OnePlus 12 vs Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: Which flagship wins?

Anurag Singh
OnePlus 12 and Galaxy S23 UltraOnePlus/Samsung

Choosing between the OnePlus 12 vs Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra? Here’s everything you should know before making a decision.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra might not be the latest flagship from Samsung (that title goes to Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra) but it’s still one of the best best Android phones you can buy. It continues to impress with its incredible cameras and powerful chipset. Galaxy S23 Ultra also now costs a lot less than it used to.

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However, the latest OnePlus 12 might make things difficult for the Samsung flagship. Launched globally on January 23, the OnePlus phone packs features that you won’t find even on the more expensive iPhone 15 Pro Max.

The OnePlus 12 comes with an impressive number of upgrades and costs less than the S23 Ultra. It is powered by the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor and boasts a bright display, a new camera system, and an extra-large battery.

Here’s a closer look at how the OnePlus 12 and Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra stack up against each other.

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Price

OnePlus 12 brings notable upgrades but it also costs $100 more than its predecessor. The smartphone is priced at $799 for the base 12GB RAM + 256GB storage variant. In contrast, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra starts at a whopping $1,199, unless you snag it during a sale.

Design and Display

OnePlus 12 in Emerald green colorOnePlus

OnePlus 12 and Galaxy S23 Ultra look entirely different from each other. Both phones, however, are designed similarly to their older siblings. The OnePlus 12 continues to retain the circular camera module on the rear and a curved display on the front, while the S23 Ultra has a similar boxy design to the S22 Ultra.

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The two phones also differ a lot in the display department. OnePlus debuts with a 6.82-inch OLED display, which is slightly taller than S23 Ultra’s 6.8-inch panel. Both phones offer a 120Hz refresh rate but the OnePlus phone can go from 1Hz to 120Hz. The Galaxy S23 Ultra adapts from 48Hz to 120Hz.

OnePlus 12 also has better brightness, maxing at 4500 nits in the auto mode. This is more than double of 1750 nits Galaxy S23 Ultra. Both phones get Gorilla Glass Victus 2 protection and support Dolby Vision and HDR10+.

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Further, both phones have some additional features that are exclusive to them. For example, the Galaxy S23 Ultra comes with a stylus that makes scribbling and taking notes easy. It is the only mainstream flagship with a stylus support.

OnePlus 12, on the other hand, brings a unique rain touch feature, which, as the name suggests, makes the phone display usable even while it’s raining.

Camera

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra in all colorsSamsung

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is in a league of its own when it comes to photography. The smartphone packs Samsung’s best camera system to date, headlined by a 200MP main sensor with OIS.

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It boasts 200x digital zoom and 10x optical zoom thanks to a 10MP periscope telephoto shooter. S23 Ultra also gets a 10MP telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom and a 12MP ultrawide camera.

Thanks to this incredible camera system, the Samsung flagship can record 8K videos at 30fps and 4K videos at 60fps.

OnePlus 12, on the other hand, relies on a triple camera setup. There’s a 50MP Sony dual-layer stacked Lytia 808 sensor with 1.12µm pixels and a 24mm equivalent f/1.7 lens with OIS.

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The rest two cameras include an improved 64MP telephoto unit with 3x optical zoom and a 48MP ultrawide sensor. The phone can record 8K videos as well but at 24fps.

Specifications

OnePlus 12Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
Price$699 (Expected)$1,199
Display6.8-inch OLED,6.8-inch OLED
CPUQualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
Storage256GB, 512GB, 1TB256GB, 512GB, 1TB
Rear cameras50MP main/64MP telephoto with 3x zoom/48MP ultrawide200MP main/10MP periscope telephoto with 10x zoom/10MP telephoto/ 12MP Ultrawide
Front camera32MP12MP
Battery5,400 mAh5,000 mAh
Charging Speed100W wired, 50W wireless45W wired, 15W wireless
Weight7.76 ounces8.25 ounces
ColorsBlack, GreenBlack, Green, Cream, Lavender, Graphite, Sky Blue

While the OnePlus 12’s camera game might not be as good as Samsung’s, it sure has an advantage in the performance department. The latest phone packs the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip inside, which is much faster than S23 Ultra’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2.

Qualcomm’s newest chip comes with a super-fast CPU, GPU, and AI engine. The CPU is 30% faster, the GPU is 20% faster, and the AI engine is a whopping 98% faster than before. In tests, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 scored 5,693 points on Geekbench 6, while the 8 Gen 3 blew it out of the water with a score of 7,501 points.

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OnePlus throws a massive 16GB of RAM into its latest phone, while the Galaxy S23 Ultra tops out at 12GB. Galaxy S23 Ultra comes with up to 1TB storage while OnePlus 12 maxes out at 512GB.

Battery life is another key difference. The OnePlus 12 boasts a 5,400mAh battery, one of the biggest you’ll find in a flagship phone. The Galaxy S23 Ultra packs a decent 5,000mAh battery.

As for the charging speed, the OnePlus 12 supports 100W charging over the wire and 50W when you go wireless. Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, by comparison, supports 45W wired and 15W wireless charging.

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Which phone is better?

There’s no clear winner here. The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is a top-shelf camera phone with a fancy display and a big battery. The OnePlus 12 is a solid phone in its own right, especially considering its much lower price tag.

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About The Author

Anurag is a Tech writer at Dexerto. He is an expert in laptops, smartphones, and wearables. Anurag has previously covered major brands like Apple, Samsung, and Microsoft. He's previously written for publications like Android Police, Neowin, MakeTechEasier, Gizmochina, and more. Get in touch at Anurag.singh@dexerto.com.