5 phones you should buy instead of the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra | Digital Trends

5 phones you should buy instead of the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra | Digital Trends

Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

It’s hard not to lust after the biggest and most powerful smartphone on the market, and at the moment, that’s the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra. Samsung’s new flagship is here, and it’s simply one of the best smartphones you can buy today. The Galaxy S24 Ultra isn’t just another smartphone; it’s extremely powerful and has some of the most advanced AI features we’ve ever seen on a phone, along with an excellent camera and battery life. Simply put, it’s great.

But you know what? You don’t have to buy it. As good as it is, the Galaxy S24 Ultra is only one of a number of smartphones you can buy, and many of them are as good as the S24 Ultra — and may even exceed it in a few key ways.

Not sure about dropping $1,300 on Samsung’s latest? Here are five smartphones you should buy instead of the Galaxy S24 Ultra.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus

Someone holding the Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus with its screen turned on.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

What is the Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus? Simply put, it’s the phone that made us forget about the Galaxy S24 Ultra. After a great review, we were set to place the S24 Ultra at the top of the Samsung pile and call it good for another year. Then, the Galaxy S24 Plus dropped into our lives.

In short, it’s the S24 Ultra with all the “extras” carefully removed. Sure, you don’t get the Ultra’s S Pen or periscope zoom lens, but did you really need those? Because what you get for a full $300 less is the same high-speed Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor, the same 1440p AMOLED display with a 1-120Hz dynamic refresh rate, and 45W charging speeds. Yes, you’re taking a hit in the battery and screen size departments, but these decreases are absolutely tiny, as you’ll lose 0.1 of an inch from the screen’s diagonal measurement and 100mAh of a 5,000mAh battery. It’s so small a change as to be unnoticeable, and the same applies to the camera too. The S24 Plus doesn’t have the sky-high megapixel counts of its bigger sibling, but it doesn’t need them, as it delivers fantastic results each time.

You can get more from the S24 Ultra, that’s for sure — but are those extras really worth $300 to you? That’s a question only you can answer, of course. But as far as we’re concerned, the S24 Plus is phenomenal value for the money and simply the best Samsung Galaxy S this year.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

Someone holding the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra and the Galaxy S23 Ultra.
The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra (left) and S23 Ultra Joe Maring / Digital Trends

It’s all too easy to forget about yesterday’s toys when that new model is sitting right there, but it’s worth remembering that “new” doesn’t always mean “better.”

OK, so it kind of does, and yes, the S24 Ultra is technically better, but the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is still an incredible phone. Compared with the newer model, the differences are barely noticeable and can only be pinpointed by diving into the spec sheets. The older model is a gram lighter, has a handful fewer pixels in the display, and has a slightly older processor. It’s still a beefy, premium-feeling brick, with a gorgeous display and a transcendent amount of processing grunt hidden beneath a gorgeous design.

The S24 Ultra has Galaxy AI as its new headline feature, but honestly, you can drop that without worrying too much about it. The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is still a heck of a lot of smartphone, and as a bonus, it actually has a little bit more than the newer model. Remember the S24 Ultra’s 5x periscope zoom lens? The S23 Ultra has a 10x zoom lens, which is hilariously so extra when you look back at it. Who needs that? No one, which is why Samsung dropped it. But that’s the whole reason why the Ultra line exists, and we should celebrate when it turns the dial to 11. Buy the Galaxy S23 Ultra instead, and grab a nice discount for almost the same phone.

OnePlus 12

OnePlus 12 Flowy Emerald leaning on a park bench.
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

The OnePlus 12 isn’t a flagship killer (that’s the OnePlus 12R), but there’s a strong argument it’s a Galaxy S24 Ultra killer.

OnePlus made a name for itself by focusing on the raw specs and cutting out as many extraneous features as possible — and in that sense, it’s the ideological opposite of the S24 Ultra, as the specs, not the special features, are the reason to buy this phone. It’s powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, giving it the same big brain as the S24 Ultra, but then OnePlus threw in up to 512GB of storage and a truly ludicrous up to 16GB of RAM. Backing that up is a 1Hz to 120Hz refresh rate on a 1440p display that’s just as big as the S24 Ultra’s. This phone can easily trade punches with the brawny Ultra and stay standing round after round. It’s even a faster charger, thanks to the blindingly fast 80-watt charging speed.

The camera isn’t as good, but it’s still a solid shooter, and it’s easily balanced out by the vast gulf in price. The OnePlus 12 starts at $800, an incredible $500 difference in price. Granted, that’s for the base 256GB model with 12GB of RAM, but that’s equal to the specs offered by the basic S24 Ultra, so it evens out. If you want a big phone with big specs, then grab the OnePlus 12 and save a bucketful of cash.

Google Pixel 8 Pro

Someone holding the Google Pixel 8 Pro in front of a colorful mural.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Google’s Pixel line isn’t as common as Samsung’s Galaxy, but it’s made a strong reputation for itself, and for some very good reasons.

In previous years, we’d have immediately plugged the Google Pixel phone as the best camera phone, but this year, the Galaxy S24 Ultra has taken a shocking win in our S24 Ultra vs. Pixel 8 Pro camera comparison. But even with that in mind, there are still many great reasons to pick the Google Pixel 8 Pro over Samsung’s huge smartphone. The camera system is still incredible and takes shots with superior real-life colors, eschewing the vibrant saturation Samsung tends to opt for in its cameras. While the wide-angle and telephoto shots aren’t as strong as Samsung’s, it would be a mistake to think the Pixel 8 Pro doesn’t have an incredible camera system.

That’s not all Google’s biggest new phone has going for it. It’s a similar size to the S24 Ultra, so you’re not missing out in that department, and it has similar display specs, too, including the 120Hz dynamic refresh rate. The Google-made Tensor G3 processor is powerful and fast, and it even has similar AI features to the S24 Ultra — because Google did it first.

The battery life falters a little bit, offering only a single day per charge, but the Pixel’s version of Android makes up for that with a super-clean interface and useful features that don’t bulk up the phone. While we love One UI on the S24 Ultra, there’s no doubt that there’s a lot of extra stuff thrown in there, and purists will love what Google offers.

The final point is the price. The Pixel 8 Pro is a big phone with similar power, camera systems, and features to the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra, but it does it at a much lower price. The Google Pixel 8 Pro starts from $999, a full $300 less than the S24 Ultra, and upgrading to 256GB of storage (putting it on par with the Ultra) will cost $1,059 — still well below what you’ll pay for Samsung’s latest.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 half folded on a showcase.
Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

A strong reason to buy the S24 Ultra is because it provides the cutting edge of smartphone tech with extremely powerful specs, a very impressive camera, and almost the most advanced display money can buy. Why almost? Because the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 exists, and if you’re already spending at least $1,300 on a smartphone, why not go all-in and buy the most cutting-edge device instead?

In terms of specs, it’s similar to the S24 Ultra, even if it’s not quite as powerful. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is a stellar chip with more power than you’re ever likely to need, and the camera is still excellent. But we all know what the real draw here is: the folding screen. The 7.6-inch inner display has the same refresh rate as the S24 Ultra while offering almost twice the width. When using such a large tablet-like screen isn’t feasible, there’s also a 6.2-inch display on the outside.

Unlike most of the options on this list, the Z Fold 5 is more expensive than the S24 Ultra, with prices starting at $1,799. But when you’re looking to pay an already large amount of money on the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra and clearly want to get a bit extra, why not go a little bit further and really shoot for the stars?

Editors’ Recommendations






How many years of updates will the OnePlus 12 get? | Digital Trends

How many years of updates will the OnePlus 12 get? | Digital Trends

OnePlus 12 Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

OnePlus has started the year off strong with the launch of its signature flagship, the OnePlus 12. It packs in the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip, at least 12GB RAM, a powerful triple-lens camera system, and a gorgeous high-resolution AMOLED display that gets up to 120Hz refresh rates and reaches a whopping 4,500 nits of peak brightness. Plus, it’s an absolutely beautiful phone.

The OnePlus 12 really does offer a lot of bang for your buck. It’s a flagship packed with a ton of great features and actually costs less than the competition. But how long will it get software updates for? That’s what we’re here to determine.

The OnePlus 12 will get five years of updates

The OnePlus 12's camera module.
OnePlus 12 Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

In 2022, OnePlus confirmed that it would commit to four years of major Android/OxygenOS updates and five years of security updates, beginning with its 2023 lineup. This commitment applies to the OnePlus 12, meaning it will receive four years of major Android updates and five years of security patches.

Prior to that announcement, OnePlus was only doing three years of major updates and four years of security updates. At the time, this new policy matched Samsung’s and was actually better than Google’s old software update policy.

How this compares to Google, Samsung, and Apple

A person holding the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra and Google Pixel 8 Pro.
The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra (left) and Google Pixel 8 Pro Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

When Google launched the Google Pixel 8 and Google Pixel 8 Pro, it also announced that it was improving its software update policy. The Pixel 8 lineup will receive seven years of major software updates and security patches.

Samsung launched the Galaxy S24 series (Galaxy S24, Galaxy S24 Plus, and Galaxy S24 Ultra) shortly after the OnePlus 12. Samsung also revealed that it would support seven years of major updates and security patches for the S24, which puts it in line with Google’s Pixel 8.

On the flip side, Apple has never made any guarantees on how long it supports older iPhones. However, based on Apple’s track record, iPhones get around five full years of major iOS updates and Apple issues security updates regularly for older devices. Apple’s longevity with the iPhone has set a standard that Android makers are also trying to follow.

Is five years enough for the OnePlus 12?

Gray Samsung Galaxy S24 (left), Rose Gold Google Pixel 8, Flowy Emerald OnePlus 12, Green iPhone 15, Titanium Gray iPhone 15 Pro on a pink and red heart blanket.
The Samsung Galaxy S24 (from left), Google Pixel 8, OnePlus 12, iPhone 15, and iPhone 15 Pro Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

Though OnePlus’ five-year update policy for the OnePlus 12 may seem worse than what Google and Samsung are offering, there’s a reason behind it: the hardware likely won’t last seven years.

Of course, the first thing that may come to mind is that, yes, brands want to sell new hardware down the road rather than support old devices (that’s what businesses do). But also keep in mind that as new software features come along, it becomes harder to support it on older devices.

And let’s also consider the hardware itself. Battery capacities degrade over time — the more you use and charge it, the less charge it will hold down the road. At some point, you may even want to replace the battery once it gets bad enough. And there are other components to the phone that aren’t guaranteed to still work. At some point, it would just be easier to replace the phone with a new one rather than continuing to buy replacement parts.

While not everyone upgrades annually, most people tend to upgrade their phone every few years. A four-year policy makes the most sense logistically with that in mind, rather than seven. But who knows — OnePlus could offer a longer update policy later to rival its competition.

In the end, the consumer wins either way, as five years is still a solid length of time.

Editors’ Recommendations






OnePlus 12 vs. OnePlus 12R: don’t buy the wrong phone | Digital Trends

OnePlus 12 vs. OnePlus 12R: don’t buy the wrong phone | Digital Trends

OnePlus 12R (left) and OnePlus 12 Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

Last year’s OnePlus 11R was the “value phone you’ve been waiting for.” Unfortunately, it wasn’t available in the U.S. However, things have changed with the OnePlus 12 series. Both the OnePlus 12 and 12R are available here at different price points. The OnePlus 12R being cheaper but offering flagship specifications raises the question if you should spend extra on the OnePlus 12.

So, should you? Here’s what you need to know about both devices before making your decision.

OnePlus 12 vs. OnePlus 12R: specs

OnePlus 12 OnePlus 12R
Size 164.3 x 75.8 x 9.2 mm (6.47 x 2.98 x 0.36 inches) 163.3 x 75.3 x 8.8mm (6.43 x 2.96 x 0.34 inches)
Weight 220 grams (7.76 ounces) 207 grams (7.30 ounces)
Screen size 6.82-inch LTPO AMOLED (Dynamic 1-120Hz) 6.78-inch LTPO AMOLED (Dynamic 1-120Hz)
Screen resolution 3168 x 1440 resolution at 510 pixels per inch 2780 × 1264 resolution at 450 pixels per inch
Operating system Android 14 with OxygenOS 14 Android 14 with OxygenOS 14
Storage 256GB, 512GB UFS 4.0 128GB, 256GB UFS 3.1
MicroSD card slot No No
Tap-to-pay services Google Pay Google Pay
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
RAM 12GB, 16GB LPDDR5X 8GB, 12GB LPDDR5X
Cameras Rear: 50MP primary, 48MP ultrawide, and 64MP periscope telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom

Front: 32MP

Rear: 50MP primary, 8MP ultrawide, and 2MP macro

Front: 16MP

Video Rear: Up to 8K at 24 frames per second (fps), 4K at up to 60 fps, and FHD at up to 480 fps

Front: Up to 4K at 30 fps

Rear: 4K at up to 60 fps, and FHD at up to 480 fps

Front: Up to 1080p at 30 fps

Bluetooth Yes, Bluetooth 5.3 Yes, Bluetooth 5.3
Ports USB-C USB-C
Biometrics Optical in-display fingerprint sensor Optical in-display fingerprint sensor
Water resistance IP65 IP54
Battery 5,400mAh

Fast charging 100W (80W in the U.S.)

Fast wireless charging (50W)

Reverse wireless charging (10W)

5,500mAh

Fast charging 100W (80W in the U.S.)

App marketplace Google Play Store Google Play Store
Network support 5G 5G
Colors Flowy Emerald, Silky Black Cool Blue, Iron Gray
Price From $800 From $500
Available from OnePlus, Amazon, Best Buy OnePlus, Amazon, Best Buy

OnePlus 12 vs. OnePlus 12R: design

Both the OnePlus 12 and OnePlus 12R follow design language similar to last year’s OnePlus 11. It gives them a distinct look, the primary difference being the back panel design.

The Flowy Emerald OnePlus 12 is absolutely gorgeous. It seems to take inspiration from the Marble Odyssey Edition of the OnePlus 11 to give a textured matte look on the back. It also comes in Silky Black, which looks similar to last year’s flagship but lacks the “Hasselblad” font on the camera module for just the logo. By contrast, the OnePlus 12R has a glossy finish on the back for the Cool Blue color, but a matte finish if you get the phone in Iron Gray.

OnePlus has also redesigned the button placement on its new phones. The OnePlus 12 series now sports the power button and volume rockers on the right side, while the Alert Slider has been relocated to the left edge. If you are coming from any of the old OnePlus phones, this might be a learning curve, but you’ll get adjusted to it within a day or two.

This change has pros and cons. Having volume buttons on the other side allowed me to take screenshots with a single hand, but now I have to use both hands. And I take a lot of screenshots because I like sharing memes with my friends. That being said, I like the placement because it has become easier to adjust the volume when I’m watching movies now.

OnePlus 12 vs. OnePlus 12R: display

The OnePlus 12 features a 6.8-inch LTPO AMOLED display with a 1440 x 3168-pixel resolution at 510 ppi (pixels per inch) and support for a 120Hz refresh rate, both Dolby Vision and HDR10+, which can go up to 4,500 nits.

On the other hand, the OnePlus 12R comes equipped with a 6.78-inch AMOLED display with a 2780 x 1264 resolution (at 450 ppi). Interestingly, it supports the same peak brightness for Dolby Vision and HDR10+ content and dynamic refresh rate.

Both these displays are sharp and vivid, especially on the OnePlus 12R. It was best put in words by Digital Trends’ Mobile Editor Joe Maring, “This is a screen I’d expect on a $1000 phone – not one that costs half a price.” Both these phones feature curved displays, which give them a premium look, in my opinion.

These are both “ProXDR displays,” which means they can display HDR content (like photos) within the app – similar to iPhones. They also have a feature called “Aqua Touch” that allows the phone to detect droplets on the screen, so it can distinguish a finger touch and mistouch from droplets. It works well most of the time.

OnePlus 12 vs. OnePlus 12R: performance

OnePlus 12R and OnePlus 12 back.
Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

One of the key differences between the two phones is the chipset. While the OnePlus 12 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, the OnePlus 12R relies on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, the same chip found on the OnePlus 11. It may be over a year old at this point in time, but it’s still an excellent performer — especially for the OnePlus 12R’s price.

Everything is super fast and fluid on both phones. From app loading speeds to zero stutter in everyday use, they do well, and the OnePlus 12R is more than capable of handling your favorite games at 60fps at least, with Call of Duty: Mobile playing smoothly at 120fps at Medium graphics. Both phones can get warm during extensive gaming sessions but don’t get to a point where they’re uncomfortable to hold.

They come in different storage and RAM configurations, though. The OnePlus 12 gets UFS 4.0 storage, while the OnePlus 12R gets UFS 3.1 storage, but both with LPDDR5X RAM. You won’t notice the difference in most day-to-day tasks. In the long run, the OnePlus 12 base variant might fare better because it carries 12GB of RAM by default instead of 8GB of RAM found inside the OnePlus 12R. However, both phones can be upgraded with an optional 16GB RAM model.

OnePlus 12 vs. OnePlus 12R: battery and charging

The battery settings page on a OnePlus 12R.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

The OnePlus 12 packs a 5,400mAh battery with support for 100W fast charging and 50W wireless charging, which was absent on the OnePlus 11 as well as the OnePlus Open. It’s a welcome addition. By contrast, the OnePlus 12R gets a bigger 5,500 mAh battery with the same 100W fast charging support. However, it lacks wireless charging capabilities. Notably, the fast charging is capped at 80W for both phones in the U.S. It’s slightly disappointing, but that’s still much faster than competing phones from Samsung, Apple, and others.

Both phones come with the 100W charger in the box, so you don’t need to spare extra dollars on a supported charging brick. They will last you an entire day with ease, and you shouldn’t have trouble getting through the day with either of the two. And when needed, they charge super quickly.

OnePlus 12 vs. OnePlus 12R: cameras

OnePlus 12R and OnePlus 12 camera modules.
Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

Another difference comes in the form of cameras – both sensors and Hasselblad support. The OnePlus 12 has a 50MP primary camera (Sony LYT-808 sensor), a 64MP periscope sensor with 3x optical zoom support, and a 48MP ultrawide camera with a 114-degree field of view. On the other hand, the OnePlus 12R sports a 50MP main camera (Sony IMX890 sensor) alongside a weaker 8MP ultrawide camera with a 112-degree field of view and a better-ignored 2MP macro sensor.

The OnePlus 12 captures bright, detailed images with good dynamic range and impressive shots even in low light. I really like the color science. The Portrait mode gets the edge detection right (for the most part), and the bokeh feels natural. You can also click some pretty good-looking macro shots with it.

I like the addition of the 3x periscope telephoto camera on the OnePlus 12, as I use it more than the ultrawide camera. It can also capture a good amount of details in 6x due to the in-sensor zoom and social media-worthy photos up to 15x. I would confidently carry it to concerts. You also get the 3x option in Portrait mode, which is missing on the OnePlus 12R.

As for the OnePlus 12R, the primary camera captures good-looking photos with pleasing color science in plenty of light. However, there were times when the phone gave me washed-out shots, but that was mostly fixed with a recent update. The ultrawide camera is decent but not great, and the 2MP macro sensor isn’t worth talking about. It’s still a good camera setup for the price.

On the front, you get a 32MP selfie shooter on the OnePlus 12 versus a 16MP camera on the OnePlus 12R. The former is better, while the 16MP shoots average stills.

OnePlus 12 vs. OnePlus 12R: software and updates

Screenshots of Android 14 software from the OnePlus 12R.
Digital Trends

The OnePlus 12 series runs OxygenOS 14 based on Android 14. While the more expensive flagship is slated to get four years of major Android OS updates and five years of security patches, the OnePlus 12R is promised to receive three years of OS updates and four years of security patches.

As for the user interface and animations, they’re fast and fluid. OxygenOS is filled to the brim with features but doesn’t feel overwhelming. There’s a lot of variety, whether AOD customizations or multitasking with “Special Features” like Split View and Flexible Windows.

OnePlus 12 vs. OnePlus 12R: price and availability

The OnePlus 12's camera module.
OnePlus 12 Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The OnePlus 12 is available in two colors, Silky Black and Flowy Emerald, and starts at $800 for the 12GB RAM/256GB storage version, while the 16GB RAM/512GB storage version costs $900.

The OnePlus 12R is priced at $500 for the base model with 8GB RAM and 128GB of storage and $600 for the 16GB RAM/256GB storage version. Both phones are available from Amazon, Best Buy, and directly from the OnePlus website. Moreover, you can get a minimum $100 discount on the OnePlus 12 series if you trade in any phone in any condition to OnePlus.

OnePlus 12 vs. OnePlus 12R: verdict

OnePlus 12 and OnePlus 12R camera modules.
Prakhar Khanna / Digtial Trends

My experience with both phones has been highly enjoyable. You can still get more capable phones if you spend over $1,000, but the OnePlus 12 is the most value-for-money flagship you can buy right now. Similarly, the OnePlus 12R is an excellent phone for its price.

As for comparing the two devices, if you want better cameras, a faster processor, and wireless charging, you should opt for the OnePlus 12. But if you are OK with having a good primary camera and don’t have much use case for a zoom lens, the OnePlus 12R is an unbelievably good value.

Both devices are comfortable to hold, feature a great display, smooth performance, a lightning-fast charging battery, and last an entire day. You can’t go wrong with either.


Editors’ Recommendations






OnePlus 12R Supports UFS 3.1 Storage, Not UFS 4.0

OnePlus 12R Supports UFS 3.1 Storage, Not UFS 4.0

OnePlus 12R was launched in India alongside the flagship OnePlus 12 in January. The handset is powered by the previous-generation Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 chipset and is backed by a 5,000mAh battery with SuperVOOC charging support. It is equipped with a triple rear camera unit and an AMOLED panel with a 1.5K resolution. The phone launched with two colour options in the country and is available in two RAM and storage configurations. At launch, the phone was said to support UFS 4.0 onboard storage but now the company president has confirmed that it only supports UFS 3.1, similar to its preceding OnePlus 11R and some variants of the OnePlus 11.

OnePlus President and COO Kinder Liu explained in a OnePlus Community post that “due to an error” OnePlus 12R was wrongly listed to support UFS 4.0 storage on some variants. He clarified that all variants of the OnePlus 12R support UFS 3.1 and are backed by the company’s Trinity Engine software, which is claimed to enhance the performance of the phone. Currently, the listing of the handset has been changed to reflect the correct information.

Liu also issued a formal apology in the post and assured that the company’s Customer Service team will address any grievances that people who have already purchased or pre-ordered OnePlus 12R may have regarding this matter.

The OnePlus 12R comes with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC paired with an Adreno 740 GPU, up to 16GB of LPDDR5x RAM and up to 256GB of UFS 3.1 inbuilt storage. The handset ships with Android 14-based OxygenOS 14 and sports a 6.78-inch 1.5K (1,264×2,780 pixels) LTPO 4.0 AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate and Gorilla Glass Victus 2 protection.

In the camera department, the OnePlus 12R carries a triple rear camera system which includes a 50-megapixel Sony IMX890 primary sensor, an 8-megapixel sensor with an ultra-wide-angle lens and a 2-megapixel macro shooter. Meanwhile, the front camera of the phone houses a 16-megapixel sensor.

OnePlus packs a 5,000mAh battery into the OnePlus 12R model with support for 100W SuperVOOC wired charging. It also supports 5G, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 7, Bluetooth 5.3, GPS, NFC and USB Type-C connectivity. Weighing 207g, the handset measures 163.3mm x 75.3mm x 8.8mm in size. 

The OnePlus 12R is currently offered in the country in Cool Blue and Iron Gray colour options. It launched at Rs. 39,999 and Rs. 45,999 for the 8GB + 128GB and the 16GB + 256GB variants, respectively.


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Is the OnePlus 12 waterproof? | Digital Trends

Is the OnePlus 12 waterproof? | Digital Trends

Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

The OnePlus 12 is considered the “new Android device to beat” this year — and with good reason. This impressive smartphone boasts a 6.8-inch LTPO AMOLED display with a resolution of 1440 x 3168 pixels at 510 psi and a refresh rate of 120Hz, and it supports both Dolby Vision and HDR10+. It also offers a battery life that lasts up to two days between charges, features a well-received Hasselblad camera system, and much more.

When buying a new smartphone, it’s important to consider its durability against accidental drops and water resistance, as these factors affect its longevity. While smartphones are improving in these areas, some models are more robust than others. Thankfully, most smartphones now come with an Ingress Protection (IP) code that indicates their resistance to water and other particles, making it easier to compare different models. So, how does the OnePlus 12 fare in this regard?

Is the OnePlus 12 waterproof?

OnePlus 12 Flowy Emerald showing Home screen.
Christine Romero-Chan. / Digital Trends

The OnePlus 12 has an IP65 water and dust resistance rating, which means it’s durable in harsh conditions. The IP65 rating indicates that the phone’s enclosure is dust-resistant and can withstand sustained low-pressure water jets from any direction. This means that the phone should be able to withstand splashes of water or rain without any damage, but it is not entirely waterproof.

On the other hand, the OnePlus 12R, which is relatively inexpensive, comes with a slightly lower IP64 water and dust resistance rating. This implies that no dust can enter the phone’s enclosure and that the 12R is protected against water splashes from all directions.

How does this compare to other smartphones?

The back of the OnePlus 12 and Google Pixel 8.
OnePlus 12 (left) and Google Pixel 8 Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The OnePlus 12 has an IP65 water and dust resistance rating, which is decent. However, the leading smartphones on the market offer better protection.

For instance, the iPhone 15, Google Pixel 8, and Samsung Galaxy S24 boast an IP68 rating, indicating that these models provide higher resistance to liquids. Furthermore, they can be submerged in freshwater for up to 30 minutes at a maximum depth of 6 meters (approximately 19 feet).

Although the OnePlus 12 has a lower IP rating than other smartphones, it is still considered one of the best smartphones of 2024. However, it is important to remember that its lower IP rating may make it less suitable for use near water bodies like a pool or beach. It does offer the highest level of dust protection, however.

The OnePlus 12 comes in Silky Black and Flowy Emerald. The 256GB version has 12GB of RAM, while the 512GB version has 16GB of RAM.

Editors’ Recommendations






The OnePlus 12 has one big advantage over Samsung and Apple | Digital Trends

The OnePlus 12 has one big advantage over Samsung and Apple | Digital Trends

Samsung Galaxy S24 (left), Google Pixel 8, OnePlus 12, iPhone 15, and iPhone 15 Pro. Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

When you look at smartphones these days, the selection has grown a bit … stale, to say the least. You’ll see phones from top brands like Samsung, Apple, and even Google, but most options look the same — they’re glass slabs.

Samsung and Google also have their folding phones, adding variety to your phone choice, but Apple’s iPhones will always be slabs. The worst part is that most of these phones are also offered in some of the most boring colors lately, especially from Apple with the iPhone 15 Pro line. Which shade of gray do you prefer? That’s ultimately what it comes down to if you want Apple’s flagship smartphone.

Google and Samsung have done a bit better than Apple with the color choices, with the Bay Blue Pixel 8 Pro and Sandstone Orange of the Galaxy S24 But all of these brands have been using the same design for the past several years.

However, one smartphone brand has been standing out to me lately, and that’s OnePlus. Not only is the most recent OnePlus 12 a great overall phone, but it’s one of the prettiest ones I’ve used lately.

Make phone colors fun again

OnePlus 12 in Flowy Emerald held in hand in sunlight.
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

When I got the OnePlus 12, I was hoping to get the Flowy Emerald color because I’m tired of boring black phones. Luckily, I did get the emerald color sent my way, and though I may be a little biased (green is one of my favorite colors), I love everything about it.

Though the gorgeous white would have been my preference, that color was only available in China, so Flowy Emerald was my second choice. Like all colors, green may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it shows that OnePlus at least takes a chance with something unique.

There’s a bit of backstory behind creating the Flowy Emerald color, according to OnePlus. It’s inspired by the Dart River in the Southern Alps, and OnePlus wanted to recreate those green ribbons that stretch across the land. Of course, OnePlus has a cheesy line about how you’ll “capture the true essence of time within nature” when holding the Flowy Emerald OnePlus 12, which I chuckled at, but there’s no doubt about it — Flowy Emerald is beautiful.

OnePlus 12 in Flowy Emerald camera module showing subtle shimmer.
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

And it’s not just because it’s green, which is my second favorite color (pink is first). But OnePlus also added a gorgeous silver shimmer throughout the phone, even in the color-matched camera module, which really shines when light hits it at the right angle. This is definitely something you don’t see with other phone manufacturers, which not only offer boring, standard colors, but they’re also solid colors with either a matte or glossy finish.

Again, it’s not like Flowy Emerald will be a favorite for everyone. But at least OnePlus is taking a chance by creating some unique color offerings that truly stand out for its phones, unlike the competition. It wasn’t until I noticed the shimmer on the OnePlus 12 that I realized I needed more shimmery phones in my life. I love shimmer and glitter (as long as it doesn’t end up all over my hands). More of this, please!

Have we reached peak smartphone design?

The Galaxy S23 Ultra and Galaxy S24 Ultra's rear panels.
Galaxy S23 Ultra (left) and Galaxy S24 Ultra Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

While colors are one thing, the overall design of smartphones has gotten boring and stale. Phones are either glass slabs, or a brand may do something a little more interesting with a foldable or flip phone, like the OnePlus Open or Motorola Razr Plus.

I know some people are quite vocal about not wanting Apple to enter the foldable phone market. I would have been one of those people, too, but since I’ve started diving into Android phones, I’ve found foldable phones to be fun to use, interesting, and something different. I would actually like to see Apple make a foldable iPhone one day.

Apple iPhone 15 Plus and Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max seen from the back.
Apple iPhone 15 Plus (left) and Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Still, I miss when smartphone design was weird, gimmicky, or fun to use. Remember the T-Mobile Sidekick 3? That was one of my favorite devices before the iPhone came along, and I miss having something fun like that. I would love to see a modern-day implementation of that type of swivel-out screen.

OnePlus stands out to me as a brand that does things a bit differently, especially with the colors, and I love that. Even its first foldable phone, the OnePlus Open, was impressive in size and design, becoming one of my favorite foldables from 2023.

The Google Pixel 8 Pro and Google Pixel 7 Pro being held next to each other.
Google Pixel 8 Pro (left) and Google Pixel 7 Pro Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Apple used to be innovative with the iPhone, but it’s been the same overall look for the past four years. I’m definitely hoping for something more interesting with the iPhone 16 lineup, but I won’t hold my breath. And though I like the Samsung Galaxy S24, aside from the AI features and flat frame, it’s pretty much identical to the Galaxy S23 before it and looks too close to an iPhone with that flat frame.

I love tinkering with smartphones, but I’m just getting bored of the designs and, for the most part, colors. It feels like we’ve plateaued, and sometimes, it’s hard to be excited for a phone that looks just like last year’s.

OnePlus 12 Flowy Emerald laying flat on astroturf.
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

Though OnePlus could use less cheese in their marketing about design inspirations, other brands could learn a lesson from OnePlus. At least put a little more effort into the design and colors instead of putting out the same boring thing year after year. Because when it’s done well, it makes a big difference.

Editors’ Recommendations






OnePlus 12 review: A no-nonsense flagship for a great price

OnePlus 12 review: A no-nonsense flagship for a great price

It might be weird to see a new device call back to a time less than a decade ago. But tech moves fast and with the OnePlus 12, it feels like someone made a phone for the pre-AI era. Instead of magic editors and a bunch of machine learning, OnePlus’ latest flagship is incredibly simple. It has a nice screen, a solid build, reliable cameras, great performance and even better battery life. So while it won’t help you summarize a meeting or remaster a photo, the OP12 covers all the basics with aplomb. And with a starting price of $800 ($200 less than a similarly equipped S24+), it’s a great deal too.

Photo by Sam Rutherford/Engadget

The OnePlus 12 offers the same speedy performance and better battery life than the Galaxy S24+ along with solid cameras and a great screen for $200 less.

Pros

  • Top-notch battery life
  • Good price
  • Strong performance
  • Bright 120Hz screen
  • IR blaster
  • Power adapter included
Cons

  • Water resistance could be better
  • Proprietary charging protocol
  • Ugly camera module

$800 at Amazon

Design and display: A old-school silhouette with modern specs

The shape of the OnePlus 12 seems to be inspired by older phones like the Galaxy S10+, featuring tapered edges and rounded corners. This makes the phone very comfortable to hold, the downside is that there is some distortion around the screen where it curves. Thankfully, OnePlus’ 6.8-inch 3,168 x 1440 panel looks so good you may not notice. It features a nominal peak brightness of 1,600 nits that can go all the way up to 4,500 nits in certain situations (like direct sunlight), so it never looks dull or washed out. The screen also supports a 120Hz variable refresh alongside a new 2,610Hz PWM (pulse width modulation) technique to help prevent the screen from flickering when set to very low brightness (under 70 nits).

Around back there’s a huge and somewhat ungainly camera module surrounded by a sheet of Gorilla Glass Victus 2 with a lovely matte finish. It’s more textured than your typical frosted glass but not as scratchy as the company’s old-school sandstone backs and it feels so good I would have a hard time covering it with a case. The OP12 also sports an IP65 rating for dust and water resistance, which isn’t quite as good as what you get from rival Samsung and Google phones. However, this is the highest rating ever on a OnePlus and it’s still more than enough to handle things like rain and splashes. And unlike most handsets these days, OnePlus included an IR blaster so you can easily adjust settings on your TV or soundbar without needing a dedicated remote.

Performance: Super speedy

The OnePlus 12 features a 6.8-inch screen with a 120Hz variable refresh rate.

Photo by Sam Rutherford/Engadget

While the OP12 may have a nostalgic design, its performance is as good as it gets for Android handsets. It features a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip along with either 12GB or 16GB of RAM and up to 512GB of storage. Despite some underwhelming benchmarks (which other outlets have also encountered), the phone feels incredibly fluid. Flipping between apps is super smooth while games load and play without a hint of stuttering. To help ensure frequently used apps are always at the ready, OnePlus has a memory optimization feature that can keep up to six apps suspended in the background for up to 72 hours, so you don’t need to reload your favorite game unnecessarily.

Cameras: Hasselblad’s bulky module delivers

The OP12’s triple-lens setup holds up well against the Galaxy S24 family with a 50-MP main cam, a 48-MP ultra-wide and a 64-MP telephoto camera. During the daytime, photos were bright and lively and I appreciate OnePlus’ more neutral white balance compared to Samsung’s warmer tones. At night, while images were just a touch softer and darker than comparison shots I took using the S24 Ultra, they weren’t far behind. Finally, using the 3x telephoto camera I managed to capture a very sharp picture of a squirrel despite its best efforts to dart away. Just make sure you disable the option to add a Hasselblad watermark to your photos the first time you launch the camera app.

Battery life and charging: The best yet

The OnePlus 12 features a proprietary charging protocol that's twice as fast as what you get from a lot of other flagship phones.

Photo by Sam Rutherford/Engadget

One of the best things about the OnePlus 12 is its battery life and charging speeds. On our local video rundown test, the phone’s 5,400 mAh cell lasted 26 hours and 40 minutes, which is the longest time we’ve seen on any handset. That’s more than two hours longer than the S24 Ultra (24:29) and a more than six hour improvement on last year’s OP11 (19:45).

OnePlus proprietary charging tech also delivers breakneck wired and wireless charging speeds. When using its included power brick and cable, the phone went from 10 to 55 percent battery in just 10 minutes. Alternatively, when placed on the company’s wireless pad (which is available separately for $50), the OP12 went from 10 to 37 percent battery in 10 minutes. To put that into context, when I performed the same test with the S24U, it only managed to go from 10 to 30 percent battery in 10 minutes using a Samsung charger and a compatible cable. Unfortunately, you’ll only get those speeds with OnePlus’ first-party accessories, so if you use standard USB-PD or Qi chargers, things are slower.

Wrap-up

In the right light, the emerald version of the OnePlus 12 is absolutely dazzling.

Photo by Sam Rutherford/Engadget

Compared to other big-name phones that are turning to AI to improve their capabilities, the OnePlus 12 is an uncomplicated device that combines good hardware with a solid build. It has a large, punchy display with great performance and unparalleled battery life. And while OnePlus does plan on adding AI features via future software updates, the 12 doesn’t need them to offer a compelling package. And with a starting price of $800, it’s $200 cheaper than an equivalent Galaxy S24+ and that’s before you consider OnePlus’ offer that knocks off another $100 with the trade-in of any phone, regardless of age or condition. In a world where smartphones are becoming increasingly complex, the OnePlus 12 is a straightforward alternative that handles all the most important things with ease.

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs. OnePlus 12: which one should you buy? | Digital Trends

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs. OnePlus 12: which one should you buy? | Digital Trends

Digital Trends

The size increase may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but the Samsung Galaxy S24 is a crushing success anyway. Samsung’s new smaller flagship has a powerful new processor, an upgraded display, and Samsung’s cutting-edge Galaxy AI. If you’re looking for a powerful phone at a price less than four figures, then the Samsung Galaxy S24’s $800 price tag is sure to appeal.

But OnePlus is ready with a strong competitor of its own. The OnePlus 12 is a larger phone with the same power, a capable camera suite, and some blindingly fast charging speeds. At the same price, you’ve got a tough job deciding between the two of them, and looking at long lists of specs can quickly make you feel dizzy. That’s why we’re here; we’ve crunched the numbers, placed them side-by-side, and broken down what it means so you don’t have to. Here’s how the Samsung Galaxy S24 compares to the OnePlus 12 — and which one you should buy.

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs. OnePlus 12: specs

Samsung Galaxy S24 OnePlus 12
Size 147.1 x 70.6 x 7.6 mm (5.79 x 2.78 x 0.30 inches) 164.3 x 75.8 x 9.2 mm (6.47 x 2.98 x 0.36 inches)
Weight 168 grams (5.89 ounces) 220 grams (7.76 ounces)
Screen size 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X (Dynamic 1-120Hz) 6.82-inch LTPO AMOLED (Dynamic 1-120Hz)
Screen resolution 2340 x 1080 resolution at 416 pixels per inch 3168 x 1440 resolution at 510 pixels per inch
Operating system Android 14 with One UI 6.1 Android 14 with OxygenOS 14
Storage 128GB, 256GB 256GB, 512GB
MicroSD card slot No No
Tap-to-pay services Google Pay, Samsung Pay Google Pay
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3
RAM 8GB 12GB, 16GB
Cameras Rear: 50-megapixel primary, 12MP ultrawide, and 10MP telephoto with 3x optical zoom

Front: 12MP

Rear: 50MP primary, 48MP ultrawide, and 64MP periscope telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom

Front: 32MP

Video Rear: Up to 8K at 30 frames per second (fps), 4K at 60 fps, FHD at 120 fps, and 960 fps for slow motion

Front: Up to 4K at 60 fps

Rear: Up to 8K at 24 frames per second (fps), 4K at up to 60 fps, and FHD at up to 480 fps

Front: Up to 4K at 30 fps

Bluetooth Yes, Bluetooth 5.3 Yes, Bluetooth 5.3
Ports USB-C USB-C
Biometrics Ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor and face recognition Optical in-display fingerprint sensor
Water resistance IP68 IP68
Battery 4,000mAh

Super Fast Charging 2.0 (25W)

Fast Wireless Charging 2.0 (15W)

Wireless PowerShare (4.5W)

5,400mAh

Fast charging (80W)

Fast wireless charging (50W)

Reverse wireless charging (10W)

App marketplace Google Play Store Google Play Store
Network support 5G 5G
Colors Cobalt Violet, Amber Yellow, Marble Gray, Onyx Black Flowy Emerald, Silky Black, Silver
Price From $800 From $800
Available from All major offline and online retailers OnePlus, Amazon, Best Buy

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs. OnePlus 12: design and display

Putting aside the large size difference, at first glance, the OnePlus 12 and Galaxy S24 are rather similar looking. Viewed from the front, you’ve got a full-screen bezel-less design with a centrally placed hole-punch selfie camera. But flip them over, and these are two dramatically different phones. Where the Galaxy S24 has a rather understated rear panel with three quietly placed camera lenses, the OnePlus 12 explodes with uniqueness. The frosted glass back panel collides with a massive round camera suite, leaving a real impression. Your mileage will vary on which of these you prefer, but we really dig the OnePlus 12’s Frosted Emerald colorway.

That design doesn’t come without its pitfalls, though. The back glass is slippery, and its large size and weight make it difficult to manage with a single hand. The edges are also a bit strange, with tapered curves on the sides but flat edges at the top and bottom. It’s an odd combination that detracts from the otherwise great design. The Galaxy S24 doesn’t suffer from this. It’s smaller and lighter, and the rounded frame has been dropped in favor of iPhone-like flat edges. It may be derivative, but it feels and looks great, and it’s much easier to handle than the big OnePlus 12.

The OnePlus 12 has a 6.82-inch LTPO AMOLED display, running at a 3168 x 1440 resolution, resulting in a crisp 510 pixels per inch. Brightness reaches an insane 4,500 nits, which is almost twice what most other flagship phones offer, and it also benefits from a 120Hz refresh rate. The S24’s 6.2-inch display isn’t as crisp or bright, but at 416 pixels per inch from a 2340 x 1080 resolution, it’s no slouch either. Its big advantage over the OnePlus 12 is its underlying screen tech. The Dynamic AMOLED 2X tech delivers vivid colors and inky blacks. Both phones have 120Hz refresh rates that can scale all the way down to 1Hz when you aren’t interacting with the screen.

This is a tough category to call, as these are two rather different phones. Where the Galaxy S24 is sleek, small, and understated, the OnePlus 12 is big, bold, and unique. The OnePlus phone has a sharper display, but Samsung’s is more colorful. This is a tie.

Winner: Tie

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs. OnePlus 12: performance, battery life, charging

A white Galaxy S24 laying on top of a gray Galaxy S24.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Want power? You’ve got power. Both of these phones are stupendously powerful, thanks to the inclusion of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor. However, the rest of the specs are quite different. The Galaxy S24 has 8GB of RAM, which is a standard amount of RAM for a flagship smartphone in 2024. On the flip side, the OnePlus 12 has access to variants with 12GB and 16GB of RAM. Simply put, this is ludicrous and a little silly. Does your phone need that much RAM? Absolutely not — it’s just spec list filler. You’re unlikely to notice any real difference between the Galaxy S24 and the OnePlus 12, even with the larger amounts of RAM.

But one area where the OnePlus 12’s big numbers make a difference is storage. The Galaxy S24 starts at a 128GB storage option, and that’s just not enough storage for 2024 when 4K and 8K pictures and videos are in play. Sure, you can pay more to get 256GB of storage, but the OnePlus 12 starts at $800 for 256GB, and has the option to upgrade to 512GB, too, making it a much stronger option if you’re a download-happy media-lover.

OnePlus 12 in Flowy Emerald showing flat bottom edge.
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

What about battery life? The Samsung Galaxy S24 is a very strong performer here. Even with moderate to heavy use, you can still expect around 30% battery remaining at the end of the day. With lighter use, this can be a two-day smartphone. The OnePlus 12’s larger 5,400 mAh battery (compared to the S24’s 4,000 mAh cell) is even more impressive. This is another two-day phone, but you can use the phone harder and more often while still getting those two days.

OnePlus also gets the edge with charging. The OnePlus 12’s charging speeds have been toned down in the U.S., but they still top out at 80W, putting the Galaxy S24’s 25W charging rate to shame. Heck, even the OnePlus 12’s 50W wireless charging rate is twice what Samsung is offering through wired charging.

The RAM numbers may be a bit daft, but the rest of the spec sheet isn’t. The OnePlus 12 takes this on the strength of its storage, battery, and charging options.

Winner: OnePlus 12

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs. OnePlus 12: cameras

OnePlus 12 in Flowy Emerald laying flat on table.
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

No matter which of these two you pick, you’re gonna get a whole lot of cameras. The Samsung Galaxy S24’s camera is largely unchanged from last year, but given how good it was, that’s not a bad thing. There’s a 50-megapixel main lens, as well as a 12MP ultrawide lens, and a 10MP telephoto with a 3x optical zoom. This is another area where OnePlus’s numbers game is strong, as it has a 50MP main lens, joined by a 48MP ultrawide lens, and a 64MP telephoto lens, also with a 3x optical zoom.

In reality, you’re likely to be happy with either camera setup. The OnePlus 12 does a really great job of capturing pleasing and life-like colors. It also handles moving subjects well. It’s also done a good job with macro and portrait photos.

Samsung Galaxy S24 in Marble Gray camera module.
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

The Samsung Galaxy S24 also does a great job. The S24 still has a tendency to produce more vibrant colors than what you see in real life, but it’s noticeably better than the S23 last year. In our testing, it seems to struggle a bit more with lowlight settings than the OnePlus 12 does.

We’ll continue testing the cameras on both phones over the coming weeks, but with its more true-to-life colors and better lowlight shots, we’re giving the OnePlus 12 the win.

Winner: OnePlus 12

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs. OnePlus 12: software and updates

OnePlus 12 Flowy Emerald showing multitasking split screen view with Outlook and Teams.
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

Both of these run Android 14, but you’re getting very different flavors on both. The Galaxy S24 runs One UI 6.1, while the OnePlus 12 runs OxygenOS 14 — and both are manufacturer skins of Android 14. While they have their own design flairs and intricacies, they’ll both run broadly how you expect Android’s latest version to run. OxygenOS is the “cleaner” of the two versions, though, and it’s generally closer to the purer versions of Android you can get on Google Pixel phones. Samsung’s One UI is far from that, but it would be wrong to say it doesn’t have its charm. Both are great pieces of software, and neither are reasons to avoid either phone.

The Samsung Galaxy S24 laying on a shelf with its screen turned on.
Samsung Galaxy S24 Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Those manufacturer skins are great but add time to update speeds. Since neither can just push out an updated Android as-is, you’ll be waiting some time after an official Android release for your phone to be updated. There’s a difference in how many updates you can expect, though. OnePlus promises four years of software updates and five for security updates. That’s a solid schedule and would previously have been above average. However, Samsung now offers an incredible seven years of support, blowing right past OnePlus. Buy the Galaxy S24 in 2024, and you’ll be getting updates all the way to 2031. That’s an incredible promise and a big reason to buy the Samsung phone.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S24

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs. OnePlus 12: special features

Someone using the Edit Suggestions feature on the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

The OnePlus 12 is a little light on special features, and that’s probably because OnePlus has thrown so much into other areas of the phone. After all, getting a massive screen, flagship specs, 256GB of storage as standard, and an 80W charging rate means slack has to be taken in somewhere — and it’s likely because of this the OnePlus 12 doesn’t really have a lot to write home about here. Except for one thing: It has a vapor chamber to help keep the phone cool. Supposedly the largest ever put in a smartphone, the “dual cryo-velocity cooling system” helps keep the phone cool even during graphically intensive games. It’s hardly something you can show off to your friends, though, so it doesn’t score many points.

Unlike OnePlus, Samsung loves a special feature, and its phones are stuffed with them. Some old favorites remain, including the desktop-emulating DeX mode, but a big new feature is stealing the show. Galaxy AI is this year’s big new addition to Samsung’s flagship phones, and while it remains to be seen how useful it actually is, it’s off to a good start. Galaxy AI is similar to other AI tools we’ve seen, like Google’s Magic Editor, but it’s been expanding also to encompass message suggestions and even live translations on phone calls. It’s an impressive collection of tools, and it wins this round.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S24

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs. OnePlus 12: price and availability

OnePlus 12 Flowy Emerald closeup showing top half of back with camera.
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

The Samsung Galaxy S24 is currently available, and prices start from $800 for the 128GB variant. As a Samsung flagship, you’re likely to find it at most smartphone retailers and carriers.

The OnePlus 12 is also currently available, and you’ll be looking to pay $800 for the base model. But unlike the Galaxy S24, that base version is 256GB — twice the storage of the Galaxy phone. It’s a little more limited in availability, but you can find it on OnePlus’s website, Amazon, and Best Buy.

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs. OnePlus 12: which should you buy?

Two Samsung Galaxy S24 units standing upright next to each other.
Samsung Galaxy S24 Joe Maring / Digital Trends

These are two incredible smartphones, and there are a lot of reasons to buy each. But really, it’s easy to boil it down to a single question: How big do you want your phone to be? If you want a big flagship smartphone and don’t want to pay Galaxy S24 Plus or S24 Ultra prices, then the OnePlus 12 is a great way to get one. But if a smaller screen appeals to you, the Samsung Galaxy S24 is the better choice.

Let’s go a little deeper: Do you love media, or do you intend to take advantage of 4K and 8K video shooting? The OnePlus 12 allows you to grab loads of storage at a lower price, which is an asset in itself. It also has truly incredible fast charging, which means you’ll spend more time using your phone rather than waiting for it to charge. Just as the smartphone gods intended.

But the Samsung Galaxy S24 is no slouch here either. With the stronger display tech, a pocket-friendly design, and the helpful tricks of Galaxy AI, you’ve got a fantastic pocket pal. The OnePlus 12 offers more bang for your buck and is likely the better choice for most people. But if you really want a smaller phone, the S24 won’t let you down.


Editors’ Recommendations






The best OnePlus 12 cases: our 7 favorites | Digital Trends

The best OnePlus 12 cases: our 7 favorites | Digital Trends

The OnePlus 12 is a new Android-based smartphone that boasts a large and high-quality display, measuring 6.82 inches and featuring a 2K resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate. It’s a truly lovely screen, and one you’ll want to keep in pristine condition.

If you have decided to purchase this phone, it is a wise investment. Therefore, you should consider buying a protective case for it to ensure its longevity. Although the market currently has limited options, there are a few OnePlus 12 cases that we recommend. Here are our top picks for the best cases available.

Spigen Liquid Air for OnePlus 12
TUDIA DualShield Grip
OnePlus Aramid Fiber Bumper Case

OnePlus Aramid Fiber Bumper Case

The best official OnePlus 12 case


Jump to details

Nillkin CamShield Pro Case

Nillkin CamShield Pro Case

The best camera shield OnePlus 12 case


Jump to details

Hiooloon Clear Magnetic Case for OnePlus 12, Compatible with MagSafe, Built-in 3-Way Metal Kickstand [Horizontal & Vertical Stand] Crystal Clear Slim Fit Rugged Cover Shockproof (Clear)

Hiooloon Clear Magnetic Case

The best clear OnePlus 12 case


Jump to details

Foluu  PU Leather Flip Folio

Foluu PU Leather Flip Folio

The best leather OnePlus 12 case


Jump to details

Poetic Revolution case for the OnePlus 12.

Poetic

Poetic Revolution

The best all-in-one OnePlus 12 case

Pros

  • Comes with an optional screen protector
  • Good price
  • Excellent drop protection
  • Integrated kickstand

This OnePlus 12 case from Poetic provides military-grade drop protection up to 20 feet. It features a built-in kickstand that can be pulled out for hands-free viewing in both portrait and landscape mode.

Additionally, it comes with a built-in screen protector, and for those who prefer not to use it, there is a separate display front included as a bonus. If you don’t mind the bulky design, this is one of the best OnePlus 12 cases you can find.

Poetic Revolution Case

Poetic Revolution

The best all-in-one OnePlus 12 case

Spigen Liquid Air case for the OnePlus 12.

Spigen

Spigen Liquid Air

The best slim OnePlus 12 case

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Matte textured design
  • Supports wireless charging

This affordable case from Spigen utilizes Air Cushion technology to provide protection against drops. The case’s matte textured design offers a non-slip grip. Additionally, it has raised edges to protect the screen and camera. The case is compatible with wireless charging, but it is only available in black. It’s not the most protective option, but if you want something a bit slimmer, it’s a fantastic choice.

Spigen Liquid Air for OnePlus 12

Spigen Liquid Air

The best slim OnePlus 12 case

TUDIA DualShield Grip for the OnePlus 12.

TUDIA

TUDIA DualShield Grip

The best colorful OnePlus 12 case

Pros

  • Great color options
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to grip

Cons

  • Not the most protective case

Tudia’s OnePlus 12 case comes equipped with ToughRhino technology that provides dual-layer protection for your phone. It is available in multiple colors, allowing you to choose the one that best suits your preferences. The case has a precise and slim design, which makes it easy to handle and carry.

Furthermore, it supports wireless charging without any hassle. The raised edges around the case protect your OnePlus 12 from scratches and other damage. The case’s non-slip textured design on the sides and back provides a firm grip on your phone, ensuring that it doesn’t slip out of your hands.

TUDIA DualShield Grip

TUDIA DualShield Grip

The best colorful OnePlus 12 case

OnePlus 12 Aramid Case.

OnePlus

OnePlus Aramid Fiber Bumper Case

The best official OnePlus 12 case

Pros

  • Comes directly from OnePlus
  • Lightweight
  • Sleek design

This phone case looks like a sleek black carbon fiber sports car. It is made of lightweight aramid fiber material that covers all the important parts of the OnePlus 12 while feeling comfortable to hold in your hand or pocket. The aramid fiber has undergone 11 different processes to make it sturdy, scratch-resistant, and ultra-smooth to the touch. It’s also made by OnePlus, so you can rest assured it’ll fit your OnePlus 12 perfectly.

OnePlus Aramid Fiber Bumper Case

OnePlus Aramid Fiber Bumper Case

The best official OnePlus 12 case

NillkinCamShield Pro case for the OnePlus 12.

Nillkin

Nillkin CamShield Pro Case

The best camera shield OnePlus 12 case

Pros

  • Sliding camera shield
  • Unique look
  • Ultra thin

If you are concerned about damaging your OnePlus 12’s camera, the CamShield Pro case is an excellent option. Its sliding cover adds an extra layer of protection to the camera lens, keeping it safe from fingerprints and scratches, and also provides privacy protection. Additionally, the case has an ultra-thin design and a unique appearance that is sure to satisfy.

Nillkin CamShield Pro Case

Nillkin CamShield Pro Case

The best camera shield OnePlus 12 case

Hiooloon Clear Magnetic Case for the OnePlus 12.

Hiooloon

Hiooloon Clear Magnetic Case

The best clear OnePlus 12 case

Pros

  • Includes a kickstand
  • MagSafe compatible
  • Good price
  • Shows off the OnePlus 12’s design

Cons

  • The clear design may yellow over time

This transparent case is an excellent choice for your OnePlus 12. It features a three-way kickstand, which allows you to prop up your phone in various angles, making it perfect for watching videos or video calls. The case is MagSafe compatible, meaning you can easily attach and detach your device from any MagSafe accessory. It’s made from a combination of soft TPU and hard PC materials, offering excellent protection against scratches, drops, and other damages.

Hiooloon Clear Magnetic Case for OnePlus 12, Compatible with MagSafe, Built-in 3-Way Metal Kickstand [Horizontal & Vertical Stand] Crystal Clear Slim Fit Rugged Cover Shockproof (Clear)

Hiooloon Clear Magnetic Case

The best clear OnePlus 12 case

Foluu for OnePlus 12.

Foluu

Foluu PU Leather Flip Folio

The best leather OnePlus 12 case

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Room for cards and cash
  • Three color choices

Cons

  • Folio design can be bulky

If you’re looking for a wallet-style case to protect your OnePlus 12 without adding unnecessary bulk or weight, this option from Foluu is a great choice. It’s affordable and comes with a shell protector to ensure your phone stays safe from scratches and bumps. It also features three card slots and space for cash so that you can keep your essentials organized and accessible.

Foluu  PU Leather Flip Folio

Foluu PU Leather Flip Folio

The best leather OnePlus 12 case

Editors’ Recommendations






OnePlus 12 Review: A No-Frills Flagship for 2024

OnePlus 12 Review: A No-Frills Flagship for 2024

The OnePlus 12 is the brand’s regular flagship, which for several years has been following one straight line, attempting to nail the basics. It’s the flagship that many OnePlus fans will reach out for (versus the pricier Open), but unlike previous models, there seems to be no visible compromise. You get a very capable camera system from the OnePlus Open, an IP rating and even wireless charging. But one area OnePlus has stayed silent about is AI. Unlike Google’s Pixel 8 series and Samsung’s Galaxy S24 series, the 12 has no user-facing and fun generative AI software features. Apple, too, is expected to announce several generative AI features with iOS 18 this year.

So, is the lack of AI-enabled features a big deal in a smartphone segment that has stagnated over time? Or has OnePlus done enough to make one forget about the absence of AI features? Let’s find out.

OnePlus 12 Review: Price in India

Unlike the OnePlus Open, the OnePlus 12 is available in two variants. The visible bump in its price tag (from Rs. 56,999) seems justifiable given that the base variant now offers 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, which is priced at Rs. 64,999. The second variant, with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, retails at Rs. 69,999, which seems quite competitive, keeping the hardware on offer.

The OnePlus 12 is available in Flowy Emerald and Silky Black. We received the Flowy Emerald finish of the 512GB variant for review.

In the box, OnePlus offers a soft TPU case, a Type-A to Type-C charging cable and a 100W charger. This seems like quite a handful, given that Samsung’s Galaxy S24 only provides a charging cable in the box.

OnePlus 12 Review: Design

The OnePlus 12 sticks to its roots when it comes to design and choice of material. Unlike the OnePlus Open, which was a step in a different direction altogether, the OnePlus 12 builds on the bigger changes. These were brought about by the OnePlus 10 Pro, which introduced the odd-looking, gas stove-like layout. With time, this layout, which started off with four camera cutouts (one of which was for the dual-LED flash) set into a square with rounded corners, evolved into a circular module, which appeared to be pressed into the raised glass rear panel on the OnePlus 11.

The OnePlus 12’s curved glass screen has curved edges at the top and bottom as well

 

For the new OnePlus 12, OnePlus goes with a flat glass rear panel and a similar-looking circular camera module, with the same wraparound design on the left side of the frame. To make it appear different, the company went with a flat holder for the circular camera module, which has flat glass fitted into the circular holder that resembles a premium timepiece and looks very classy. But for some reason, this one isn’t finished to the typical OnePlus standards.

The part where the camera module wraps around the edge of the frame is quite sharp at both corners, and the plastic filler that connects both the camera module and mid-frame together seems a bit misaligned as well, resulting in a noticeable ridge, which breaks the seamlessness of the curved flap. I’ve inspected some other OnePlus 12 units, and the sharp corners, along with the misaligned filler, indeed seem to be a design and quality oversight. These tolerances indeed seem to be similar to the ones initially reported by some users in China at the launch.

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The wrap-around camera module has some really sharp edges near the mid-frame with some misaligned plastic fillers

 

Thankfully, these misalignments and fitting issues don’t appear to affect the IP rating of the device. The IP65 rating also surprisingly aligns with the above, so there’s no reason for a user to immerse the phone in water as it is only designed to handle splashes of it. This is a bit limiting as several smartphones in and below this segment offer an IP67 or IP68 rating for dust and water resistance.

As for the finish, I like the polished metal frame, which adds a level of grip, given the beautifully textured glass of the Flowy Emerald finish. Fans will be happy to see the return of the iconic Alert Slider, but for reasons best known to OnePlus, it’s now located on the left side instead of the right. The power and volume buttons are now on the right. This is a layout similar to the OnePlus Open in an unfolded state.

OnePlus 12 Review: Specifications and software

As always, this flagship has the latest and best core hardware available. This would include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 SoC, there’s a maximum of 16GB of LPDDR5X RAM and up to 512GB of UFS 4.0 storage but no room for storage expansion. The fingerprint reader is embedded into the display, is of the optical variety, and worked reliably during the course of this review.

Communication standards include Wi-Fi 7, Bluetooth 5.4, NFC and support for several global satellite positioning systems. There’s also support for plenty of 5G bands and space for two physical nano SIM slots and dual-5G standby.

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The phone looks and feels quite premium and also has an official IP65 rating this year

 

The phone has a 5,400mAh (dual-cell) battery, and OnePlus includes a 100W charger in the box. However, charging speeds are capped at 80W. The phone also offers 50W wireless charging using the company’s proprietary wireless charging dock, which is sold separately at Rs. 5,499.

The phone runs OxygenOS 14.0, which is based on Android 14. OnePlus promises four years of OS updates and five years of security updates, which seems good enough. As for the OxygenOS 14, it pretty much appears the same as the previous version of the ColorOS-derived software.

Among the minor visual updates is something new called Fluid Cloud functions like iOS’s Live Activities. The feature adds a Dynamic Island-inspired capsule on the extreme left in the status bar that provides relevant data (like a countdown timer for a delivery service) for native and third-party apps. Like iOS, you can tap and hold the capsule to expand it to a bigger card with additional buttons (to pause or stop the activity) or tap once to open the app itself. The same data also appears on the lock screen as well. The feature is also available on the Android 14 versions of Oppo’s ColorOS and Realme UI 5.0 (called Flash Capsule).

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OxygenOS 14’s Fluid Cloud works well but is limited to a few apps.

 

Also new is Smart Suggestions, which works with Fluid Cloud on the home screen and on the lock screen but also shows relevant updates from Zomato and Swiggy (for now) on the Always-on Display (AOD). It’s a nifty new feature that takes advantage of the phone’s AOD feature, reducing the need to pick up your phone, unlock it, and check notifications for updates.

While the overall software experience is pretty polished, the phone does not offer any generative AI software features, which is the current party trick for premium devices this year. There are a few AI-enabled features if you look for them, like Smart Touch, which basically extracts text from a screenshot. Smart Imaging Matting, according to Oppo, also uses AI to cut out people and objects from photos, but this is something we have already seen on Samsung devices or even on iPhones in the past year, so it’s nothing new.

This is not just the case with OnePlus but also with all brands under the BBK Electronics umbrella, as was the case with Vivo X100 Pro, which is priced at Rs. 89,999. While Google and Samsung seem to have made a fun and handy use-case for their respective generative AI capabilities, it has indeed yet to come to the point where a consumer will start to expect or demand such features from every flagship smartphone.

With Samsung and Google joining hands to push for more generative AI features on their respective smartphones, the BBK brands will soon start to miss out and risk losing customers if they don’t cook up something interesting in coming updates. This is more so because Apple, which has for long steering cleared of “AI” is also expected to go big on it with its iOS 18 software update.

OnePlus 12 Review: Performance

With the latest hardware inside, my expectations, whether it was the user experience with software or raw performance in synthetic benchmarks, were sky-high. Software performance is buttery smooth, but benchmarks even with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 SoC come up short when compared to the iQoo 12 (also Snapdragon 8 Gen 3) and were noticeably less when compared to the Vivo X100 Pro (MediaTek Dimensity 9300), especially in AnTuTu and Geekbench. The OnePlus 12 scored 1,629,220 points on AnTuTu, while Vivo’s X100 Pro managed 2,020,631 points on the same test.

As for raw performance, the phone performs well while playing Call of Duty: Mobile. It easily manages 120fps when set to ‘medium’ graphics and ‘ultra’ frame rate. Setting the graphics and frame rate to Very High also seems to not stress out this phone. More importantly, the large vapour cooling chamber seems to be doing its job of keeping the phone cool both when playing high-end 3D games and even when using the camera app to shoot 4K videos back to back.

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The OnePlus 12 (right) appears very different from its foldable cousin, the Open (left)

 

More importantly, the 120Hz display keeps up, with the touch sampling rate being on point and very accurate, making this a very reliable mobile gaming machine. The display shows mostly accurate colours when viewed in the Pro Screen colour mode. Pictures and text appear tack sharp at 510 ppi. The OnePlus 12 still remains one of the only smartphones to offer such a high-resolution QHD+ display at this price point, and I had this set to its full resolution during the review.

With 4,500 nits of peak brightness, outdoor usage is not a problem either. But this also works well in its favour when watching HDR10+ or Dolby Vision content on supported streaming apps. The ProXDR display also comes into use when viewing photos in their full dynamic range, and the same applies to Dolby Vision 4K 30fps video recordings, which the phone is capable of. The audio quality is pretty good as well, and it sounded very immersive while playing games. It was also sufficient when it came to watching the video. Aqua Touch also works quite well when there’s water on the display and can be a lifesaver on rainy days, given that the phone finally supports an IP65 rating.

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The phone’s QHD+ display is very sharp and gets really bright at 4,500 nits of peak brightness

 

Battery life is also equally impressive. The phone managed a solid 28 hours and 6 minutes in our standard video loop battery test, which was well above expectations for a smartphone both at this price point and above. With daily usage, I easily managed around 9 hours of screen-on time or about a day and a half of heavy usage (connected to both data and W-Fi), which also included camera usage, an hour of gaming and about 3 hours of video streaming.

And when the battery did eventually die out, charging it was pretty fast, with the 80W capped wired charging managing 99 percent in 30 minutes and completing the charge in 37 minutes. Wireless charging is also available, but OnePlus did not provide us with their AirVOOC charger, so we could not test it.

OnePlus 12 Review: Cameras

The OnePlus 12 packs an impressive camera setup, which has been largely borrowed from the OnePlus Open, the company’s book-style foldable. Its primary camera’s Sony LYT-808 50-megapixel sensor is slightly different from the Sony LYT-T808 camera used on the OnePlus Open, but the results are very similar. The main differences I noticed when comparing the two were down to focusing speed and reliability along with slightly superior image processing, which is probably down to the slightly advanced ISP in the new SoC as the OnePlus Open has a slightly older Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC.

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This year’s camera module has been inspired by wristwatches

 

The primary camera captures detailed images with excellent contrast and colour, showing plenty of details in shadows and not going overboard in the brighter areas of the scene. Sharpness is on point, and details are excellent, whether it’s textured surfaces or even foliage. Low light performance also comes quite close but drops a bit in terms of detail and dynamic range.

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OnePlus 12 camera samples. Top to bottom: Ultra-wide, primary and telephoto (3X) (tap expand images)

 

Like the OnePlus Open, the 64-megapixel 3X telephoto camera is the showstopper and manages jaw-droppingly impressive photos in all kinds of lighting conditions. Pictures of objects and subjects come out quite sharp, even under artificial light, with a natural bokeh. It’s excellent for portrait photos of pets and people alike, and I enjoyed using this one to snap photos of my 4-year-old. However, this camera prioritises exposure over shutter speed and cannot handle moving subjects well. So, despite packing OIS, there are chances that your subject may appear a bit blurry if they move during capture. In terms of zoom, the phone manages good photos up to 6X (lossless in-sensor zoom), beyond which image quality begins to deteriorate.

The primary camera (top) captures good photos in low light, but the telephoto camera (bottom) performs even better (tap image to expand)

 

One detail that OnePlus has, for some reason, still not managed to fix (even on the Open after updates) is the white balance of its telephoto camera. Images captured with it appear quite warm and saturated compared to the primary camera, which is closer to accurate. This results in photos that appear yellowish, especially when shooting something largely white.

Given how well the primary and the telephoto perform, I did expect the ultra-wide to perform equally well (hoping that the new SoC would make a difference), but it handles imaging in the same way the Open did. While they look alright on the phone, they lack sharpness and detail and somehow seem a bit soft, not just in low light but in daylight as well. Indeed, these are far from what Google’s Pixel 8 Pro manages, but it is priced a lot higher.

The OnePlus 12 shoots detailed selfies in daylight (top) but does not perform well in low light (bottom) (tap images to expand)

 

Macro photos pack in a lot of detail, and the telephoto camera also lets me shoot close-ups that appear quite sharp. Selfies come out well with good dynamic range, accurate skin tones and edge detection in daylight, but low-light shots are quite average and leave a lot to be desired.

Video quality has notable improvements over the OnePlus 11, footage captured at 4K appears very stable and shows slightly vibrant colour as well. Dynamic range is excellent, and so is the bitrate. Quality takes a slight hit in low light, but noise is kept to a minimum. Colours are in check, and stabilisation is also handled well. I also tried out the 8K video, which still feels a bit gimmicky, given that the phone cannot handle a steady framerate while shooting.

OnePlus 12 Review: Verdict

The OnePlus 12 performs well on all fronts and easily outdoes the smartphone it replaces. And so, it’s easy to recommend as an upgrade even for those who own the previous model.

OnePlus has followed its usual formula and delivered a smartphone that fits in perfectly between the sub-Rs. 50,000 premium devices and the high-end sub-Rs 90,000 segment, which includes devices like Google’s Pixel 8 (Review) (starts from Rs. 75,999) and Samsung’s Galaxy S24 (starts from Rs. 79,999). However, both of these contenders do pack some cool AI tricks which the OnePlus 12 properly avoids.

If you are the type that wants to try out something new and hop aboard the AI bandwagon, then the latter two are a better choice. But if you don’t care about AI, it’s really hard to ignore the OnePlus 12 as it offers excellent value for money, getting you a bigger (and better display), better performance, flexible cameras and excellent battery life (with wireless charging) for less.


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