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OnePlus 12R Review: Flagship Experience!

Pros

  • Impressive stereo speakers
  • Premium build
  • Impressive performance
  • Solid, bright LTPO display
  • Alert slider

Cons

  • No telephoto lens
  • Average ultrawide camera
  • No wireless charging
  • Only splash-resistant

Since every top-of-the-line flagship now costs a fortune, a new “semi-flagship” category has emerged to fill the gap of premium devices under a lakh in Nepal. While these devices may not offer the absolute best in terms of specifications, they do provide an almost flagship experience.

The OnePlus 12R is one such device, priced at Rs. 90,999 (16/256GB). It is a toned-down version of the more expensive OnePlus 12. The price of the OnePlus 12R in Nepal is similar to the price in Europe, which is significantly more expensive compared to India and the US.

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The price difference between the OnePlus 12R and the OnePlus 12 in Nepal is a whopping Rs. 49,000, making the 12R 35 percent cheaper. With that price gap, you would expect the more expensive OnePlus 12 to be superior, and it is, with significant upgrades such as a 3x telephoto lens, a newer, more powerful processor, and a few more added features. However, despite these differences, the overall experience remains similar, and you don’t miss out on many features.

Now, let’s get started with what you came here for. I’m Pranish Khadgi, and this is my OnePlus 12R review.

OnePlus 12R Specifications

  • Body: 163.3 x 75.3 x 8.8 mm, 207 g, IP64 water and dust resistant
  • SIM: Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
  • Display: 6.78 inches, LTPO4 AMOLED, 1264 x 2780 pixels, 120Hz, HDR10+, Dolby Vision, 1600 nits (HBM), 4500 nits (peak), ~510 ppi density, Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2
  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 (4nm)
  • CPU: Octa-core (1×3.2 GHz Cortex-X3 & 2×2.8 GHz Cortex-A715 & 2×2.8 GHz Cortex-A710 & 3×2.0 GHz Cortex-A510)
  • GPU: Adreno 740
  • Memory: 16GB RAM 256GB, UFS 3.1, no microSD card slot
  • OS: Android 14, OxygenOS 14
  • Rear Camera:
    • 50 MP, f/1.8, 24mm (wide), 1/1.56″, 1.0µm, PDAF, Laser AF, OIS
    • 8 MP, f/2.2, 16mm, 112˚ (ultrawide), 1/4.0″, 1.12µm
    • 2 MP, f/2.4, (macro)
    • Video: 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/120/240fps, gyro-EIS, OIS
  • Front Camera: 16 MP, f/2.4, 26mm (wide), 1/3″, 1.0µm
    • Video: 1080p@30fps, gyro-EIS
  • Battery: Non-removable Li-Po 5500 mAh battery, 100W wired charging
  • USB: USB Type-C 2.0, USB On-The-Go
  • Sensors: Fingerprint (under display, optical), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, color spectrum
  • 3.5mm Headphone Jack: No
  • Colors: Cool blue, iron gray

OnePlus 12R Price in Nepal: Rs. 90,999 (16/256GB)

OnePlus 12R Review

Design

  • 163.3 x 75.3 x 8.8 mm
  • 207 g
  • IP64 dustproof and water-resistant
Design
Design

As we come to the year 2024, every major brand has its unique design and sticks to it for many years. Just as devices from Apple and Samsung have their own identity and are easily distinguishable due to their unique designs, the OnePlus 12R is instantly recognizable as a OnePlus phone.

The camera island of the OnePlus 12R features the iconic circular timepiece design that blends into the frame. Additionally, it has a fluted bezel design (the grooving on the camera bezel), inspired by watches.

The phone feels premium, thanks to the curved front and back glass and the aluminum frame. While the rear glass panel is undisclosed, the front is Gorilla Glass Victus 2.

To protect it from dust and water, the phone is rated for IP64 ingress protection, so it should survive some water splashes. However, OnePlus should have provided a better IP68 rating.

As for the usual parts, the power and volume buttons are located on the right side, while the SIM slot, mic, USB-C port, and speaker are on the bottom side.

Additionally, OnePlus’ signature alert slider is on the left side. The slider lets you easily switch between ring, vibrate, and silent modes.

Another handy feature is the IR blaster on the top, which lets you control devices such as TVs and projectors. Additionally, the phone has stereo speakers, and I found them to be really good. The sound quality is impressive and comparable to flagship devices.

Display

  • 6.78″ LTPO4 AMOLED
  • 1264 x 2780 pixels
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • 1600 nits (HBM), 4500 nits (peak)
OnePlus 12R Display
OnePlus 12R Display

The display measures 6.78 inches diagonally and is a curved AMOLED panel with a 1.5K resolution. It feels sharp and supports HDR10+ and Dolby Vision HDR standards.

Like flagship devices, the display on the 12R is an LTPO panel, which enables the phone to adjust the refresh rate dynamically from 120Hz to as low as 1Hz depending on the content. This helps preserve battery life when using the always-on display feature.

Additionally, the display features 2160Hz PWM dimming to reduce flickering in low brightness, minimizing eye fatigue.

Regarding the actual display quality, it is very good. The colors are vibrant, making it a joy to watch movies and play games.

When it comes to brightness, OnePlus claims a wild-sounding 4500 nits of peak brightness. However, this is only for certain HDR content on a small portion of the display for a short period of time.

Realistically, the important figure is the HBM (high brightness mode). OnePlus claims it has 1600 nits of HBM brightness, which is among the highest.

While I can’t verify these numbers, in my experience, the brightness was always sufficient. I could easily view the display outdoors.

Performance

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 (4 nm)
  • Octa-core (1×3.2 GHz Cortex-X3 & 2×2.8 GHz Cortex-A715 & 2×2.8 GHz Cortex-A710 & 3×2.0 GHz Cortex-A510
  • Adreno 740
  • 256GB 16GB RAM, UFS 3.1, no microSD card slot
Genshin Impact
Genshin Impact

Performance is another strong aspect of the OnePlus 12R. It features the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, last year’s flagship processor found in phones like the Samsung Galaxy S23 series.

Not only that, it has 16GB of RAM. 16GB! Not even my laptop has that much. The storage however is only 256GB; 512GB would have been more appropriate.

Given these specs, the phone’s performance is phenomenal. Of course, compared to newer phones like the Galaxy S24 series and the OnePlus 12, which are powered by the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, the 12R may fall behind.

However, you won’t notice this during regular use, as there’s currently nothing that the SD 8 Gen 2 can’t handle that the SD 8 Gen 3 can. For its price, the OnePlus 12R was the most powerful smartphone in its segment until the recent launch of the Xiaomi 14 with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, which made the OnePlus 12R seem less impressive.

You can refer to the benchmark scores below for a better idea. The phone also has a high-performance mode in the settings, which boosts performance further.

However, since the phone is already so powerful, I didn’t notice any practical difference when this mode was turned on. Instead, the phone got hotter, and the battery drained faster.

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Gaming

Even with the high-performance mode turned off, the phone provides excellent gaming performance. I tried playing PUBG Mobile on it. With Smooth graphics, you can set the frame rate to Extreme+, which unlocks 90fps gameplay.

The gameplay is very smooth and responsive. Even after gaming for around 1.5 hours, the phone maintained an average of 90fps.

Recently, PUBG Mobile announced a 120fps mode. However, as of writing, the OnePlus 12R has yet to receive the update. It should receive it shortly.

Similarly, I tried Genshin Impact, which is probably the most demanding application on today’s phones. Incredibly, even at the highest settings, the phone managed to achieve 60fps gameplay.

Camera

  • Rear Camera: 50 MP, f/1.8, 24mm (wide), 1/1.56″, 1.0µm, PDAF, Laser AF, OIS
    • 8 MP, f/2.2, 16mm, 112˚ (ultrawide), 1/4.0″, 1.12µm
    • 2MP, f/2.4, (macro)
  • Front Camera: 16 MP, f/2.4, 26mm (wide), 1/3″, 1.0µm
OnePlus 12R Camera
OnePlus 12R Camera

The OnePlus 12R features a triple camera setup comprising a 50MP main camera, an 8MP ultrawide camera, and a 2MP macro camera. If you look at the camera module, you will notice that along with the cameras, there is a fourth element. I first thought it was a flash, but the flash is located outside the module.

If you look at the more expensive OnePlus 12‘s camera module, OnePlus says the fourth element is a multi-spectral sensor for better color accuracy. However, in the case of the OnePlus 12R, it appears to be only for decorative purposes.

Anyway, the OnePlus 12R unfortunately does not have a telephoto lens. Other similarly priced phones, including the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE and the Xiaomi 14, both feature a telephoto lens. Nevertheless, the digital zoom is usable, but yes, an optical zoom would have been better.

Main Camera

Now, coming to the main camera, the photos are pleasing to look at. The colors in the daylight photos are vibrant with fine detail. However, zooming in will make the detail soft.

The dynamic range is also impressive. The main camera lens is wide, but I noticed a little distortion in the corners of some photos.

Overall, the photos are satisfactory.

For digital zoom, there are 2x and 5x buttons in the camera app. The 2x photos are clear, but the 5x photos somewhat lack detail, though they are acceptable.

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Low Light

The low-light performance of the phone is good. It automatically takes long-exposure shots under low-light conditions and produces bright photos even at night.

Now, if there is a moving object, the night photos will have motion blur, which is to be expected. However, the still shots are impressive.

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Portrait

The portrait shots are decent. Occasionally, a few photos appeared faded, possibly due to the sun. The subject separation is good with a simple background, and the blur is natural.

However, with a complex background, the phone struggled to properly separate the subject. But whenever it succeeds, the portraits come out great.

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Ultrawide Camera

You can notice a drop in quality from the main camera to the ultrawide camera. Still, the photos are decent. A bit of noise is visible, and the detail is also lacking.

However, the colors are good. Even in low light, the phone takes great photos. It is commendable that the OnePlus 12R can capture such photos in low light with its ultrawide camera, but compared to the main camera, the images are softer.

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Selfie

The front camera is great. The skin tone is pleasing, the dynamic range is wide, and it properly exposes everything.

In complex lighting, the HDR does a good job of exposing the face. The front camera also handles multiple faces well.

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Videos

The OnePlus 12R can shoot videos in up to 4K at 60fps. The 4K footage is very sharp and has decent stabilization. The exposure is consistent. Overall, the video quality is good.

Battery

  • 5500mAh
  • 100W wired charging
  • No wireless charging
Battery
Battery

The battery capacity of the OnePlus 12R is larger than usual. It has a 5500mAh battery, which is the largest battery in any OnePlus phone to date.

As expected, the battery life is great. With my light usage, it easily lasts over a day on a single charge. The phone also supports 100W fast charging. Unfortunately, the charger is not included with the phone. You have to purchase it separately, which costs around Rs. 4–5 thousand in Nepal.

OnePlus claims the supported charger can charge the phone to 100 percent in just 26 minutes. Since we don’t have the charger, we were unable to test this.

Software

  • Android 14
  • OxygenOS 14
OxygenOS 14
OxygenOS 14

Out of the box, the OnePlus 12R comes with the latest Android 14 topped with OxygenOS 14. OnePlus has promised to provide three years of OS upgrades and four years of security updates, which is less than what Samsung offers in its budget to mid-range phones. Samsung generally offers four years of OS upgrades.

OxygenOS is identical to Realme’s UI and Oppo ColorOS. If you use any of the three phones, the software experience is the same, just the names are different.

OxygenOS is clean and offers tons of customization offers, including how an always-on display appear and the shape of app icons. When you swipe from up to down in the homescreen, you can also choose if you want the search to appear or the notifications panel.

The OxygenOS also has an Auto Pixelate feature. It makes it easier to hide messages in screenshots. You can also use the smart cutout feature to cut out subjects from the photos in the gallery app by just long pressing.

READ NEXT: Best Phones Under 30000 in Nepal (June 2024 Updated)

So, this is my OnePlus 12R review. What do you think about the phone? If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments!

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