OnePlus started as a promising young company with a mission to create high-performance smartphones for tech enthusiasts. Its early phones stood out with their minimalist design and cost-effective specs, all the while maintaining a unique sense of style (such as the iconic sandstone backs). However, after 10 generations of product releases, it seems that the OnePlus of the past is no longer present, and it's unlikely to return.
The landscape shifted last year with the announcement of the OnePlus merger with Oppo. As a result, OnePlus became a subsidiary brand under Oppo, with the founder serving as the chief product officer overseeing both companies.
A few days ago, in addition to announcing their new OnePlus 11 5G flagship phone, they also announced their first tablet, the OnePlus Pad.
The design placed a strong emphasis on delivering an exceptional in-hand experience. The housing is made from milled CNC aluminum, resulting in a weight of 555 grams and a thickness of 6.54 millimeters. In comparison, the 11-inch iPad Pro weighs 466 grams and has a slimmer profile of 5.9 millimeters.
One of the defining characteristics of the tablet is its 7:5 screen aspect ratio, dubbed ReadFit, which presents a more square display for better viewing. Boasting a resolution of 2800x2000 at 296 PPI, refresh rates of 60/90/120/144 Hz, and 10-bit color support, this device is expected to deliver a superior user experience across a range of applications. Only time will tell how it measures up against its competitors featuring Super AMOLED displays.
The tablet is powered by the flagship Dimensity 9000 processor from MediaTek. This is the same 4nm processor used by the Lenovo Tab Extreme, and realizing each has their specific strengths and weaknesses, it competes well with other tablet processors from Samsung, Qualcomm, Apple, and Google.
OnePlus is only showing 128GB of UFS 3.1 flash storage, but my assumption is that other choices will be available. Likewise, they are only showing an 8GB of LPDDR5 RAM, but references have been made to a 12GB configuration.
The positioning of the rear camera is designed for taking photos or videos in a landscape orientation. It boasts a 13-megapixel lens capable of capturing 720p, 1080p, and even 4K at the standard 30 frames per second, with the added benefits of video zooming and electronic image stabilization. The front-facing 8-megapixel camera also supports 720p and 1080p at 30 fps and offers video zooming and electronic image stabilization.
The connectivity features comprise of Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth version 5.3, and a USB Type-C port.
To amplify the user experience, the tablet includes Dolby Vision HDR imaging technology, which elevates the color, contrast, and brightness for an enhanced visual presentation and Dolby Atmos spatial audio technology that creates an all-encompassing audio experience.
By including a range of sensors such as geomagnetic, light, acceleration, gravity, gyroscope, color temperature, and a hall sensor ensures the maximum compatibility with a broad spectrum of applications.
Finally, the 9510mAh battery provides enough power for a month of standby and over 12 hours of video playback. A quick charge feature will fully charge the battery in just one hour.
Optional accessories include the OnePlus Magnetic Keyboard and the OnePlus Stylo pen. The keyboard appears to support a Microsoft Windows layout but the name implies similarities to the Apple Magic keyboard.
The big question is - will it be successful? If you are an existing OnePlus customer, why not? For a new customer, the jury is still out. When you are new to the game it's important to make a grand entrance and wow the audience. The design choices I see are good, but I do not see any wow. The 7:5 screen aspect ratio may be great for reading but what about video playback or gaming?
The choice of OS is another big risk. OnePlus fans will know and like OxygenOS, but for new customers it may be a bridge too long to cross. Some will fear compatibility, others will fear not being included in the Android ecosystem and falling out of sync with updates.
Pricing has not been announced, but the assumption is it will compete.