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Forget Galaxy S24 Ultra — OnePlus 12 beats Samsung’s flagship in one big way

 OnePlus 12 held in the hand.
OnePlus 12 held in the hand.

Before its U.S. debut, I explained in great detail about the OnePus stigma. You know, the one about how the series continually hypes the cameras in each of its new releases — yet somehow tends to underperform against key rivals. While that may still be the case for the OnePlus 12, the newest flagship can at least claim one victory in a critical area.

I’m referring to its battery, both its endurance and how fast it can charge. The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra set the benchmark after it was put through Tom’s Guide’s battery benchmark test not long ago. Now that the OnePlus 12 has gone through the same testing, it reaffirms that the flagship series’ speciality centers around the battery.

I was already impressed by the all-day battery life I was getting in my OnePlus 12 review. However, the benchmark battery test numbers reveal how it beats the Galaxy S24 Ultra and iPhone 15 Pro Max. In fact, it’s by a wide margin.

OnePlus 12 battery test results

OnePlus 12 held in the hand.
OnePlus 12 held in the hand.

Before I dial into the numbers, I think it’s worth mentioning the chip that’s powering the OnePlus 12 — the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3. I already know it’s a beast based on its benchmark performance scores, but Qualcomm deserves a lot of recognition because of the improved power efficiency of the chipset.

What’s fascinating is that the OnePlus 12 boasts a larger 5,400 mAh battery. That’s an increase of 4,000 mAh over the OnePlus 11’s 5,000 mAh battery cell. However, the difference in battery life times between the two is 4 hours and 31 minutes. The OnePlus 12 pulls in an unbelievable time of 17 hours and 41 minutes, while the OnePlus 11 clocks in at 13 hours and 10 minutes.

I saw the same battery endurance improvement with the Galaxy S24 Ultra’s 5,000 mAh battery, which reaches 16 hours and 45 minutes in Tom’s Guide’s battery test. Compared to the iPhone 15 Pro Max? Well, its time of 14 hours and 2 minutes was undoubtedly remarkable a few months back — so much so that it held its ground in our year end 2023 battery life report. However, it pales in comparison to the OnePlus 12.

This is a huge win for OnePlus because its flagship phone sets the benchmark high for what’s expected with battery life, trailing only the Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro and Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate in our best phone battery life list. But those phones don’t necessarily have the same flagship status as the OnePlus 12.

OnePlus 12 recharging test results

OnePlus 12 IR blaster.
OnePlus 12 IR blaster.

Besides the fact that the company brought back wireless charging into the fold with the OnePlus 12, it’s also one of the fastest charging phones we’ve tested. The U.S. version I tested, which features an 80W wired charging speed, gets to 60% in 15 minutes of charging with the included power adapter. It’s surprisingly faster than the OnePlus 11’s charge level to 57% in the same amount of time.

If that’s not enough to convince you about its lightning fast speed, then just know that it can get to 100% in 30 minutes. By comparison, the iPhone 15 Pro Max gets to 41%, while the Galaxy S24 Ultra gets to 71%. When you’re in a pinch and need to top off, I can’t stress enough the importance of fast charging speeds, which is why I have to give kudos to OnePlus for continuing to make it part of its identity.

And as I already mentioned, wireless charging makes its long-awaited return on the OnePlus 12 with 45W wireless charging. That’s much faster than the 15W speeds I see with most flagships nowadays, but I think it’s worth pointing out that there are also very few wireless charging pads that can charge a single device wirelessly at 45W.

Nevertheless, the OnePlus 12 has the best phone battery life I’ve tested — but it’ll be interesting to see how long it can hold onto its crown. With flagship models like the iPhone 16 Pro Max and Pixel 9 Pro expected to release later in the year, the OnePlus 12 could occupy the flagship top spot for a good while.

Then again, there’s still the OnePlus 12R. Even though it’s being played up as a mid-range phone, this upcoming OnePlus phone is accompanied by premium features — for much less than what the OnePlus 12 costs. Aside from the savings, the OnePlus 12R is tipped to have the best ever battery in a OnePlus, so only time will tell if it can outlast its flagship sibling.

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