I've used the OnePlus 12R – here are 3 things I like and 2 things I don't

The new midrange Android phone offers some serious spec sheet pedigree

The OnePlus 12R against a pink background
(Image credit: Future / Sam Cross)

While the majority of the fanfare surrounding the launch of the OnePlus 12 focused on the main handset, it's far from the only device worth mentioning. The brand also brought the R series to European markets for the first time.

That seemed really promising for users. The R series promises a flagship experience for less, with a spec sheet that seems to defy the price tag. For example, you'll find a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor in there – the pinnacle of Android phone technology not three months ago – as well as a 5,500mAh battery.

I've been using the 12R for a few weeks now, and in that time, I've gotten quite used to it. So, here are three things I really like – and two that I really don't.

1. The battery life

OnePlus have made a lot of noise about that battery – and I can see why! The 5,500mAh cell offers some of the best battery life I've found on any phone... ever. No matter what I threw at it, I couldn't make it die in a day.

Even after long gaming sessions and days filled with surfing the web, I couldn't make it drop below 50%. It's a truly remarkable feat, and should be great for those with battery anxiety.

That's not even the most remarkable thing, though. Remember the OnePlus Pad? That promised to hold charge when not in use for the best part of a month. And while there is no indication of that technology having been used in this device, it offers a similar end result.

I left it alone for about 48 hours at the start of testing. When I left, it was on 100% charge. When I returned? 99%. After 48 hours, that's impressive. 

The OnePlus 12R on a pink background

(Image credit: Future / Sam Cross)

2. The camera

While the big brother OnePlus 12 benefits from camera technology engineered in collaboration with Hasselblad, that isn't present on the 12R. Or at least, it isn't shouted about.

Given how well it performs, though, I'd be surprised if some of their magic hasn't rubbed off here. It even features one of the best digital zooms I've ever used – offering a crispness which some optical zooms can't match!

The OnePlus 12R on a pink background

(Image credit: Future / Sam Cross)

3. The display

I feel like we never really give display technology the credit it deserves. The display is where rubber meets road, taking the goodness of the processor and pushing it forward towards the user.

On the 12R, the display is absolutely fantastic. 4,500 nits of peak brightness will ensure your screen is never too dim for the environment, while also offering impressively vivid colours. What's more, a touch response rate of up to 1,000Hz ensures crisp, precise button presses in game.

The OnePlus 12R on a pink background

(Image credit: Future / Sam Cross)

But of course, it's not all rosey. Here are two things I'm not such a fan of.

1. The performance

While the spec sheet may suggest a performance monster, I haven't exactly been overwhelmed by the OnePlus 12R. While day-to-day tasks aren't going to trouble it, I did notice some throttling with high intensity tasks.

Things like gaming were the most notable, with a marked decrease in load time and frame rate after a few minutes in game. That's a bit of a shame, as the display and size mean it has all of the hallmarks of a gaming monster. Hopefully it's something which can be patched in a future software update.

The OnePlus 12R on a pink background

(Image credit: Future / Sam Cross)

2. The price

Last, but by no means least, there's the price. And this is going to be a contentious call. The model is marketed as a more affordable member of the OnePlus family, offering top performance without the top price.

But I just don't think that quite marries up in the flesh. It's a decent handset, sure, but at £649 it's not really priced to be a cheap phone. Even calling it midrange is a bit of a stretch – it sits in that odd middle ground between brackets.

In the end, though, it's the full fat OnePlus 12 which kills it off. It's only £200 more expensive, and the difference in performance is quite remarkable. When you split the difference out over 24 months – as most phone buyers would – it's less than £10 per month. For my money, that's a no brainer.

Sam Cross
Staff Writer

Online news writer at T3.com, Sam has five years of experience in online and print journalism, with work featured in publications like Metro and Last Word on Sports. After years writing about music and football, Sam now turns his hand to bringing you news about new phones, smart home products, smart watches, laptops and TVs. Sam is a longtime fan and user of Apple products, including iPhones, MacBooks and Apple Watches.He’s also T3’s resident football expert, bringing you everything you need to know about the big games, including how to watch them. In his spare time, Sam is a keen guitarist, watch lover and (very) amateur golfer.