OnePlus 12 vs OnePlus Open: Which phone should you buy?

oneplus 12 camera in use
(Image credit: OnePlus 12)

The OnePlus 12 is out in China, and a global release has been promised for early next year. That means we’re in a good position to judge how the Chinese company’s latest flagship fares against its expensive foldable, the OnePlus Open.

Good, but not perfect. While we know the OnePlus 12 is coming soon, the price has yet to be revealed. But it would be extremely surprising if it eclipsed the Open’s high $1,699 cost of entry when it lands next year.

Here’s how the battle between OnePlus’ handsets is shaping up.

 OnePlus 12 vs OnePlus Open: The specs 

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Row 0 - Cell 0 OnePlus 12OnePlus Open
Display6.82-inch 2K OLED (120Hz adaptive)6.31-inch 2K Super Fluid AMOLED (240Hz dynamic) and 7.82-inch 2K Flexi-fluid AMOLED (120Hz dynamic)
ChipsetSnapdragon 8 Gen 3Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
Rear camera50MP main (f/1.6), 48MP ultrawide (f/2.2), 64MP (f/2.6, 3x optical zoom)48MP (f/1.7) main, 48MP ultrawide (f/2.2), 64MP telephoto (f/2.6, 3x optical zoom)
Front camera32MP selfie32MP + 20MP selfies (internal and external)

OnePlus 12 vs OnePlus Open: Release date and price 

A OnePlus 12 global launch teaser for early 2024

(Image credit: OnePlus)

The OnePlus Open is available to buy right now, but it comes at a price: $1,699 to be precise. Granted, that’s cheaper than both the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 and the Google Pixel Fold, but it’s still not cheap — though OnePlus will knock $200 off the price if you trade in any phone

The OnePlus 12’s release date and price is currently unknown, but we should find out both in January. We’d expect it to be around the $699 to $799 mark, based on previous models and its Chinese pricing.

 OnePlus 12 vs OnePlus Open: Design and screen(s) 

OnePlus Open

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

While the OnePlus 12 is a very familiar looking 6.82-inch black (or green or white) candy bar, the OnePlus Open takes a leaf out of Samsung’s Galaxy Fold playbook. It has two 2K screens: a regular 6.31-inch external one that can reach up to 240Hz refresh rates, and a foldable 7.82-inch internal panel. When unfolded, it resembles a miniature tablet.

Are two screens better than one? Well, it offers more flexibility, but said flexibility comes at a price, and not just the obvious monetary one. At 8.43 ounces, it’s nearly 10% weightier than the 7.76-ounce OnePlus 12, and it’s also considerably thicker: 0.46 inches vs 0.36 inches.

 OnePlus 12 vs OnePlus Open: Performance 

OnePlus Open showing off Open Canvas multitasking.

(Image credit: Future)

In terms of performance, the OnePlus 12 has the edge, mostly — but not entirely — by way of being newer. It benefits from the latest and greatest Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor, while the OnePlus Open has to make do with the previous generation. That should account for around a 25-30% performance boost and a 20-25% improvement to energy efficiency.

The second point is important, because the OnePlus Open also has a smaller battery: it has a 4,805mAh battery compared to the OnePlus 12’s 5,400mAh cell. We haven’t been able to test the OnePlus 12’s battery yet, but it’s near certain to achieve better than the 11:45 the OnePlus Open managed, as foldables tend to be battery hungry with two screens to power.

Otherwise, the specs are similar. The OnePlus Open has 16GB RAM and 512GB of storage, and you can configure the OnePlus 12 to have more (24GB and 1TB) or less (12GB and 256GB) of each to match your budget. 

OnePlus 12 vs OnePlus Open: Cameras 

OnePlus Open held in the hand.

(Image credit: Future)

Both handsets are set to have a triple-camera array on the back, and two of these are the same in terms of raw specifications: a 48MP, f/2.2 ultrawide sensor and a 64MP, f/2.6 telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom.

The difference is in the main sensor, and even here it’s pretty close. While the OnePlus Open sports a 48MP, f/1.7 main lens, the OnePlus 12 ups it to a 50MP, f/1.6 sensor. The slightly wider aperture should allow for better photographs, but it’s a marginal difference and we’ll have to see how the two compare when we get our review unit in. 

 OnePlus 12 vs OnePlus Open: Outlook 

It’s a fairly simple choice, even if it’s an entirely subjective one. The OnePlus 12 will almost certainly be cheaper, and will be a touch more future proof on account of its newer and faster processor.

But what it won’t do is fold in half, giving you essentially a tablet and phone in one. If that’s important to you, the OnePlus Open is one of the best foldable phones you can buy, and well worth the high cost of entry.

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.