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OnePlus 12 vs. OnePlus 11: Biggest expected upgrades

 OnePlus 12 vs. OnePlus 11.
OnePlus 12 vs. OnePlus 11.

Even though the global launch of the OnePlus 12 won't happen until early next year, we're about to get a really clear understanding of all the OnePlus 12 vs. OnePlus 11 differences. That's because the OnePlus 12 is already available in China next month — with a global launch event slated for January 23, 2024.

OnePlus has a tough task if it's hoping to better the OnePlus 11, one of the best Android phones we've seen in the last 12 months. With great battery life and excellent performance from the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, the OnePlus 11 held its own against other top flagships like Samsung's Galaxy S23 — and it did so while costing $100 less than Samsung's least expensive flagship. That's a lot of value to pack into one phone.

The OnePlus 12 hopes to surpass the standard set by the OnePlus 11 with an even more powerful Snapdragon chip leading the way. We've also heard about rumored improvements to the display and cameras on the new phone.

Overall, the OnePlus 12 and OnePlus 11 may end up looking a lot alike. But there should be some serious OnePlus 12 vs. OnePlus 11 differences beneath the surface. Here's what we know so far based on OnePlus announcements and rumors about the upcoming phone.

OnePlus 12 vs. OnePlus: Specs

OnePlus 12 vs. OnePlus 11: Price

With its China release, we know that the OnePlus 12 costs 4299 yuan. That comes out to around $601, but it's more than the 3999 yuan cost that the OnePlus 11 was attached with its China launch. Therefore, we suspect that the OnePlus 12 will cost more with the global version.

Prices have been creeping upward on phones. Both the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro cost $100 more than their predecessors, and even Apple raised prices on the iPhone 15 Pro Max. We're eager to see if OnePlus is immune from this surge in costs.

It's especially key that OnePlus hold the line on price, as the $699 starting price of the OnePlus 11 was one of that phone's most appealing features. With flagships typically starting for $799 and phones with a screen the size of the OnePlus 11's 6.7-inch panel typically coming in around $999, the current flagship is a genuine value that doesn't sacrifice too many features to come in at a lower cost.

OnePlus 12 vs. OnePlus 11: Design

OnePlus 12 renders
OnePlus 12 renders

OnePlus has posted pictures showing off the look of the OnePlus 12, and you'd be hard-pressed to spot the differences just by glancing images of the new phone compared to the OnePlus 11. There are said to be tweaks here and there, with the OnePlus 12 featuring a textured back.

Perhaps the most notable design difference will be the return of the Alert Slider to the OnePlus 12. That feature was dropped from OnePlus flagships starting with the OnePlus 10T, but it made a comeback with the foldable OnePlus Open earlier this year. In the case of the OnePlus 12, the Alert Slider will apparently move to the left side of the phone. There's also an integrated antenna, which is supposed to help with streaming gaming performance by reducing latency.

The OnePlus 11 broke with tradition for OnePlus phones by including a water resistance rating. The IP64 rating means that the OnePlus 11 can withstand splashes, but not a full dunk in water, which is something that a lot of flagship phones can survive. We're interested to see if the OnePlus 12 qualifies for a more durable rating.

You could get the OnePlus 11 in either black or green (or Titan Black and Eternal Green, as OnePlus called its color options). The company's already confirmed three colors for the OnePlus 12 — black, white, and green. (The fancy names will have to wait.) A fourth color featuring the look of wood grain is rumored to be in the works as a throwback to the OnePlus One from 2014.)

OnePlus 12 vs. OnePlus 11: Display

OnePlus 11 display
OnePlus 11 display

We could be in for a larger screen on the OnePlus 12, though only by a little bit, with some rumors suggesting the OnePlus 12 will feature a 6.8-inch panel. Then again, another rumor has the new phone sticking with the OnePlus 11's 6.7-inch screen, so let's just say that opinion is divided.

Like a lot of phone makers these days, OnePlus could be aiming to boost the brightness of its flagship phone's display. A rumor claims the OnePlus 12 will feature an OLED panel with a maximum brightness of 2,600 nits, which would top other phones by far. (The Google Pixel 8 Pro has a listed maximum of 2,400 nits and Samsung is said to be turning to a 2,500-nit display for the upcoming Galaxy S24 Ultra.) In comparison, the OnePlus 11 maxed out at 1,300 nits.

There's also a rumor that the OnePlus 12 will feature 2,160Hz PWM dimming on its display, a feature that aims to reduce eye strain. If true, it could be a sign that OnePlus is positioning its new phone as something you can use for extended periods whether that's for playing games or streaming videos.

OnePlus 12 vs. OnePlus 11: Cameras

OnePlus 12 cameras
OnePlus 12 cameras

Irrespective of any specific camera specs, the most important camera feature for recent OnePlus flagships has been the company's partnership with lens specialist Hasselblad. That's led to a steady improvement of OnePlus cameras over the years, with the OnePlus 11 delivering the best camera performance yet. Hasselblad is said to be on board with the OnePlus 12 as well, so that's good news.

Posting on Weibo, a OnePlus executive confirmed the OnePlus 12 is using a Sony LYT-808 sensor for the main camera, which — much like the OnePlus 11 — will feature 50MP resolution. The ultrawide lens is expected to be a 48MP camera, which would again match the specs of the OnePlus 11.

It's the telephoto lens that figures to see the biggest change, as OnePlus switches to a periscope style design, according to most reports. That means a switch to a 64MP camera with a 3x optical zoom. The 32MP telephoto lens on the OnePlus 11 delivered a 2x optical zoom, so that's an improvement even if it's not along the lines of the 5x zoom we've seen from other telephoto cameras. (It's worth noting that other reports about the OnePlus 12 camera setup claim that OnePlus will use a stacked design for its telephoto lens, just like it did with the OnePlus Open.)

OnePlus 12 vs. OnePlus 11: Performance

Snapdragon 8 Gen 3
Snapdragon 8 Gen 3

OnePlus typically grabs the best Qualcomm silicon it can for its flagship phone. For the OnePlus 12, that will likely translate to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, the newest chipset introduced by Qualcomm earlier this fall.

When launching the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, Qualcomm touted the new chip's AI capabilities, and we're eager to see what influence that might have on the OnePlus 12's feature set. For now, though, we can only consider performance improvements based on what we know about the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3. And that should translate to a performance gains by the OnePlus 12 over the OnePlus 11.

Qualcomm says the Kryo CPU in its latest chipset should see a 30% performance boost over the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, while the Adreno GPU is in line for a 25% performance gain. Considering the OnePlus 11 benchmark results were among the best we saw for Android devices in the past year, that should mean the OnePlus 12 will once again be among the fastest Android phones you can buy. And it could even challenge the A17 Pro-powered iPhone 15 Pro models when it comes to graphics benchmarks.

There's been talk of a OnePlus 12 model shipping with 24GB of RAM, but we expect that's going to be for a higher-end option if that rumor actually comes to pass. The OnePlus 11 came with 8GB and 16GB configurations.

OnePlus 12 vs. OnePlus 11: Battery

OnePlus 12 renders
OnePlus 12 renders

The OnePlus 11 currently enjoys a spot on our best phone battery life list, having lasted 13 hours and 10 minutes on our battery test. (We have phones surf the web over cellular until they run out of power.) That result was partly thanks to the OnePlus 11's 5,000 mAh battery, but the power management features of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 played a role as well.

OnePlus 12 will rely on a 5,400 mAh battery, giving the new phone more juice to work with. Furthermore, Qualcomm says the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3's CPU improves power efficiency by 20% while the GPU is 10% more efficient. That bodes well for the OnePlus 12's battery life.

On the charging front, it doesn't seem to be any change for the newer OnePlus. In fact, it's been revealed that much like its predecessor, the OnePlus 12 for China offers 100W wired charging, but it's unknown if that'll change for the global version. In fact, the U.S. model of the OnePlus 11 was limited to 80W charging, owing to voltage differences.

As for wireless charging, we're happy to report that the feature makes a return with the OnePlus 12, which really helps to boost its flagship status. It's a speedy 50W wireless charging, whereas it was absent with the OnePlus 11.

OnePlus 12 vs. OnePlus 11: Outlook

The release of the OnePlus 12 next month is significant, as it will give us a bar with which to measure the Samsung Galaxy S24 release that's currently expected to happen in January 2024. But before we can make that comparison, a OnePlus 12 vs. OnePlus 11 face-off looms to help us measure just how far OnePlus' phones have come within the space of a year.

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