OnePlus 12R - R stands for really good deal

Okay, so I've had the OnePlus 12R for a week or so now, and I was supposed to have this review out sooner, but I wanted to really give it its shot, and honestly, I fell so easily into just using it, it felt like my daily driver and not just a review unit.

Quick, simple review... it's a helluva a great deal.

Let's go back; what is it that I have, and what is the price?

OnePlus 12R [see the unboxing]

Price $799.99CAD


  • 6.78" @ 2780x1264 (120Hz)
  • Snapdragon 8 Gen2
  • 16GB RAM
  • 256GB storage
  • Main Cameras:
    • 50MP (wide, f/1.8, 24mm, 1/1.56", 1.0µm)
    • 8MP (ultrawide, f/2.2, 16mm, 112°, 1/4.0", 1.12µm)
    • 2MP (macro, f/2.4)
  • Selfie:
    • 16MP (f/2.4, 24mm, 1/3", 1.0µm)
  • 5500mAh
  • 80W charging (26min charging time)

You can opt for a $669.99 model, but then you halve the RAM and storage.  Trust me, the price is worth it... RAM alone, it's worth it.  But more on that performance later on.

Let's dive into the review:


Okay, so up, physically - it's a big phone.  Now, is it BIG, or am I just too familiar with the smaller Pixel 8 lately, but it's a nice size.  It is slippery, so for its size it's hard to grip when it's naked.  Not hard, but just found myself 'readjusting' it in the hand often or just using it 2 handed.  

In terms of 'buttons', it has volume and power on the 'common' right hand side (volume on top).  Standard palcement of USB-C port on the bottom (where you'll also see the SIM slot), on the top is an IR port (yay).  

On the left we have an 'alert slider'.  This is a physical 3 way toggle switch.  Where you toggle between all volumes, silent but vibrate, silent.  

I don't know that I want a physical switch, it feels odd... feels 10 years ago old... but it's there and I rarely notice its existence.

On the back is the huge camera module, you see 4 'eyes' and the dial feel around it is ridged, and feels like it should turn like a knob (it doesn't).  

It's not so pronounced, and the overall size and flatness doesn't make it sit too awkwardly on it.

While on the back, I do like the subtle 'shimmer' look of the finish.  

Will be a shame to cover it up with a case (which I'm going to have to do as I need something help hold it).

Flipping it back over to look at the screen you'll notice it has that curved edge design and I like it, but I think it also contributes to the slipperyness of the device.  More on the edge later.

While looking at the edge, you'll also notice a tiny film just adhered to the screen - so they've included a screen protector already for you.  

It's unnoticeable unless you look just at those edges to see the end of the protector.

Let's turn it on.  It has a fingerprint sensor, and it also has a facial recognition option.  Both are fast enough that I don't even notice it.

Once on, it's got a great display.  It's not QuadHD, but it's really good, especially given its size.  It can also climb up to 120Hz and it's noticeably fluid in that regard.

In terms of what we see for the interface, it looks very much pure Android with a few additions.  Slightly skinned, but not overly drastic changes for change's sake. 

I'm going to have to do a bunch of small reviews on some of the features, because I found each of them pretty useful in their own way.

A quick overview of some of the neat customizations I enjoyed:


We've seen these flowing bars of commonly used apps before, so nothing exciting there about that.  What is cool is the fact that a) it has this 'file dock', so a quick place to throw a file or copied image for you to bring out as needed; and b) when you click an app it pops up not in full, but in a 'flexible window' view.  

Which is handy as often when you want to pull something up it's just to look at it and go back to what you were doing.  This accomplishes that nicely.

Flexible Window

Aside from the 'side by side' where you get 2 apps on top of each other, they have an option to run the app as a 'floating' window.  It's really nice.  

You can adjust the size of it (note: if it's beyond a certain small size it will hook itself to a corner of the display instead of being allowed to float wherever).

This floating window can be 'hidden' as another little notch in the corner ready to be pulled out when needed.  Downside here is that it's limited to just one flexible window at a time.  It would have been good if we could have had a few at one time, or allow a few to 'dock' on the edge.

Expanded App Folder

We've been used to 'foldering' apps for a long time.  Take a bunch of apps you think need to be grouped and they'll then fit into a 'folder' the size of an app icon.  Tap that icon and it expands to show you which apps are there.

But, they have a neat built-in feature where it can expand to look 2x2 size (showing 3x3 icons).  This has the benefit of being able to see more apps at a larger size, and if you have more than the 9 you can scroll left/right to see more without having to expand the folder.

It's handy.

Multi App Card scrolling

So, you know how you use one app and then you want to return to another that you used a few apps ago?  You slide up from the bottom and hold to bring up the card view of the apps that are running.  You flick over to the one you want and tap.

Easy enough.  But what if it was several apps ago, on others I have to slide and slide to find it.

With 16GB of RAM it can store a lot of running apps... well it could be back far.  So they have a small icon under each, and I found that if you slide/scroll in that area, you'll fast scroll through the cards.

That's handy.

Photo Cut-out

In the gallery you can just press on an object in the photo and it'll cut it out from the background - letting you easily use it wherever you want.

So those are just some of the extra features I liked.  There's more and I'll get to them in separate reviews.

But how is it handling?  

With 16GB of RAM (I keep mentioning that, it's really important) it is no dullard.  It's fast and it's easy to swap between big apps.

I loaded up PUBG and Genshin and either at the maxed out resolution settings it still flowed through very fluidly.  Super fluidly.

For me it's most noticeable that I can swap between apps crisply... no notice of the change, or having to load to RAM and read from it as it changes its thinking.  This is something I'm really noticing on my 8GB RAM Pixel 8... 

Another feature is it has it's own 'gamer mode'.  

A set of tools that can pop up and allow you to adjust your settings for the game (optimize it).

Running on those games there was something I noticed... or didn't notice.  The phone wasn't getting warm.  There's a vapour chamber in the processor to help keep things cool.  I didn't notice the phone getting warm ever.

How about some the things I wasn't so excited about.

Well, there is the size and slipperyness for sure.  A case will fix that.

There's a feature for 'Shelf / Smart Suggestions'.  Basically, you can set it so when you swipe down on the homescreen (where I normally set it to pull down notifications) to bring up this panel of handy information (widgets, weather, etc...).  

It's fine, I just keep forgetting that gesture is there as I'm used to getting my notifications instead.  I could also turn it off...

Icon arrays - in the home settings you can adapt the icons on the home screen to be 4x4 5x5 etc... but you are always stuck with just 4 apps on the bottom tray.  I'd love to have 5 there, but it's not adjustable.

Some of the apps they add in - sure Netflix, I was going to install it anyways, but Spotify?  Then there's their Relax (Deep Zen) app, O Relax app, and their OnePlus Store.  

Like they have their uses, and I could uninstall.  I just know we'll have people like my parents who'll never do that and they just sit there cluttered.

Missing 'key features'

For me, there are 2 features I need in my phones:  Qi and some IP rating.  

I can't believe the wireless charging option isn't here for me.  Even the Pixel 7a had wireless.

For IP rating, it is supposed to be IP64 (but I can't find it officially on their site), which should be fine, but I'm used to IP68... what's the difference?  4 - 8 means that 4 you can get it wet in the rain.  8 means I can drop it in the pool.  4 should be fine for what I use it for, just I would appreciate the better peace of mind.


I guess I'm just so used to the Pixel, where that always, and continues to, wow me that this feels 'okay'.  And a phrase I keep hearing a lot is that Good is the enemy of Great.

ultra wide
2x - 5x digital zoom

The photos come out aren't bad, and with great lighting you can get some good shots, but honestly it can't compare with the Pixel in my opinion.

The last comment I'll make before I summarize is going to about SuperVOOC.  Which, isn't as catchy as it wants to be, but it's OnePlus's version of QuickCharge, which goes beyond it. To take advantage of their super fast charging you need their SuperVOOC charger (so where I already have a bunch of PD wall adapters everywhere).  

And their charger only has a USB-A port on it (again, where I've converted to really only carrying C-C cables and adapters).

I guess being able to charge at 80W and have the phone charge up in 26 minutes is good for some people, for me I've been more of a "I never get to low in the first place to worry" type.  It's good to have and know you could use it, just I've not run in to the scenario where I was needing it.  PD has been more than suitable for my needs.


I love this phone, and I'm so close to just eschewing my Pixels for a bit and trying it out as my daily driver.  As I said, I'm just missing Qi.  I use that everywhere - so that's my deal breaker.  Anything else I can deal with no worries.

Because, ultimately, this is a helluva bang for your buck.  It's super fluid use - and I've been doing some gaming on it (when will Genshin support controllers!?!?!) and it's constantly lag free for me.  On top of it being super stable and speedy, the battery (5500mAh worth of juice) just lasts and lasts and lasts.  I don't even notice any more noticeable drain if I'm using the browser or if I'm getting headshots.  It's a tank.

So... OnePlus, nailed it.  This can stand up against even some flagships and impress and save you money.