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Business News/ Technology / Tech Reviews/  OnePlus 12 vs OnePlus 12R comparison: Is the 25,000 price gap worth it?
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OnePlus 12 vs OnePlus 12R comparison: Is the ₹25,000 price gap worth it?

OnePlus 12 and OnePlus 12R share a lot of similar features, and both claim to offer a flagship-level experience. But should you really drop ₹25,000 to upgrade to the OnePlus 12, or has OnePlus outdone itself with the 'R' series this year, find out the answer in this comparison.

OnePlus 12 vs OnePlus 12R comparison: Which one should you choose? (Aman Gupta/ Mint)Premium
OnePlus 12 vs OnePlus 12R comparison: Which one should you choose? (Aman Gupta/ Mint)

Over the years, OnePlus has built a reputation for delivering 'flagship killer' devices that not only boast high-end specs, but also come at an affordable price. The newly launched OnePlus 12R seems to be the torchbearer for this philosophy, since it now features last year's powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, while still starting at the same price of 39,999 as the OnePlus 11R. The numerous upgrades brought to the OnePlus 12R have raised the question among various tech enthusiasts as to whether it is even worth spending an extra 25,000 to buy the OnePlus 12. I will attempt to answer that very question based on 15 days of hands-on experience with both these devices.

Also Read | OnePlus 12R review: Relatively affordable ‘flagship killer’ that ticks all the right boxes

Design and in-hand feel

The OnePlus 12 and 12R share a remarkably similar design, with the rounded camera module and curved edges on the back, while the fan-favourite alert slider has now been moved to the left, and an IR blaster is also present on the top of both devices. They also share a similar 120Hz LTPO AMOLED display to the front, with 4500 nits of peak brightness, 1600 nits of High Brightness Mode (HBM) and support for Dolby Vision and HDR10+. Speaking of similarities, both phones come with Gorilla Victus 2 protection on the front and Gorilla Glass 5 protection on the back.

On paper, however, the OnePlus 12 has a slight advantage with a higher-resolution 6.82-inch display compared to the 6.78-inch display on the 12R. In everyday usage, however, both displays felt equally smooth and responsive, making for an immersive viewing experience. Both phones get improved IP protection this time around, with the OnePlus 12 boasting IP65 protection, while the OnePlus 12R comes with IP64 protection.

In terms of in-hand feel, I prefer the OnePlus 12R, which is thinner and lighter than its older sibling, while also packing a larger 5,500mAh battery compared to the 5,400mAh setup on the OnePlus 12. However, the OnePlus 12R's smooth glass back means it's much more prone to fingerprints and smudges, which isn't an issue with the OnePlus 12's textured back.

Software and storage 

Similar to other smartphones in this price range, both the OnePlus 12 and OnePlus 12R run the latest Android 14 operating system, but are based on the company's own OxygenOS, which is similar to stock Android in many ways, but also has some nifty customisations.

OnePlus has promised four years of OS updates and five years of security patches for the OnePlus 12, and three years of OS updates and four years of security patches for the 12R.

Meanwhile, the OnePlus 12 also has a considerable advantage in terms of storage and transfer speeds, coming with a faster USB 3.2 port and UFS 4.0 storage compared to the older USB 2.0 and UFS 3.1 storage on the 12R. The 12R is also limited to 256GB of storage, while its more expensive sibling comes with up to 512GB of storage.

Performance

On paper, the OnePlus 12 is the clear favourite in the performance department, with last year's latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset and faster Adreno 750 GPU, while the 12R comes with last year's Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset and Adreno 740 GPU.

But in terms of real-world use, both phones felt equally responsive and snappy across a range of tasks, including intensive gaming, streaming movies and switching between different apps. The OnePlus 12 may fare better in longer gaming sessions due to the latest GPU and faster memory speeds.

Camera

One area where the OnePlus 12 clearly outshines its sibling is in terms of camera performance, thanks to the numerous upgrades OnePlus has implemented in its flagship this year.

The OnePlus 12 boasts an impressive camera setup, including a 50MP Sony LYT-808 primary sensor, a 48MP Sony IMX581 ultra-wide-angle lens with a 114° field of view, and a 64MP telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom. In contrast, the OnePlus 12R has the same 50MP Sony IMX890 sensor as last year, accompanied by an 8MP ultra-wide-angle lens and a 2MP macro sensor.

In my tests, I found the primary sensor on these two devices to be remarkably similar, delivering excellent detail and accurate colours in a variety of scenarios. Surprisingly, in some scenarios, the OnePlus 12R actually did a better job than the OnePlus 12 in terms of maintaining detail, while in others the OnePlus 12 simply outshone its sibling.

The 8MP ultra-wide on the OnePlus 12R, while a capable sensor in its own right, is no match for the 48MP sensor on the OnePlus 12, which delivers much better detail and more accurate colours than its sibling. The lack of a telephoto lens on the OnePlus 12R further cements its older sibling's dominance in this segment.

I really enjoyed using the OnePlus 12's 3x telephoto lens, which can take some great shots with excellent detail retention and minimal colour difference from the primary sensor. While the smartphone is capable of zooming up to 120x, I found photos with up to 10x zoom to be usable.

As usual, readers can make up their minds by viewing the raw camera samples from these two phones via the attached Google Drive link.

Should you pay 25,000 extra for the OnePlus 12? 

Well, it's complicated. While both the OnePlus 12 and OnePlus 12R offer various improvements over their predecessors, including the addition of IP65 and IP64 ratings, upgraded chipset, bigger battery and improved camera performance, the OnePlus 12 is potentially less appealing due to the 8,000 jump in its price from last year compared to its sibling, which starts at the same 40,000 price point as its predecessor.

Moreover, the OnePlus 12R also offers much of the functionality offered by the OnePlus 12 thanks to the addition of a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, a triple camera setup, a fast 100W charger and Android 14-based OxygenOS. The 12R is also lighter and feels more compact in the hand compared to its older sibling, while packing a bigger battery.

However, the OnePlus 12 may still be the better choice for users who want flagship cameras with Hasselblad branding, the latest top-of-the-line processor, faster storage and data transfer speeds, and slightly longer software support.

Essentially, both phones offer great value for money, but if you're on a tight budget, you might want to save some money and go for the OnePlus 12R instead.

 

 

 

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Published: 19 Feb 2024, 10:54 PM IST
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