OnePlus 12R: Specs, price and release date

Oneplus 12r hands-on
(Image credit: Future)

OnePlus made its name offering flagship Android performance at slightly lower prices, and while the phones have ballooned in price over the last decade, they still do a good enough job of undercutting the big players on value-for-money grounds.

OnePlus is about to deliver another curve ball to the smartphone market in the form of the OnePlus 12R, a variation on the OnePlus 12 flagship that strips back some features for a lower price. Previously, R series phones have only been available in China and India, but OnePlus is going global with the OnePlus 12R as it looks to fill a middle ground between its flagship phones and its low-cost Nord devices.

Here’s what we know about the OnePlus 12R now that the phone has debuted alongside the OnePlus 12 at a global launch event. Be sure to read our OnePlus 12R hands-on for some initial impressions about the device.

OnePlus 12R: Latest news (Updated January 23)

OnePlus 12R: Price and release date

The OnePlus 12R certainly lived up to its reputation as a low-cost alternative to flagship phones, especially if you live in the U.S. That country will get the option of a $499 phone that comes with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The $499 price matches what Google charges for the Pixel 7a, currently among our top picks for the best cheap phone under $500.

Unfortunately, that version of the OnePlus 12R won't be available in Europe. Instead, OnePlus is offering a version of the 12R with 256GB of storage and 16GB of RAM for $599/£649. To put that price in context, the OnePlus 12 starts at $799/£849. 

The OnePlus 12R goes on sale February 13, a week after the OnePlus 12's release.

OnePlus 12R: Design and core specs

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Prices$499; $599/£649
Screen size6.78 inches
Refresh rate120Hz
CPUSnapdragon 8 Gen 2
Rear cameras50MP main, 8MP ultrawide, 2MP macro
Front camera16MP
Battery size5,500 mAh
Size6.4 x 3 x 0.35 inches (163.3 x 75.3 x 8.8 mm)
Weight7.3 ounces (207 grams)
ColorsGray, blue

In late December, OnePlus shared pictures of the phone's look which resembles recent OnePlus flagships. In fact, the 12R is pretty much a dead ringer for the OnePlus 12, right down to the circular camera array on the back of the phone.

You'll get a 6.78-inch display that's a tad smaller than the OnePlus 12's 6.82-inch panel. However, the OnePlus 12R uses an LTPO panel, which allows for a refresh rate that can ramp up to 120Hz.

The biggest OnePlus 12R differences from the OnePlus 12 concerns the chipset running the show on both devices. The OnePlus 12 features the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor, while the 12R is using last year’s model — the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. That’s still a powerful chipset, but it won’t benefit from the AI smarts Qualcomm is promising from the latest silicon.

Oneplus 12r hands-on

(Image credit: Future)

Elsewhere, the specs look solid, particularly that 256GB of capacity at a time when many flagships only start with 128GB. You also get a 5,500 mAh battery in the OnePlus 12R, with support for fast wired charging speeds (80W in the U.S., 100W elsewhere). Wireless charging isn't available — another trade-off from the OnePlus 12. Oddly enough, the phone features UFS 3.1 storage instead of the initial promise of UFS 4.0.

OnePlus 12R: Cameras

OnePlus 12R renders

(Image credit: MySmartPrice / OnLeaks)

Cameras are going to be the big story with the OnePlus 12R, as even low-cost phones like the Pixel 7a can deliver stellar images. We're interested to see if the 12R can follow suit, considering it will lack the Hasselblad partnership that's helped OnePlus flagships improve their camera output in recent years.

The camera specs for the OnePlus 12R are certainly promising. The phone features a 50MP main camera, supported by an 8MP ultrawide lens. Forget about a telephoto lens on this phone, as that's something reserved for the more fully-featured OnePlus 12. Instead, the 12R includes a macro lens for close-up photography.

OnePlus 12R: Outlook

Oneplus 12r hands-on

(Image credit: Future)

While not as powerful as than the main OnePlus 12, the OnePlus 12R looks like a reasonable compromise for buyers aiming to save a few bucks. The specs seem solid, and the cutbacks appear to have been made in sensible areas.

A lot will come down to camera performance and whether the phone delivers good value for its low price tag. If it can nail those two points, the OnePlus 12R might be a contender for one of the best Android phones of 2024.

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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.

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