There’s a good reason for the TV’s positive reception. OnePlus may not be the first phone maker to break into the TV space – Xiaomi beat it to the punch many moons ago and this year Huawei and Motorola have also announced new TVs – but there’s no denying the OnePlus TV looks like a cut above what most of us expected at a technical level.
The TV will be available in two models, OnePlus TV Q1 and OnePlus TV Q1 Pro. Both will feature 55-inch “Super Resolution” (we assume this means 4K) QLED displays that meet Dolby Vision HDR standards, which is pretty awesome. But what makes the first gen TV so interesting is the amount of attention OnePlus has given to the Q1 Pro’s audio and aggressive pricing.
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Specifically, OnePlus has loaded the Pro with a nifty looking fold out Dolby Atmos soundbar. The bar features eight speakers and gives the OnePlus TV an edge on its Xiaomi and Huawei competitors, which have traditional TV sound systems.
If this wasn’t enough to pique your interest, both models are very competitively priced. Neither version has been given a UK release date or price, but the India RRP paints a very pretty picture.
The OnePlus TV Q1 is priced at ₹69,900 (around £800) while the OnePlus TV Q1 Pro retails for ₹99,900, (roughly £1100). This makes them noticeably cheaper than most competing sets with similar specifications.
So far so good? I thought so. But, for me, there’s one key feature missing that would have easily made the OnePlus TV a shut-up-and-take-my-money purchase: Google Stadia support.
The OnePlus TVs are both powered by Android TV, an OS that’s a little on the clunky side compared to competing TV operating systems such as WebOS. But, if rumours are to be believed, it’s also on the verge of getting a big overhaul that’ll add key new features to the platform – the biggest of these is rumoured to be Google Stadia.
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If true, this will be awesome. Stadia is a cloud gaming service Google unveiled earlier this year. It’s a nifty service that’s similar in kind to Nvidia GeForce Now and Microsoft Project xCloud, which is set to debut as trial with Vodafone later this year.
It aims to let you buy and stream triple-A games at resolutions of up to 4K via the cloud. This means you can, in theory, play the latest games in PC-level graphics settings without needing expensive hardware, like a gaming rig or console.
The service is expected to launch towards the end of the year and initially will only work on computers and select smartphones, like Google’s soon to be released Pixel 4. But, for me, it could be a key selling point for Android TVs like OnePlus’ new Q1 and Q1 Pro. Which is why I really wish Google and OnePlus had joined up to make the new Q1 and Q1 Pro the launch point for Stadia on TVs.