OnePlus 12 vs iPhone 15 Pro: Which flagship phone could win?

OnePlus 12 vs iPhone 15 Pro
(Image credit: OnePlus, Future)

The OnePlus 12 is shaping up to be one of the best Android phones of 2024. It’s already out in China, and we expect to hear about global release plans at an event on January 23 — just in time for the new OnePlus flagship to steal some of the thunder from the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S24.

But the OnePlus 12 looks like it has the specs to take on more than just Android devices. It should also be a formidable competitor to the best iPhones. So just how does the OnePlus 12 compare to the iPhone 15 Pro? Let’s find out in our OnePlus 12 vs. iPhone 15 Pro comparison.

OnePlus 12 vs iPhone 15 Pro: Specs

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Row 0 - Cell 0 OnePlus 12iPhone 15 Pro
Display6.82-inch 2K OLED (120Hz adaptive)6.1-inch Retina OLED (120Hz adaptive)
ChipsetSnapdragon 8 Gen 3A17 Pro
Storage256GB/512GB/1TB128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
Rear camera50MP main (f/1.6), 48MP ultrawide (f/2.2), 64MP (f/2.6, 3x optical zoom)48MP main (f/1.78), 12MP ultrawide (f/2.2), 12MP telephoto (f/2.8, 3x optical zoom)
Front camera32MP selfie12MP selfie
Starting priceTo be announced$999

OnePlus 12 vs iPhone 15 Pro: Release date and price

OnePlus 12 announcement showing all three color variants on stage

(Image credit: OnePlus/Weibo)

The iPhone 15 Pro has been available since September. It starts at $999 for a 128GB model, and goes all the way up to $1,499 if you think you need a full 1TB of onboard storage. (As ever with Apple, you can’t just pop in a microSD card).

The OnePlus 12’s release date and price outside of China is currently a bit of a mystery, but it won’t be for long, with the Chinese company promising a global launch event on January 23. We’d guess pricing will start at between $699 and $799 based on both the Chinese price and previous US MSRPs for OnePlus flagships.

OnePlus 12 vs iPhone 15 Pro: Design and display

The OnePlus 12’s 6.82-inch frame makes it a bit closer to the iPhone 15 Pro Max and its 6.7-inch screen as opposed to the iPhone 15 Pro, which offers a more compact 6.1-inch display.

But despite that heft, the OnePlus 12 is actually pretty lightweight: just 0.36 inches thin and 7.76 ounces in weight. But the iPhone 15 Pro is even more lightweight thanks to its new titanium shell. Apple's phone tips the scales at 6.6 ounces and is just 0.325 inches thick.

In terms of screens, both phones offer buttery smooth 120Hz refresh rates (“ProMotion” in Apple parlance), but the OnePlus 12 has a slightly higher resolution: 1,440 x 3,168 trumping the iPhone 15 Pro’s 1,179 x 2,556 Retina panel.   

The iPhone 15 Pro's panel is certainly bright, with a listed peak of 2,000 nits in direct sunlight. (We measured 1,550 nits with a light meter, which is a very impressive result.) The OnePlus 12 figures to outshine that screen, though, boasting a peak brightness of 4,500 nits. That's something we'll want to test once we get our hands on the phone.

OnePlus 12 vs iPhone 15 Pro: Performance

For the majority of the specs, you appear to get more for (presumably) less with OnePlus. The OnePlus 12 has between 4GB and 16GB more RAM than the iPhone 15 Pro and a far chunkier battery. At 5,400mAh, it should last a lot longer than the iPhone 15 Pro’s 3,274mAh cell — at least in theory. The iPhone 15 Pro did last 10 hours and 53 minutes on our battery test, which is nearly an hour better than the average smartphone but well short of a time that lands you on our best phone battery life list. (The OnePlus 11 — the predecessor to the OnePlus 12 — is on that list.)

There's also the matter of charging speed. The iPhone 15 Pro continues to plod along at 20W charging speeds, while the OnePlus 12 claims ridiculously fast 100W fast charging, at least outside the U.S. 

Traditionally, there has been one area where you’d expect Apple to have the upper hand: its chipset. In the past, Apple’s own ‘A’ series chipset has been significantly faster than Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chipset on benchmarks, but with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, there are signs this could be reversed

Of course, you may still get better performance from your iPhone — Apple making the operating system and chipset does have inherent advantages, after all. But on paper, the OnePlus 12 could prove to be a formidable rival.

OnePlus 12 vs iPhone 15 Pro: Cameras

oneplus 12 camera in use

(Image credit: OnePlus 12)

While cameras have sometimes been a weak spot with OnePlus phones, the OnePlus 11 was a huge improvement, and early signs suggest the OnePlus 12 will be even better as it seems to borrow most of the camera specs from the foldable OnePlus Open. You’re looking at a 50MP, f/1.6 main camera, backed up by a 48MP, f/2.2 ultrawide sensor and a 64MP, f2.6 telephoto lens capable of a 3x zoom.  

The iPhone 15 Pro is no slouch either when it comes to cameras. It takes rather excellent pictures itself with the help of a 48MP, f/1.78 main camera, backed by a 12MP, f/2.2 ultrawide sensor, topped off by a 12MP, f/2.8 telephoto lens (also with a 3x optical zoom).

OnePlus would seem to have the more capable hardware, but Apple’s image processing helps the setup punch above its weight, and iPhones often rank highly in our best camera phones list for a reason. We’ll have to try the OnePlus 12 before we can give a definitive answer here.

OnePlus 12 vs iPhone 15 Pro: Outlook

On paper, this all looks very strong for the OnePlus 12, but there are a few known unknowns: the new phone's price, camera performance and how comfortable it feels in use. 

The iPhone 15 Pro is here right now, and very good indeed — though it’s undoubtedly expensive. If you’re happy with Android, it’s certainly worth waiting until our full OnePlus 12 review once the phone's global launch happens.

More from Tom's Guide

Alan Martin

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.