OnePlus 12R Review: Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Powerhouse Delivers Elite Performance and 2-Day Battery Life for Just $669

Flagship-Level Performance and Battery Life for Hundreds Less

Martin Guay
Martin Guay - Chief Editor
16 Min Read
OnePlus 12R review photo of phone back showing camera module
4.5 Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Powerhouse Delivers Flagship Performance and 2-Day Battery Life for Just $669
Review
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The OnePlus 12R has shaken up the midrange Android market by delivering unbeatable performance, an excellent display, and incredible battery life at a bargain price. Keep reading this in-depth review to see why it's one of the best values of 2024.

Key Specs

  • Processor: Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
  • RAM: 8GB or 16GB LPDDR5X
  • Storage: 128GB or 256GB
  • Battery: 5,500mAh
  • Display: 6.78-inch AMOLED, 120Hz
  • Rear Cameras: 50MP main, 8MP ultrawide, 2MP macro
  • Front Camera: 16MP
  • Price: Starts at just $669.99
* Delivery cost shown at checkout.

Striking Design That Defies the Price

OnePlus 12R review photo of phone back showing camera module

For a phone that costs just $669.99, the OnePlus 12R looks and feels remarkably high-end. It features the same premium design cues as OnePlus's pricier flagships, including a curved display and glossy glass back. The flowing unibody design gives it a seamless, premium aesthetic.

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The large circular camera module blends smoothly into the rear glass panel. And the metallic sides are chamfered for a sleek silhouette. At certain angles, the 12R gives off reflective flourishes like a prism.

OnePlus also retained several of its signature hardware features at this lower price, including the handy alert slider and exceptionally fast in-display fingerprint reader.

Without a doubt, the 12R punches far above its weight in terms of design. The fit and finish are on par with phones costing nearly twice as much. The only downside is the slippery glass back—a case is highly recommended for grip and protection. But otherwise, the 12R looks and feels like a top-tier flagship, even at its modest $669 starting price.

Design – Stunning Style at a Midrange Price

OnePlus 12R review photo of phone charging showing fast charging

As mentioned already, the OnePlus 12R delivers a truly premium design that looks and feels like it should cost hundreds more. The curved front and back glass sandwich a metal frame for a seamless, flowing profile.

OnePlus sticks with small but meaningful touches like the signature alert slider for quickly silencing the phone. The in-display fingerprint reader is lightning-fast and accurate for securely unlocking the 12R. The subtle OnePlus branding on the back adds an extra flourish.

The 12R feels incredibly solid and well-built in the hand, with no creaks or flexing. The fit and finish are impressive considering this phone costs just $669. You get four classic colour options including Forest Green, Instant Black, and Lake Blue.

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OnePlus 12R, 16GB RAM+256GB, Dual-SIM, US Factory Unlocked Android Smartphone, 5500 mAh Battery, 50MP Camera, 80W Fast Charging, 2024, Cool Blue

★★★★★
Amazon.com

At 163.3 x 75.3 x 8.8 mm and 207g, the 12R hits that sweet spot of being large enough for immersive viewing without being bulky or unwieldy. And the curved back nestles nicely in your palm despite the glossy finish.

Again, a case is still recommended for extra grip and drop protection considering the slippery glass design. But overall, the OnePlus 12R clearly borrows premium design cues from the brand's pricier flagships to deliver a stunning look that defies its reasonable price tag. The style and build quality are truly impressive.

Display – Brilliant AMOLED Screen

OnePlus 12R review photo of phone front showing display

You simply will not find many smartphone displays that look this good for under $700. The 6.78-inch flexible AMOLED panel on the OnePlus 12R offers rich colours, inky blacks, and crisp details.

The Full HD+ resolution of 2780 x 1260 pixels provides ample sharpness for this screen size. Pixel density is excellent at 451 ppi, so images and text look incredibly sharp.

And with support for HDR10/HDR10+ and 120Hz screen refresh rate, watching movies or scrolling feeds is incredibly immersive. The smooth scrolling in apps like social media or web browsing feels slick and natural.

In HDR mode, the display can reach searing brightness over 1600 nits to make colours really pop. The vibrance makes watching videos or viewing photos an absolute pleasure. An ample 550 nits of typical brightness ensures good outdoor visibility.

You also have some nice display customizations via OxygenOS like night mode, reading mode, adjustable white balance, etc. The only downsides are slightly more bezel than rivals and no variable refresh rate. But otherwise, this is an outstanding AMOLED display that tops rivals from Samsung, Google, and others.

Lightning-Fast Performance on Par with 2023 Flagships

The OnePlus 12R is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, the same blazing-fast chipset found in last year's premium Android flagships. And that top-tier hardware gives the 12R performance that competes with the best 2022 phones that cost upwards of $1,000.

Apps load instantly, multitasking is seamless, and demanding 3D games run smoothly. The 12R benchmarks are nearly on par with flagship phones from Samsung, Google, and others that cost significantly more. No matter your use case, from productivity apps to social media to mobile gaming, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 inside the 12R chews through tasks with ease.

You also get generous RAM options of 8GB or 16GB to really keep your apps active in the background. Plus, UFS 4.0 storage guarantees incredibly quick app launch times and file transfers. Everything feels snappy and responsive on the OnePlus 12R, which is exactly what you want from a premium device.

The OnePlus 12R ships with OxygenOS based on Android 14. It's a clean, relatively stock software experience with some nice customizations available for the display, dark mode, and more. My only real gripe is that you get 3 major OS updates, which lags behind Google, Samsung, and Apple's 5+ years of updates. But in terms of day-to-day use, OxygenOS performs admirably and doesn't get in your way.

Performance – Blazing Fast Speed for Less

OnePlus 12R review photo of phone cameras showing qualityOnePlus 12R review photo of phone side showing alert slider

Inside the OnePlus 12R, you'll find the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, one of the premier mobile chipsets on the planet. It delivers performance that rivals or outright beats every 2022 Android flagship – some costing over $1,000.

OnePlus 12R 5G (Black 8GB 128GB) 6.78" 50MP Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Global Version.

C $799.60  in stock
eBay
as of March 4, 2024 3:28 am

The combination of cutting-edge CPU and GPU architecture, advanced AI Engine, and speedy LPDDR5X RAM adds up to exceptional speed across the board. Apps open instantly, multi-tasking is fluid, and demanding games like Call of Duty or Genshin Impact run smoothly.

So if you want a fast and responsive phone, the OnePlus 12R delivers elite flagship performance for hundreds less. Gaming, productivity apps, content creation, etc. are all handled with ease.

Of course, the phone does come with some caveats. There's no microSD slot for expanding storage beyond 256GB. And you only get 3 generations of Android OS updates. But the speed and fluidity of the user experience today rivals even the most expensive flagships on the market right now.

Battery – 2+ Day Life and Charges in Minutes

The giant 5,500 mAh battery inside the OnePlus 12R just laughs at the idea of running out of juice in a single day. With typical usage, most owners report going 1.5 to 2 days easily before needing to recharge. Even heavy use like gaming or media streaming will still get you through a full day no problem.

Standby battery drain is remarkably low thanks to optimized OxygenOS software. So the 12R can hold a charge when idle for impressively long. Forget worrying about battery life – this phone has the power to spare.

And when it does come time to refuel that huge battery, the included 80W wired charger juices up insanely fast. It can hit 50% charge in just 15 minutes and 100% in about 30 minutes. That's nearly as quick as the ultra-premium 100W charging of the OnePlus 10 Pro.

So in just a short charging break, you can fill up the 12R with hours of power on tap. The combination of extraordinary battery life and charging speed is a potent one. You'll rarely find this phone's battery completely dead.

The only thing missing is wireless charging, but that's an acceptable omission to hit the 12R's affordable price point. With a battery, this large and fast charging this quick, wireless charging becomes far less important anyway.

Cameras – Capable for Social Sharing

OnePlus equips the 12R with a capable triple camera array featuring:

  • 50MP f/1.8 main wide camera
  • 8MP f/2.2 120-degree ultrawide camera
  • 2MP f/2.4 macro camera

And around the front, you get a:

  • 16MP f/2.4 selfie camera

OnePlus 12R review photo of phone back showing camera module

In ideal daylight, the 50MP main camera captures vibrant, detailed shots. The large sensor pulls in plenty of light for crisp 12MP pixel-binned images. The ultrawide adds flexibility to landscapes or architecture. And the macro lens lets you get creative with closeups.

4K video capture is also solid, with good stabilization from the UltraSteady mode. For social media, the 12R delivers very pleasing and shareable results.

However, low-light performance is just average. And without optical zoom, any digital zoom over 5-10x becomes a noisy pixelated mess. Hasselblad tuning is also reserved for OnePlus's pricier phones.

So discerning photographers should look to Google, Apple, or Samsung flagships instead. But for everyday snaps, the 12R provides nice versatility and quality considering its affordable price tag. Most buyers will find these cameras sufficient.

Software – Streamlined OxygenOS

The OnePlus 12R runs the company's OxygenOS skin based on Android 14. Compared to heavy skins like OneUI or MIUI, OxygenOS retains a cleaner, more stock Android look and feel.

You get some thoughtful additions like an always-on display, Zen Mode for minimizing distractions, easy one-handed mode, and a horizontal app drawer. But otherwise, the software doesn't interfere too much with core Android.

Performance is very responsive thanks to smooth animations and thoughtful optimization. Face unlock in particular is blazing fast – faster than many more expensive devices.

On the downside, you only get 3 major OS updates and 4 years of security patches. That lags behind Google, Samsung, and Apple's 5+ years of updates. But otherwise, OxygenOS offers a fast and customizable experience.

How It Compares to the OnePlus 12

The OnePlus 12R takes the core formula of the OnePlus 12 flagship and reduces the price. You get nearly the same fast performance thanks to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, which is a step down from the OnePlus 12’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset. The display is also virtually just as good, with a high-resolution AMOLED panel and a smooth 120Hz refresh rate.

The 12R packs an even larger 5,500mAh battery for longer endurance, along with quicker 80W wired charging. However, the OnePlus 12 offers a slightly smaller 5,400mAh battery and faster 100W wired charging. The OnePlus 12 does offer a superior triple rear camera system, led by a 48MP main lens, a 64MP telephoto lens, and a 48MP ultrawide lens, with Hasselblad tuning for superior image quality.

OnePlus - 12R 256GB (Unlocked) - Cool Blue

$599.99
Bestbuy.com
as of March 4, 2024 3:28 am

So if photography is important, the OnePlus 12 justifies its higher cost. But if you’re focused on speed, screen quality, and battery life, the 12R delivers a similar experience for less money. Unless the camera upgrade, wireless charging, or the faster Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset matters to you, the 12R is arguably the better value buy.

Why It's A True Flagship Killer

The OnePlus 12R brings virtually every core spec and feature of a 2024 Android flagship down to an incredibly affordable $669 price point. Inside you get the same fast Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip, stunning 120Hz AMOLED display, and 2-3 day battery life that $1,000+ phones offer. Yet the 12R costs hundreds less.

It proves that you no longer need to pay premium prices for premium performance on Android. Unless having the absolute best camera or niche features like wireless charging are must-haves, the 12R provides everything you could want in a modern flagship experience for far less. In terms of price-to-performance ratio, very few Android phones can compete. The OnePlus 12R completely redefines what's possible at $669.

Reasons to Buy the OnePlus 12R

OnePlus 12R review photo of phone front showing displayOnePlus 12R review photo of phone back showing camera module

Here are the core reasons why the OnePlus 12R represents such a fantastic value:

Flagship-Level Power – With the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, performance matches $1,000+ flagships for hundreds less. Everything feels fast and fluid.

Epic Battery Life – The massive 5,500 mAh battery delivers 2-3 days of use per charge. You'll rarely run out of juice.

Stunning Display – The 6.78″ 120Hz AMOLED display looks incredible with its vibrant colours and buttery smoothness.

Ultra Fast Charging – The huge battery recharges to 100% in just 30 minutes thanks to 80W wired charging.

Premium Design – With a glass and metal unibody, curved display, and alert slider, the 12R looks and feels ultra high-end.

All at $669 – Considering these flagship-caliber features and specs, the 12R provides simply unmatched value.

Final Verdict

The OnePlus 12R makes almost zero compromises compared to expensive 2023/2024 Android flagships. It offers the same fast performance, long battery life, gorgeous display, and premium design but costs hundreds less. Unless you must have the absolute best camera or wireless charging, the 12R provides a true flagship experience for budget-focused buyers. For shoppers wanting power above all else, the OnePlus 12R is arguably the best bang for your buck in 2024.

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OnePlus 12R review photo of phone back showing camera module
Review
Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Powerhouse Delivers Flagship Performance and 2-Day Battery Life for Just $669 4.5
Price 5 out of 5
Performance 4 out of 5
Picture Quality 4 out of 5
Display Quality 4.5 out of 5
Battery Life 4.5 out of 5
Charging Speed 5 out of 5
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By Martin Guay Chief Editor
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I write, talk about technology, gadgets, the latest Android news as much as any other fellow geek, nerd, or enthusiast does. I work in the IT field as a System Administrator, and I enjoy gaming when possible. I'm into plenty of things, and you can usually find me around Ottawa, Canada!For all business inquiry email business-inquiry [@] cryovex [dot] com.
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