Handset maker OnePlus recently made a foray into the tab market with its OnePlus Pad and warmed up the segment dominated by Samsung and Apple. However, OnePlus brings a lot to the table with a premium metal unibody design, large, bright display, and heavy battery. The design of the OnePlus Pad definitely stands out, thanks to the soft aluminum finish, but there’s more to write about.
The Indian tablet market has three leaders, with South Korean tech giant Samsung in the lead, followed by Apple and Lenovo which has a healthy tablet portfolio. The tab market in India is expected to grow by around 5-10% this year, according to a market intelligence firm. The Indian market has seen the launch of some truly capable devices over the past few quarters such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE, Galaxy Tab S8 and of course the Apple iPad Air (2022) Wi-Fi + Cellular. However, these are tablets that offer a rich user experience at a higher price. How does the OnePlus Pad behave on the Indian tablet? Find out in this in-depth review.
OnePlus Pad design, display, appearance and construction
Since India has always been a budget consumer market, OnePlus has sincerely tried to deliver a high-end tablet experience at a relatively lower price. OnePlus Pad pricing starts at Rs 37,999 for the base 8GB/128GB model in India. The other variant has launched for Rs 39,999 for the 12GB/256GB storage configuration.
As mentioned above, the design of the OnePlus Pad is what sets it apart from competitors like the Xiaomi Pad 6 and Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE. Comparing the OnePlus Pad with the Lenovo Tab P11, the latter’s design is square with a flat back while the OnePlus Tab has a curved back and soft, chamfered edges. The tablet is extremely comfortable to hold; it’s safe to say that the OnePlus Pad is perhaps one of the most comfortable tabs on the market. The OnePlus Pad is 6.5 thick and has a premium feel in the hand. The aluminum unibody design makes it super sturdy. However, this also makes it heavy with a weight of 552 grams. Carrying the tongue in one hand can be cumbersome for those who don’t train regularly with their arms. The back side of the tab, as nice as it is, is a big fingerprint magnet. I would recommend using it with the OnePlus Folio case which also comes in a sleek green hue.
The Tab display is equally impressive – there’s an 11.61-inch LCD screen with a 144Hz refresh rate and 2800×2000 resolution. To compensate for the lack of an AMOLED display, OnePlus has added Vivid Picture Mode by default, which brings out the colors and also boosts the saturation. This may not appeal to many as the colors can get overwhelming. The screen has a pixel density of 296ppi, an aspect ratio of 7:5 and a peak brightness of 500nits. The tablet offers an 88% screen-to-body ratio. Speaking of aspect ratio, rejoice readers! Well, the OnePlus Pad’s 7:5 aspect ratio makes the tablet perfect for reading PDFs, eBooks, and more. The screen also tends to have a bit of ghosting when scrolling. Even though there is a 144Hz refresh rate, most apps can only run at 60Hz, 90Hz, or 120Hz. I expect OnePlus to fix this via a software update at the future. The OnePlus Pad’s speakers also deserve a special mention – there are four speakers (two on each side) with Dolby Atmos support that were quite loud and clear even at maximum volume with some amount of bass. There was no distortion. The Tab is ideal for video/OTT consumption and music listening.
When placed on its back, the tablet feels a bit wobbly, thanks to the small circular camera bump that looks neat and doesn’t scream for attention. The back of the tab has nothing to distract you except for the humble OnePlus logo that sits below the camera bump. The company smartly launched the OnePlus Pad in this price segment because it’s essentially devoid of any competition, with the new Xiaomi Pad 6 available at a lower price and Apple’s iPad being an expensive proposition. The OnePlus Pad is available in just one color: Halo Green, which has a nice finish. It’s a refreshing break from the sea of blue and gray hues we see on most tabs these days. The tab buttons have good tactile feedback. However, their placement could have been slightly better and their size could have been larger, considering the overall size of the tab. The volume rockers and power keys are placed at the top right, the USB-C port is placed at the bottom, the metal connectors for the keyboard on the left and the pen connector and the charger are housed on the right side of the OnePlusPad. There’s a 13MP main camera on the back which gets the job done in most cases. There’s a large 8MP sensor on the front for video calls and selfies.
OnePlus Pad performance and battery
The OnePlus Pad uses a one-year-old MediaTek Dimensity 9000 SoC. However, it is powerful and capable and on par with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC. MediaTek Dimensity 9000 SoC also means there were no performance issues or stuttering. Multitasking was smooth, but I noticed occasional lags when loading the recent apps menu. The OnePlus Pad’s user interface is also smooth and it was a breeze to use split-screen apps. The Tab comes with OnePlus’ proprietary OxygenOS 13.1 based on Android 13, which lacks some of the features brought by Android 12L. The company has also brought ecosystem features which are showcased to improve how the OnePlus Pad works with OnePlus smartphones. For example, one can receive the notification from his phone on the OnePlus Pad and the universal clipboard support allows him to copy content on his OnePlus phone and paste it on the Pad. OnePlus also promised four years of security patches and three years of major operating system (OS) updates, making the OnePlus Pad future-proof.
The OnePlus Pad’s battery life deserves a special mention here: the 9,510mAh battery supported by 67-watt SuperVOOC charging can easily run for up to eight hours with the keyboard attached. However, it should be noted that despite the presence of a 100-watt charger, the tablet only supports a charging speed of 67 watts. OnePlus accessories include the OnePlus Stylo or Stylus which retails for Rs 5,000 while the Magnetic Keyboard Cover which is available for around Rs 8,000. Both are very capable and enhance the experience of using the OnePlus Pad. The best thing about the OnePlus Stylo is the ability to charge it wirelessly via the tab. The highlight of the keyboard is the small but very useful touchpad. It is super responsive and supports a few gestures as well.
OnePlus tablet verdict
While there’s no denying that the OnePlus Pad offers a good user experience, great battery life, and ticks all the boxes when it comes to good looks, it can’t replace a laptop or be considered a full-fledged productivity machine. Most apps still need to be optimized for use on large screen devices like Tabs. Against rivals Lenovo Tab P11 and Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE, the OnePlus Pad indeed offers a value-for-money tablet that excels in terms of battery, charging, display and performance. It would have been a good deal if biometric authentication was also provided. This is a spellbinding first attempt by OnePlus to ramp up the competition in the Indian tablet market.