It’s no secret that OnePlus is working on a 4K TV. Heck, we’ve known that since CEO Pete Lau first announced the endeavor back in September 2018 and confirmed the OnePlus TV name in August 2019. In the interim, several new details surfaced — like the fact the television will have a QLED screen, come equipped with a so-called “optimized” Android TV skin, and will be available in several sizes, ranging from a modest 43 to a massive 75 inches.
Most of what we’ve heard to date stems from a recent filing on the Bluetooth Special Interest Group’s website (all devices that utilize Bluetooth must first receive a certification issued by the Bluetooth SIG), with the documentation stating that the so-called “unique” Android TVs all have an LED screen, with Lau later revealing that the OnePlus TV will feature a high-end QLED panel (not to be confused with OLED), akin to top-of-the-line Samsung TVs.
The OnePlus TV will be smart …
At first, we were stumped by what that could mean. Google doesn’t allow a whole lot of customization when it comes to Android TV, leading some to speculate that the firm may have come to some a unique arrangement with the search titan, and now Lau confirmed it has done just that, telling Gadgets360: “Because of our great partnership with Google, not only do we use their Android TV system but we also optimize it very deeply.”
Lau then went on to detail his vision for the television as a whole, hinting at what it could have in store with the OnePlus TV, saying: “If you think about what’s going to happen in five to 10 years, I believe the TV is no longer the TV, it will be a smart display. It will have all the information that you have, including your note, your reminder, and maybe when you wake up, the TV will automatically tell you that this is your whole day’s schedule …”
But the OnePlus boss didn’t stop there, adding: “I think in the future, at a person’s house he or she is no longer going to have one or two displays, they may have multiple displays in several rooms and each room may display different things — but all the displays are connected to each other,” before noting that seamless smartphone integration is a must. How does that work, you ask? Well, we don’t know, but we have a couple of (feasible) theories.
First, given the simplicity of OnePlus’ smartphones, we envisage there being some sort of Bluetooth or Wi-Fi feature onboard the OnePlus TV that communicates with the OnePlus 7 Pro (and other smartphones) when they’re in the vicinity of each other, with the latter directing all incoming calls, calendar events, reminders, and messages to the television to be showcased a non-intrusive slide-in alert in a corner of the high-res screen.
We also imagine a BlackBerry-esque hub — which users can visit to view all their incoming notifications, see their entire schedule, as well as all other pertinent information, such as the weather forecast, local traffic information, and any must-know sports scores — and a voice assistant, likely Google Assistant, for controlling both the television and smart-connected appliances (a Nest Learning Thermostat or Philips Hue, for example), sans remote.
It shouldn’t be too difficult to bake those features in, either. The OnePlus TV will ship with a MediaTek MT5670 CPU and 3GB of RAM, according to a listing that surfaced on the Google Play Developer Console on August 23 — more than enough horsepower to run the aforementioned tools. Pair that with Android TV and Google’s unconditional support, and there’s no reason OnePlus shouldn’t be able to turn the upcoming 4K TV into a smart screen.
Additionally, the OnePlus TV will work with Amazon Alexa. At least, that’s what an add-on for the OnePlus TV that surfaced on the Amazon Skill Store would have you believe. Unfortunately, the page has since been taken down, but not before Tech Radar snapped a screenshot, which shows that Alexa will execute at least two commands: Turning on the television and adjusting the volume. She should also be able to open applications, like Netflix.
… and high-end …
Just one way OnePlus is hoping to deliver an all-round fantastic experience is through the television’s built-in speaker setup, which will be comprised of eight monitors, totaling an output of 50W, according to a placeholder listing that surfaced on Amazon at the start of the month. The same tidbit reveals that the OnePlus TV will have Dolby Atmos on board; while a snippet shared at a later date confirmed that it will also support Dolby Vision HDR.
OnePlus is also looking to redefine another core element of TVs, and that’s the remote controls that come part and parcel. Although, its vision for how they should look isn’t entirely new. Just look at this render Lau shared on Twitter on September 5. It’s not entirely revolutionary, drawing a lot of inspiration from Apple’s Siri Remote for the Apple TV 4K. Still, there’s a lot going on here, including both a Google Assistant and OnePlus button.
Diving a bit deeper, there’s a volume rocker on the right, a directional trackpad at the top for scrolling through content and menus, and a completely blank button (maybe for an exclusive feature that OnePlus is going to show off at a later date?). Notably, there’s also a USB-C slot on the bottom for charging the controller — though we’re hoping it has wireless charging because let’s face it: Charging a remote is just inconvenient.
Judging by a render Lau released on September 9, the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition was the design inspiration for the OnePlus TV, with the television toting a similar carbon fiber finish to the luxury smartphone. There also appears to be a slight curvature to the rear, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the screen itself meanders; it’s not uncommon for manufacturers to round the plastic on the rear to make it easier to affix to a stand.
Still, we can’t help but think that a carbon fiber finish is a strange choice for the shell. That is, of course, unless the actual frame is built from the material and it isn’t just a pattern plastered on the back — as was the case with the McLaren Edition. If that’s the case, there are several advantages, with the main being that the unit will be significantly lighter, so it’ll be easier to mount on a wall (you’ll still need to screw the bracket into studs).
… and it’s set to launch this month
On August 20, Lau revealed that the OnePlus TV will launch in September. As for where it’s going, the phone maker’s first foray into the television market will hit the shelves in India first before launching in Europe and North America soon thereafter. That’s all we know; the CEO didn’t shed light on when the much-anticipated 4K TV will hit the shelves, or how much it will cost when it does. But being a QLED, it probably won’t be cheap.
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