After weeks of teasing, OnePlus has finally introduced the OnePlus 12 in China. Staying consistent with earlier leaks and official information, the OnePlus 12 maintains the familiar design elements of its predecessor, the OnePlus 11. This includes the distinctive rear camera housing resembling a toilet, a glass back, and the presence of a three-stage alert slider.
Regrettably, for those anticipating comprehensive water resistance, the phone is limited to an IP65 rating. This implies it lacks full water resistance, so caution is advised against submerging it in a pool. However, the rating does indicate improved protection against water jets, making it suitable for use in the shower or during heavy rainfall.
OnePlus invested generously in the essential specifications, featuring the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset. Additionally, the company is equipping the device with a substantial 5,400mAh battery, representing a notable improvement compared to both the OnePlus 11 and OnePlus Open. The company claims that the OnePlus 12 battery is designed to retain 80% of its capacity even after undergoing 1,600 charging cycles.
The battery is accompanied by 100W wired charging and 50W wireless charging, with the latter making a welcome return after being omitted in the OnePlus 11. OnePlus has a strong reputation for impressive displays, and the OnePlus 12 appears to continue this trend on paper with a 6.82-inch QHD+ OLED screen. This 120Hz LTPO display by BOE can adjust down to 1Hz. The screen boasts a peak brightness of 4,500 nits, and while the firm claims support for up to 1,600 nits (presumably in high brightness mode), peak brightness is particularly relevant for HDR content.
Remarkably, OnePlus states that the OnePlus 12 screen incorporates "medical-grade" eye protection features, including "melatonin protection" to preserve melatonin levels and prevent sleep disruption after nighttime phone use. The device also features Rain Water Touch technology, enhancing touch input when the screen or hands are wet.
Additional noteworthy specifications encompass Bluetooth 5.4, an in-display fingerprint sensor, an IR blaster, multi-directional NFC, and USB 3.2 Gen 1 speeds. OnePlus highlights having the most powerful vibration motor in a smartphone, surpassing Apple's iPhones in haptic feedback.
While cameras have traditionally been a weak point for the brand, the Hasselblad-branded OnePlus 12 introduces impressive hardware similar to the OnePlus Open. The camera setup includes a 50MP main camera (LYT-808), a 48MP ultrawide camera (IMX581, 14mm), and a 64MP 3x periscope camera (Omnivision OV64B). The periscope camera, a first for conventional OnePlus smartphones, features a relatively wide f/2.6 aperture for improved low-light image quality. The phone is touted for portrait shots and the ability to capture 6x zoom snaps. A multi-spectrum color sensor is also included for accurate color capture.
On the front, a 32MP camera in a punch-hole cutout supports 4K/30fps video recording. While the camera setup on paper seems competitive with the Galaxy S23 and Pixel 8, conclusive judgments will have to await the global launch.
Currently available only in China, the OnePlus 12 starts at 4,299 yuan (~$607) for the 12GB/256GB model, with the top-end 24GB/1TB variant priced at 5,799 yuan (~$818). The global launch, alongside the OnePlus 12R, is confirmed for January 23, 2024.
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