OnePlus 12 vs. Google Pixel 8 Pro: Which should you buy?

There are a lot of great smartphones to choose from nowadays, and, comparing the OnePlus 12 vs. Google Pixel 8 Pro shows how difficult a decision can be. While there are a few similarities between these two devices, both OnePlus and Google offer a bit of "flair" to help each phone stand out from the pack.

OnePlus 12 vs. Google Pixel 8 Pro: Design

OnePlus 12 next to OnePlus 9, OnePlus 10, and OnePlus 11

(Image credit: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)

Both of these devices stay true to their predecessors in terms of the overall design. They also offer unique and distinct camera layouts as Google has stuck with the "visor" with the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro. Meanwhile, the OnePlus 12 utilizes essentially the same rounded camera cutout as the OnePlus 11.

Where the Pixel 8 Pro might appeal more to some is in the display. Google is finally using a flat panel, as opposed to the curved screen from previous models. The display of the OnePlus 12 remains largely unchanged, as there are slight curves on either side. This makes it one of the few remaining flagships to feature a curved panel, as Google, Samsung, and others are moving back to flat screens.

OnePlus 12 vs. Google Pixel 8 Pro: Hardware and specs

OnePlus 12 about page

(Image credit: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)

LTPO OLED seems to be the display type that many companies are implementing, and that rings true for OnePlus and Google. With the OnePlus 12, you'll enjoy a 6.82-inch display, sporting a 3168 x 1440 resolution, and a 120Hz variable refresh rate. As for the Pixel 8 Pro, we have a 6.7-inch panel, with a 2992 x 1344 resolution, and the same 120Hz variable refresh rate.

However, where the OnePlus 12 pulls away is in the peak brightness of its display. Both of these devices provide 1,600 nits of brightness in normal conditions, but the OnePlus 12 can max out at 4,500 nits. This is a massive improvement over the 2,400 nits of peak brightness offered by the Pixel 8 Pro. What this boils down to is that you'll have a far easier time using your OnePlus 12 while out and about, compared to Google's offering.

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Header Cell - Column 0 OnePlus 12Google Pixel 8 Pro
OSAndroid 14 (OxygenOS 14)Android 14
ColorsSilky Black, Flowy EmeraldObsidian, Porcelain, Bay, Mint
Screen Size6.82-inches6.7-inches
Screen Resolution3,168 x 1,4402,992 x 1,344
Refresh Rate120Hz120Hz
ProcessorSnapdragon 8 Gen 3Google Tensor G3
RAM12GB / 16GB / 24GB12GB
Storage256GB, 512GB (not expandable)128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB (not expandable)
Cameras50MP wide, 48MP ultra-wide, 64MP telephoto, 32MP front50MP main, 48MP ultra-wide, 48MP telephoto, 10.5MP ultra-wide front
SpeakersStereo SpeakersStereo Speakers, Spatial Audio
Battery5,400 mAh5,050 mAh
Wireless ChargingYesYes
Water ResistanceIP65IP68
Size6.46 x 2.98 x 0.36 inches6.4 x 3.01 x 0.35 inches
Weight220 grams213 grams

When it comes to "horsepower" it won't take long to see that the OnePlus 12 arguably offers a more performant package. It's powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, the same chip found in many of the best Android phones released so far. This is paired with either 12GB or 16GB of LPDDR5X RAM, along with 256GB or 512GB of UFS 4.0 storage.

The Google Play Store on a Google Pixel 8 Pro in front of a Meta Quest 3

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

The Pixel 8 and 8 Pro are the latest devices to be powered by Google's in-house SoC. The Tensor G3 ends up being slightly more performant compared to the G2, but offers much-improved power efficiency. Like the OnePlus 12, the Pixel 8 Pro features 12GB of LPDDR5X RAM but comes with more storage configurations, ranging from 128GB all the way up to 1TB.

Comparing battery life introduces another interesting comparison. The OnePlus 12 has a larger 5,400mAh cell, while the Pixel 8 Pro's 5,050mAh battery gets the job done. However, OnePlus has implemented 100W SuperVOOC wired charging and 50W wireless charging into the OnePlus 12. It's not even a fair comparison, to be frank, as the Pixel 8 Pro maxes out at 30W or 23W, respectively.

OnePlus 12 vs. Google Pixel 8 Pro: Software and more

Google Pixel 8 Pro AI wallpaper generation

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

If there's such a thing as an "Achilles heel" with the OnePlus 12, it's the software. Long gone are the days when OxygenOS was exciting and tuned to the user, as the company has merged it with ColorOS. The current state of OxygenOS is much better than when this adventure originally began, but it still might not be everyone's cup of tea.

On the flip side, Google's "Pixel experience" remains largely the same compared to previous iterations. Material Design is still widely prevalent if you want it, and everything just kind of works without needing to fiddle too much. However, OxygenOS has a definite edge when it comes to various features such as the larger folder windows, and the ability to use icon packs without relying on a third-party launcher.

OnePlus 12 customization page

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

Outside of aesthetics, Google has an edge in terms of how long it claims to be supporting the Pixel 8 Pro. The company announced that both of its most recent devices will receive up to seven years of software updates. Meanwhile, OnePlus has been steadfast in sticking with four years of major OS upgrades, and five years of security patches.

We don't know what the state of the software will look like in seven years, so you'll have to take Google's announcement with a grain of salt. But, at least on paper, it's refreshing to see Google finally fall in line with Samsung when it comes to the longevity of software support.

Google Pixel 8 Pro call screening

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

None of that even mentions the various AI enhancements and features that were announced and are still coming to the Pixel 8 Pro. Since launch, the Pixel 8 Pro has received "Summarize in Recorder," Smart Reply in Gboard, Video Boost, and Magic Editor. Not to mention seeing improvements to staple features such as Google Lens, Live Translate, and Pixel Call Assist.

The OnePlus 12 fails to offer any similar features or functionality to compete on the AI landscape. However, that might change in the future, as a recent update to the Chinese variant brought "AI Summarizer," "AI GC Remover," and "Article summaries" to the OnePlus 12. Unfortunately, we aren't sure whether these features or any others, will make their way to the OnePlus 12 in other regions.

OnePlus 12 vs. Google Pixel 8 Pro: Cameras

The redesigned camera UI on the Google Pixel 8 Pro

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

If you're interested to see if OnePlus has finally managed to compete with the likes of the Pixel 8 Pro, then you're in luck. Both of these devices sport a triple camera array on the back, headlined by a 50MP wide-angle lens, paired with a 48MP ultrawide sensor. As for zoom capabilities, the OnePlus 12 utilizes a 64MP telephoto lens capable of offering 3x optical zoom. The Pixel 8 Pro, uses a lower 48MP telephoto sensor but features an optical zoom of 5x.

Even when you take into account the software processing, the photos you take will be pleasant, regardless of which device. It really comes down to whether you prefer Google's processing and the ability to zoom in a little bit closer.

OnePlus 12 camera island with light reflection

(Image credit: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)

In our review, Harish says that the OnePlus 12 is "on par with the likes of the Galaxy S24 and Pixel 8 Pro." It's not until you start getting into the digital zoom territory that the cracks of the OnePlus 12's camera system really start to show.

As for the Pixel 8 Pro, your pictures are still going to look fantastic, including photos shot in low light. But, Google finally listened to its users and implemented a Pro Mode, although it's currently only limited to the 8 Pro. Obviously, this is something that OnePlus, Samsung, and others have offered for years. But, it's nice to see that you can finally take control over the various settings when taking pictures without the use of third-party apps.

OnePlus 12 vs. Google Pixel 8 Pro: Which should you buy?

OnePlus 12 selfie camera location

(Image credit: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)

At this point, you wouldn't be "wrong" picking either the OnePlus 12 or Pixel 8 Pro. However, there's one more consideration to be made, and that's the price. The Pixel 8 Pro with 128GB of storage is priced at $999, moving up in increments depending on if you want more storage. The OnePlus 12 with its 256GB of storage comes in at just $799.

That's a $200 difference right off the bat and is actually $300 if you bump up the Pixel 8 Pro's storage to match the OnePlus 12. It's really tough to argue in Google's favor here, even if it offers more in the way of AI features compared to OnePlus.

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 is a better overall chip, OnePlus seems to finally have nailed the camera tuning, and the 12 charges much faster than the Pixel. However, at the same time, you can get the Pixel 8 Pro from your local carrier or big box store. If you want the OnePlus 12, you won't be able to enjoy any carrier deals and have to go through the likes of Best Buy, Amazon, or OnePlus directly.

If that's not something that concerns you, then I would suggest just going with the OnePlus 12. It's a much better value, while being more powerful, having a brighter display, and a larger battery. Plus, OxygenOS does continue to get better with time, even if it's still not quite on par with the Pixel in some areas.

However, those who can take advantage of various carrier and trade-in deals might just be better suited for the Pixel 8 Pro. We've seen plenty of deals that knock hundreds off the price, so there's a good chance you can trade in your current phone and get the 8 Pro for the same cost.

Andrew Myrick
Senior Editor - Chromebooks and tablets

Andrew Myrick is a Senior Editor at Android Central. He enjoys everything to do with technology, including tablets, smartphones, and everything in between. Perhaps his favorite past-time is collecting different headphones, even if they all end up in the same drawer.