(Pocket-lint) - OnePlus has unveiled two own-branded TV sets that it hopes will shake up the long-established television market.
Announced and released first in India, it is expected that the OnePlus TV Q1 and Q1 Pro models will also be rolled out in other countries in time.
Here then is everything you need to know about the manufacturer's first assault on our living rooms.
Why the need for a OnePlus TV?
OnePlus TV was announced as a vision for OnePlus in September 2018, outlining the company's aim to give customers a more connected TV experience, to actually make smart TV smart, with seamless smartphone integration. It's part of a bigger move to disrupt the establishment: Honor is also playing the same game with Honor Vision.
OnePlus TV release date
- Available in India from 28 September 2019
- US, China and Europe to follow
Announced during a OnePlus event in Delhi on 26 September, the OnePlus TV Q1 and Q1 Pro models will be available to buy from Amazon India from Saturday 28 September 2019.
No further rollout was mentioned during the launch event, but CEO Pete Lau previously confirmed via OnePlus' community forums that the company continues to work with partners in North America, China and Europe in order to release the sets on a wider scale.
OnePlus TV design
- Premium design
- Sliding soundbar on the Q1 Pro
- 55-inch screen size
There will be two models of OnePlus TV, the Q1 and Q1 Pro - both with 55-inch screens.
The main difference between them is that the Pro comes with a 50W eight-speaker soundbar that slides down from the bottom of the screen, while the Q1 does not.
The stand and overall design of the set is minimalist, with efforts to make the rear look pretty even though you might never see it. The ports, for example, are hidden behind a magnetic plate. The rear of the TV also has a Vesa mount to hang it on the wall.
The front of the TV looks like most other TVs, but OnePlus claims that it boasts a 97 per cent screen real estate - super thin bezels, therefore.
OnePlus TV specifications
- 55-inch QLED panel
- Voice control, integrated camera
- 4K HDR and Dolby Vision
For a TV to be competitive it really needs to sport a 4K HDR panel and both the Q1 and Q1 Pro have exactly that, with no less than Dolby Vision and HDR10+ support to boot.
Both TVs use QLED panels, something we've known for a while. OnePlus claims that they have a "very high color range of NTSC 120 per cent".
Proprietary picture processing is on board - the company's own Gamma Color Magic Chipset, that uses algorithms to add frames between those coming from the source to smooth motion. This is pretty standard for LCD-based TVs these days and actually discouraged by filmmakers, so we hope there's also an option to turn the processing mode off.
Both TVs are claimed to be Dolby Atmos compliant, which might mean more for the one that comes with its own soundbar.
A Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ processor runs the smart functionality (Android TV) and more.
We're still awaiting full specifications for both models, but leaked specs (above) flesh out the offering, making the OnePlus TV looks like it's basically going to do everything.
The OnePlus TV remote looks a little like the older Apple TV remote control as it is simple and only comes with a few buttons.
It comes with a Google Assistant button, which triggers voice control, plus various controls - menu, home, back - and there's a volume rocker on the side. The top section is a multi-direction controller.
OnePlus TV smart experience
- Voice control
- Seamless smartphone integration
- More personalised TV experience
- Powered by Android TV
It's really the smart functions that make the OnePlus TV stand out. It has Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility built-in, with the latter being part of the Android TV integration that offers all the smart functionality.
That enables a seamless integration between phone and TV, so that there's no complication getting content from your phone to your TV. Its similar to the capabilities offered by Samsung between its phones and TVs.
A OnePlus handset can be used as an additional remote, for example. And, thanks to Chromecast built into the Android TV experience, you can mirror your screen or cast content to the OnePlus TV easily and instantly.
One slight issue with the OnePlus TV announcement so far, though, is that Netflix will not be available on it at launch. We're not yet sure why, but hopefully that will be rectified in the coming weeks or months.
OnePlus TV as a smart home controller
- Google Assistant integration
- Smart home hub
OnePlus has always been open about talking about becoming an IoT player - and the TV is the first step in this goal.
Sitting on Android, it is compatible with all those devices that work with Google Assistant and we suspect this is the hardware route that OnePlus will be taking into a wider ecosystem as a smart home device manufacturer.
This is part of the justification for using Android TV to power OnePlus TV and that makes perfect sense.
How much does OnePlus TV cost?
OnePlus announced that both TVs will be available in India initially, so the prices quoted were in rupees. We've converted them in line with current exchange rates, but it's worth noting that final prices elsewhere are rarely like-for-like and other factors can raise or lower them.
The OnePlus TV Q1 will cost ₹69,900 (around £797), while the OnePlus TV Q1 will set you back ₹99,900 (around £1,139).