OnePlus 12 price: Here's what you could pay for the new flagship

OnePlus 12 renders
(Image credit: OnePlus)

We know a lot about the OnePlus 12, including the global launch date for the next OnePlus flagship. After a release in China earlier in December, the OnePlus 12 will make its debut for the rest of the world on January 23, 2024. And it's bringing a friend in the form of the OnePlus 12R, a less expensive version of the flagship that's likely to have stripped-down specs.

Because of the OnePlus 12's China launch, we already have a good idea about what we're getting with that model. It's powered by a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 system-on-chip, features a 6.82-inch screen with a 120Hz refresh rate and delivers an upgraded telephoto lens from the OnePlus 11. What we don't know, however, is just what OnePlus expects us to pay for the OnePlus 12.

And chances are, we won't get the official word on OnePlus 12 pricing until that January 23 launch event. Rumors about the OnePlus 12 price may surface between now and then, but any confirmation from OnePlus will likely have to wait.

But that doesn't mean we can't make some educated guesses as to just how much the OnePlus 12 will cost when it arrives in January.

OnePlus 12: Why the price matters

Samsung Galaxy S24 vs OnePlus 12

Galaxy s24 Ultra dummy unit (left), OnePlus 12 (right) (Image credit: David Marin on X / OnePlus)

Price is always an important detail for new phones, but it's especially true for devices from OnePlus. Established players like Samsung and Apple dominate the smartphone market — especially Samsung if we're focusing on the best Android phones. Part of OnePlus's strategy to take on the bigger phone makers has been to undercut other flagship handsets on price.

Consider the OnePlus 11, which debuted with a starting price of $699. That was $100 cheaper than the Samsung Galaxy S23 — a real bargain considering both phones offered premium features like the then top-of-the-line Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset.

With the Galaxy S24 arriving next month — rumors have it showing up just ahead of the January 23 global launch for the OnePlus 12 — you'd imagine OnePlus would be looking to compete on price once more. And while we haven't heard any official confirmation of the price on Samsung's upcoming flagships, the latest rumor suggests that Galaxy S24 pricing isn't changing from what the S23 cost.

However, Samsung is reportedly making one key compromise to keep costs down. It's been widely reported that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 will only power some models of the new phone. Depending on where in the world the phone ships, the Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus could run on the less expensive Exynos 2400. With all OnePlus 12 models featuring the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, could that put pricing pressure on the new OnePlus flagship.

OnePlus 12: What it costs in China

OnePlus 12 announcement showing all three color variants on stage

(Image credit: OnePlus/Weibo)

The Chinese price of the OnePlus 12 offers some clues for us. In that country, OnePlus is charging 4,299 yuan for its phone. At the current exchange rate, that puts the U.S. cost at a little more than $605.

That's unlikely to be the official price, though. Phone makers rarely do straight currency conversions when it's time to set prices, instead adjusting the cost of their phones for each individual market. That $605 price gives us a potential range, but you shouldn't assume that's going to be the actual price.

When the OnePlus 11 debuted in China earlier this year, it had a starting price of 3,999 yuan. That's around $565 at today's exchange rate. The takeaway here is that the OnePlus 12 debuted at a slightly higher price in China than its predecessor.

It's unclear if that pattern will repeat itself in the U.S., or if OnePlus will hold the line on the $699 starting price that it featured for the OnePlus 11.

What about the OnePlus 12R?

Estimating the potential price of the OnePlus 12 is complicated somewhat by the presence of the OnePlus 12R, which is set to also make its debut on January 23. This is the first time one of OnePlus's R series phones has shipped outside of China or India, so we don't have a lot of pricing history to go by nor any clue as to how that might fit in with the the OnePlus 12's would-be cost.

OnePlus treats its R phones as a more modest version of its flagships, with fewer premium specs than its sibling device but with more extensive features than the budget Nord series that OnePlus also offers. To that end, rumors about OnePlus 12R specs suggest the phone will ship with the older Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset and that it will have lower-resolution ultrawide and telephoto lenses compared to the OnePlus 12.

The OnePlus 11R was listed at 39,999 rupees in India, which converts to around $480 in U.S. currency. Again, I wouldn't trust straight currency conversions to give us a definitive idea about pricing, but this would suggest that an R model phone might be anywhere from $80 to $200 cheaper than OnePlus's main flagship. (The OnePlus 11's India price converts to around $680 in the U.S.)

OnePlus 12 pricing outlook

OnePlus 12 renders

(Image credit: OnePlus)

If we were to assume OnePlus sticks with the $699 starting price for the OnePlus 12, that would mean the OnePlus 12R could come in at around $599 — which also happens to be how much Samsung charges for the Galaxy S23 FE, the stripped-down version of its flagship phone. In the even that component costs push the cost of the OnePlus 12 higher than its predecessor, the OnePlus 12R can serve as a lower cost alternative to people who value OnePlus' traditionally lower prices.

We should repeat that all of this is speculation, and that the official prices for the OnePlus 12 lineup aren't likely to appear before January 23. Still, it gives us some idea of the choices facing OnePlus as we wait for the last piece of the OnePlus 12 puzzle to get filled in.

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Philip Michaels

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.