OnePlus kicked off its ambitious smart TV journey with the debut of premium QLED smart TVs earlier last year. However, as my colleague Rupesh puts it, India is a price-conscious market and OnePlus seems to have finally understood this. Thus, OnePlus has decided to take the fight to Xiaomi, Vu, and others in the budget market with the launch of its U- and Y-series smart TVs in India today.
The new U- and Y-series joins the existing OnePlus TV Q1 series. They do not include QLED panels though. The Y-series includes a 32-inch and 43-inch variant while the U-series goes official with only a single 55-inch smart TV. We’re first going to talk about the star of the night, the 55-inch 4K OnePlus TV U1, followed by the Y-series.
OnePlus TV U1: 55-inch 4K TV
The Chinese giant may be looking to price its smart TVs more aggressively but it’s not losing out on the premium factor. You have a bezel-less LED panel on the front with a thicker bottom bezel to accommodate the OnePlus branding. The rear looks similar to the Q1 series TVs, with a brushed metal finish up-top and a carbon fiber cover at the bottom.
Turning our attention back to the front, the OnePlus TV U1 includes a 55-inch 4K LED panel (VA panel) with a 3840 x 2160 resolution, 95% screen-to-body ratio, and 93% DCI-P3 color gamut support. It also has HDR10+ and Dolby Vision certification. That’s not all though.
OnePlus has also included the same Gamma Engine found aboard the Q1 series to offer features like MEMC, dynamic contrast, Super Resolution, noise reduction, and more. I bet you already know about MEMC (Motion Estimation, Motion Compensation). It’s a feature that helps smoothen out frames and comes in super handy for viewing cricket matches and other sports.
Internals & Software
Under the hood, the 55-inch OnePlus TV U1 is powered by a quad-core Cortex A53 MediaTek MT5887 processor clocked up to 1.5GHz and Mali-G51 MP4 GPU. You will also find 3GB RAM and 16GB onboard storage, along with Android TV 9.0 out-of-the-box. It’s the stock Android TV UI that we’ve seen with the Q1 series, with Oxygen Play, a new Data Saver Plus feature, and a slew of pre-installed media streaming apps such as Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+ Hotstar, MX Player, Jio Cinema, and more.
I don’t know why but the cheaper OnePlus TVs also come with music streaming apps, including JioSaavn and Spotify pre-installed. The company seems to have expanded its partnerships to include more apps out-of-the-box and lower the costs for itself. This is a good time to reveal that the OnePlus TV U1 is equipped with 30W speakers (four units rotated at 90-degrees, with two full-range speakers and two dedicated tweeters to cover high frequencies).
Last year, we called ‘OnePlus Connect’ as one of the best features of the OnePlus TV Q1 series, and well, it is here to stay. You can connect the TV to the OnePlus Connect app, which then enables features like Quick App Switch (multi-tasking, a feature missing in Android TV), TypeSync (using phone’s keyboard to input text on TV), trackpad, smart volume control, and more. There are some features such as turning on TV via the app, multi-device control (enables 5 users to link the OnePlus TV to the app on their phone including the iPhone), and auto-hotspot sharing.
OnePlus TV U1 also comes with a brand new remote control. It’s not as sleek at the original remote nor is it too bulky like the Netflix remote that was launched later last year. You have a D-pad up-top, followed by an array of buttons including the Google Assistant, Netflix, Prime Video, volume rocker, and more.
You still won’t find a dedicated power button on the remote and have to long-press the ‘OnePlus’ button to switch on/ off the TV. As for the ports, the company has included 3x HDMI, 1x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0, RF port, optical port, Ethernet, and AV port. The 55-inch OnePlus TV supports dual-band WiFi 802.11 ac (2.4GHz & 5GHz) and Bluetooth 5.0 for wireless connectivity purposes.
OnePlus TV Y-Series: 32-inch HD and 43-inch Full-HD
Moving to the Y-series, this is an even affordable smart TV lineup that includes a 32-inch HD-ready (1366 x 768) variant and 43-inch Full-HD (1920 x 1080) variant – but with the same LED panel (VA) as the 55-inch variant. This means it is pretty much the same as other popular offerings from Realme, Xiaomi, and others.
While the design is similar to OnePlus TV U55, there’s some key differences here and there. Both of these smart TVs feature a bezel-less design and 93% DCI-P3 wide color gamut for enhanced colors and contrast settings. Even the Gamma Engine is available aboard both the TVs. The screen-to-body ratio, however, varies with the 32-inch and 43-inch variants offering 88.5% and 91.2% SBR respectively as compared to the 95% SBR of the 55-inch variant.
Under the hood, the Y-series OnePlus TVs are also powered by a MediaTek processor. You will, however, find only 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage. You get Android TV 9.0 onboard with the same software features across the board. One difference, as you can see in the image above, is the remote control. You won’t get the same remote as the U55 with the OnePlus TV Y-series. Instead, you will get the older Netflix remote that launched last year.
Also, the 32-inch and 43-inch include a 20W speaker (2x 10W units) with Dolby Audio support. These smart TVs also include a Kids mode and Game mode, which reduces the latency to 22ms. They also include a content calendar to keep track of ongoing TV shows and ‘Shared Album’ to quickly see your phone’s photos on the TV.
Price and Availability
OnePlus had been teasing the prices for all of the three variants for a couple of weeks and today, it has made things official. The 32-inch HD-ready OnePlus TV will retail at Rs. 12,999 (around $175), the 43-inch Full-HD variant will retail at Rs. 22,999 (around $308) and the highest-end 55-inch 4K U-series OnePlus TV will retail at Rs. 49,999 (around $670) in India.
The 55-inch OnePlus TV U1 might be slightly expensive for your taste but the Y-series has been aggressively priced in India. It will certainly pose a threat to Xiaomi, Vu, and Realme in that price segment. All of the three smart TVs will go on sale starting from July 5 via Amazon India and will soon be available at offline stores.