OnePlus knows how to make a good phone, and while the company has dabbled in accessories over the last three years, it hasn’t ventured into other product areas. That’s changing now as the manufacturer makes its foray into the TV segment, joining a long list of tech brands that have turned their attention to this category in recent years.
OnePlus sees this segment as one that has a lot of potential for growth in the coming years, with the brand noting that the TV will transform from being another screen to the center of your connected home. Like its phones, OnePlus is positioning its TV in the premium category, with the company touting picture and sound quality on par with the best in the industry. That means Samsung and LG, and in typical OnePlus fashion, it is looking to undercut both brands.
The OnePlus TV is launching in India first, with global availability slated for later in the year. India is an obvious launch market for OnePlus: it accounts for well over a third of the brand’s global sales, and the brand has considerable pull in the country, allowing it to strike content partnerships with local streaming players. That’s a big deal for a new player in this industry, as we shall see later. Let’s see what the OnePlus TV has to o
OnePlus is launching two TV models in India: Q1, and Q1 Pro. Both have the same 55-inch 4K QLED panel and share most of the same features, with the only difference being the soundbar. The Q1 Pro has an integrated soundbar with eight drivers that delivers a 50W sound, and the Q1 has a four-driver design that also produces 50W of sound. In all other areas, the two models are identical.
The OnePlus TV has a sleek design with minimal bezels, and there’s a spine running up the back — OnePlus says it got the inspiration from Greek architecture — that holds the panel in place. The base is finished in chrome, and the back has a carbon fiber finish that’s identical to OnePlus’ phone cases. The soundbar is hidden behind the panel when not in use, and it slides out as soon as you switch the TV on. Oh, and there’s a “horizon light” embedded in the ridges of the soundbar that activates whenever it’s sliding out, with OnePlus noting that it wanted to make switching on the TV a momentous occasion every time.
here are four HDMI ports at the back (with a single ARC), one USB 3.0 port, one USB 2.0 port, Ethernet, optical out, and analog audio. The soundbar is encased in a mesh fabric, and that provides a nice contrast to the chrome and carbon fiber that’s featured elsewhere. OnePlus went with Android TV as the platform of choice, and it has a few features of its own in the form of OxygenPlay and OnePlus Connect. But more on that later.
The highlight of the OnePlus TV is the 4K QLED panel. Think of QLED as a turbocharged version of LCD: you still get an LCD display with LED backlighting, but there is a quantum dot layer embedded in the middle that enhances colors and brightness. The LED light is transmitted through several layers — making it a transmissive panel — and while you don’t get the same inky blacks as an OLED TV, modern QLED TVs come pretty clo
OnePlus’ differentiation for the TV comes by way of OxygenPlay. Essentially, it is a content aggregator that pulls movies and TV shows from multiple streaming platforms. In India, OnePlus is offering recommendations from YouTube, Prime Video, Eros Now, Hungama, Jio Cinema, and Zee 5. OxygenPlay lets you search titles on all aforementioned platforms from a single location
OnePlus is also introducing a seamless way to connect your phone to the TV. You’ll be able to do so via the OnePlus Connect app, which is now available on the Play Store. It works a lot like Android TV Remote, but has a few extra features. The app works on all Android phones — not just OnePlus devices — and offers an easy way to browse media recommendations or cast local content from your phone to the TV. Oh, and you’ll be able to take a screenshot of whatever’s playing on your TV.