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OnePlus 12 vs OnePlus 11: Should you upgrade?

OnePlus takes a big step with its latest flagship generation, but does it render the OnePlus 11 irrelevant?
By
January 23, 2024
OnePlus 12
MSRP: $799.00
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Positives
Unique design
Fast charging
Good battery life
Negatives
No expandable memory via a card slot
Bit heavyweight
OnePlus 11
MSRP: $699.99
Check price
Positives
Eye-catching design and finish
Stunning display
Powerful peak performance
Blazing-fast wired charging
Excellent software update promise
Negatives
No wireless charging
Hit or miss camera colors
Awful low-light shots
Mediocre zoom capabilities
Limited water resistance
The Bottom Line.
The OnePlus 11 is a powerful performer at a great price, and it runs circles around most phones when it comes to charging. However, it skips mainstays like wireless charging, has limited water resistance, and suffers from 'Old OnePlus' camera pitfalls.Read full review...

As modern smartphones mature, it makes less economic sense for users to upgrade annually. This is the dilemma OnePlus fans are facing after the launch of the OnePlus 12. The new flagship is arguably the best-ever OnePlus device on paper, but OnePlus 11 owners will still feel they own a capable, competent smartphone. But if you are looking to upgrade, is it worth it? Find out in our OnePlus 12 vs OnePlus 11 comparison.

OnePlus 12 vs OnePlus 11: At a glance

  • The OnePlus 12 has a larger and brighter display than the OnePlus 11.
  • OnePlus opts for the newer Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 in the OnePlus 12 instead of the Gen 2 in the OnePlus 11.
  • The OnePlus 12 features a larger battery and faster wired charging than the OnePlus 11.
  • The OnePlus 12 also welcomes wireless charging and reverse wireless charging.
  • Unlike the OnePlus 11, the OnePlus 12 features an IP65 water and dust resistance rating.

Read on for our full breakdown of the two OnePlus flagships.

OnePlus 12 vs OnePlus 11: Specs

OnePlus 11OnePlus 12
Display
OnePlus 11
6.7-inch LTPO AMOLED
20.1:9 aspect ratio
3,216 x 1,440 resolution
120Hz variable refresh rate (1 to 120Hz)
525ppi
OnePlus 12
6.82-inch AMOLED LTPO
3,168 x 1,440 resolution
120Hz refresh rate
402ppi
Processor
OnePlus 11
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
OnePlus 12
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3
RAM
OnePlus 11
8GB/16GB
LPDDR5X
OnePlus 12
12GB/16GB/24GB
LPDDR5X
Storage
OnePlus 11
128GB/256GB
No expandable storage
OnePlus 12
256GB/512GB/1TB
No expandable storage
Power
OnePlus 11
5,000mAh battery
80W wired
No wireless charging
OnePlus 12
5,400mAh battery
100W wired
50W wireless charging
10W reverse wireless charging
Cameras
OnePlus 11
Rear:
- 50MP main (Sony IMX890),
- 48MP ultrawide (Sony IMX581), 1/2-inch sensor, ƒ/2.2, 115-degree FoV
- 32MP portrait telephoto (Sony IMX709), 1/2.74-inch sensor, ƒ/2.0

Selfie:
- 16MP
OnePlus 12
Rear:
- 50MP wide, f/1.6, OIS
- 48MP ultrawide, f/2.2, autofocus
- 64MP 3x periscope, f/2.6, OIS

Selfie:
- 32MP, f/2.4
Connectivity
OnePlus 11
5G
Bluetooth 5.3
NFC
Wi-Fi 7
eSIM
OnePlus 12
5G
Bluetooth 5.3
NFC
Wi-Fi 7
eSIM
Dimensions
OnePlus 11
163.1 x 74.1 x 8.53mm
OnePlus 12
160 x 74.2 x 8.7mm
Software
OnePlus 11
Android 13
Oxygen OS 13
OnePlus 12
Android 14
Oxygen OS 14
Dimensions
OnePlus 11
160 x 74.2 x 8.7mm
205g
OnePlus 12
164.3 x 75.8 x 9.2mm
220g
Durability
OnePlus 11
Gorilla Glass 5 front and back
No IP rating unless you buy with T-Mobile (IP68)
OnePlus 12
Gorilla Glass Victus 2 front
Glass back
Aluminum frame
IP65 rating

Recently, we’ve seen minor differences between smartphone generations, but OnePlus is finally bucking this trend. The OnePlus 12 is a more refined, mature, and feature-rich smartphone than its predecessor.

You’ll immediately notice the chipset bump, with the OnePlus 12 running the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 instead of the Gen 2. This gives it more oomph for gaming and more mundane processing tasks. It also packs up to 12GB of RAM and 512GB of internal storage in the US. The Chinese model can be had with up to 24GB of RAM and 1TB of internal storage.

The OnePlus 11 is no slouch in comparison. It employs the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, a pacey, capable chipset. It also boasts up to 16GB of RAM and 512GB of internal storage.

Up front, you’ll notice the OnePlus 12’s brighter display. It now packs a peak brightness limit of 4,500 nits, with a 2K resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate. Check out the spec table above for more detailed info on the differences between the two phones.

OnePlus 12 vs OnePlus 11: Size comparison

After years of experimenting with aesthetics, OnePlus has found its preferred design language for its flagships. The OnePlus 12 looks much like the OnePlus 11 from a distance, but eagle-eyed users will notice a few differences dotted around the unit.

The OnePlus 12 wears an evolution of the OnePlus 11 design.

The OnePlus 12 wears an evolution of the OnePlus 11 design. Some may find it more cluttered, with a new infrared blaster adding to the crowded off-center camera array. I like the subtle use of the Hasselblad logo on the 12 instead of the company’s title on the OnePlus 11.

Another notable change is the button placement. This might be a sticking point for legacy OnePlus users with muscle memory, but the OnePlus 12 moves its volume rocker and power button to the phone’s right-hand flank, with the alert slider moving to the left. It’s also worth noting that the OnePlus 12 gains an IP65 rating, allowing more adventurous users peace of mind when their phone confronts a pool or dusty park. It’s nowhere near the higher ratings common on other flagships, but it does better than its predecessor.

OnePlus 12 vs OnePlus 11: Camera

When the OnePlus 11 launched, I was excited by the device’s imaging prospects, but its 50MP primary camera, 8MP ultrawide, and 32MP telephoto left plenty to be desired. Low light performance is where the phone dragged its feet, while zoom levels noticeably smudge details beyond the 5x mark. Despite this, it’s a solid, if not spectacular, camera phone. View some of our captured samples below.

With the OnePlus 12, the company could finally join the ranks of the best camera phone makers in 2024. The new phone brings upgrades where needed most — a new 50MP Sony LYT-808 main camera debuts with a 64MP periscope camera and a 48MP ultrawide. Interestingly, it’s a cast that mirrors the OnePlus Open — a foldable with an excellent imaging pedigree.

OnePlus uses a larger sensor with a much wider aperture on the OnePlus 12’s periscope lens, suggesting it’s taking the outgoing model’s low light criticisms seriously. It also talked up its digital zoom prowess beyond the 3x physical zoom limit during its launch, which will be facilitated by that large sensor. We’ll have to get our hands on the device to put it through its paces.

OnePlus 12 vs OnePlus 11: Battery life and charging

OnePlus 12 on a box
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

OnePlus has always prioritized charging rates, and its new flagship is no exception. The OnePlus 11 is a rapid charger that accepts 80W from the wall. While the Chinese version of the OnePlus 12 bumps this up a little further to 100W, the global model is limited to 80W. Nevertheless, it also introduces wireless charging back into the fray, with 50W accepted by the handset. The added convenience will be a big selling point for many users.

As for the batteries, the OnePlus 12 also wins this battle, with a 5,400mAh bank. That’s a 400mAh (8%) increase over the OnePlus 11’s 5,000mAh battery. To be fair to the OnePlus 11, its endurance is admirable, which we stretched close to two days of general use during our review. We expect the OnePlus 12 to shade or better this.

OnePlus 12 vs OnePlus 11: Price and availability

  • OnePlus 11 (8GB/128GB): $699
  • OnePlus 11 (16GB/256GB): $799
  • OnePlus 12 (12GB/256GB): $799.99
  • OnePlus 12 (16GB/512GB): $899.99

The OnePlus 11 launched in China in January 2023, with global availability coming a month later. It debuted at the flagship-culling price of $699 for the 8GB/128GB model and $799 for the 16GB/256GB upgrade. Now that the phone’s been out for a while, you can find it dipping below this list price if you’re lucky, making it a great investment.

The OnePlus 12 launched in China on December 5, 2023, with local availability starting December 11. Its global launch took place on January 24, 2024, with pre-orders kicking off the same day and open sales commencing through OnePlus.com, Amazon, and Best Buy on February 7, 2024.

The phone will start at $799 for the 12GB/256GB version, increasing to $899 for the 16GB/512GB model. OnePlus also offers a trade-in bonus that allows users to swap any phone in any condition for $100 off.

As for colorways, the OnePlus 12 is available in Silky Black and Flowy Emerald, although the latter is limited to the top configuration.

OnePlus 12 vs OnePlus 11: Should you upgrade?

OnePlus 12R side profile showing alert slider
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

The OnePlus 12 vs OnePlus 11 battle might seem won for the new party on paper, but what if you already own the latter? Is it worth shelling out for the upgrade? Thankfully, you have time to contemplate (and budget for) this decision.

If you want the best OnePlus phone on paper, the OnePlus 12 is the only option. It gains an upgraded processor, better imaging hardware, a larger battery, and faster charging. Even with its $100 premium, it’s still the better value option for those who don’t already own a OnePlus 11 or OnePlus phone.

Nevertheless, if you’re considering upgrading from the OnePlus 11, you might want to consider if you truly need these new features or can stomach spending more cash on a new phone. Your current handset will still be relevant for years to come.

If you want the best OnePlus phone on paper, the OnePlus 12 is the only option.

There’s good news for those who own neither and are shopping for a bargain. The OnePlus 11, at $699, was already cheap at launch, and it’s likely to drop sharply once again with its successor soon to be in rotation. If you desire a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 device at a mid-range price, the OnePlus 11 is as good an option as any. There’s also the question of the OnePlus 12R, which offers many of the OnePlus 11’s benefits from $499. It’ll be available from February 13.

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OnePlus 12
OnePlus 12
Unique design
Fast charging
Good battery life
See price at Amazon
OnePlus 11
OnePlus 11
Powerful peak performance
Blazing-fast wired charging
Excellent software promise