- The OnePlus Pad is the first tablet from OnePlus and comes with a premium design.
- It runs on Android 13, with a tablet-friendly version of OnePlus’ OxygenOS on top of it, and is powered by a MediaTek Dimensity 9000 processor.
- At its starting price of Rs 37,999, the OnePlus Pad is priced very close to the iPad. But we think it poses a greater threat to existing Android tablets than Apple’s OG tablet.
It might be a little late, but OnePlus has finally arrived at the Android tablet party. The OnePlus Pad is the brand’s first tablet, and unlike many brands who have tended to daintily dip their toes in the budget end of the tablet pool initially, OnePlus has decided to head for the premium end. At its starting price of Rs 37,999, the OnePlus Pad is definitely in the premium Android tablet zone and even close to iPad territory. But can it rattle the cages of either the OG tablet (the iPad) or its Android competitors?
Table of Contents
OnePlus Pad Design and Appearance: Sleek, stylish, and square-ish
OnePlus has been rather bold with the design of its first tablet. The OnePlus Pad is very likely to stand out from the crowd of Android tablets and is nothing like the iPad either. This is mainly because of its very distinct dark green shade, which OnePlus calls Halo Green. The metallic back also has a slightly unusual camera placement, with the rather prominent camera unit being placed right between the upper and lower corners of the left side. It makes it seem as if OnePlus wants you to hold the tablet in landscape mode while taking pictures with it – if you indeed ever decide to do so (tablets as cameras have yet to catch on). A close look will also reveal subtle semi-circle textures moving out from the camera unit. It is very eye-catching in a classy manner.
The shape of the tablet is rather different too. OnePlus has claimed that this is the first tablet to come with a 7:5 screen aspect ratio, as it is evidently easier to view content on it. This results in the OnePlus Pad having a slightly square-ish shape, which reminds one a bit of the iPad. However, that is where the similarity between the two tablets ends. The OnePlus Pad has a rather odd blend of sides, with three being curved and one being flat, to accommodate the charging pad for the OnePlus stylus. You get the volume buttons on the right side (the flat one), the power/display button on top, and a USB Type C port on the base. There are two speaker grilles on the top and on the base of the tablet, but there’s no 3.5 mm audio jack. The front is a bright 11.61-inch display with uniform, narrow (by tablet standards) bezels.
All of this is packed into a frame that is relatively compact. The OnePlus Pad is 258 mm tall, 189.4 mm wide, and a rather impressive 6.5 mm slim (slimmer than the 7mm iPad!). At 552 grams, it is also relatively light for its size. The metal build has a reassuringly solid feel to it. We would call it one of the more distinct yet elegantly sleek-looking tablets out there, one that you cannot mistake for an iPad. We loves!
OnePlus Pad Hardware: Display delight, terrific memory, but a chip off the old block
The hardware of the OnePlus Pad is a blend of the new and not-so-new. The tablet comes with a very good 11.61-inch display with a rather odd resolution of 2800 x 2000 pixels, thanks to that 7:5 screen aspect ratio. The display has a maximum refresh rate of 144 Hz but can switch between 30/60/90/120, and 144 Hz depending on the content being shown on it. It is a bright and colorful display, although some might find the display of the iPad a little more vibrant. OnePlus claims that the 7:5 aspect ratio makes it more suitable for consuming content, and well, while it does result in some “banding” (black bands appearing above and below videos), this is a great display for reading. At 500 nits, it is also bright enough to be read in bright conditions, although it is rare to see folks read on a tablet in bright sunshine.
OnePlus has also packed in plenty of high-speed RAM and storage in the OnePlus Pad. The tablet comes with 8 GB/ 128 GB and 12 GB/ 256 GB RAM and storage variants, with LPDRR5 RAM and UFS 3.1 storage. The brand has, however, opted to use a MediaTek 9000 to power the tablet. The processor is a reasonably powerful one and is supposed to be better than the Snapdragon 888, but it is more than a year old and is well below the current Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip and MediaTek’s own Dimensity 9200. We are sure that OnePlus had very good reasons for picking this chip, and we would like to stress once again that it is a powerful processor in its own right, but it just seems like a blast from a powerful past in a device that exists in the present and is aimed at the future.
The OnePlus Pad also features a 13-megapixel camera at the back and an 8-megapixel selfie camera with subject tracking. You also get a surprisingly large (considering how slim the tablet is) 9510 mAh battery with support for 67W charging, which is a rarity at this price point. Also, a rarity are the quad speakers (two at the top and two at the base), although there is no 3.5 mm audio jack. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, but there is no cellular version. Rather oddly, the device misses out on a fingerprint scanner, which many would have expected at this price. OnePlus has also launched a keyboard cover and a stylus with the tablet, although they have to be purchased separately.
OnePlus Pad Software and UI: OxygenOS minimalism looks lovely…but can be counter-productive
OnePlus has brought a tablet-friendly version of its famous OxygenOS to the OnePlus Pad. It runs on top of Android 13 and comes with a number of tweaks and gestures to be more suitable for the larger display. For instance, swiping down with two fingers when in landscape mode gets you into split screen mode, or tapping on an app in multi-tasking mode can get you a flexible window. It is not super intuitive and is a little hit-and-miss at times, but once you get the hang of it, there is a lot of utility here.
Unfortunately, the rather minimalistic design of OxygenOS is a bit of a two-edged sword on the OnePlus Pad. Yes, there is hardly any bloatware, but while that is a welcome feature on the phone, it can become a bit of a drawback in a tablet, which many people tend to use for more productive tasks. You will have to download a fair number of apps if you have to get more out of your tablet, as you do not get any powerful office or productivity tools on the device out of the box. Even the stylus (the OnePlus Stylo) has very limited utility out of the box. Of course, this being a OnePlus device, you can be assured that more will be added to the feature set in the coming days, but as of now, the software cupboard is just a little too bare. Everything works very smoothly, but out of the box, there is not too much to work with, especially when you consider the very feature-rich interfaces you get with Samsung’s Galaxy Tab series and Xiaomi’s and Lenovo’s tablets.
OnePlus Pad Performance: Powerhouse stuff
It might be running on a slightly older processor, but that does not stop the OnePlus Pad from turning in a very good performance. Whether it is running games like Genshin Impact or Alto’s Odyssey (and it looks wonderful on that display) or browsing the Web, tracking social media, or editing documents and even videos, the OnePlus Pad handles them all without any problems. The quad speakers deliver very impressive audio in terms of both volume and quality – good enough to be used as an independent audio device in a small-ish room. It is a great device to watch films and shows on, and even crowd sounds seem to surround one if one is watching a live sports event on it.
We ran multiple applications on the tablet, and there were no lags at all. This is a tablet that is built for performance and will handle most of the tasks that you throw at it with a degree of ease. The camera at the back is adequate for quick snaps and good for document scans, while the selfie camera’s subject tracking is generally accurate and, if light conditions are good enough, can be used for even some basic vlogs.
We were surprised to see that there was no cellular (4G/5G) variant of the tablet, given its performance levels and price point. OnePlus says a future software update will allow the tablet to connect automatically and use 5G connections from OnePlus phones, but as of now, you have to have a Wi-Fi connection handy to make the most of this tablet. Another missing element at this price point is a fingerprint scanner, which might also annoy the productivity crowd as entering a password to unlock the device every time can be tedious (face unlock remains unreliable, as on most Android devices).
Battery life is super impressive. The OnePlus Pad lasts anything from ten to twelve hours on a single charge. And it brings fast charging to tab territory. The OnePlus Pad comes with support for 67W SuperVOOC charging and a 67W charger in the box. The result is that you can charge the OnePlus Pad from nothing to full in about an hour and a half or lesser. Considering the size of the battery, that is very impressive (an iPad takes about three hours to charge!). We are definitely dealing with a premium-level performer here.
OnePlus Pad Productivity: Stepping into notebook shoes
It is a powerful device, and the OnePlus Pad also comes with a set of accessories that allow you to use it, like a notebook or a sketchpad. The OnePlus Magnetic Keyboard is a cover that also has a keyboard attached to it, allowing you to convert the tablet into a notebook-like device, while the OnePlus Stylo stylus lets you scribble and sketch on the tablet. Both accessories have to be purchased separately and are not too expensive if you consider what other tablet brands (particularly Apple) charge for similar accessories – the keyboard cover is Rs 7,999, and the stylus is Rs 4,999.
Of these, the keyboard cover is by far the more handy accessory at the time of writing. It comes with decent-sized keys and even has a handy trackpad. It offers only one viewing angle, and the pogo pin connection can sometimes go missing (needing you to lift the tablet and place it back on the connector), but once you get the hang of it, it is a terrific tool for typing out those long emails and messages, and once you download a decent word processor, even doing a fair bit of editing and writing.
The stylus is a little more limited at the time of writing. It works fine with the notes app on the tablet, but there too, is basically a scribble and sketch tool. There is no handwriting recognition on board, and its pairing and charging system is a little odd. The Stylo charges off the side of the OnePlus Pad, just like the Apple Pencil (2nd gen) charges off the iPad Air and Pro models, and gets paired by the same process (you just attach it to the side). However, the Stylo’s magnetic connection is a little odd – it seems to attach and yet not get paired or charged with the tablet. You have to fiddle a bit to find the exact place for both to work. It is a rather odd shortcoming in such a sleekly designed device.
The absence of a fingerprint scanner is also a potential minus point for those looking to use the OnePlus Pad as a notebook alternative. With its keyboard cover or actually any Bluetooth keyboard, it can step in for a notebook, but we do hope OnePlus will add more apps and features for both Stylus and keyboard in coming updates.
OnePlus Pad Review Verdict: Should you buy it?
The OnePlus Pad starts at Rs 37,999 for its 8 GB/ 128 GB variant, while a 12 GB/ 256 GB variant will set you back by Rs 39,999. At those prices, the OnePlus Pad comes within range of the iPad (10th generation) which is now available from some retailers at around Rs 40,000. While it lacks the software smoothness and accessories to take on the OG tablet, we feel that the OnePlus Pad right now does enough to rattle the cages of premium Android tablets.
If that sounds a little far-fetched, then consider the fact that the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 is priced in the vicinity of Rs 54,000, and while it comes with an S Pen stylus at that price, you can get the OnePlus Pad with the keyboard cover and stylus for a lower price. Even the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE will set you back by close to Rs 40,000, in spite of having a relatively less powerful processor. Yes, you might end up getting more software smarts from other tablets, but the OnePlus Pad is only likely to get better in that department in the coming days and does come with very good hardware.
At the time of writing, the OnePlus Pad’s combination of design, specs, and performance at its price makes it a massive headache for any premium tablet in the Android zone — shades of the first OnePlus phone. Android tablets might still be waiting for a truly great flagship (perhaps Google will give us one), but OnePlus just gave Android tablets a flagship killer.