In five years, OnePlus went from selling a single smartphone model online through a much-touted invitation system to launching its first TV. The OnePlus TV was launched in September 2019 with two variants – the Q1 (Rs 69,900) and the Q1 Pro (Rs 99,900). The company has achieved considerable success in the smartphone sector and hopes to be able to repeat this with its first television products.
However, early reviews – including our own – criticized various aspects of the TV, such as: B. the faulty software, the lack of useful buttons on the remote control and problems with the HDR10 performance. Although we liked the overall package, we still felt that it was an unfinished product that might have been launched a bit hastily.
As with its smartphones, OnePlus has already released several updates for Q1 and Q1 Pro. These promise to fix what was incomplete or missing at startup. There is now also a small hardware upgrade – a new remote control with useful new buttons. We decided to re-explore the OnePlus TV a few months after our review to see if the experience was actually better, so we spent a few weeks again with the Q1 Pro. Here’s what we think.
Software updates galore
If there is one thing in which OnePlus has always proven to be very good, it is software updates. Three major software updates have been released since the start of the TV series.
The first was released in October and brought some much needed fixes to the TV shortly after launch. The second update, released in December, was a more significant update that brought native support for Netflix. The third update in February brought new content partners as well as bug fixes and optimizations.
Some of them have actually changed the experience, especially the addition of Netflix and Spotify in the form of specially designed official apps for the Android TV operating system on OnePlus TV. These are the same as on other Android TVs and work well on the TV. As expected, Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos are functional (if your streaming service plans support it) and the user experience was largely error-free for us. The entire Android TV experience was definitely less flawed than before.
Although we were a little skeptical about the Spotify experience on TV, we were surprised at how smooth and fun it turned out to be. We were very impressed with the OnePlus TV Q1 Pro’s built-in soundbar when we tested it, and it skilfully handled our Spotify music collection. We’ve found that the sound matches that of some of the recently tested wireless speakers and soundbars, and Spotify integration offers the TV a whole new use case.
New and improved remote control
We do not expect any hardware changes to a product in the middle of its life cycle. As a rule, a successor product is brought onto the market somewhat earlier than expected. However, OnePlus tried to repair its much criticized remote control in a unique way: just create a new one. The Netflix remote control, as OnePlus calls it, differs from its predecessor in many ways.
Visually, the biggest change is the fact that, in contrast to the brushed aluminum of the older remote control (which is still included in the scope of delivery of the TV, even with new acquisitions), it is plastic. It also runs on normal AAA batteries, a change from the old remote control’s internal lithium-ion battery. There are also some new buttons and button layout changes on the Netflix remote.
In addition to the existing Amazon Prime Video button, a source select button, and a volume mute button, there are now hotkeys for Netflix and YouTube. The volume buttons have been moved to the front of the remote control. The new remote control may not feel as high-quality and modern, but it is undoubtedly more useful, functional and practical.
The new remote control comes with all OnePlus TVs that are currently sold, so new buyers can get them. If you bought the OnePlus TV earlier, don’t worry – you are eligible to get the new Netflix remote for free.
The picture quality is slightly better
We often claim that software updates have been optimized with a pinch of salt, but some of these improvements are visible on the OnePlus television after the software updates. We noticed that the image quality is slightly better than before, the colors appear more accurate, and Full HD content is scaled up slightly better.
However, these improvements are incremental at best, and we could see little difference when viewing 4K and Dolby Vision content. There are still some visible fast-moving artifacts, as was previously the case. There were also no significant changes in sound quality.
Is the OnePlus TV now a better TV than when I started it? Yes. Software improvements, a new remote control, and small performance improvements make this product a better product that largely resolves some of the most critical startup issues. If you make the new remote control available to both new and existing users free of charge, OnePlus will remain satisfied.
Is it still worth buying because there have been no significant price cuts in the months since it started? Maybe less than before. The segment has changed significantly since then, thanks in particular to the launch of the Vu Cinema TV range, the price of which is less than half the price of the OnePlus TV Q1.
On paper, the Vu Cinema TV with Dolby Vision, 40 W sound output and Android TV with support for all common apps and streaming services is a close addition to the OnePlus TV Q1. What the OnePlus Q1-TV series also offers is the QLED screen, the Dolby Atmos certification and the better design. Do these things justify the higher price? We believe it, but the price-performance ratio that you can now achieve with the Vu Cinema TV cannot be denied.
Is OnePlus TV Q1 Pro the “flagship killer” of TVs? We discussed this in Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just click the play button below.