iPhone 12 vs OnePlus 8: Which should you buy?

The Look
The Look (Image credit: iMore)

The iPhone 12 beats the OnePlus 8T when it comes to creating video and photos, but it doesn't offer the same graphic performance. Both smartphones deliver amazingly fast processors and performance, so it really comes down to your own priorities and how you plan to use your phone. Photographers will likely prefer the iPhone 12 and gamers will definitely enjoy the OnePlus 8T; everyone else will want to look at factors like convenience, durability, and design.

iPhone 12 vs OnePlus 8: Key Differences

While the iPhone 12 and the OnePlus 8T offer similar experiences when it comes to overall performance, speed, and durability, there are definitely some key differences here to take note of.

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SpecsiPhone 12OnePlus 8T
DesignCeramic Shield front + Glass back and aluminum designGlass front (Gorilla Glass 5), glass back (Gorilla Glass 5), aluminum frame
ColorsBlack, White, (PRODUCT)RED, Green, BlueAquamarine Green, Lunar Silver
Display6.1‑inch OLED display, 60Hz refresh rate6.55-inch AMOLED, 120Hz refresh rate
CameraDual lens 12-megapixel wide and 12MP ultra-wide rear, 12MP TrueDepth frontQuad lens 48MP wide, 16MP ultra-wide, 5MP macro, and 2MP monochrome rear, 16MP front
Storage64GB, 128GB, 256GB + 4GB RAM128GB + 8GB RAM
Battery2,815mAh, Fast charging (20W charger sold separately), Qi wireless charging4,500mAh, 65W fast charging
IP ratingIP68No rating
Headphone jackNoneNone
Size and weight5.78 x 2.81 x 0.29 inches, 164g6.33 x 2.92 x 0.33 inches, 188g
SoftwareiOS 14Android 11, Oxygen 11

Some of these differences may matter to you while others may not. Let's delve deeper into how these differences manifest themselves in the everyday usage of a smartphone.

iPhone 12 vs OnePlus 8: The Design

The iPhone 12 and the OnePlus 8T definitely have a different look and feel. The iPhone 12's shape harkens back to the days of the now-retro iPhone 4 with its squarish shape and size. It definitely looks advanced, however, when you notice the edge-to-edge display and dual 12-megapixel lenses. It is available in four colors, including a surprisingly attractive light green shade.

The OnePlus 8T, on the other hand, feels more sleek and futuristic with an elongated, slim frame and rounded edges. The truly full-screen display and quad-lens camera are also impressive to behold. It is only available in two colors, Aquamarine Green and Lunar Silver, both of which demonstrate a pleasing luminescent quality.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, of course, and everyone will have their own preference as to which smartphone looks better. For me, the OnePlus 8T will be more attractive if you prefer a sleek, high-tech look, but I always loved the design of the older iPhones, so I'm a sucker for the iPhone 12 when it comes to looks.

As for other basic design features, the iPhone 12 offers IP68 water resistance, which is pretty important. The OnePlus 8T does not offer any water resistance rating, but it is totally encased in Gorilla Glass so it is a bit more durable along the edges and back panel. The iPhone 12 has ceramic-shield coated glass on the screen, making the screen more durable than the OnePlus, but not the back panel.

iPhone 12 vs OnePlus 8: Functionality


Functionality (Image credit: iMore)

First of all, both of these smartphones support the 5G network, so there's no difference between the two in this category. When it comes to overall performance, however, the OnePlus 8T may have a slight edge on the iPhone 12 due to its blazing fast refresh rate and larger battery life. The 120Hz refresh rate will make video playback and gameplay a true delight, and the AMOLED display means you have better color reproduction. The big 4,500mAh battery can deliver a whopping 23 hours of video playback as opposed to 17 hours for the iPhone 12. On the same note, the 65W charger can fast-charge the OnePlus 8T to 60% in a mere 15 minutes, while the iPhone 12 takes almost a half hour to do the same.

With a 60Hz refresh rate, the iPhone 12 won't quite compete with the OnePlus 8T for graphic performance, but it does beat the OnePlus when it comes to screen resolution and ppi.

Speaking of charging, the OnePlus does not support Qi wireless charging, and it also does not have a MagSafe magnet built into it, which is a big plus for the iPhone 12. With a 60Hz refresh rate, the iPhone 12 won't quite compete with the OnePlus 8T for graphic performance, but it does beat the OnePlus when it comes to screen resolution and ppi. The iPhone 12 features a good battery life - not quite as good as the OnePlus 8T - but it does support MagSafe wireless charging for a fast, precise wireless charge, every time.

The iPhone 12 offers several different storage capacities to choose from, while the OnePlus 8T only offers the 128GB capacity; and while the iPhone 12 has a faster processor, the OnePlus 8T has more RAM, so they are pretty equivalent when it comes to sheer processing speed. Apple does tend to support their iPhones with more regular, responsive software updates than Android does, so that may be something to consider as well.

iPhone 12 vs OnePlus 8: Camera


Camera (Image credit: iMore)

From an extra-wide lens capacity to Night Mode and Portrait Mode, the capabilities for photography are much more robust and reliable with iPhone 12. It also has 2X optical zoom and 5X digital zoom with high-quality results. While the OnePlus 8T does boast a 48MP camera, that detail only comes through in basic still mode; you won't see it reflected in Night Mode, ultra-wide, or macro photos. This smartphone also lacks any optical zoom options, although it does provide 10X digital zoom on the back camera. While the OnePlus 8T does deliver excellent color reproduction and detail in basic still photos, the macro and zoom settings do not quite deliver as well as one might hope.

Now let's talk video. This is where the iPhone 12 really shines. It's the only smartphone that offers Dolby Vision HDR video recording with the added ability to edit those videos directly within the Photos app. It can also produce good videos in low-light situations, which is both unusual and awesome. The OnePlus 8T does support 4K video at 60fps and 30fps, which is also quite good, but it just can't compete with the recent video advancements on the iPhone 12.

iPhone 12 vs OnePlus 8: Price Lineup

There' not a huge difference in price when you look at the iPhone 12's most basic model next to the standard OnePlus 8T. However, if you want to upgrade the storage capacity of the iPhone 12 to 256GB, it gets awful close to the four-digit range. In its standard 128GB model, the OnePlus 8T is slightly less expensive than the iPhone 12. This one is only available with the T-Mobile carrier, however, while Apple also supports AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint carriers.

iPhone 12 vs OnePlus 8T Which one should you get?

Both the iPhone 12 and the OnePlus 8T have their advantages. Deciding which to use will depend on your priorities and primary uses for a smartphone. If you intend to use your phone to take and edit high-quality photos and videos, then the iPhone 12 is the clear winner. With extra-wide, Night Mode, Portrait Mode, and Dolby Vision videos, you can create professional-level content all day long. The OnePlus 8T has a perfectly good camera, but it just can't compete with the iPhone 12 in this arena. This choice also offers IP68 waterproof rating, Qi Wireless charging, and a wide range of MagSafe accessories.

That being said, photography and video may not be your first priority. If you expect your smartphone to deliver state-of-the-art graphics, perfect color reproduction, and super smooth gaming experiences, the OnePlus 8T is the way to go. With a larger screen, gorgeous colors, and a super-fast 120Hz refresh rate, your videos and games will play flawlessly and beautifully. The OnePlus 8T also has a tough Gorilla Glass coating, a bigger battery, and faster-charging capabilities. You'll want to take a good look at how you use your phone to make this tough choice.

Jaclyn Kilani

Jaclyn Kilani is a content writer at iMore. She's a longtime Apple addict with a flair for creating (written works, design, photos; you name it!) on her devices. Jaclyn has also worked in the marketing sector for over 16 years, dabbling in a bit of everything from writing to graphic design and digital marketing. In her heart of hearts, however, she is a born writer and an avid reader who adores everything about the written word. Someday she may even churn out a book or two. Throughout her career, Jaclyn has also developed something of an addiction to all things Apple. Her professional and personal life is enhanced by an ever-growing collection of iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, Apple Watches, and even AirTags. Luckily, this expensive habit is of great use to her work at iMore, where she writes with authority on Apple products and the accessories that go with them.