OnePlus 12R: Cutting Costs or Cutting Corners? Unveiling the Affordable Flagship’s Trade-offs

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The OnePlus 12R has arrived, offering a more affordable option compared to its flagship sibling, the OnePlus 12. While it boasts a sleek design, impressive battery life, and a capable camera system, it also comes with some notable compromises to achieve its lower price point. Let’s delve into our hands-on experience and see if the OnePlus 12R strikes the right balance for budget-conscious buyers.

Key Highlights:

  • Processor: Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, not the latest 8 Gen 3
  • Display: 6.78-inch AMOLED, 120Hz refresh rate
  • Cameras: 50MP main sensor, 8MP ultrawide, 2MP macro
  • Battery: 4,500mAh with 65W fast charging
  • Price: Starting at $500 (roughly £649, AU$1,250)

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Design & Display:

The OnePlus 12R takes design cues from the OnePlus 12, featuring a frosted glass back that feels surprisingly premium. It comes in a variety of colors, including Black, Silver, and a stunning Green. The 6.78-inch AMOLED display is bright and vibrant, offering a smooth 120Hz refresh rate for a buttery-smooth experience. However, unlike the 12 Pro, it lacks LTPO technology, meaning the refresh rate isn’t adaptive and could impact battery life.

Performance & Battery:

Under the hood, the 12R packs the slightly older Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, instead of the flagship 8 Gen 3. While this won’t be a dealbreaker for most users, it does mean you might miss out on some of the latest performance improvements. In our initial testing, the phone handled daily tasks and even some light gaming without any issues. However, more demanding users might feel the difference compared to the top-tier chip.

The 12R boasts a 4,500mAh battery, which is the same capacity as the OnePlus 12. Coupled with the slightly less power-hungry processor, you can expect excellent battery life that will easily last a full day on a single charge. The phone also supports 65W fast charging, which can top up the battery in a flash.


The OnePlus 12R features a triple-camera system on the back, consisting of a 50MP main sensor, an 8MP ultrawide sensor, and a 2MP macro sensor. In good lighting conditions, the main sensor takes decent photos with good detail and color reproduction. However, low-light performance is average, and the lack of a telephoto lens might be a dealbreaker for some users. The ultrawide sensor captures decent shots, but the macro sensor feels like a throwaway inclusion.

Software & Price:

The OnePlus 12R runs on OxygenOS 13, based on Android 13. The software is clean and bloatware-free, offering a smooth and user-friendly experience. OnePlus has a good track record of providing timely software updates, so you can expect to be supported for several years.

The OnePlus 12R starts at $500, which is significantly cheaper than the $800 starting price of the OnePlus 12. This makes it an attractive option for buyers looking for a flagship experience on a budget. However, it’s important to remember the compromises you’re making, such as the older processor and less versatile camera system.

The OnePlus 12R offers a compelling proposition for budget-conscious buyers. It boasts a premium design, long-lasting battery, and capable performance, all at a competitive price point. However, it’s not without its drawbacks. The older processor might not be future-proof, and the camera system lacks the versatility of its more expensive sibling. Ultimately, the decision of whether the OnePlus 12R is right for you depends on your individual needs and priorities.

About the author


James Miller

Senior writer & Rumors Analyst, James is a postgraduate in biotechnology and has an immense interest in following technology developments. Quiet by nature, he is an avid Lacrosse player. He is responsible for handling the office staff writers and providing them with the latest updates happenings in the world of technology. You can contact him at