OnePlus TV: what we want to see

You'll likely know OnePlus as the fast-growing smartphone brand from China, which found a huge following for making high-spec handsets that still manage to sharply undercut the increasingly astronomical price of the competition (we're looking at you, iPhone XS Max).

OnePlus is now looking to repeat the trick with a new smart TV, out sometime next year. But what exactly is the OnePlus TV, and what will it do differently from the competition?

Details are scant so far – aside from OnePlus' announcement stating that it’s certainly happening – but we’ll run you through all our predictions below and update as more information becomes available.

OnePlus 6

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The first smart TV from smartphone-maker OnePlus
  • When is it out? Sometime in 2019
  • What will it cost? Knowing OnePlus, it'll be mid-range pricing, but won't undersell itself either

OnePlus TV release date

OnePlus CEO Pete Lau announced the set in a blog post on the official OnePlus forum – rather than a flashy launch event – in keeping with the brand's customer-focused outlook.

There was a follow up post a few days later, inviting forum members to suggest potential names for the upcoming OnePlus TV. So if you want the chance to name a TV – and why wouldn't you – the 'You Name It' contest is now live on the OnePlus website.

So given that a name hasn't been decided, and that we've only caught wind of it late in the year, it's likely we won't see the set come to market before mid-to-late 2019.

Smart TV

OnePlus TV price

There's no prices yet for the OnePlus TV – or whatever they'll call it – but their strategy in the smartphone market has been to offer upper-mid-range products that undercut the competition by about 20-30%.

The end price could be in the range of $600 / £500 to $1,000 / £800, depending on who OnePlus decide to lock horns with, but we'd be surprised for it to fall out of those margins. It's probably a safe bet to say it won't be cheaper than the OnePlus 6 handset ($529 / £469), but it's difficult to predict with so little information to go on.

OnePlus TV: what we want to see

A mid-sized television set

Remember when 40" screens seemed excessive? Today's televisions market is moving towards ever-larger 55" and 65" displays, even as the average home gets smaller.

If OnePlus could offer a well-made 40" television that didn't skimp on resolution or smart features – so a modern set that consumers could actually fit in their living rooms – we could see it making a big splash.

4K TV

4K display

4K is the buzzword of the moment, and failing to match that resolution would make the OnePlus TV a hard sell. Our guess is OnePlus is angling for a mid-quality 4K television – one that doesn't try to compete with the big-screen OLED forerunners but doesn't settle for a low resolution either.

That sleek OnePlus design – at a decent price

The success of the OnePlus range of smartphones has been in its ability to stay affordable compared to the competition – even if the company has moved more towards high-end devices in recent years.

And just as importantly, OnePlus phones look good. The smart TV need to offer a sleek design to stand out and sell itself as a lifestyle item as much as it does as a television. Maybe take a leaf from the smartphone arena with some more imaginative color options (like a limited edition red television)?

A smart TV platform that just works

Given that the OnePlus smartphone range runs on Android OS, we'd imagine a smart OnePlus TV would use the Android TV platform rather than create its own interface from scratch.

Android TV

There are a lot of perks for Android TV, being a widely-used platform and one that comes with Chromecast and therefore a large number of streaming services built in.

But it's also prone to software bugs, and what we really want to see in a OnePlus TV is a smooth user experience, which is worth more than all the quantum dots in the world.

A connected service

We'd hope the OnePlus TV would find smart ways of connecting to handsets: using your phone as a stand-in remote, having a smartphone app to browse the TV guide or flick through the Netflix catalogue, and easy casting of video and images to the set.

With the smart home sector larger than ever, it would be really surprising not to see the likes of Alexa and Google Assistant built-in from the get-go, allowing you to connect to other devices around the home with ease.

We'll be keeping a close eye on OnePlus TV announcement in the coming months, so stay tuned – if we're sure of anything it's that this will be one to watch.

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