OnePlus 12 could be partly made from trees

Is it a case or the actual rear of the handset? We don't have to wait long to find out

OnePlus 11 review: woman holding green phone
(Image credit: OnePlus)

The OnePlus 12 leaks continue as we near the China launch event on 4 December (a global release is expected in January), and the latest suggests a natural material may be involved.

An image posted by leaker Digital Chat Station - who has a relatively good track record with this kind of thing - shows a hand holding a device bearing a OnePlus logo - but the rear appears to be made from wood.

The auto-translated (by Alibaba Cloud) wording which appears alongside the image reads "OnePlus 12 this time has a classic wood grain shell" - which doesn't exactly make it clear if the wooden finish is the actual rear plate of the handset, or just a case option which will be made available alongside the phone.

A hand holding a smartphone with a OnePlus logo, with what appears to be wooden back

A case or the actual OnePlus 12 - what do you think?

(Image credit: Weibo / Digital Chat Station)

Haven’t we seen this before?

This is far from the first time we've seen OnePlus experiment with wood-effect finish for its cases. Go all the way back to 2014 and a bamboo style case was offered alongside the original OnePlus One - so perhaps this move is a nod to its first device as the company prepares to celebrate its tenth anniversary.

It's more likely the image shows a case with a wood-effect finish rather than the actual rear of the OnePlus 12, and we wouldn't be surprised if it’s actually a different material made to look like wood grain. Although, we have seen manufacturers experiment with materials for the rear of handsets - who can forget the leather-clad LG G4? So we're not ruling out a real-wood finish entirely.

OnePlus even experimented with a different material for a special edition of the OnePlus 11. Known as the Jupiter Rock edition in China, and Marble Odyssey in India, the rear finish was made from 3D microcrystalline rock - a material which OnePlus claimed had a 25% lower manufacturing efficiency, and 50% less yield than glass.

The OnePlus 12 is shaping up to be one of the best Android phones for 2024 with a powerful 64MP camera, 100W wired charging, 50W wireless charging, a super-bright 2600 nits screen, and Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset all touted to feature in the flagship device.

It may not arrive alone either, with a 'series' of phones rumoured for launch and talk of a OnePlus 12R has been swirling online. With the China launch for the OnePlus 12 now a little over a week away, we'll soon find out how this intriguing wooden finish is incorporated.

John McCann

John has been a technology journalist for more than a decade, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He’s reported on pretty much every area of consumer technology, from laptops, tablets, smartwatches and smartphones to smart speakers, automotive, headphones and more. During his time in journalism, John has written for TechRadar, T3, Shortlist, What Laptop, Windows 8 magazine, Gizmodo UK, Saga Magazine and Saga Exceptional, and he’s appeared in the Evening Standard and Metro newspapers.

Outside of work, John is a passionate Watford FC and Green Bay Packers fan, enjoys a Sunday afternoon watching the F1, and is also a Guinness World Record Holder.