Android
OnePlus
Smartphones

OnePlus 12R Review

You don’t always have to go full send

₹ 45,999

16GB/256GB variant

Having the latest and greatest right now is always fun, but it’s also always expensive. Yes, you could well buy the new OnePlus 12 if that’s what you want, but at Rs. 64,999 onwards, it’s firmly in flagship pricing territory. Assuming you have a budget that is decent but not quite top-end, it might be worth considering the ‘R’ series. You get much of the same premium-grade goodness, but with a couple of key differences - call them a lack of frills, if you will.

The OnePlus 12R is priced at 39,999 onwards in India, and feels suitably high-end to match the price tag. Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 - a flagship chipset itself, but now a generation old - the OnePlus 12R promises capabilities and hardware that are more than adequate, without quite forcing you to shell out for state-of-the-art kit. Is this the real star of the OnePlus lineup in 2024? Find out in this review.

OnePlus 12R Review: Design

OnePlus 12R Alert Slider

The OnePlus 12 is where the brand has directed much of its effort when it comes to design this time around, and the OnePlus 12R expectedly sticks to a familiar approach. The 12R is fractionally smaller than the 12, but a fair bit less adventurous to look at, skipping on the rather interesting ‘flowy emerald’ and ‘silky black’ colour options in favour of the more sober ‘cool blue’ and ‘iron grey’ colourways.

Taking a closer look around, a few other small aesthetic changes become visible on the OnePlus 12R. For one, the flash has been moved out of the distinct camera module at the back to make way for an integrated autofocus system alongside the three camera sensors. Another key change is the shifting of the alert slider to the left side of the smartphone, which OnePlus says will improve antenna performance for better connectivity. 

The glass back on the Cool Blue review unit is considerably more prone to grime and fingerprint smudges than the emerald of the OnePlus 12. However, it’s nothing too bothersome, and on the whole the OnePlus 12R looks and feels like a lead series smartphone - you won’t have anyone mistaking this for a mid-range Nord device or anything of the like.

OnePlus 12R Review: Display

OnePlus 12R Display

With a 6.78-inch LTPO4 AMOLED screen and a resolution of 2780x1264 pixels, the OnePlus 12R offers an entirely premium screen experience which isn’t lacking in any major departments. The screen is capable of handling Dolby Vision HDR, and has a peak refresh rate of 120Hz. There’s also Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2, along with various features such as nature tone and eye comfort which help with protecting your eyes from some harmful effects.

Software-level customisations mean that you can set up the screen resolution and refresh rate to your liking, and LTPO tech lets the refresh rate drop to as low as 1Hz in certain scenarios, to help with battery life. The rest is fairly standard for a high-end OnePlus smartphone, but it’s obviously good to know that now even the ‘R’ series doesn’t skimp on features and capabilities when it comes to the display.

OnePlus 12R Review: Specifications and Software

Under the hood of the OnePlus 12R is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, which was introduced to the OnePlus range on 2023’s OnePlus 11. Naturally that means it’s a year old already, but smartphone chipsets have come a long way in the last few years. As such, this is a flagship chipset in its own right, and a performance powerhouse even in 2024. 

This combines with 8GB or 16GB of RAM (LPDDR5X in both cases) and 128GB (UFS 3.1) or 256GB (UFS 4.0) storage, with the higher variant (the review unit sent to me) priced at Rs. 45,999. As such, I’d recommend going with the 16GB/256GB option for adequate future-proofing. There’s also a 5500mAh battery and support for 100W SuperVOOC USB Type-C charging. Notably, the OnePlus 12R skips wireless charging, but I wouldn’t call that a con at this price point.

Other key specifications and features include fingerprint and face unlock, Bluetooth 5.3 with support for all the major audio codecs, Dolby Atmos support, dual-SIM 5G connectivity, and support for Wi-Fi 7. On the software front, you get OxygenOS 14 (based on Android 14) out of the box. On the whole, it’s all in order for an ‘R’ series phone.

OnePlus 12R Review: Cameras

Like the OnePlus 12, the 12R sports a triple-camera setup at the rear. However, there are big differences in the setup itself, with the 12R featuring entirely different sensors to those of the 12. This is really where you’ll see the biggest gap in performance between the flagship product and this more wallet-friendly option, but the cameras are reasonably well equipped in their own right.

The main 50-megapixel camera is backed by the Sony IMX890 sensor, and there is also an 8-megapixel ultra-wide camera and 2-megapixel macro camera. Video recording is possible at up to 4K resolution at 60fps, and you can go up to 480fps in the slow-motion video modes. At the front is a reasonably well-equipped 16-megapixel camera.

OnePlus has never quite been known for its camera capabilities, and things are as expected with the OnePlus 12R as well. Don’t expect class-leading photo chops or anything of the like - in fact, the processing and enhancements tend to be a bit overdone and moving towards pop rather than accuracy. Colours and white balance are a bit off, although a software update during my time with the phone improved things a bit.

Where you will see decent results is with sharpness, and well-lit shots tend to look a bit more accurate and true-to-life than low-light pictures. Performance is similarly ordinary with even speciality modes such as portrait and zoom. You’ll get decent results that are worthy of your Instagram posts and everyday memory preservation, but don’t expect to win any prizes with this one.

 

OnePlus 12R Review: Performance and Battery Life

OnePlus 12R Camera

OnePlus has fine tuned its approach to performance rather well over the last few years, and you can expect a certain level of reliability in this department. It’s what makes OnePlus flagship smartphones such a good recommendation for anyone looking for something with Android; everything from the software to the processor and RAM specifications are on point. That said, the ‘R’ series doesn’t quite go full flagship, as is the case with the regular number series devices.

This isn’t a bad thing at all, and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is still an entirely capable smartphone chipset - especially when you consider that you’re paying under 50,000 for it, even with more RAM and storage (and you really should get the 16GB RAM/256GB storage variant). Software-based features launched with the OnePlus 12 such as Trinity Engine also come to the OnePlus 12R, to good effect.

Trinity Engine itself is a rather promising bit of tech, making good use of the smartphone’s more-than-capable hardware to improve practical performance. This includes keeping up to six background apps running for up to 72 hours so you don’t have to deal with reloads, optimisations and enhancements for the processor, and boosts for specific functions which require more processing power, such as gaming. 

My testing showed that the OnePlus 12R is more than capable of handling everything tasks, including heavy multi-tasking and gaming. While benchmarks and measured tests will reveal the obvious differences between the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and the newer Gen 3, on a practical and everyday level you won’t really find any shortcomings in the OnePlus 12R with 16GB of RAM.

Battery life on the OnePlus 12R is impressive, offering close to two days of real-world usage time even with heavy use, thanks to the 5500mAh battery. Usefully, charging up the large battery is also a breeze thanks to 100W SuperVOOC charging, which can get the device charged fully in less than 30 minutes. The smart rapid charging feature can also speed things up a bit further if needed, especially when you’re trying to quickly top up from a not-quite-drained level. All in all, the battery and charging on the OnePlus 12R won’t let you down.

Verdict

The OnePlus 12 might be the flagship and the supposed star of the company’s lineup in 2024, but it’s the OnePlus 12R that you really should pay attention to. At 45,999 for the variant with more RAM and storage, this is perhaps the most bang-for-your-buck high-end smartphone you can buy in 2024. You aren’t spending too much, but you’re getting a solid, premium smartphone that performs practically on par with the best.

The display and battery life are similarly top-notch, and the camera is just about good enough for everyday use - assuming you aren’t too picky about your images looking exactly as they should. People really should pay more attention to OnePlus’ ‘R’ lineup, and the 12R will hopefully tip things in the right direction.

Stuff Says

Ticks most of the boxes for a premium smartphone, at a very reasonable price
Good stuff
Bad stuff
  1. Very good display

  1. Reliable, hassle-free software package

  1. Good performance for the price

  1. Great battery life, very fast charging

  1. Cameras are ordinary

  1. No wireless charging or eSIM support

Specifications
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
RAM: 8GB/16GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB
Battery: 5500mAh
Charging: 100W SuperVOOC wired charging
Display: 6.78-inch AMOLED with LTPO4.0 (2780x1264 pixels), Dolby Vision HDR
Main cameras: 50MP (sony IMX890) + 8MP (Ultra-wide) + 2MP (Macro)
Front camera: 16MP

Mobiles Specifications

OnePlus 12R
OnePlus 12R

₹ 45999 /-

Display

6.78 -inch (2780x1264)

Processor

Qualcomm

Front Camera

NA

Rear Camera

NA

RAM

16 GB, 8 GB

Storage

128 GB, 256 GB

Battery

5500

OS

Android 14

See Full Specifications