OnePlus reveals its first tablet and new 5G flagship phone
OnePlus has revealed its first tablet and new flagship 5G phone at an event in India showcasing a range of new devices.
The company’s iPad Air rival is called the OnePlus Pad, and features an 11.61-inch display, with an unusually high 144Hz refresh rate for smooth inputs, but settles for LCD tech rather than the more natural-looking OLED found on the competition. For reference, both the iPad Pro and Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 use OLED panels that cap at 120Hz.
It also sports a giant 13MP camera lens on the back, which feels like overkill given how impractical tablets are for both photography and videography. However, it’s certainly distinctive. The tablet has an aluminum unibody with rounded corners and weighs 555g, making it around 94g heavier than the iPad Air.
We don’t know the price or the exact release date, though we should find out soon as pre-orders begin in April. The Chinese brand made its name with flagship phones at competitive prices, so the tablet should cost less than its rivals.
While considerably less fashionable than Android products, the tablet’s MediaTek Dimensity 9000 chipset isn’t far off Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 in terms of performance. If that and LCD tech allow OnePlus to undercut the likes of Apple and Samsung, then it could be on to something.
That all sounds very appealing, but OnePlus has a couple of obstacles to overcome if it’s truly on to a winner here. The first is that its last entry into a new product category – the OnePlus Watch – was distinctly underwhelming. Reviewers and users alike were unimpressed by its underbaked software and weak fitness-tracking.
That shouldn’t be an issue with the OnePlus Pad, though, given that it’s a tablet running Android. But that raises a possibly more insurmountable problem: Android tablets aren’t all that popular. Yes, in terms of global marketshare, the iPad has a narrow 51/49 lead over Android rivals, but compare that with smartphones where the split is 70/30 to Android and the issue becomes clearer. Of the non-Apple tablet makers, only Samsung and Amazon break into double figures.
That could, of course, be a positive. The Android tablet market is less settled, and more open to disruption than the world of smartwatches. But if Amazon and Samsung are struggling to break Apple’s dominance, then OnePlus could have its work cut out too. A lot will depend on pricing and availability.
OnePlus 11 5G
Though the tablet marks a first for the company, OnePlus’s bread and butter remains its Android smartphones. The company announced a new handset at the event: the high-end OnePlus 11 5G. Like the fresh Samsung Galaxy S23, the phone features a powerful new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip inside, and stronger Gorilla Glass Victus on the front. It’s available to pre-order now for £729 ahead of its February 16 release date.
In terms of specs, the handset boasts a premium QHD+ resolution AMOLED display and LTPO tech for super smooth scrolling. Inside is a 5,000mAh battery that can go from zero to full in 25 minutes thanks to fast charging.
As for the camera hardware, there’s a 50MP main snapper, an improved 48MP ultrawide lens and a 32MP 2x telephoto camera that powers a new portrait-style mode.
Those who pre-order the device will be able to choose between either a free pair of OnePlus Buds Pro 2 wireless earbuds that cost £179 (and were also launched at the event alongside a new OnePlus mechanical keyboard) or a Bang & Olufsen speaker worth £230.