OnePlus has ventured into the TV business this year and the first set of products are out. There are two TVs that have been launched. They are the OnePlus TV Q1 and OnePlus TV Q1 Pro. I spent considerable time with the OnePlus TV Q1 Pro and here is my review of this new offering from the house of OnePlus.
The first thing that you notice about any TV is the screen. And the screen quality of the OnePlus TV Q1 Pro is superlative. There is tech working in the background, like QLED, Gamma Colour Magic, MEMC and De-Countour. What really matters is the picture quality and the color depth of the OnePlus TV Q1 Pro screen, its contrast, its brightness when the window blinds and curtains in a room are open, how deep is the black on it. Being a OnePlus product, one expects it to deliver and the OnePlus TV Q1 Pro delivers more than expected considering its price of Rs 99,900. The quality of the screen very evidently matches and sometimes surpasses what the screens of more expensive TVs show. Full marks to the team that has worked over a year on this and delivered.
The practical problem that I anticipated is that to actually appreciate or to experience the quality of the QLED screen that OnePlus is using in the Q1 Pro, one has to be able to play really high-quality 4K content on it. When you are playing that quality content you need to turn off the really intelligent the image processing that the OnePlus TV is doing, like motion control. In India though, most of the content is in HD or FullHD, and even with streaming websites. Sometimes even when the streaming content is available in 4K resolution, you need a very fast internet — think roughly 1gbps — to stream. So, most of the time you will be actually using content that is not 4K on the Q1 Pro TV, and in that scenario the OnePlus TV Q1 Pro surprised me pleasantly and stood up and delivered very well. I am very impressed with the TV in that aspect too.
When you use the OnePlus TV Q1 Pro to play extremely high-end video, like a 4K video from YouTube, or a 4K video with bit-rate so high that the entire movie totals around 50GB, the colors, the details and HDR that you see on the Q1 Pro is simply stunning and very very good. I was very impressed with the quality the TV delivered consistently.
The OnePlus TV Q1 Pro is very thin, I would not go all the way to call it ultra thin like some other TVs , but it is fairly thin in terms of a TV. The bezels that exist around the screen are very slim, and the metal frame is well built. The back panel is made of plastic, and it has the distinct carbon fiber pattern that OnePlus has made very popular on most of the back covers it makes for it’s mobile phones. This does give it a distinct OnePlus feel.
The OnePlus TV can be easily wall mounted, or you can keep it on the table using the stand that OnePlus bundles in a separate box along with TV. This stand is made of metal and glass. I like the design of the stand but the verdict seems to be divided on the stand as it is a tad bit on the side where people tend to get stability anxiety when the TV is resting on. You should take the call on how you want it in your room.
Towards the left side of the back, you get all the connectors that are neatly set in one line 1 AV IN, 1 optical, 1 Ethernet, 4 HDMI, 1 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3. 0 and 1 RF port. These are more than adequate. The magnetic clasp that protects these connectors is also well thought out, this alleviates the pain of dusty and ruined connectors when you wall mount the TV.
The OnePlus TV Q1 Pro has an integrated soundbar that is very well thought out. The soundbar comes with 8 speakers, there are 6 on the front and 2 on the back — and in the default position, it is very comfortably resting behind the screen. When you turn on the TV, the soundbar slides out with a neat effect that flashes a few LED lights to make a nice presentation of the whole process and then it sits under the screen. When you switch off the TV or put it in the sleep mode, the soundbar retracts. This is very neat when you have people over and want to impress them. It did attract a lot of eyeballs when I was reviewing the TV.
Let us talk about the remote now, the remote is very practically designed with very few buttons. It is made of brushed aluminium. It’s very slim and sleek, and I find it very adequate. I like the fact that it doesn’t have too many buttons, though it took me a while to get used to the fact that its volume buttons are on its right side, similar to how smartphones have them. Some reviewers are unhappy with it, I got used to it quickly and do not have any complaints about it at all.
There is the OnePlus Connect app available for Android phones. If you install the app and pair your phone it with the OnePlus TV, you can use the phone as a remote. You can do neat things like have the ability to switch between apps on the TV through the phone and play videos and photos from the phone using the app, there is also support for Chromecast, which is inbuilt in the OnePlus TV. There are some thoughtful features that come on when you pair your phone, like when you get a phone call, the TV automatically lowers the volume of the TV and sets it back up when the call has ended. You really don’t have to struggle to find the volume rocker to do this manually.
Let us talk about the screen now. The screen size is 55 inches. The TV supports ultra HD resolution. It is Dolby Vision certified. It has a VA panel, so colors, contrast and brightness, even in a room full of daylight, are very good and impressive . Viewing angles and black levels that the QLED panel delivers are crisp, sharp and very immersive. The OnePlus TV Q1 Pro has one of the best displays I have seen in a long time.
I am very happy with the picture output that the TV produces consistently. During my review, my home became a movie hall of sorts with a wide assortment of people watching it and getting impressed with it. The soundbar also performs very well and I love the quality of sound it delivers. IT can easily fill a room with the right kind of sound hitting the right notes from the right directions.
The OnePlus Q1 Pro TV runs on Android TV OS. The current OS version is 9 and the company is assuring 3 years of updates.The Android TV interface on the TV is clean and largely unmodified. There is Oxygen Play, a content hub where you can see all that special content that is available from OnePlus partners like Zee5, Hotstar and Hungama. Amazon Prime is also there and so is YouTube. Netflix is coming soon on the TV as OnePlus is working with them for certification now.
Overall as a TV Viewer I was more than happy with the screen, pictures, interface, speakers and the software on the TV. There was never any hitch or issue in streaming or even playing local content. In my experience this is as good as a smart TV can get. There aren’t that many that can stand up there with this one.
The OnePlus TV Q1 Pro is a premium TV with a lot of premium features baked into it. It is totally worth the price tag that it comes with. This is a good buy if premium experiences are in your wheelhouse. It has premium written all over it.