OnePlus is now a decade old brand, but all these years, it has never made a tablet.
Thankfully, since the release of Android 12L, the Android tablet market has been gradually expanding.
This brings us on to the OnePlus Pad, the brand’s first attempt to entice people away from the mighty iPad.
OnePlus wants everyone to know that it now makes a tablet, and consequently, the OnePlus Pad is designed to stand out. It is constructed out of aluminium and comes in this elegant halo green shade with a metallic back finish. The tablet’s slim profile and lightweight also make it very comfortable to hold.
The rear camera is placed in a circular housing, which looks quite cool in my opinion, but I’m sure not everyone will like it, especially when you consider that it is easy to smudge the camera while holding the tablet vertically.
While the frame of the OnePlus Pad is rounded, the top is flat to make for a charging place for the optional stylus.
The 11.61-inch display on the OnePlus Pad is a good quality IPS panel. The display also comes in an unusual 7:5 aspect ratio which makes it relatively boxier than other tablets. However, this aspect ratio is a hit or miss as it's great for reading and general surfing, but all apps will not play well with it.
The OnePlus Pad also supports HDR10+ and Dolby Vision. But, Netflix playback was capped at 1080p with no support for HDR at the time of my testing. Youtube does play HDR content, however.
In any case, the screen of the OnePlus Pad has vivid colours, good contrast levels, and an acceptable peak brightness of 500 nits.
Like other modern tablets, the OnePlus Pad does not get a headphone jack or an expandable storage.
You can also not get a cellular connection option on this tablet.
The quad stereo speakers on the tablet sound pretty good while watching videos and movies. But, this speaker setup lacks bass, so music heavy content will not sound the best on it.
Also, the lack of a proper biometric authentication on this tablet is quite frustrating.
Keyboard and stylus
You can opt for an optional keyboard and stylus with the OnePlus Pad.
The keyboard folio case, priced at ₹8,000, connects to the tablet through dedicated pogo pins. It also attaches to the back of the tablet magnetically.
I have to say that the amount of key travel on this keyboard is the best I’ve experienced on any tablet. This makes typing on it quite great.
The keyboard also comes with a trackpad, which is always a valuable addition. However, I found the trackpad to be overly sensitive to taps, so it can take a while getting used to it. It does, however, support loads of gestures to make your workflow simpler.
The stylus, called the OnePlus Stylo, is heavily inspired by the Apple Pencil in terms of looks as well as functionality. Thankfully, at ₹4,999, it's much better value for money than the Apple Pencil.
I took a few notes and made a horrible drawing on the tablet. I’d say that while the OnePlus Stylo is pretty good, Samsung’s S-Pen does offer a more natural writing experience.
Performance and software
The Dimensity 9000 on the OnePlus Pad is one of MediaTek’s finest chips from 2022. It also comes with up to 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM and up to 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage. So you should have absolutely nothing to worry about in terms of raw performance.
However, when you talk about Android tablets, it is the software that takes the centre stage, because it can make or break your buying decision.
OnePlus, thankfully, has done mostly well on its debut tablet. It has a lot of iPad inspired split screen multitasking features, which will be beneficial for those trying to be productive.
However, this software is still not quite on the level of iPads and Samsung’s Galaxy Tabs. You see, the iPad does not have to struggle with app optimisations at all, while Samsung tablets have a brilliant dex mode which turns your tablet into a mini PC.
The OnePlus Pad, theoretically, does have many tablet centric features, but they’re underbaked. Take for instance this display size setting, which forces apps into landscape orientation, but it does not work with all apps. Just see how Jio Cinema opens on this tablet.
Hopefully, OnePlus can, in future, make its Oxygen OS as well optimised for tablets as Samsung has done with its One UI.
While it launches on Android 13, OnePlus has committed 3 years of OS updates and 4 years of security updates on this tablet.
The 13MP rear camera takes pretty good photos by tablet standards and it should be great for occasional use like taking document photos. It can also shoot 4K 30 fps videos, if you can find a use case for it.
The 8MP front camera has a wide lens, which helps it sport an iPad like limelight feature so that you’re always in focus on a video call.
The 9,510mAh battery on this tablet provides great battery life. It is pretty hard to kill this tablet in a short time, unless and until you are on an unhealthy OTT spree.
The best thing about the OnePlus tablet is that it supports 67W fast charging, which is the fastest on a tablet in India.
Even better, it ships with a bundled charger, and that too of 100W power. Quite generous of OnePlus, I must say.
The OnePlus Pad offered me an enjoyable experience in the one week I tested it. Not only was it very good for content watching, but it also got a lot of my basic work done when combined with the keyboard.
However, your experience with the OnePlus Pad will vary greatly depending on your purpose and the kind of apps you use.
While the OnePlus Pad starts at ₹37,999 of the 8GB+128GB model, the 12GB+256GB model costs only ₹2000 extra, which makes it a no-brainer.