OnePlus 12 leak just confirmed big upgrade to challenge iPhone 15 Pro Max

OnePlus 12
(Image credit: Steve Hemmerstoffer / OnLeaks)

Update (September 7): OnLeaks has released a revised and supposedly more accurate version of these OnePlus 12 renders.

The OnePlus 12 is set to take a big step forward with its cameras by potentially adding a periscopic lens; this is based on renders posted on Twitter by renowned leaker Steve "OnLeaks" Hemmerstoffer.

The renders back suspicions that the next flagship from OnePlus will contain a periscopic camera system. Such a camera could see the OnePlus 12 rub shoulders with the iPhone 15 Pro Max and Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra, which are both tipped to have periscope cameras. 

This is the second time we have seen leaked images of OnePlus devices in the space of a month, after Hemmerstoffer leaked images of the OnePlus V Fold in June. That device also appeared to show a periscopic camera set up with two other lenses, similar to the OnePlus 12.

OnePlus 12

(Image credit: Steve Hemmerstoffer / OnLeaks)

Outside of the camera, the leaks seem to show a similar form factor to the OnePlus 11, which contained a curved 6.7-inch 120Hz 2K AMOLED display, and cameras housed at the top left of the back panel. However, OnePlus seems to be ditching the glossy finish of the 11, opting instead for a matte finish on the 12.

Zooming power

OnePlus 12

(Image credit: Steve Hemmerstoffer / OnLeaks)

The OnePlus 12 is the second significant flagship device that we are expecting to see get a periscopic lens upgrade this year. As mentioned, the iPhone 15 Pro Max has also been tipped for this upgrade by several sources, with the periscope camera likely to be the big upgrade to set it apart from the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro

We were first introduced to periscopic camera lenses in smartphones in 2019 with the Huawei P30 Pro, which featured a 5x optical zoom. 

Since then, companies like Samsung, Oppo, Xiaomi, and Vivo have incorporated periscopic lenses into phones to enable higher zoom capabilities up to 10x optical zoom on phones like the Galaxy S23 Ultra and the 5x optical zoom on the Google Pixel 7 Pro

Periscopic lenses allow for optical zoom with improved range in slim smartphones by using a prism to refract light at a 90-degree angle within the device. They have become key for smartphone brands to compete in the optical zoom capabilities arms race.

What we know so far

OnePlus 12

(Image credit: Steve Hemmerstoffer / OnLeaks)

OnePlus will be keen to maintain the quality we saw in the OnePlus 11, which led to us naming it the best value flagship Android phone in our OnePlus 11 review this year. 

The OnePlus 12 is expected to contain a 2K display, specifically a 6.7-inch QHD OLED screen with a high 120Hz refresh rate. Behind the screen we will be expecting the incoming Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset and Adreno 750 GPU, powered by a 5,000 mAh battery that can be charged with either 150W wired fast charging or 50W wireless fast charging technology.

The camera setup is expected to have a 50MP IMX9-series main camera sensor, 50MP wide-angle lens, and a 64MP periscope lens with a currently unknown zoom level.

The OnePlus 12 is expected to be revealed in full early in 2024. But a launch could happen towards the end of the year after the company confirmed it would hold an event in 2023 to debut its foldable OnePlus V Fold.

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Elliot Mulley-Goodbarne
Phones Writer

Elliot MulleyGoodbarne is a Staff Writer at Tom’s Guide covering news, reviews, buying guides with wit and charm. He has had a keen interest in mobile, tablets, laptops, and everything in between since his first phone, the Samsung U600. Starting at Mobile News, Elliot has been writing about mobile and the business of technology since 2016, and has edited four trade magazines in that time, attending award shows for three of them. He has attended a range of industry events including 5G launches, device announcements, and trade events, where he developed a nose for picking up on trends, interviewing executives, and networking with the tech community. In his spare time, Elliot can usually be found watching, playing, or attending sporting events. With season tickets to West Ham United and Surrey County Cricket Club he often spends weekends in winter in a foul mood and evenings in the summer with a smile on his face. Outside of sport Elliot enjoys cooking, pubs next to rivers, and chilling out with a G&T, Whiskey, or Port after a solid week of excellence.