From its inception, the OnePlus brand has built-up, and relied on the feedback of its large fan base in developing and innovating products for them. For today’s millennials, the OnePlus brand has a very native appeal with its clean build, and swift performance. With its Never Settle motto, the OnePlus DNA has revolved around a relentless pursuit for excellence and perfection. That tradition continues with the Smart TV series from the brand. The new OnePlus TV U Series with a single size variant of 55 inches, brings forth a truly premium TV experience at affordable premium price-points. The OnePlus TV U Series has an exceptional design, wonderful 4K UHD visual and Dolby sound experience, and provides access to curated streaming content experience.
In 2019, OnePlus forayed into the premium TV segment with the OnePlus TV Q1 and Q1 Pro. The new OnePlus TV 55U1 brings the brand promise to more affordable price segment, while still delivering on the promise of premium design and rich user experience.
Having spent some limited time with the new TV, I have found it promising and a strong value proposition against established market incumbents. Here’s my article explaining why I believe so.
What is astounding is that OnePlus has managed to build an extremely slim (that comes in at just 6.9mm), and an exquisitely designed 55 inch 4K UHD TV.
The OnePlus TV 55U1 comes with a generous amount of screen real estate, with a very thin border. The 55U1 offers 4K UHD picture quality, with an enhanced colour space of DCI-P3 93%. In layman terms, this DCI-P3 performance score means that the display is able to reproduce all the colours and all the rich details as the content creator saw and intended. So, we have more natural colour reproduction and greater depth, with higher colour accuracy. All of this translates into is an extremely immersive experience, and wherein we enjoy watching the content more.
The immersive viewing experience is made more clearer and more refined, through the Gamma Engine. This includes a suite of processing enhancements, including advanced motion estimation, motion compensation (MEMC) algorithms, dynamic contrast, colour space mapping, and anti-aliasing among others. These enhancements elevate the viewing experience, reducing blurriness, ghosting, stuttering, colour and tonal discrepancies, and resulting in smoother and crisper content display.
What the Gamma Engine is able to deliver on, is good colour reproduction and contrast, offering a vivid viewing experience, even when the video quality is of low resolution. The 4K screen supports 4K, HDR10+ and Dolby Vision
The experience, for me personally, on the OnePlus U TV was visibly better than what I have experienced on my current TV.
The OnePlus TV U Series comes with a Dolby Atmos-powered 30W four-unit speaker system. There are two full-range speakers, and two tweeters packed into the thin TV frame. They elevate the sound quality, retaining the punchy bass, and making every beat stand out. The sound experience elevates the overall visual impact.
The Android TV 9.0 platform powers the OnePlus TV U Series, offering access to OnePlus Connect, Google Home, and Alexa.
There are some intelligent tweaks that make the TV experience smarter. For instance, one can now control the data usage on the TV by easily limiting the network bandwidth, enabling or disabling background data usage or, via limiting video resolutions. All these data preferences are available through the Data Saver Plus.
Via the OnePlus Connect app – available on both Android and Apple app store, one can have seamless control of the TV. The OnePlus Connect app enables upto five devices to connect with the OnePlus TV, including the Apple iPhone, and provides for more tighter integration with the TV. This means no more fighting for the remote, amongst family members.
Whether it be browsing through the content, or controlling the sound quality, among others, it’s a breeze.
There are some nifty features that are baked into the OnePlus Connect.
Take, for instance, the Quick App Switch that allows one to move between apps, and that keeps the most used apps on the dock.
The TypeSync allows one to write or speak directly into the phone to control the TV. This does away with the rather cumbersome approach of typing on the TV, and searching for content to watch.
The Screenshot feature allows one to take screenshots of one’s favourite content, for sharing over WhatsApp groups or elsewhere. Thanks to this nifty feature, one can easily share content recommendations with friends and family.
The OnePlus TV U Series comes with a dedicated Kids Mode that enables parents to easily monitor and ensure that children have access to healthy content, and with more effective control on time spent viewing.
With Oxygen Play, one can easily access myriad content from 15+ leading content providers in India, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, SonyLIV, Voot and others. One could use the content calendar to set-reminders to the shows of their choice.
The U Series scores not just with the functionalities, but the overall aesthetics.
Beyond all the vivid viewing and smart TV experience, what really matters is the design language. Today, the TV is a lifestyle statement. It’s a device that brings together loved ones, family and friends, to come together, bond and unwind, while watching endless hours of content.
The OnePlus TV 55U1 scores on its overall design experience.
It screams luxe!
The 55-inch 4K screen is housed in a thin, minimalistic, yet robust aluminium chassis with an ultra-slim design profile. The thin side profile is incredible, and is complemented by the hair-thin bezels. The TV sits on a carefully designed, strong metallic base.
The OnePlus TV 55U1 is covered with a sheet of sheer matte black glass. A lot of design inputs have gone into the back of the TV as well. The uniform and clean back body design is made possible by a carbon fibre texture. Its clean, minimalistic and has no visible screws!
The design language throughout is thoughtful, and even manages to effectively hide all the ports behind a specially designed, smooth remarkable cover. This is a TV that is oozes luxe design from all angles.
The remote is sleek, and conforms with the minimal design language of the TV. It is unconventional as well, when compared to other TV remotes. It does not have too many buttons, and offers dedicated access to Netflix, Amazon Prime and Google Assistant.
Consistent with the OnePlus motto of pushing the envelope with each, successive product generation, the new OnePlus TV 55U1 delivers its promise in the affordable premium segment. It offers immersive content consumption experience, thanks to the 93% colour gamut. More importantly, it is elegant and a strong lifestyle statement.
With the U Series, OnePlus takes aim squarely at the strong, and long-standing market incumbents in the TV business.