The OnePlus TV has arrived – sort of. After months of speculation over the rumored television from the Chinese smartphone manufacturer, the debut OnePlus TV has released in China and India, with a wider global launch expected to come soon after.
That said, a global pandemic is likely moving around a lot of release schedules, and we're not sure if OnePlus would push ahead with a US, UK and Europe release at a time when so many retail stores are closed – especially when, for a TV range entering a country for the first time, ensuring shoppers can get their eyeballs on a set in person is pretty important for driving initial growth.
For now, though, we can give you the full run-down on the OnePlus TV: the models currently available, the pricing in the territories where it's currently available, and our educated guess about when and how it might come further afield. Not to mention the Bluetooth technology and expansive speaker system helping it stand out from the fold.
If there's one thing we know about OnePlus, it's that the company knows how to disrupt the consumer tech market (as it did with its high-quality, affordably-priced smartphone range). Here's everything you need to know about the OnePlus TV.
UPDATE: The OnePlus TV is getting a new, cheaper iteration from July 2, which we now know will feature rotating speakers, a 95% screen-to-body ratio, and a super-slim design even thinner than the OnePlus 8 smartphone. It's set to be a lot cheaper than the premium Q1 and Q1 Pro models released so far, while the expanding range bodes well for our hopes to see a OnePlus TV come to Europe and the US. For more speculation on when this might be, scroll on below...
Cut to the chase
- What is it? The first smart TV range from smartphone-maker OnePlus
- Where is it available? India and China for now – with North America and Europe expected to follow
- What does it cost? The standard Q1 TV retails at Rs 69,899 (around $950 / £750 / AU$1,400), while the premium Q1 Pro model retails at Rs 99,899 (around $1,300 / £1,100 / AU$2,000)
OnePlus TV launch date and availability
The OnePlus TV range has already released in India and China, after a late 2019 launch confirmed in a blog post (opens in new tab) by OnePlus CEO Pete Lau.
Lau also verified that the smartphone company was "working hard to launch OnePlus TV in North America, Europe and China", while OnePlus tries to "establish partnerships" with local and regional content providers.
That September release date was a lot earlier than we had initially anticipated: in a December 2018 interview with India's daily newspaper Economic Times (opens in new tab), Lau stated that there was no official deadline for launch, but that a 2020 release date was the rough plan.
Lau added: "India will be one of the first markets to get the OnePlus TV. It will be available through Amazon. We haven’t set a deadline as yet, as we want it to be the best there is."
There's still no official confirmation on the availability of the OnePlus TV in Western markets, though the speed of a wider global rollout will probably depend on buzz around the TV in its current markets. A new Bluetooth SIG listing for a 55-inch OnePlus TV with updated processors was revealed in May 2020, though, which could point to a model entering a new territory such as the US or UK.
We would have expected a late 2020 release, though current closures of retail stores may mean we're waiting a while longer.
OnePlus TV price and models
There are two OnePlus TV models: the Q1 and Q1 Pro. Both come in a 55-inch size.
The standard Q1 TV retails at Rs 69,899 (around $950 / £750 / AU$1,400), while the premium Q1 Pro model retails at Rs 99,899 (around $1,300 / £1,100 / AU$2,000).
OnePlus' strategy in the smartphone market has been to offer upper-mid-range products that undercut the competition by about 20-30% of the price. Its pricing so far is in that mould, undercutting the likes of Samsung and LG, but positioning above more budget TV makers like Hisense and Xiaomi.
In an Economic Times (opens in new tab) interview, CEO Pete Lau did say to expect "a flagship killer, like we do with smartphones, at a very competitive pricing [sic]".
We now know of a new, cheaper OnePlus TV coming on July 2 – to India, at least – which will cost just Rs 20,000 (around $260 / £210 / AU$390) and come in more compact 32-inch and 43-inch sizes.
OnePlus TV specs and soundbar
A host of OnePlus TV specs did end up leaking ahead of the initial launch, with GizmoChina (opens in new tab) able to get its hands on a Google Play Developer Console listing of the OnePlus TV that revealed the internal specifications of the smart TV.
As predicted from this, the OnePlus TV is powered by the MediaTek MT5670 processor. This isn't particularly a well-known chipset, but has four cores clocked at 1.5GHz. The tetra-core Mali G51 GPU takes care of the graphics. The TV has 3GB of RAM and runs a customized version of Android TV 9.0.
It is, of course, a 4K TV. In terms of design, too, the Q1 and Q1 Pro both feature a nearly bezel-free display, with a 95.7& screen-to-body ratio, seemingly modelled after the similar no-bezel smartphone trend of recent years. It's not quite the 99% screen of the Samsung Q950TS, but it's close.
There's also a slide-out 50W soundbar that drops down from underneath the television – a wholly unnecessary mechanism, really (were you using those centimeters beneath the bezel for something else?) but absolutely stylish nonetheless.
The primary difference between the two sets is that the Q1 Pro features an eight-driver speaker array, rather than the Q1's four audio drivers – but both offer 50W audio and front-firing sound, with a 2.1 channel setup.
You get HDR10, HLG, and Dolby Vision HDR support too, as well as Dolby Atmos surround sound audio. You even get HDR10+, which is an HDR format major players like LG and Sony still don't offer.
Both sets support Bluetooth 5.0, come with four HDMI ports (including eARC). Google Assistant and Google Chromecast are built-in as standard, too, with far-field voice communication.
There's a rather idiosyncratic OnePlus remote, too, with a boxy, pared-down design that looks a good sight better than most cluttered remotes out there – and OnePlus Connect app for typing easily into TV searchbars, switching between apps, and controlling volume / playback.
OnePlus CEO Pete Lau also tweeted about the dedicated “Gamma Color Magic” picture processor, developed in-house for the set, claiming it will have the "widest color gamut". (We haven't put it through the testing ropes yet, so can't quite confirm or deny this ourselves.)
I am proud to share news about the dedicated picture processor for the #OnePlusTV. We built the Gamma Color Magic processor to bring you best-in-class image quality on our customized #QLED TV panel with widest color gamut. Can't wait for you to experience it! pic.twitter.com/DlQS8Y8jhnSeptember 4, 2019
OnePlus TV and Netflix
Netflix support was eventually added to the OnePlus TV in December 2019, with a new black remote featuring a dedicated button for Netflix – rather than simply Amazon Prime Video – that now comes as standard with all OnePlus TVs.
OnePlus TV: what's in a name?
OnePlus CEO Pete Lau first announced the set in a blog post on the official OnePlus forum – rather than a flashy launch event – in keeping with the brand's customer-focused outlook.
A follow up post (opens in new tab) a few days later invited forum members to suggest names for the new television – with 10 finalists getting a free pair of OnePlus Bullets Wireless for their suggestions (listed below), and one winner getting their own OnePlus TV and fancy hotel stay for the set's first launch event.
- Apex (@shadowkgt3732 (opens in new tab))
- Arena (@hans.bdv (opens in new tab))
- Aspire (@akky15 (opens in new tab))
- Canvas (@sanghanijd (opens in new tab))
- Epic One (Dipu moni bora)
- Epic TV (Densky)
- Innova (@BornaCvizanic (opens in new tab))
- Intelly+ (@anilanand (opens in new tab))
- Nese (@JohnC. (opens in new tab))
- NS1 (Sriram Reddy)
Of course, now we know the OnePlus TV is split into Q1 and Q1 Pro models – with the umbrella term of what everyone was calling it anyway: the OnePlus TV.