-inch LTPO AMOLED display with a peak brightness of 4,500 nits and excellent color reproduction.

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