The OnePlus 12 may finally get a better zoom camera

OnePlus 11 in green
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • OnePlus is reportedly testing a periscope zoom camera for its next flagship phone.
  • The company has stuck primarily to more conventional zoom sensors on its recent flagships
  • The company was apparently testing periscope cameras with the OnePlus 10 Pro. 

As the smartphone camera race heats up, many companies are looking for unique ways for their systems to stand out. OnePlus has the Hasselblad partnership to lean on, which helps improve the quality of its latest flagships, but the company has fallen behind the pack when it comes to zooming. However, it looks like OnePlus may finally catch up with its next flagship.

Leaker Digital Chat Station recently stated on Weibo that OnePlus and Realme are testing periscope cameras for use on the SM8650, which is expected to be the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3. There aren't many details around this, but that means the OnePlus 12 may be able to get much closer to the action with its new camera lens.

Rumor of a periscope lens on upcoming OnePlus, Realme phones

(Image credit: Digital Chat Station / Weibo)

This would be good news for OnePlus fans, as the company has lagged with its zooming capabilities, despite having otherwise great cameras. The OnePlus 11 offers a 2x optical zoom camera, which is surprisingly decent even when zooming in beyond that point. However, many of the best Android phones have telephoto cameras at 3x or higher, and even Sony offers a continuous optical zoom lens.

That said, it seems this isn't the first time OnePlus has toyed with the idea of throwing a periscope lens on their phones. According to Max Jambor, there were some models of the OnePlus 10 Pro with this type of zoom lens.

See more

That obviously didn't see the light of day, and OnePlus slapped on a 3.3x telephoto camera, although Android Central's Harish Jonnalagadda noted at the time that "the zoom lens struggles to retain detail beyond a 2x zoom factor."

With that in mind, it's still up in the air whether the OnePlus 12 will actually feature a periscope lens. The company has managed to keep its phones at relatively affordable prices compared to other flagships, and having such a lens will likely jack the price up.

Derrek Lee
News Editor

Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.