Tech reviews

Aspiring flagship with more than essentials at core

The OnePlus 12r smartphone is positioned as an economical offering in the company’s 2024 flagship OnePlus 12 series. At its core, the device harnesses the power of last year’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 series processor while drawing inspiration from both its elder sibling and predecessor. Does this affordable flagship live up to the company’s promise of delivering a premium user experience? Let us find out:


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The OnePlus 12r resembles its elder sibling in terms of design. At the back, the smartphone has a glossy glass panel with the OnePlus logo embossed on the lower half.  The back panel has a curvature on the sides, flanked by a textured metallic frame. For design symmetry, the frame extends onto the backside to form a ring-shaped camera module that has a circumference resembling the rotating dial of a luxury watch. The circular camera module houses a triple-camera setup while featuring a shiny metal finish beneath the glass cover.

On the front, the OnePlus 12r sports a two-sided curved display that contributes to a bezel-less appearance despite relatively thicker bezels on the top and bottom ends.

The frame has the power and volume rocker buttons on the right, and the alert slider has now been shifted to the left side. The top and the bottom sides of the frame have a flat design, like the elder sibling. The bottom side of the frame has a removable SIM tray, primary microphone, USB-C port and speaker grills. On the top side, the frame houses a secondary microphone, IR blaster, and a relatively smaller pill-shaped speaker opening.  

At 207g, the smartphone leans towards the heavier side, yet its well-balanced weight distribution ensures that the smartphone feels comfortable in hand. The rounded edges and a modest camera bump contribute to the overall ergonomics. The slender camera module also ensures that the smartphone does not wobble when placed on a flat surface.  

The OnePlus 12r looks and feels premium. However, the glossy back of the Cool Blue colour (review unit) is prone to fingerprint marks. The toothed edges of the camera module also often collect dust, necessitating regular cleaning.

Display and Audio

With a 6.78-inch 1.5K AMOLED ProXDR display, the OnePlus 12r offers crisp visuals with vibrant colours for an exceptional viewing experience.  However, the screen resolution is set to 2376 x 1080 in standard mode and requires manual adjustment to high mode (2780 x 1264) under the screen resolution menu in display settings.

Within the display and brightness settings, OnePlus offers a range of options to enhance visuals. The screen colour mode introduces two pro modes—Cinematic, utilising Display P3 for a broader colour gamut, and Brilliant, which amplifies brightness and colour vibrancy. The OnePlus 12r excels in brightness across varied lighting conditions, even without activating the Brilliant mode.

For content consumption, the smartphone supports Dolby Vision and HDR10+ viewing on streaming platforms, complemented by video enhancement features. The “Image Sharpener” enhances video clarity, and “Video Color Boost” converts SDR content to HDR. These features work on select apps but cover commonly used ones such as YouTube and Disney+ Hotstar. 

In the audio domain, the OnePlus 12r impresses with a stereo speaker system delivering loud and clear audio. Maintaining impressive volume levels without compromising clarity, the device supports Dolby Atmos both at the speaker side and wireless audio accessories.  


The OnePlus 12r has a triple-camera rear setup, comprising a 50-megapixel (Sony IMX890) primary sensor, an 8MP ultra-wide-angle lens, and a 2MP macro camera. Imaging experience from the rear camera system, however, is a mixed bag. The primary sensor excels, delivering sharp images with balanced colours and fine contrast even in low-light conditions. Portraits showcase the camera’s prowess in adjusting depth, ensuring subjects remain free from blurry outlines. However, the ultra-wide camera falls short, particularly in low-light scenarios, where colours appear washed out. Even under daylight, ultra-wide-angle pictures lack sharpness. Likewise, macro shots lack details, especially under artificial lighting, where issues with white balance impact the overall quality of the images.

OnePlus 12r camera camera samples

OnePlus 12r camera camera samples

OnePlus 12r camera camera samples

For videography, the OnePlus 12r supports 4K video recording at 60fps across 1x, 2x, and 5x zoom levels. However, at 0.6x zoom (ultra-wide), video quality is limited to 1080p at 30fps. The smartphone features an “Ultra Steady” mode that works well and enhances stability during video recording. This feature is exclusive to the primary lens, and only records at the standard 1080p and 60fps. Recorded videos are sharp and the smartphone manages to keep the frame rates consistent. However, the colours appear to be a bit oversaturated, especially in environments with artificial lighting.  


The OnePlus 12r is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset. Despite belonging to the previous generation, this powerful processor seamlessly handles everyday tasks, ensuring swift app launches and effortless multitasking on the smartphone. Additionally, the OnePlus 12r excels at maintaining optimal thermals even during demanding scenarios, such as recording high-resolution videos while simultaneously running multiple apps in the background.

However, the phone does start to get slightly warm when playing graphics-intensive games such as Genshin Impact on high settings for prolonged duration. With apps in the background, there are noticeable frame drops within the game which can be eliminated simply by clearing the background or switching to medium-high graphic settings.

Software and Battery

With OxygenOS 14, the OnePlus 12r boots up with a relatively cleaner UI. There are not many preloaded third-party apps or unnecessary notifications piling up on the smartphone. The UI is mostly streamlined and it does not get uncomfortable to navigate around the smartphone. It is worth noting that while the UI is generally smooth, there are occasional glitches such as prolonged vibration with some notifications. Nevertheless, most of these issues can be addressed through software updates.

One of the standout features of the OnePlus 12r is its impressive on-battery time. Powered by a 5,500 mAh battery, the smartphone easily sustains a day and a half of normal usage, offering users extended periods between charges. When the need for refuelling arises, the included 100W SUPEVOOC charger in the box enables the smartphone to go from zero to 100 per cent in just under 40 minutes.


With exceptional display, smooth performance, and good on-battery time, the OnePlus 12r feels no less than a flagship when watching content, multitasking or indulging in casual gaming. However, on the camera front, the smartphone encounters a bit of a setback.

Priced at Rs 39,999 onwards, the OnePlus 12r proves to be a good pick for individuals who primarily use smartphones for performance-oriented tasks. The device caters to users who prioritise a top-notch display for content consumption and a reliable battery that eliminates concerns about running out of power during daily activities. 


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