The OnePlus 12 is on the horizon, and it’s aiming to be a true contender in the smartphone market. If the rumors turn out to be accurate then the OnePlus 12 has the potential to be leagues ahead of the already capable OnePlus 11, as well as more recent heavy hitters like the iPhone 15 Pro or Google Pixel 8 Pro.
OnePlus has announced the official Chinese release date for December 4th, while the rest of the world will likely see the phone released in January. So while we wait, we have gathered together seven of the most interesting rumors that have been circulating about the OnePlus 12.
OnePlus 12 promises a brighter screen
One interesting rumored OnePlus 12 upgrade is the reported brightness of the new screen. Several sources have stated that the display brightness could push as high as 3,000 nits, although the more conservative estimates place the peak 2,600 nits. Even at this level, that would place the new OnePlus higher than the iPhone 15 Pro Max, our current display brightness champion which we measured to have a peak brightness of 1,550 nits. This would mean that the OnePlus 12 would offer one of the brightest screens on the market, if not the brightest overall. It should be noted though that it’s not great to run any screen at full brightness as it can lead to burning and dead pixels.
The OnePlus 12 could be easier to use in the rain
OnePlus has hinted that the OnePlus 12 will use the same “Rainwater Touch Control’” tech as the China-only OnePlus Ace 2 Pro offers (via TechRadar). This allows for more control while using the touch screen while wet. While not a groundbreaking addition, it was well received on the Ace 2 as it helps combat one of the more common annoyances of using a touch screen.
The new chip offers potentially unparalleled power
Another rumored addition to the OnePlus 12 is the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip, which would be a straight upgrade to the OnePlus 11’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip. The 8 Gen 3 has a heavy focus on ‘generative AI’, which means that the phone will be able to generate text, images, and videos to a high degree. It also means that the AI assistant in the phone will be able to respond faster than on other models.
Gamers will love the Snapdragon’s power
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip has several mobile gaming upgrades, including up to 240 frames per second (fps) on 240Hz displays. There is also the addition of "Hardware-accelerated ray tracing” and the ability to upscale game scenes to an 8K monitor.
The OnePlus 12 could return a missing feature
One aspect that many people found lacking in the OnePlus 11 was the lack of a wireless charging system. This is a feature that can influence many people's buying decisions when looking at flagship phones, and it seems there are rumors that the OnePlus 12 could see its return. This addition would be a welcome one, and would bring the phone back in line with its rivals, all of which offer wireless charging in one form or another.
OnePlus 12 could have a cutting-edge camera
Outside of the software, there are several additions to the OnePlus 12’s hardware relating to its cameras. One of the more interesting potential aspects is the new main camera sensor, the Sony LYT-808. Codenamed ‘Lytia’ this 1/1.4-inch sensor offers a 50MP resolution. There is also an apparent increase in photodiode capacity and transistor size, which would lead to an increased light intake and therefore brighter, more colorful images.
Alongside this sensor is an improved telephoto camera. Li Jie, OnePlus China's president, took to the social media site Weibo to show off some of the images he had taken with the camera. The main draw points that have been suggested as an improved aperture lens, which controls how much light is allowed into the lens, as well as a better anti-shaking system. The photos are impressive, and if the anti-shake is as improved as promised it should be a huge draw to any fans of a candid Instagram photo.
OnePlus 12: Outlook
OnePlus seems to be working to improve some of the crucial aspects of the OnePlus 12 and appears to know what the market is looking for. These improvements are, for the most part, background additions but they will work to make the photo and general experience far better. While there are only a few confirmations at this point we will hopefully know more in December when the Chinese version of the phone is released, if not in the new year when the global launch is assumed to be happening.
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Josh is a staff writer for Tom's Guide and is based in the UK. He has worked for several publications but now works primarily on mobile phones. Outside of phones, he has a passion for video games, novels, and Warhammer.