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Google Pixel 8 Pro vs. OnePlus 12 : Brilliant flagships face off

Google Pixel 8 Pro in Bay

  • Google Pixel 8 Pro

    Full of useful tricks

    $799 $999 Save $200

    The Pixel 8 Pro’s Tensor G3 chipset powers many of its impressive AI features which are the cherry on top of a phone that offers fantastic cameras, impressive battery life, and an eye-catching design. It’s a versatile and powerful device that has so many tricks in its sleeve you’ll struggle to find them all.


    • Superb camera
    • Seven years of software and security updates
    • Comfortable and stylish design

    • AI features sometimes feel like an unecessary gimmick
    • Less powerful

  • OnePlus 12 Flowy Emerald

    OnePlus 12

    The complete flagship package

    $800 $900 Save $100

    The OnePlus 12 is the very definition of a flagship phone; it offers the best the manufacturer has to offer without compromises. With a brilliant screen that reaches 4500nits of brightness, a 5,400mAh battery, fantastic cameras, and top-notch performance thanks to its Snapdragon Gen 3 chipset,this phone is everything you would expect from its price and more.


    • Great value for money
    • Performance is hard to beat
    • Great battery life

    • Not available through carriers
    • Notable software omissions

Google’s marketing emphasizes the Pixel 8 Pro’s AI capabilities so much that it’s easy to forget that it’s Google’s best phone yet under the jargon. With unmatched cameras, a comfortable yet stylish design, and feature-packed software, it’s one of the best Android phones around.

By contrast, the OnePlus 12 forgoes headline-grabbing software tricks in favor of a design that brings an impressive and powerful Android experience to the table for less money than Google’s flagship. So are Google’s unique software tricks and unbeatable cameras worth the extra $100, or has OnePlus created a phone that wins out through top-of-the-line hardware alone?

Price, availability, and specs

With the exception of the Pixel Fold, the Pixel 8 Pro is Google’s first phone to breach the $1,000 price point. This nets you 128GB storage, but this increases up to 1TB for $1,399. Unfortunately, only the Obsidian color is available in all storage sizes, with the new Mint color even limited to 128GB of storage. The Pixel 8 Pro is available through the Google Store, hardware retailers like Amazon and Best Buy, and carrier stores.

The OnePlus 12 is available for $800 with 12GB RAM and 256GB storage. Alternatively, an extra $100 upgrades the phone with 16GB RAM and 512GB storage. Unfortunately, the OnePlus 12 is unavailable through carriers; you must buy it through the OnePlus store or retailers like Amazon or Best Buy.

  • Google Pixel 8 ProOnePlus 12
    SoCGoogle Tensor G3Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 with CPU-Vitalization
    RAM12GB12GB or 16GB LPDDR5X
    Storage128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB256GB or 512GB
    Operating SystemAndroid 14Android 14 with OxygenOS 14
    Front camera10.5MP sel fie camera32MP, f/2.4
    Rear camera50MP main; 48MP ultrawide; 48MP telephoto50MP, f/1.6, OIS main; 48MP, f/2.2 ultrawide; 64MP, f/2.6, OIS, 3x telephoto
    ConnectivityUWB, NFCIR blaster, NFC
    Dimensions162.6 × 76.5 × 8.8mm164.3 x 75.8 x 9.2mm
    ColorsObsidian, Porcelain, BayFlowy Emerald, Silky Black
    Display typeLTPO OLED, 1-120HzLTPO AMOLED, 120Hz
    Charge speed30W wired, 18W wireless80W wired (100W international), 50W wireless
    IP RatingIP68IP65
    Display dimensions6.7″6.82″, 19.8:9
    Display resolution1344 × 29923168 x 1440
    SIM supportDual SIM (Nano SIM and eSIM)Dual nano-SIM slot
    Cellular connectivity5G (Sub-6 & mmWave), LTESub-6 5G, LTE
    Wi-Fi connectivityWi-Fi 7 (Except certain markets), Wi-Fi DirectWi-Fi 7
    BluetoothBluetooth 5.3Bluetooth 5.4


Distinctive and comfortable styles

At first glance, neither the OnePlus 12 nor the Pixel 8 Pro looks much different from their predecessors. Both manufacturers have settled on distinctive, eye-catching designs that are better than logos for identifying the phones. However, each has small but noticeable improvements to make them more than copies.

An extreme close-up of the Pixel 8 Pro's camera visor

The Pixel 8 Pro has a matte glass back, which neatly hides fingerprints, together with a flat screen and rounded corners. The result is a phone that’s more comfortable to look at and hold despite its large size. While a phone this size will always feel slightly uncomfortable in the hand, the Pixel 8 Pro’s design tweaks make the experience less awkward.

The OnePlus 12 retains the circular puck camera housing of the OnePlus 11 but matches its texture and color with the back glass. It doesn’t change how you hold or use the phone, but it looks better overall. The volume rocker and power button are now on the same side as the phone, bringing the OnePlus 12 in line with the layout of most other Android phones.

While neither phone’s design is groundbreaking, the Pixel 8 Pro makes much better use of its size than the OnePlus 12. Neither phone differs much in size or weight, so the small changes on the Pixel 8 Pro go a long way to make it a more comfortable choice. However, OnePlus has refined its distinctive camera puck into a stylish design that isn’t jarring to look at against the rest of the phone anymore.

OnePlus 12 showing the back in a hand with light panels behind it


Big, bold, beautiful screens

The screens of flagship Android phones often struggle to differentiate from each other. Still, OnePlus has pulled out all the stops to make the Pixel 8 Pro’s Super Actua display seem dim by comparison.

A Google Pixel 8 Pro smartphone sitting on a canvas cloth next to a green pumpkin.

The OnePlus 12 offers a 6.8-inch AMOLED HDR screen with a variable refresh rate from 1-120Hz and an incredible peak brightness rating of 4,500 nits, making it the brightest screen on the Android market today. There’s also a nifty feature called Aqua Touch, which makes the screen easier to use when wet.

The Google Pixel 8 Pro has a 6.7-inch OLED, HDR screen also with a variable refresh rate from 1-120Hz. Its peak brightness rating of 2,400 nits with HDR is impressive compared to its predecessor but well below the One Plus 12’s brightness.

The OnePlus 12’s impressive brightness rating beats the Pixel 8 Pro hands-down, but this likely won’t make much difference in everyday use — and only really applies to HDR content anyway. You won’t be disappointed with the Pixel 8 Pro’s refresh rate, and the rounded corners are certainly inviting, but on paper, the OnePlus 12’s screen wins out.

OnePlus 12 showing the homescreen on a table with marbles and light panels behind it


OxygenOS vs the Pixel experience

The biggest differences between the Pixel 8 Pro and OnePlus 12 are found in the software. Google has stepped up its already impressive suite of software features with the Pixel 8 Pro, and thanks to Pixel Feature Drops and seven years of software support, it will stay at the forefront of Android for years. This puts the One Plus 12’s OxygenOS to shame, which is nevertheless a reliable and customizable Android OS.

The Google Pixel 8 Pro's lock screen

It’s hard to condense all the Pixel 8 Pro’s unique software features into a single paragraph. Thanks to years of regular software updates and the AI capabilities of the Tensor G3 chip, you’ll struggle to use every feature of the Pixel 8 Pro in everyday use. And with seven years of software support — compared to five years from the OnePlus, including just four OS version updates — you’ll be playing with new features for years. It’s more than you need, but it’s all great.

By contrast, OxygenOS is closer to the stock Android experience. This isn’t to say you don’t get unique features; tools like File Dock for dragging and dropping files and Smart Cutout for cropping out backgrounds are helpful, but the company doesn’t offer the same frequency of updates as Google. There are also strange quirks, like the lack of snooze notifications and missing shortcuts to an app’s permissions screen. However, it’s a customizable and smooth Android experience overall.

The elephant in the room is AI. The Pixel 8 phones started the trend, but Samsung has jumped on the AI bandwagon with the Galaxy S24 phones. While some of the Pixel 8 Pro’s AI tricks feel like gimmicks designed for marketing, they nevertheless put the OnePlus 12’s limited selection into perspective. OnePlus has added a few AI features, with plans to add more, but it’ll take a while before it can be considered a match for the Pixel experience.

If the Pixel 8 Pro’s software experience has one flaw, it’s overly bloated; you’ll struggle to use every feature. However, the sheer range of valuable tools, from Call Screening to Magic Editor mean it has the most impressive Android software experience to date. However, OxygenOS on the OnePlus 12 packs enough tools to make it a unique Android experience that’s easy and enjoyable to customize and use.


An easy OnePlus win

The Pixel 8 Pro’s Tensor G3 chip is powerful, but topping benchmarks isn’t its goal. Instead, it’s designed to power the phone’s AI and machine-learning capabilities. While we consider this a reasonable compromise, it means that the OnePlus 12’s Snapdragon Gen 3 chipset blows it out of the water regarding raw performance.

OnePlus 12 alert slider on a fuzzy blanket with colored marbles around it

In everyday use, both chipsets easily handle fluid multitasking, fast responses, and are great at keeping the temperature of their devices low. But push the devices to their limits with some demanding Android games, and the Snapdragon Gen 3 shines through.

It’s ironic that the Pixel 8 Pro offers longer software support than the OnePlus 12, as the Snapdragon Gen 3 would be a better pick for a phone designed to last seven years. While the Tensor G3 chip won’t disappoint with day-to-day use, the OnePlus 12 beats it hands-down when the pressure is on.

Battery life

Similar battery life, different charging speeds

The Pixel 8 Pro’s 5,050mAh battery might be slightly smaller than the 5,400mAh found on the OnePlus 12, but this doesn’t translate to much difference in reality. In our reviews, both phones could get through a whole day without issue, even when running demanding apps.

However, the OnePlus 12 is the clear winner when it comes to charging speeds. The 30W rate found on the Google Pixel 8 Pro is impressive compared to the speeds found on previous Pixel phones, but it’s nothing compared to the 80W wired charging and 50W wireless charging on the OnePlus 12.


Impressive camera suites

The cameras on Pixel phones have long been lauded for their ease of use. Thanks to Google’s software tricks, it’s easy for anyone to produce stunning results. However, the OnePlus 12 is no slouch, offering a range of shooting options that produce reliable photos in most situations.

The Pixel 8 Pro offers a 50MP primary sensor, a 48MP 5x telephoto, and a 48MP ultrawide on the back, with a 10.5MP sensor on the front. This is backed by powerful tools like Zoom Enhance and Video Boost, which let you zoom up to 30x after a shot and record HDR videos, respectively.

OnePlus 12 on a fuzzy blanket with colored marbles around it

The OnePlus 12 doesn’t have the same suite of fancy camera tricks, but its 50MP primary sensor, 64MP 3x telephoto, and 48MP ultrawide sensors are capable of producing similar results; you just might have to try a bit harder when framing your shot. However, the front 32MP camera is just as good if not better than the Pixel 8 Pro’s.

The Pixel 8 Pro has the better cameras (primarily thanks to Google’s post-processing), but this shouldn’t diminish the OnePlus 12’s capabilities. Both phones can take clear, vibrant photos, whether macro shots of bugs or long-distance zoom shots of buildings.

Which is right for you?

It’s a close call, but the Pixel 8 Pro’s fantastic software features, accompanying software and security support, excellent cameras, and comfortable design means it beats out the OnePlus 12’s brilliant but basic design. While still in their early stages, Google’s AI initiatives showcase what smartphones can be capable of, so it’ll be more relevant than the OnePlus 12through 2024 and onwards.

Google Pixel 8 Pro in Bay

Google Pixel 8 Pro

Editor’s choice

Full of useful tricks

$799 $999 Save $200

The Google Pixel 8 Pro showcases everything we love about Pixel phones. It’s Google’s best flagship yet, offering a staggering array of software features, an unbeatable camera system, and a comfortable design.

However, the OnePlus 12 is cheaper, and offers an experience that is enjoyable through and through. It offers a faster processor and a brighter screen, so those who use their phone for games and videos may find it a better fit.

OnePlus 12 Flowy Emerald

OnePlus 12

Powerful alternative

The complete flagship package

$800 $900 Save $100

The OnePlus 12 improves on its predecessor in every way. With a top-of-the-line chipset, fantastic charging speeds, and an incredibly bright screen, it’s a phone that won’t disappoint even if it doesn’t have the software tricks offered by similarly priced Android phones.

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