OnePlus 12R vs OnePlus 11: now this is a nice surprise...

OnePlus 12R vs OnePlus 11


OnePlus' latest mid-range phone, the OnePlus 12R, is one of the better models the company has released in recent years, and its spec sheet closely resembles that of last year's flagship from the company, the OnePlus 11. So, we figured, given the obvious similarities, that it would be interesting to compare these two phones and check how their similarities and differences.

At first glance, they can seem almost identical, but as you will see in this comparison, the 2024 OnePlus mid-ranger seems to cover much of what the OnePlus 11 is capable, and even improving on several of its characteristics with some new tech.

Below we will discuss the design, specs, chipset and camera performance, and more, so keep reading to see just how impressive the new R model from OnePlus actually is.

OnePlus 12R vs OnePlus 11 differences explained:

Table of Contents:

Design and Display Quality

The 12R brings several display improvements

You would easily confuse one for the other, unless you look more closely at the OnePlus 12R and OnePlus 11. They share the same glass sandwich design, with an aluminum frame that blends nicely with the curved display and back panel. You can expect some light reflecting from the sides with both phones because of said curve, but it is nothing major.

Buttons are equally tactile and satisfying to click, and ports are the same for both phones. The 12R, however, has a slightly better water resistance, having passed IP65 certification (the phone can withstand low pressure water jets) compared to the IP64 (protected from water spray from any direction) of the OnePlus 11.

There's also the more durable Gorilla Glass Victus 2 on the 12R, which is slightly harder and denser than the OG Gorilla Glass Victus on the older model.

The colors are the one area where the two phones can be visibly distinguished from each other, with the OnePlus 12R coming in Cool Blue and Iron Gray, while the OnePlus 11 comes in Eternal Green, Titan Black, and Jupiter Rock (beige).

The unboxing experience is equally generous, meaning that you will find:

  • The phone itself with a pre-applied screen protector
  • An 80W charger with USB-A port (100W outside the US)
  • A red OnePlus cable with USB-A to USB-C connection
  • Transparent silicone case
  • Stickers
  • SIM tool
  • User manuals

Besides the cameras, which we will talk more about in a bit, the display of the OnePlus 12R is the area where it differs the most from the OnePlus 11. For starters, it is ever so slightly larger, measuring at thanks to a decrease in the top and bottom bezels.

But the slightly decreased bezels are not the important part. No, what's impressive is the new 4th-gen LTPO tech, which allows the 12R to be more precise with its power-efficiency, as it covers more screen refresh rates between 1-120Hz. The OnePlus 11, on the other hand, comes with an LTPO 3.0 display, which is still capable of 120Hz and does a good job to preserve power, just not as good as the new mid-ranger.

Besides its higher power-efficiency, the OnePlus 12R also reaches much higher brightness levels, maxing out at 4,500 nits, whereas the OnePlus 11 goes only up to 1,300 nits. Those are the peak brightness levels though, which companies usually measure by finding a specific spot on the screen. Despite that, these numbers are still a good way to tell the overall brightness you can expect from a phone.

Both phones can produce 1B colors, and support HDR10+, as well as Dolby Vision, but the 12R can offer a wider range of brightness which means HDR content is even more realistic.

The one place where the older OnePlus 11 beats the 12R is in resolution, with a 1440 x 3216 pixels in its display vs 1264 x 2780 pixels in the midranger. The difference is not small on paper, but, frankly, we struggled to notice it in real life.

Biometrics work well enough on the OnePlus 12R and OnePlus 11, with their optical fingerprint scanners embedded in the displays. The 12R does take the cake here though, thanks to OnePlus' Aqua Touch tech, which helps the display continue to be responsive even when it is wet, and that includes the fingerprint scanner accuracy/success rate. You can also opt for the face recognition, which is snappy, but not as secure on either model.

Performance and Software

Absolute powerhouses, but the 12R has a secret weapon

Both phones come with the same chipset, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, which is Qualcomm's flagship silicon for 2023 and was featured on flagships such as Samsung's Galaxy S23 series. They also have the same RAM/storage combos and types. So, suffice it to say, the two phones perform identically to each other.

It is worth mentioning that there is a significant difference as to which storage variant you have, because the lower 128GB model comes with UFS 3.1, whereas the 256GB one has UFS 4.0 storage, which is more than twice as fast and more power-efficient.

Gaming is an absolute blast both on the OnePlus 12R and OnePlus 11, since both phones are fully equipped to handle even the most demanding titles you can find on the Google Play Store. That being said, the OnePlus 12R has an important advantage here, its brand-new cooling system, which keeps the phone from overheating and therefore its performance from dropping.

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Both phones come with 3 years of software support and 4 years of security patches. The difference is that the OnePlus 12R, being the newer model, will take you one year further into Android and OxygenOS updates than the OnePlus 11.


It's about more than just the megapixels

The OnePlus 12R comes with the same 50MP main camera that's inside the OnePlus 11, which means that, for the most part, the two take photos with similar if not identical level of detail and image quality. That said, we did notice some slight differences in the sample shots we took.

The two also share the same selfie 16MP selfie cameras, which again meant that the performance and end results will end up the same.

You would think that the real difference begins with the 48MP ultra-wide camera on the OnePlus 11, but as you will notice from our samples that didn't turn out to be the case. It is only when we address the zooming capabilities when the dedicated 32MP telephoto camera with 2x zoom takes the cake, whereas the 12R's macro snapper remains a bit left out.

Main Camera

The sample images from the main camera seem to have zero differences, but look closer and you will notice that the colors from the OnePlus 12R are more natural. Indeed, the mid-ranger produced more true-to-life images compared to the older flagship.

Zoom Quality

This is where the OnePlus 11 snatches a clear win, thanks to its 2x zoom telephoto camera. There is simply much more detail. However, since the OnePlus 12R is using the main camera to capture these zoomed in shots, the exposure is more even with less areas that are too dark, and colors appear more natural.

Portrait Mode

Both capture portrait shots in the same manner, and are even in terms of precision.

Ultra-wide Camera

Despite the larger amount of megapixels on the OnePlus 11, which uses pixel binning to take 12MP shots, the 8MP ultra-wide camera of the OnePlus 12R comes very close as far as sharpness and detail goes. In fact, since it has the improved color reproduction that we see in the main camera's photos, it can be considered better in comparison.


The selfies from the 16MP front-facing cameras are basically identical in all aspects.

Video Quality

Video Thumbnail

We are not quite sure why, but during our time comparing the OnePlus 12R and OnePlus 11, the 12R seemed to produce videos with higher detail, especially in areas with less than ideal lighting conditions. You can clearly see that in the video above. The two phones have the same main cameras and chipset, so this difference must be a result of further optimization to bring out even more from the same image sensor.

Audio Quality and Haptics

Both phones sound incredibly good, with their dual-firing speakers producing audio that has richness and plenty of volume. The best part is that we didn't notice any distortion or fall in quality even with the speakers at their maximum.

Watching any type of content is perfectly enjoyable, and you can even use the phone as a portable speaker for listening to your favorite tracks. Of course, you won't really hear too much of the lower frequencies (bass), but that's to be expected from a phone's speakers, as even the premium models struggle with that part.

OnePlus introduced a major upgrade to its more premium phones' vibration motors with the OnePlus 11 last year. We are not certain as to what type of vibration motor the OnePlus 12R has, but it definitely feels in the same ballpark like last year's flagship, with strong and precise haptic feedback.

Battery Life and Charging

OnePlus 12R will last you much longer

Both phones come with massive batteries that can easily last you a day, and even two depending on how you use them. The OnePlus 12R comes with a 5,500 mAh battery and the OnePlus 11 has a 5,000 mAh one.

With the more energy-efficient display of the 12R and its slightly larger battery, it showed better results during our battery tests, which we also experienced while comparing the phones ourselves.

PhoneArena Battery Test Results:

Video Streaming(hours)Higher is better
OnePlus 12R12h 35 min
OnePlus 118h 23 min
Web Browsing(hours)Higher is better
OnePlus 12R15h 41 min
OnePlus 1113h 22 min
3D Gaming(hours)Higher is better
OnePlus 12R13h 37 min
OnePlus 119h 31 min

It was surprising to see just how much more the OnePlus 12R lasted compared to the OnePlus 11, as we certainly didn't expect the difference to be more than an hour. Alas, the OnePlus 12R beat last year's flagship by a landslide, lasting 4 hours longer during our Video Streaming test and more than 2 hours in our Web Browsing one.

Either this new 4th-gen LTPO display is that much more power efficient, or OnePlus did some tweaking and optimization of its phone's software to utilize the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset. 

Moving on to charging, another strong point for OnePlus phones, both the 12R and OnePlus 11 come with a maximum wired charging speed of 80W, and a charger in the box to match that (we recommend you use only this charger). The two juice up with an equal speed, but not equally fast, as the 12R's battery is slightly so it needs more time to charge up.

Neither the OnePlus 12R or the OnePlus 11 have wireless charging. If you want that feature you will have to turn to the OnePlus 12.

Specs Comparison

If you compare the OnePlus 12R vs the OnePlus 11 specs, you will quickly start to notice that the two are very much alike. For the most part, what differentiates them the most is the display technology and their camera systems.

The OnePlus 12R is going for $100 less than its flagship ancestor from 2023, and it is obvious which corners OnePlus had to cut to make its mid-ranger more accessible — the cameras. The two phones share the same main camera, which is a big win for the 12R, but the OnePlus 11 rocks a more capable ultra-wide shooter, and a dedicated telephoto one to top it all off, something the OnePlus 12R is sorely missing.

What the 12R has going for it, though, is a display that comes with the latest technology in the industry. It can achieve higher brightness, new-gen LTPO technology, and increased durability with Gorilla Glass Victus 2 protecting it.

But, generally speaking, that's where the differences in specs end.

Summary and Final Verdict

The OnePlus 12R might be this year's mid-range phone from the company, but it feels like a better version of its flagship from last year in more ways than a few. Yes, you lose the telephoto camera and the higher display resolution, but you get so much else in return.

From the longer battery life, to the numerous improvements to the display that elevate your user experience in small but meaningful ways that have a big impact when combined together. Not to mention some of the special hardware such as the Aqua Touch tech and the new cooling system, which make the 12R that much more special.

And all of this for a phone that costs just $500, $100 less than what last year's flagship, the OnePlus 11, launched at. So, we think that there is more enough here for the 12R to challenge the OnePlus 11 and come out on top. In some cases, it might not even be that bad of an idea to sell the older model and get the 12R for almost no money — that's how much we think it brings to the table.

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