The OnePlus 12 is officially out and straightaway, it is poised to take on the biggies of the premium smartphone segment. Following an upgrade scheme similar to Apple and Samsung, OnePlus keeps the design largely unchanged from its predecessor but overhauls the internals to the latest specifications. Although the device is presently limited to the Chinese market, the global version with the Google apps and services preinstalled is set to cause a stir in its class. So how does the OnePlus 12 compare to the likes of the Apple iPhone 15 and Samsung Galaxy S23?
Although most of you may flag this as an unfair comparison for the older gen Samsung Galaxy S23, there’s no getting around the fact that Samsung’s 2023 flagship continues to be one of the best premium smartphones representing the Android territory until now. Despite featuring the older Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip, the Galaxy S23 scores high in crucial aspects like display, performance, cameras and reliability. Until the Galaxy S24 arrives, it continues to be a solid contender in this premium smartphone segment.
However, it’s hard to ignore the Apple iPhone 15 while discussing the OnePlus 12. It may have garnered negative feedback for its 60Hz refresh rate display but there’s no denying that the iPhone 15 is a robust smartphone with splendid cameras, good battery life and, most importantly, flawless performance, despite featuring the older 4nm A16 Bionic chipset.
Hence, a comparison between the OnePlus 12 vs iPhone 15 vs Samsung Galaxy S23 is a must. We are going to find out whether the new kid on the block dominates or the old(er) guards still have enough muscle to fight back.
OnePlus 12 vs iPhone 15 vs Samsung Galaxy S23
Design and build
With either of these smartphones, you are paying quite a hefty price and hence, you will be experiencing top-notch build quality, featuring nothing less than metal and glass. The OnePlus 12 is the newest of the lot with its new design language and certainly looks fresh with its revamped rear camera module with a stylised Hasselblad logo and the aesthetically pleasing gradient colourways on the back glass. It even features curved edges on the display, thereby imparting a style-conscious look.
In contrast, the Samsung Galaxy S23 proudly flaunts minimalist aesthetics with its unique droplet-style camera lenses at the back, matte colour scheme and flat sides. Even the display is flat.
And then there’s the iPhone 15, which continues to feature the same design we saw on 2021’s iPhone 13. However, Apple has refined the sharp edges with gentler curves, a slimmer overall profile, lower weight, a matte colour scheme for the back and, most importantly, a new USB-C port. And we haven’t forgotten the Dynamic Island replacing the outdated display notch.
Winner: OnePlus 12
The OnePlus 12 has the lowest price of the three here and yet it offers the best display. It features a 6.82-inch 1,440 x 3,168-pixel resolution LTPO Oriental OLED display with a variable refresh rate between 1Hz and 120Hz, as well as a peak HDR brightness of 4,500 nits and max outdoor brightness of 1,600 nits. There’s an optical fingerprint sensor embedded in the display for biometric verification.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 has a much smaller 6.1-inch display featuring a 120Hz refresh rate Dynamic AMOLED 2X panel with peak HDR brightness of 1,750 nits and max outdoor brightness of 1,200 nits. Unlike the OnePlus 12, the Galaxy S23 features an advanced ultrasonic fingerprint sensor that registers attempts even with wet fingers.
The iPhone 15 also has a similarly sized 6.1-inch display with a 60Hz Super Retina XDR OLED display with peak HDR brightness of 2,000 nits and max outdoor brightness of 1,000 nits. Since it features the Face ID system for biometric verification, the iPhone 15’s display has a pill-shaped cutout for hosting the TruDepth camera system featuring the popular Dynamic Island.
Winner: OnePlus 12
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With the 4nm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 at the helm, the OnePlus 12 managed to achieve an AnTuTu benchmark score of over 2 million, which is far higher than the Samsung Galaxy S23’s AnTuTu score of 1.5 million and the iPhone 15’s score of 1.38 million. It is worthwhile to note that the OnePlus 12 tested here had 24GB RAM, and 1TB storage and ran on the latest version of ColorOS 14 based on Android 14.
That said, the Samsung Galaxy S23’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy (read overclocked) chipset can take all the performance loads you can throw at it without breaking a sweat. Running on the updated One UI 6 based on Android 14, it scores high on refinement and is full of practical features.
The iPhone 15’s lower score is solely based on the older A16 Bionic chip limited by a meagre 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. However, don’t discount Apple’s superior optimisation of iOS 17 with this hardware. The iPhone 15 continues to be among the fastest and most capable performance smartphones you can buy today.
Winner: OnePlus 12
Without having tested any of these smartphones, it will be unfair on our part to give out a verdict. However, we can always look at the specifications of the camera systems on these devices, thereby getting a fair idea as to how they would be in the real world.
The OnePlus 12 has the newest camera hardware of the trio, featuring a 50-megapixel Sony LYT-808 main camera along with a 48-megapixel ultrawide camera and a 64-megapixel telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom and OIS. A 32-megapixel front camera takes care of the selfies and video calls.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 features the next best collection of cameras, consisting of a 50-megapixel primary wide camera along with a 12-megapixel ultrawide camera and a 10-megapixel telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom. Unlike the OnePlus 12, the front camera features a 12-megapixel sensor with auto-focus functionality.
The iPhone 15 seems underpowered in this regard on paper but relies on software prowess to make up for the lens deficit. The main rear camera has a new 48-megapixel sensor with sensor-shift OIS accompanied by a 12-megapixel ultrawide camera. There is no telephoto camera here but the iPhone 15 can use its high-resolution 48-megapixel camera to digital crop in and provide lossless digital zoom that’s equivalent to 2x optical magnification. A 12-megapixel front camera with autofocus functionality takes care of selfies and video calls.
Hardware-wise though, it is the OnePlus 12 taking the victory in this round.
Winner: OnePlus 12
The iPhone has been the undefeated champion in this category for the last few years but with the iPhone 15, that advantage may be ceded to the OnePlus 12. Featuring a massive 5,400mAh capacity battery and the combination of a power-efficient chipset and display, you can only expect this flagship to outlast an entire day with moderate usage. What’s even better is that the OnePlus 12 comes with 100W wired charging and 50W wireless charging, thereby allowing a quick refill of the battery. It even supports 10W of reverse wireless charging.
The iPhone 15’s battery capacity is undisclosed but when exposed to moderate use case scenarios after a full charge, it should be able to last an entire day and leave some for overnight idling. Apple’s 20W wired charging is much slower, filling up to 50 per cent power in 30 minutes. However, you get Apple’s MagSafe wireless charging supporting up to 15W of power input.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 has a moderately sized 3,900mAh battery and when subjected to moderate use cases, it can last up to an entire day. The device supports Samsung’s 25W wired charging that can fill 50 per cent of the battery in 30 minutes. There’s also support for 15W wireless charging and 4.5W reverse wireless charging.
Winner: OnePlus 12
This is essentially the most crucial aspect that decides the fate of these smartphones. The Samsung Galaxy S23 has a starting price of MYR 3,899 for the mid variant with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage. Considering that it has been on the shelves for a while, you can expect it to sell with greater discounts during the upcoming festive season sales. Samsung doesn’t sell a charger with the phone.
The iPhone 15 is still fresh and as a result, it commands a premium with a starting price of MYR 4,399 for the base 128GB variant. You get a USB-C charging cable in the box but miss out on the 20W charging adapter.
The OnePlus 12 starts in China at CNY 4,899 for the base variant, which roughly translates to MYR 2,809. That price includes the 100W wired charging adapter in the box, which makes it incredible value when compared to the others.
Winner: OnePlus 12
OnePlus 12 vs Apple iPhone 15 vs Samsung Galaxy S23: The verdict
Our Winner: OnePlus 12
It’s no surprise that the OnePlus 12 emerges victorious in this three-way comparison, considering that it has the most recent specifications out of the trio. With its Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset, it decimates the iPhone 15 and Galaxy S23 in terms of raw performance. It even has the best display of the three and the same can be said for the battery and cameras. It looks stylish and when you factor in its price, it seems like the ultimate value-for-money option in this premium segment.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 seems like a generation old and while it still fair’s impressive in terms of daily performance, cameras, user experience and the display, it is better to consider it once the prices drop. The iPhone 15 is barely old but its last-gen specifications lend it a disadvantage over the OnePlus 12. Other than the highly acclaimed iOS experience, a pair of good cameras and its legendary record of longevity, there’s not enough in the iPhone 15 to earn it a recommendation over the OnePlus 12.
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(Hero and Featured Image Credits: Edited by Augustman)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
– Between the OnePlus 12 and iPhone 15, which phone has the better camera?
Technically, the OnePlus 12 has a superior camera system over the iPhone 15, featuring a 50-megapixel Sony LYT-808 main camera, a 48-megapixel ultrawide camera and a 64-megapixel telephoto camera.
– What are the specifications of the OnePlus 12?
The OnePlus 12 features a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset, a 6.8-inch QuadHD+ 120Hz Curved Edge OLED display with 4,800 nits of peak brightness, a 5,400mAh battery with 100W wired charging and 50W wireless charging, a 50-megapixel Sony LYT-808 main camera and ColorOS 14 based on Android 14.