OnePlus' product strategy took a major shift from smartphones and its accessories into the world of smart TVs, waging a war against major brands like Samsung, Sony and LG. OnePlus TV Q1 series is a bold approach taken by the Chinese tech company, which is only five years old. The unveiling of the new TVs took place on Thursday alongside OnePlus 7T in India.
OnePlus TV comes in two variants, 55-inch Q1 and 55-inch Q1 Pro, both with 4K QLED display panels. The OnePlus TV 55 Q1 Pro was clearly the attention-grabber at the event and here's our review of the newest member to the OnePlus family after having spent some time with it.
Before we get to it, here's a look at the key specifications of OnePlus TV:
- 55-inch 4K QLED display
- NTSC 120% with MEMC and De-Contour
- Dolby Vision & Dolby Atmos
- Sliding Soundbar with TV Horizon Light
- 8-Speaker Stereo System
- 3-Way Digital Crossover
- 6-Channel Amplification
- Integrated 2.1 Audio
- Android TV with OxygenPlay
- Built-in Chromecast, Google Assistant, Play Store and more
- OnePlus Connect features
OnePlus TV 55 Q1 Pro is priced at Rs 99,900, while the non-Pro model is priced Rs 69,900. If the question is whether you should buy this TV or not, this quick hands-on review might help.
It's all in the details. OnePlus has always been particular about the details in its products, be it the Arc design in its phone or the bezel-less form factor in its new TV with a seamless back. OnePlus TV clearly falls in line with the better-looking TVs out there today. The bezels are extremely slim and the rear cover has a carbon fibre pattern, so if there's no need to keep it hidden.
The main highlight of the OnePlus TV is its sliding soundbar, which has a smooth mechanism. There's a horizon lighting displayed on the speaker as it slides out of its dock, concealed behind the panel. Whether you're mounting the OnePlus TV on the wall or keeping it on a table, nothing bothers the sliding speaker. The mesh fabric chosen for the TV is carefully selected to ensure no hindrance to the audio output.
No matter how great the design is, if the display is not up to the mark, there's nothing of value in a TV. But OnePlus has taken care of it by offering a QLED panel with 4K resolution, which has a high colour gamut of NTSC 120 percent, and Dolby Vision. To put the technicalities aside, viewing content on the display brings characters to life. Although it is nothing ground-breaking, OnePlus TV's display is at par with the best TV panels out there, if not better.
It's safe to say OnePlus TV delivers excellent picture quality, equivalent to the premium 4K models from Sony and LG. The colours are punchy and vibrant, with balanced contrast. The blacks are dark on the panel, but when compared to an OLED display that's turned off, you can tell the difference.
When I first saw the sliding soundbar in action, I wasn't quite sure if the audio performance would justify its grand entrance. As it turns out, the sliding mechanism is not a distraction OnePlus chose to settle for regular audio performance.
OnePlus TV comes with four full-range speakers, two woofers and two tweeters, which collectively produce 50-watt output for a powerful audio performance. There's Dolby Atmos to boost the audio performance, which works its magic in a 20x30sq.ft. living room quite well. OnePlus TV fills the living room with surround sound effect, great vocals while watching movies and strong bass during music playback. The difference was quite evident from the previous TV - marking a significant audio upgrade.
Interacting with a smart TV is one of the biggest challenges and even the slightest complication can cause serious irritation. That said, OnePlus TV is powered by Android TV, which brings a rather familiar UI and accessing all the settings and navigating to different options is not at all difficult. All the settings and optimisations are clubbed under a single menu, which can be accessed from the top right and the front and centre of the TV show everything that matters the most - your favourite shows, movies and more from various apps.
The top bar is dedicated to OxygenPlay, which in partnership with various OTT players in the industry, brings the most popular suggestions. But that's not even the best part. OnePlus has a host of OnePlus Connect features that strengthens the connection between a smartphone and OnePlus TV. For instance, there's OnePlus TypeSync, which lets you type names of the shows or movies from your phone on to your TV. No more hitting the right arrow, down arrow, left arrow and up arrow just to type letter by letter. We tested it out and worked flawlessly. There are more features like Smart Volume Control, Quick App Switch, Wi-Fi Sharing and Screen Shot, which we will be testing out as they all have some unique elements. But that doesn't mean you won't need a TV remote.
OnePlus has put some thoughts into the TV remote, which looks a lot like Apple TV remote, but the company says it was inspired by OnePlus 3T. Whatever be the case, the OnePlus TV Remote is sleek has fewer buttons and makes navigation seamless. But the confused decision to put the volume on the side isn't too good of a choice, especially on a TV remote.
There's a USB Type-C port for charging, navigation controls, a direct button to access Prime Video, power off/on button, Google Assistant button with a microphone and direct access to TV settings. The metal brushed finished and sleek form factor of the remote controller compliments the OnePlus TV really well. Overall, a quite minimalistic approach.
OnePlus TV is definitely an attention-seeker. While the pricing may not be as tempting as Mi TVs, but OnePlus is banking on the quality of its TV to lure consumers rather than cutting corners. OnePlus TV Pro isn't for the masses, as the brand seems to be targeting the affluent.
For OnePlus, this a bold step and it remains to be seen how the industry would respond. But as far as the product goes, OnePlus TV is a promising addition to the current premium TV industry in India if the future holds ground for some better pricing. Whether it will be a success like the premium smartphones it has been selling in India for five years or it will meet the unfortunate fate of experimental approach like OnePlus X, only time will tell. For now, we are yet to dive deeper into the OnePlus TV experience, so stay tuned for a detailed review.