The showdown between the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra and the OnePlus 12 will be the first big smartphone battle of 2024. We get our first real look at the OnePlus 12 on December 5, when OnePlus launches its latest flagship in China. Global numbers will be released in early 2024 – perhaps around the same time Samsung launches its latest Galaxy S phones.
The OnePlus 12 will get a higher-performance chipset, upgraded cameras, and a brighter display to catch the eye. And while we don’t know the price yet, the OnePlus phone also appears to be significantly cheaper than the Galaxy S24 Ultra, giving smartphone buyers a less expensive flagship option among the best Android phones.
As for the S24 Ultra, it tops the lineup of new phones from Samsung that we will likely see on January 17. When it arrives, the Galaxy S24 Ultra is expected to bring camera improvements, as well as plenty of AI-powered features. Here’s how the battle between the Galaxy S24 Ultra and OnePlus 12 shapes up.
Galaxy S24 Ultra vs OnePlus 12: Rumored specifications
|Row 0 – Cell 0
|Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra (rumored)
|OnePlus 12 (rumored)
|144 Hz adaptive
|200MP main, 12MP ultra-wide, 50MP (5x), 10MP (3x) telephoto
|50MP main, 50MP ultra-wide, 64MP 3x telephoto
|32 MP selfie
|Snapdragon 8 3rd generation
|Snapdragon 8 3rd generation
|256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB
|45 watts wired, 15 watts wireless
|100 watts wired, 50 watts wireless
Galaxy S24 and OnePlus 12: Price
We don’t know how much either phone will cost at this point, but it’s pretty clear that the OnePlus 12 will be the less expensive of the two devices. You only have to look at the price gap between previous models to conclude that not much is likely to change this time around.
The OnePlus 11 starts at $699, making it $100 less than Samsung’s entry-level Galaxy S23. (You can get the Galaxy S23 FE for less, but that phone runs on an older chipset and makes other compromises for its discounted price.) Meanwhile, as Samsung’s premium phone, the Galaxy S23 Ultra starts at $1,199. In other words, we’re looking at a $500 difference between the two phones.
It’s hard to say if that gap will remain the same this year — the OnePlus 12 adds some premium features that could translate into a price hike, for example. But even if the new phone comes with a starting price, we imagine the OnePlus 12 will cost hundreds of dollars less than the Galaxy S24 Ultra.
Galaxy S24 Ultra and OnePlus 12: Design and display
If you’ve seen the current OnePlus 11 and Galaxy S23 Ultra models, you have a good idea of what the new versions of those phones will look like. OnePlus has already revealed the design of the OnePlus 12, and it is very similar to its predecessor except for the return of the Alert Slider which was missing from the last two models. Samsung’s design is still unofficial, but leaked images show essentially the same shape as last year with a less curved screen.
Whether a design is successful or not generally comes down to personal taste. Some people will prefer the prominent circular camera array on the back of the OnePlus 12, while others will gravitate towards the minimalist look of the Galaxy S24 Ultra, where the camera lenses are stacked vertically and integrated into the phone’s back panel.
We expect the Galaxy S24 Ultra to follow in the footsteps of its predecessor and offer IP68 water resistance, meaning the phone can survive underwater. We’re still waiting to see what kind of water resistance the OnePlus 12 offers. For the OnePlus 11, it was IP64 that protected the phone from splashes but little else.
As for the screen, it seems that the OnePlus 12 phone will receive a slight increase in size to 6.8 inches. This would make the panel the same size as the one on the Galaxy S24 Ultra. OnePlus also promises a very bright display – 4,500 nits. This would certainly outperform the Galaxy S24 Ultra, as rumors suggest it would reach a maximum of 2,500 nits.
Galaxy S24 Ultra and OnePlus 12: Cameras
Cameras are a big battleground for any OnePlus 12 vs. Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra, especially considering the Galaxy S23 Ultra is our current pick for best camera phone overall. Samsung will reportedly look to improve on this standard with upgrades to the main camera sensor as well as the telephoto lens.
Specifically, one rumor suggests that Samsung will use a 1-inch sensor for the S24 Ultra’s main camera, a move that would help capture more light for brighter photos overall. As for the telephoto lens, it appears as if one of the 10-megapixel telephoto lenses on the Galaxy S23 Ultra will be replaced by a 50-megapixel lens with 5x optical zoom. Although this doesn’t support the current phone’s 10x zoom, the higher resolution could result in sharper shots.
We already know the OnePlus 12 camera specifications, as they have been confirmed by OnePlus. The new phone will have a 50-megapixel main camera connected to a 50-megapixel ultra-wide camera and a 64-megapixel telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom. OnePlus’ partnership with lens specialist Hasselblad will continue with the OnePlus 12 so we can see further improvements to color calibration and image brightness.
Galaxy S24 Ultra and OnePlus 12: Performance
Don’t expect too many differences in terms of speed and processing power between the OnePlus 12 and the Samsung Galaxy S24. OnePlus has confirmed that its new flagship will feature the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 system on chip that Qualcomm introduced in October, and all signs point to the Galaxy S24 Ultra following suit. (Other Galaxy S24 models may feature an Exynos 2400 chipset instead depending on which part of the world they’re released in, but Samsung is expected to use a Qualcomm processor exclusively on the Ultra.)
The OnePlus 11 and Galaxy S23 Ultra feature the same Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset – though Samsung’s version has been optimized for better performance – and benchmark results were largely the same. This looks like it would give OnePlus an advantage if history repeats itself with the OnePlus 12. Not only will you get the same performance for less money, but you can also enjoy a phone with up to 24GB of RAM. (Meanwhile, rumors of a jump to 16GB of RAM for the Galaxy S24 Ultra were denied by a prominent leaker.)
Samsung could find other ways to highlight its performance. The company has already announced plans to make AI a focal point in its phones, and the numbers for the S24 lineup indicate that it is the first to benefit from that move. Some of the potential features Samsung has teased for its Galaxy AI initiative include on-device translations, generative text assistance that can help you write emails, summarize web pages, and image creation tools.
The OnePlus 12 rumors didn’t have much to say about this phone’s AI-powered features. So Samsung could find itself on the right side of a huge feature gap between the Galaxy s24 Ultra and the OnePlus 12.
Galaxy S24 Ultra and OnePlus 12: Battery life and charging
The OnePlus 11 and Galaxy S23 Ultra are standouts in terms of battery life, with both phones landing on our best phone battery life list. It should last 12 hours or more on our battery test to do that, a remarkable feat that the OnePlus 11 (13 hours, 10 minutes) and Galaxy S23 Ultra (12 hours, 22 minutes) can easily handle.
We expect similar results from the OnePlus 12 and Galaxy S24 Ultra based solely on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3’s improved power management. There’s also talk of battery improvements for both phones – a larger capacity battery in the case of the OnePlus 12 and a new stacked battery for the Galaxy S24 Ultra that’s denser to pack more Energy in the same amount of space.
The thing to keep an eye on is charging speeds. The OnePlus 11’s 80W wired charging doubles the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s 45W charging speed. (It’s faster outside the US where different voltage standards allow the OnePlus 11 to offer 100W charging.) Rumors suggest the OnePlus 12 will offer the same wired charging speeds, while a previous rumor suggested the S24 Ultra would get 65W charging speeds. . Close.
OnePlus has confirmed that the OnePlus 12 will also offer wireless charging, a feature missing from the OnePlus 11. Rumors suggest that OnePlus will also offer fast wireless charging speeds. For context, the Galaxy S23 Ultra can charge wirelessly at 15W.
Galaxy S24 Ultra and OnePlus 12: Predictions
Even with everything we know about the OnePlus 12 and the detailed rumors about the Galaxy S24 Ultra, it’s too early to say which phone will come out on top in a direct comparison. The final verdict between the OnePlus 12 and the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra can only come after both phones are launched, tested and reviewed, which should be in early 2024.
However, some patterns have emerged based on what we know so far. The OnePlus 12 seems to be trying to offer some premium features in a low-cost device, while Samsung will once again push the boundaries with its cameras and AI features. Whether shoppers prefer the less expensive OnePlus device or opt for the more feature-rich S24 Ultra will depend on how each phone maker delivers on what it promises.
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