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OnePlus 12: Release date, specs, price, and all the rumors so far
Updated, September 6, 2023 (11:12 AM ET): We’ve updated this OnePlus 12 rumor hub with updated renders based on pre-production units.
Original article: OnePlus has thrown us a lot of curveballs over the past few years. Most recently, the company launched the OnePlus 11 and simultaneously announced it would not release a OnePlus 11T. It also will no longer make Pro models (which means no OnePlus 11 Pro is on the way). This was interesting when you remember that, in 2022, the company released a OnePlus 10 Pro and a OnePlus 10T and didn’t release a OnePlus 10! It’s all a bit wacky. Regardless, the OnePlus 12 is what we’re looking toward next, but what can we expect?
Below, we’ve rounded up all the credible OnePlus 12 rumors we’ve seen so far. We also have some speculation based on the history of the company’s launches. At the end, we also have a few things we hope to see, even if we haven’t heard any rumors about them yet.
Will there be a OnePlus 12?
Despite the previously mentioned curveballs, OnePlus has consistently released a new flagship numbered device every year since it started. The name and number of devices might change a little here and there, but there’s always a new number, so we are very certain a OnePlus 12 is coming in 2024.
In 2023, OnePlus eventually launched a OnePlus 11R with limited availability (mostly in India). The phone cut some corners compared to the OnePlus 11 but also got some surprising quality-of-life improvements, making it quite the exciting phone for its price bracket. Given that these are the only two phones in the 11-series launching this year, it’s reasonable to expect an “R” phone in 2024, as well. In fact, we already have a design leak for the OnePlus 12R, so it’s nearly assured.
Of course, it’s too early for OnePlus to announce or tease anything related to its slate of 2024 smartphones. For now, we’re just operating on the fact that we always see a new yearly flagship and regularly an “R” device, so the 2024 OnePlus lineup probably won’t be any different.
When will the OnePlus 12 release date be?
- OnePlus 9 series: March 23, 2021
- OnePlus 10 Pro (China): January 11, 2022
- OnePlus 10 Pro (Global): March 31, 2022
- OnePlus 11 (China): January 4, 2023
- OnePlus 11 (Global): February 7, 2023
Prior to 2022, OnePlus launched its latest flagship phone during one event. In 2022, though, it started doing two events: one for China and one for its other global markets. The OnePlus 10 Pro China launch happened first, and the global launch came almost three months later. In 2023, OnePlus repeated this strategy for the OnePlus 11.
Now that we’ve had two years of this, we feel pretty certain that OnePlus will do the same thing in 2024. As such, you should expect an early OnePlus 12 launch event for China, with the global launch to follow some weeks or even months later.
A leak provided by reliable tipster Yogesh Brar claimed OnePlus might launch the phone in China sometime in December 2023. Leaker Max Jambor corroborated a December 2023 release window for China in a tweet on July 13. Brar later reiterated a December 2023 launch in China but added that the global launch could happen in February. So it seems more and more likely that we could see the OnePlus 12 debut before the year ends with a Q1 launch in global markets.
In saying so, long-time tipster Max Jambor has refuted Brar’s suggestions of a February launch, asserting that the OnePlus 12 will actually launch globally in January. So users outside China might get the device even earlier than expected.
Interestingly, there have been close to zero differences between the China version of these phones and the global variants. In other words, the only thing we won’t know about the OnePlus 12 when we get to the second launch is how much it will cost. Specs, design, camera features, etc., will all be confirmed at the China launch. That means you’ll be able to start off 2024 knowing pretty much everything there is about the OnePlus 12 — even if you won’t be able to officially buy it until January, February, or even March.
What features will the OnePlus 12 have?
OnePlus isn’t very consistent with what it offers with its flagship smartphones. For example, it finally got on board with wireless charging with the OnePlus 8 series but then dropped it with the OnePlus 11. Likewise, it has introduced high-end camera hardware and then abandoned it, and forked out for official IP ratings before stopping that practice. As such, there are a lot of wildcards surrounding the OnePlus 11 launch.
The OnePlus 9 looked a lot different when compared to the OnePlus 8. Likewise, the OnePlus 10 Pro looked nothing like the OnePlus 9 Pro. The OnePlus 11 did look a lot like the OnePlus 10 Pro, but the question is: will OnePlus stick to one design language or change it up again for the OnePlus 12?
Reliable leaker Steve ‘OnLeaks’ Hemmerstoffer and SmartPrix revealed renders of the OnePlus 12 on July 12. These images (seen above) are based on a prototype and suggest OnePlus is sticking to the same design language as the OnePlus 11. Save for what appears to be a periscop zoom camera at the bottom of the camera island. In saying so, we also get a center-aligned punch-hole cutout this time rather than a left-aligned cutout. We can also make out an alert slider here, which should please long-time OnePlus users.
It’s worth noting again that these images are based on a prototype rather than 3D CAD designs as is usually the case for Hemmerstoffer. So it’s possible the final design looks very different.
In September, we were treated to a few more renders obtained by OnLeaks and MySmartPrice. These renders are based on real-life images of pre-production units.
Unlike the previous renders, these images show a device without a periscope zoom lens. OnePlus may have decided to go back to having a telephoto lens. There also appears to be an unknown component sitting with the cameras in the camera bump’s fourth spot.
Meanwhile, we’ve also seen some leaked renders of the India-exclusive variant, the OnePlus 12R:
The 12R will likely cut back on a few specs to keep the price down. Most notably, we expect the 12R to launch with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor. That’s state-of-the-art today, but the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 will likely debut with the OnePlus 12, so the 12R will be a generation behind.
The latest OnePlus numbered flagship always comes with the newest Qualcomm 8-series chipset. In 2024, we’d expect to see the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 grace the OnePlus 12. To see anything else would be a seismic shift of OnePlus’ smartphone strategy, so this is as sure a bet as any. A leak (via Smartprix and tipster OnLeaks) appears to confirm the handset will get the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3.
If the OnePlus 12 doesn't come with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, we'll eat our hat.
We’ve already seen some leaked information about the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3. Reportedly, the SoC could have a new core setup in a 1+3+2+2 configuration. This means you can expect one big core, five medium cores, and two little cores. Essentially, this should make the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 more powerful than its predecessor and more capable regarding multi-core benchmarks. However, how this will enhance real-world use is a mystery for now.
Outside of the SoC, OnePlus rarely downgrades specs from previous models. According to the Smartprix leak, we could be in store for 16GB of LPDDR5X RAM and 256GB of storage based on the UFS 4.0 standard. It’s likely we’ll also see an 8GB RAM variant with 128GB of internal storage. The leak also claimed the battery could be 5,400mAh and offer a wired charging speed of 100W (50W wireless). It also appears a charger will be included in the box, making OnePlus one of the few remaining holdouts with this practice.
The display should be one of its star features with a high resolution and pixel density. Brar claims that the display could be a 6.7-inch QHD OLED screen with a refresh rate of 120Hz. In contrast, the Smartprix leak says it will be a 120Hz 6.7-inch AMOLED display with 2K resolution and LTPO display technology. Either way, expect OnePlus to spare no expense here.
Weibo tipster Digital Chat Station posted a comprehensive OnePlus 12 leak on August 22, but two hitherto-unseen features are “high-frequency dimming” (presumably PWM dimming) for the screen and up to 24GB of RAM. The earlier SmartPrix leak mentions 16GB of RAM, so 24GB would be a major upgrade. In saying so, we aren’t holding our breath for this top-end variant to be available outside China.
OnePlus tends to switch up its strategy regarding cameras with every new year. Although the configuration of cameras remains relatively constant — primary, ultrawide, telephoto, and sometimes a fourth — the types of sensors and the star features of those sensors vary wildly. For example, the OnePlus 10 Pro had a crazy-wide ultrawide camera that was almost a fisheye lens. OnePlus used software trickery to “unwarp” the image, but the results weren’t super impressive and prevented it from becoming one of the year’s best camera phones. The company abandoned this lens style for the OnePlus 11, opting for an ultrawide with a normal field of view — while simultaneously dropping the sensor quality of this lens significantly.
Will the OnePlus 12’s camera be another cost-cutting affair, or will the company finally step up and offer flagship-level hardware? One rumor suggests that the telephoto could get a significant upgrade. In the Brar leak mentioned earlier, it’s believed that the phone could have a 50MP main sensor, 50MP ultrawide, and a 64MP periscope lens. However, Smartprix alleges that the phone won’t have a periscope lens, but a 64MP telephoto lens. Meanwhile, the front camera is said to be a 32MP lens. This arrangement could be a big step up from what we’ve seen previously on OnePlus flagships.
Regardless of hardware, you can expect a continued partnership with Hasselblad, as OnePlus has made a massive deal of that over the past few years. This partnership brings Hasselblad’s signature color science to OnePlus phones.
What will the price be for the OnePlus 12?
- OnePlus 8 Pro (2020): $899
- OnePlus 9 Pro (2021): $969
- OnePlus 10 Pro (2022): $899
- OnePlus 11 (2023): $699
The OnePlus 11 landed at a shocking price of just $699. Although it lacked the word “Pro” in its name, OnePlus assured us that it is the top-of-the-line company flagship for 2023. Compared with the previous Pro-level phones, the OnePlus 11 was hundreds of dollars cheaper.
Obviously, the company needed to make enormous sacrifices to land that price point (wireless charging, an IP rating, a high-quality ultrawide camera, etc.). The question is whether or not OnePlus found this to be effective. The company doesn’t frequently release sales numbers for its phones, so we have no idea how well the OnePlus 11 sold compared to older OnePlus phones of its pedigree.
In other words, it’s possible OnePlus saw great success with the OnePlus 11, and the OnePlus 12 will land at a similar price point with similar sacrifices to get there. On the other hand, it’s possible the OnePlus 11 didn’t sell well at all, and OnePlus will return to a higher price point with fewer sacrifices on the OnePlus 12. Given the rumor that the company is toying with a periscope telephoto lens, we’re leaning toward a significant price increase. However, that’s just speculation for now.
Should I wait for the OnePlus 12?
Judging from what we know so far, the OnePlus 12 is likely to look a lot like the OnePlus 11 but feature a better processor and, possibly, a better camera system. If these two things are important to you and you’re a die-hard OnePlus fan, then yes: you should wait for the 2024 release.
However, if you’re not beholden to OnePlus and want most of the specs and features it offers, there are phones available today that will satiate you. The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra ($1199.99 at Samsung) is still the best Android phone you can get. The only things you won’t get with that phone that you would from a OnePlus 12 are ultra-fast wired charging speeds, a charger in the box, and the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3. The Galaxy S23 Ultra will meet or exceed the OnePlus 12 in all other areas.
If Samsung isn’t your bag, the Google Pixel 7 Pro ($589.98 at Amazon) is still an amazing buy. Considering it’s nearly a year old, it’s easy to find at a similar or even lower price when compared to the OnePlus 11. Don’t forget that the Google Pixel 8 series is also on the way, and they will be formidable competitors to the OnePlus 12.
The bottom line here is that we only suggest folks who refuse to switch brands wait around for the OnePlus 12. There are some amazing phones on the market now that will offer plenty of value if you’re OK leaving OnePlus behind.
OnePlus 12: What we want to see
Above, we’ve told you all about the latest leaks, rumors, and historical data to suggest what we’ll likely see with the OnePlus 12. Below, we have a few things that we hope to see. Please note that these differ from leaks and rumors in that we have no evidence these things are coming. We just would really like to see them happen.
It took six years for OnePlus to finally launch a phone with wireless charging: the OnePlus 8 Pro, which landed in 2020. After finally getting the feature, we lost it in 2023, as the OnePlus 11 lacks wireless charging, and we don’t expect any other flagship phones from OnePlus this year (at least outside of the foldable phone realm). It seems we’re right back where we once were, with buying a OnePlus phone requiring the user to not care about wireless charging.
We really hope this problem goes away in 2024. All flagship phones should come with wireless charging — full stop. With sub-$500 phones like the Google Pixel 7a now having it and every modern iPhone supporting it along with the advantages of MagSafe, there can’t be any excuses anymore. Wireless charging may have been a nice perk a few years ago, but it’s increasingly become a standard feature. If you plan on owning your OnePlus 12 for many years, you’re going to want it to be able to charge wirelessly, either now or in the future.
Thankfully, early rumors suggest we will see wireless charging on the OnePlus 12, so we’re cautiously optimistic. We’ll be more certain as we get closer to the end of the year.
A no-compromises camera
Every year, we anticipate the newest OnePlus flagship camera experience. And every year, we walk away slightly disappointed. The closest we’ve gotten to a true win was the OnePlus 9 Pro. But even that phone had a superfluous fourth lens (a 2MP monochrome sensor) that didn’t do much for the user besides increasing the phone’s price. For whatever reason, OnePlus refuses to do what we actually want, which is to offer a triple-lens system with high-quality primary, ultrawide, and telephoto sensors. No extra lenses, no old/sub-par hardware, and no weird gimmicks. Will 2024 give us what we want?
We truly hope the OnePlus 12 bucks this trend. The fact that we’ve heard OnePlus could be testing a periscope telephoto lens is undoubtedly encouraging. However, we’ve been burned so many times before. We are cautiously optimistic but not getting our hopes up too high for this one.
A full IP rating
As with wireless charging, a full IP rating was a thing we always wanted from OnePlus and didn’t get until 2020 with the OnePlus 8 Pro. Eventually, IP ratings went away as well, with the OnePlus 11 lacking it (at least for the unlocked model).
Once again, as with wireless charging, a full IP68 rating should be a standard for any flagship phone. Getting this certification takes time and costs more money, but skipping it isn’t an adequate solution. This is especially clear when even mid-rangers can at least get IP67 ratings, as is the case with the Pixel 6a and Pixel 7a. Even if OnePlus doesn’t want to fork out for an IP68 rating for the OnePlus 12, it should at least give us IP67.