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OnePlus TV 55U1: Deep Dive + A Comparison with the Q1 Series

  1. Venky61
    OnePlus TV Expert Community Expert Jul 17, 2020

    Venky61 , Jul 17, 2020 :
    Deep Dive OnePlusTV 55U1.png

    Hey Guys,
    So finally we have witnessed the launch of 2 New OnePlus TV series... U and Y. The U series which is termed as Mid-range TV by OnePlus, has only one model of 55" Screen Size with 4k resolution whereas the Y series that's termed as entry-level TVs has 2 models, a 43" FHD TV and 32" HD TV. Along with these 2 series, OnePlus already has Q series which is the Premium Category that 2 models Q1 and Q1 Pro. Now, that's a quite big TV family already isn't it?

    First of all, welcome to all the new and wanna be OnePlus TV Family members ;) If you have pre-ordered the OnePlus TV, the sale for 55U1 will be starting from 12:00 PM on July 18, 2020, at Amazon. The product page is already available and you can check that out here.

    Thanks to @Todd W. for giving me an opportunity to use the OnePlus TV 55U1 for some time, that aided me in bringing this Deep Dive for you guys. I have been using the 55U1 for a while (not an MKBHD reference :p) and I will be sharing my experiences here and how it stands when compared with the Q1 series. I hope that this post would help in making your purchase decision.

    If you are more of a video person and wouldn't mind watching in Hindi, do check out this video made in collaboration with my friend Utsav, who was also a part of the Product Ninja Team for TV :)

    Box Contents
    The OnePlus TV 55U1 has 1 IR+Bluetooth Remote (RC-003A), 2 Stand Bases, 1 Power Cord, 1 User Manual, 1 AV in Adapter, 2 Batteries and 1 Warranty Card along with the TV. All accessories except stand base are nicely packed inside a cardboard box. I loved sliding out that small box from the big package. It's like a Teaser ;)
    Note: The wall mount bracket is not included in the package but you can inform the Technician assigned for your installation if you want one.

    [​IMG]

    Now coming into the details of the contents, the first thing that caught my attention was the new remote design. With the feedback received from the Q series remote, a couple of changes were made. The Volume control buttons are now shifted from side to front, and there's a dedicated mute button... Finally... Thank you, team. The settings button has been modified to "Global Menu" which I will explain in the Software section. Apart from that, Netflix also got a dedicated button. The other buttons like D-Pad, Google Assistant, Prime Video, 1+ (Power) and Home, stay the same.

    Remotes.jpg

    The remote has a curvy back that gives a good grip for holding. Instead of the Type C charging that we saw in the Q series remote, this time OnePlus chose the traditional AAA batteries for power. Because of the battery compartment, the remote is slightly thick and long. It's made of high-quality plastic with a smooth finish and it almost feels metal unless tapped on. I can say that this remote is more elderly-friendly.

    The buttons are clicky and have good feedback. The only problem I have with the new design is the placement of D-Pad. I have to change my regular holding position to reach them. The Remote has both IR and Bluetooth for control. Overall the new remote is a good balance between usability and minimalism.

    [​IMG]

    The stand base is made of metal and provides very stable support for the TV. The quality of the stand is very good and it has rubber pads at the bottom for preventing any movement. Do note that you need to have a table that is longer than 120cm for the TV to be placed properly. If not I suggest opting for Wall Mount.

    IMG_0016.JPG

    The power cord is 1.5 m long and the cable has elbow design on both ends to be able to fit in places with less clearance. Thoughtful... There's also an RCA to AV in an adapter that can be used to connect the old Set-Top Boxes or Video Players that has 3 pins.

    Physical Overview
    As @Pete rightly said, the design of the 55U1 is "Burden less". The TV is sooooo thin, 6.9mm to be exact. The display panel has a metal frame around and the bezels are very minimal on all the sides except for the bottom where the new 1+ logo is placed.

    IMG_00181.jpg

    The back has a frosted glass finish on the top portion where the thickness is minimum and the bottom portion where the Speaker, Processor and other hardware parts are housed, is covered with karbon fiber material. Though we hardly look at the back of the TV, this one makes you want to. The grooves provided for wall mount (VESA 200 x 200) are also nicely concealed. The 4 Speaker setup is placed inside the housing, facing downwards.

    IMG_0023.JPG

    The input ports are placed on the extreme end for easy access when wall mounted. There are 3 HDMI Ports, out of which HDMI 1 supports ARC. Other ports include 1 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.0, 1 Ethernet, 1 Optical, 1 RF and 1 AV in. There's a removable cover to conceal the ports.

    The placement of the ports is close due to the space constraint and if you are planning to use an HDMI device of large size as a Fire Stick, it's suggested to use an HDMI extender so that the other ports are not covered. There is no Audio (3.5mm) Jack but you can connect headphones/speakers with Bluetooth or HDMI ARC if your speaker setup supports it.

    The front side with minimal bezels and 95.5% screen to body ratio gives an immersive viewing experience especially while watching full-screen videos. There is a power indicating LED on the front, that shines white, instead of the traditional red. This one looks very cool and reminds me of the LED light on the Q1 Pro.
    Overall, OnePlus has put a lot of effort into the physical appearance of the TV and is refreshingly different from the Q Series. No compromises have been made.

    IMG_0015.JPG

    Picture Quality
    The 55U1 has UHD (3840 x 2160 pixels) resolution LED Backlit VA panel. It has support for HDR10, HDR10+, HLG and Dolby Vision formats. The TV features 93% DCI-P3 color gamut. Color gamut represents all the colors that the TV can display. There's also Gamma Engine that provides Picture Quality enhancement by Noise Reduction, Super Resolution, Dynamic Contrast, Anti Aliasing, MEMC, AI PQ.

    IMG_0033.JPG

    The picture quality is really good with great details, rich colors and a good contrast ratio. Not just the UHD content but even the FHD content looks really sharp and clear. The up-scaling helps in improving quality. I watched "Lost in Space" series on Netflix which is available in Dolby Vision and the colors were well reproduced. Dolby Vision mode activates automatically with a logo when the content is detected. None of the colors look overly saturated. Here are a few video samples for you.
    Do Note that the picture quality in actual is much better than I could capture in the video due to camera limitations.

    I observed that the colors are slightly on the cooler side. The screen gets sufficiently bright with the 350 nits. The screen is also not that reflective and I could watch it even when a window's reflection was falling right onto the screen. But do note that there’s no Auto Brightness Sensor, so the user has to manually adjust the Backlight level as per their requirement during bright and dark conditions in the room. I really wish for a software option that can change Backlight and Color Temperature as per the time at least like Night mode on Phones. Fingers Crossed.

    While watching dark scenes or App interfaces with dark backgrounds, the blacks aren't that dark enough and they looked more like dark grey. This was expected from an LED display but could be better. Viewing angles on this VA panel are decent, and above 120 degrees or so I observed loss in details and colors being slightly washed out.

    [​IMG]
    There's Motion Interpolation feature (MEMC) listed as Ultra Smooth Motion. This feature basically increases the fps and provides a smooth playback that would be a treat to watch during Sports Videos, Documentaries and a few series/movies. This feature works well even for 24fps content except for very fast-moving scenes where you might observe some artifacts/ghosting. Decreasing the Ultra Smooth Motion to Medium or Low helps in such cases.

    Unfortunately, there's no local dimming option but there's "Global Dimming" that basically turns the whole display darker during the dark scenes and brighter during bright scenes. There are ample preset picture modes that the user can switch as per their taste. Not just that, the user has control to change all the parameters in the picture including the color space.

    [​IMG]

    I also connected my desktop and played Tomb Raider Legend with “Game Picture Mode” and I found no input lag. I often connect my desktop with TV and the option of controlling the color space of TV really helps me while editing media.

    Audio Quality
    The 4 Speaker units setup (2 Speakers + 2 Tweeters) has 30W power and are down-firing. The TV speakers are loud enough for a large size room (7m x 5m). I generally keep the volume at 30-35% in Surround Mode and that suffices me for most of the scenarios. I found the bass to be decent and the vocals are good but the treble is disappointing. There is a slight distortion if you go to a very high volume. Thankfully, the Custom Sound Mode that has an equalizer setup came useful where I balanced the lows and highs as per my taste and voila, it sounds much better. Here's an audio sample recorded with the TV in Surround Mode Sound with 30% volume and how the sound changes with modes.


    The TV also supports Dolby Audio. But unfortunately, none of the OTT apps that have Dolby Audio content, support to play with the inbuilt speakers except Sun Nxt. I played some Dolby Audio samples though, and the difference is significant. In the future, we may expect all the OTT Apps to support Dolby Audio through the internal speakers, so having Dolby Audio Support TV will be advantageous for better audio quality.

    TV also supports Bluetooth for Audio output. Once you pair a BT Headphone, the audio automatically switches from speaker to headphone. I watched a complete movie with headphones and I found no lag. If you already have a Home Theatre System /Sound Bar that supports HDMI Input for Audio, then you can connect them via HDMI 1 (ARC) for routing that audio through them. There’s also Optical Audio out port if your Sound System doesn’t support ARC.

    Software and Performance
    The software has been one of the strong points for the OnePlus devices in phones and it’s no different for TVs too. The 55U1 runs on Android TV OS. The home screen is standard just like any other Android TV with rows termed as channels showing recommendations from various OTT apps. Other than shuffling the position of the channels and toggling them On/Off there’s not much of customization available. The Apps in the row can be re-arranged as per the user’s requirement.

    Home Screen.jpg

    The TV has an Integrated Google Assistant that can be activated by a button from the Remote and it can also take commands from Alexa enabled devices. To know more about what all you can do with the Google Assistant, do check out this detailed post I made earlier.

    Apart from the regular features offered by the Stock Android OS, OnePlus has been working continuously to improve the experience by adding more features for the users. And with my experience from the Product Ninja program, I can surely say that the features existing are just a start and more can be expected.

    The first major software feature I love about the OnePlus TVs is the Connect App. This provides a smart way to interact with the TV from the phone. You can put the TV to Sleep, Turn it ON, Control Volume, Navigate through Interface, change inputs, basically all that things you do with a remote are integrated neatly into the phone. Along with the regular controls, there’s a screenshot feature that will help in quickly taking a snap of what’s on the TV Screen (Doesn’t work on OTT Apps due to DRM) and a Quick App Switch drawer that helps in switching between apps with one tap. There’s also “Type sync” that enables you to type inputs directly from the phone instead of the onscreen keyboard on TV (Works on limited apps).

    [​IMG]

    For users who have limited Data Plans or using Mobile Data for streaming, “Data Saver Plus” feature is available that helps in restricting the bandwidth, notifying with Data Alerts, stop apps from using data in the background and show the usage data statistics per day. Though I have unlimited data plan, I really love this feature as I can check how much data I am consuming through TV daily.

    [​IMG]

    TV also features a dedicated Kids Mode where a new profile is created with fine control over Watch Time, Allowed Apps, Pin Code etc. There is scope for improvement for the Kids mode and hope to see Auto control over the content that’s visible in this mode.


    There are many other features for ease of accessibility such as “Input Source Memory” which enables your TV to turn ON in the last opened HDMI Inputs. A Bluetooth Stereo mode that converts your TV as a BT Speaker to be able to play music/audio from your phone. This could be useful if you have local music on your phones. There’s also Built-In Chromecast to cast videos and audio from various Apps through phone instantly like Spotify, Youtube, Netflix, Prime Video etc. Both the casting and Screen Mirroring works from Android and IOS Phones. Miracast is also expected to be included soon with the upcoming updates.

    [​IMG]
    Another new feature that has been added exclusively in 55U1 is the Global Menu. You could be on any screen watching or playing game, one press on the “Global Menu” key brings up the quick access setting from the bottom of the screen. There’s access to Network Settings/Picture Modes/Sound Modes/Bluetooth Stereo/Inputs/Settings. This is much easier than the earlier option of having to Long press for settings and access from there.

    Oxygen Play which is the OnePlus’s own content aggregating platform has refined UI and has partnered with many OTT platforms like Prime Video, Zee5, Hungama Play, MX Player TV etc. The App shows content from all those platform categorized into Movies/TV Shows/Music/Kids etc with a tag showing platform’s name and if the content is free/premium/available on rent. The Search feature also helps in quickly identifying if your required content is available in any of the partners. The App would be more useful if the other major players like Hotstar and Netflix would also join their hands. Hope to see that soon.

    [​IMG]

    Coming to the Media Playback with the Native Video Player, it supports all major file formats except .m2ts (Blu-ray). This is important to know because if you want to play Dolby Vision/Dolby Audio content through local storage it’s possible only through Native Video Player. The playback in the video player is smooth except for hiccups during seeking of 4K HDR videos.

    The TV has Android 9 version with latest security patch from May 2020. The software experience though is smooth it’s not totally free of bugs. There are a couple of bugs that I faced but nothing major that would prevent you from using the TV. As OnePlus has been pushing updates to resolve the bugs in the previously released Q series, we can expect the same for the U series too.

    The interface is very clean without any bloat and the navigation is pretty smooth too, thanks to the quad-core Cortex A53 chip and 3GB Ram. The Google Play store provides access to thousands of apps and games. A user can also easily sideload apps if not available on the play store and if the available storage is falling short you can also connect a USB Stick/HDD to expand the storage.

    The memory management is OK but I think that’s how the Android TV OS has been optimized to work with the hardware available. Focus is more on the smooth playback of the App that’s on the foreground but apps do stay in the background for a while. The Mali G51 GPU in 55 U1 handles light/medium graphic games without any frame drops but with the heavy games like Asphalt 9 would have few frame drops. Do keep in mind that many games need a Bluetooth/USB controller to be connected for them to work. Here's a small list of games that you can play without having to buy a controller.

    Comparison with Q1 Series
    If we look closely there are more similarities in both U1 and Q1 series than differences. The Processor, Ram, Storage, Resolution, HDR Support, Dolby Vision, Software, Screen to Body Ratio, Connectivity, Software and Smart features, all are same for both the U1 and Q1 series. But obviously, as the Q1 series is the premium segment of the OnePlus TV offerings, there are ought to be some improvements for spending that extra money compared to 55U1. The major improvements are in the Display Panel and Speaker Setup.

    The Q1 Series as the name suggests has a QLED Panel that generally offers better colors, brightness, contrast ratio and deep blacks compared to a normal LED that the U1 series has. When I compared both the picture quality of Q1Pro and 55U1 side by side I could observe that Q1 Pro is brighter, slightly vibrant, the shadows are better lit during HDR playback and deep blacks. Even the viewing angles are better on Q1 series. Here are few side-by-side screenshots of 55U1 and Q1 Pro.

    DP2.jpg

    DP6.jpg

    DP9.jpg

    DP10.jpg

    The second major difference as mentioned above is the Speaker Setup. The Q1 Series has a 8 Speaker Setup of 50W power whereas the 55U1 has a 4 speaker setup of 30W power. Though the difference is not very much in terms of loudness, but the audio clarity is much better in Q1 series with respect to Bass and Treble. There’s a clear distinction between the Mids and Highs in case of Q1Pro/Q1 when compared to 55U1. The Audio clarity of Q1 stays somewhere in between these two models as Q1 slightly lacks bass when compared to Q1 Pro.
    So in terms of sound, it’s Q1Pro > Q1 > 55U1 as expected.
    Here’s few Audio Samples from Q1 Pro and 55U1. Do note that Q1 Pro has front-firing speakers.


    Now apart from the above 2 major differences, there are a couple of minor ones such as
    • Remote Design and button configurations (Type C in Q1 vs AAA Batteries in 55U1).
    • Stand Base Design (MonoPod design in Q1 vs 2 stands in 55U1)
    • Ports (1 Extra HDMI port and Type C port in Q1)
    • Thickness (12 mm in case of Q1 vs 6.5mm for 55U1)
    • Power indicating LED light (Red in case of Q1 vs White for 55U1)
    • Back Design.
    Final Verdict
    The 55U1 has all the bells and whistles required for a good 4K HDR LED TV. OnePlus has carefully managed to balance between the cost and premium experience. Surely the 55U1 is slightly higher in cost compared to the competition, but the Software features, Wider Color Gamut, Design, smooth performance and the scope of software support with consistent updates from OnePlus make it a great deal for the price. And if you are willing to spend more for better picture and sound quality, then Q1 becomes a better choice.

    Sorry for the very long post but I tried to cover as much as possible and I hope I could cover all about the 55U1 in detail and if you feel that anything is missing or you want to know more about the product or specific feature, feel free to let me know in the comments or reach me through message. I would be happy to help :)

    Also, for the detailed Specifications of the 55U1, I would suggest to check out this Ultimate Guide created by @razzor228
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 15, 2021

    #1
  2. Starcommander
    OnePlus Accessory Tester Jul 17, 2020

    Starcommander , Jul 17, 2020 :
    Thats a big read. I will read it soon. Thanks for detailed explanation.
     

    #2
  3. Venky61
    OnePlus TV Expert Community Expert Jul 17, 2020

    Venky61 , Jul 17, 2020 :
    Yea... I tried to make it as "deep" as possible :D
    Looking forward for your thoughts after reading :)
     

    #3
  4. suveerupadhyay
    Gingerbread Jul 17, 2020


    #4
    Venky61 likes this.
  5. razzor228
    OnePlus Accessory Tester Jul 17, 2020

    razzor228 , Jul 17, 2020 :
    A very detailed comparison! This will surely help a lot of people who are confused between the U series and the Q Series!
     

    #5
    Venky61 and Batman360 like this.
  6. Optimus_Prime_07
    Ice Cream Sandwich Jul 17, 2020

    Optimus_Prime_07 , via OnePlus 3 , Jul 17, 2020 :
    Great Thread @venky61😎[e]1f44c[/e].
    I have read all the details and i also prebook the TV and waiting for the 55Inch. Still Having some doubts that i want to share.

    1. What does Wall Mount cost ?
    2. They are going to install on the same day delivered ?
    3. What is the main reason that keep this TV stand apart from other TV with almost same Specs at lower price in range of 30k-42k ??
    4. How can i apply for the extended warranty?.
    5. If you have to buy for yourself do you spend 50k, answer this true like a friend is asking.[e]1f61c[/e]
     

    #6
    Venky61 likes this.
  7. ahuja_varun
    Honeycomb Jul 17, 2020

    ahuja_varun , Jul 17, 2020 :
    Wow!!! That's what you call a detailed information now !!
    Thank you soo very much for the thread @Venky61

    My question is that how would the installation process take places due to the restrictions in the city and what would be the cost for the wall mount and and would that be taken care u der the free installation??
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2020

    #7
    Venky61 likes this.
  8. Batman360
    OnePlus Accessory Tester Jul 17, 2020

    Batman360 , Jul 17, 2020 :
    I need a oxygen tank for this deep dive 😉 Gonna read it and give my views 🔥
     

    #8
  9. the_o2
    OnePlus 9 Series Expert Community Expert Jul 17, 2020

    the_o2 , Jul 17, 2020 :
    Wow, have to say it's really detailed.
    I'm not a TV person but really enjoyed reading it and the Gifs are too good :)
     

    #9
    Venky61 likes this.
  10. Venky61
    OnePlus TV Expert Community Expert Jul 17, 2020

    Venky61 , Jul 17, 2020 :
    Thank you so much and yes more to come :)

    Thanks a lot :) Yea, that was my first intention of trying out the U1.

    Hey... Thank you and glad you like it :) Also welcome to the OnePlus TV family, hope you get the hands-on soon.
    And coming to your doubts,
    As I installed it on the Base Stands, I would not be able to share my experience about points 1 and 2. The installation whether will be on the same day or next depends totally on the Amazon Home Services who are responsible for the Installation. I know that once you order and select the "Free Installation Service" along with the order, you will be communicated by the Amazon Home Service for the Installation. You can intimate in advance that you are looking for Wall Mount so that they get the Wall Mount Bracket. Sorry that I have no information yet if it will be free or charged. But if charged, it will be as per this sheet is my guess
    upload_2020-7-17_19-6-33.png

    3. What is the main reason that keep this TV stand apart from other TV with almost same Specs at lower price in range of 30k-42k ??
    This, I answered here considering the other 55" alternatives with DV and DA.
    4. How can i apply for the extended warranty?.
    You don't need to, separately.
    Your plan details will be delivered via email from Acko Technology & Services Private Limited within 15 days of purchase of the TV.

    5. If you have to buy for yourself do you spend 50k, answer this true like a friend is asking.
    Ha ha.. It's a very complicated question to answer as it has ifs and buts. But yeah, if I am looking for TV with all the features and software support and actually looking for a TV in the price range of 40-55k then I would. But if I am looking for a 55" under budget, then no. I will compromise on some features and settle.
    As a matter of fact, my younger brother is looking for a 55" 4K TV and he is considering this as an option.

    My pleasure to bring this information to you guys :)
    I answered about the Wall Mount cost above. Regarding the installation in restriction, I think the order will not be deliverable at all if your area has restrictions. But if it is, then it shouldn't be a problem. Amazon has tie-ups with many local technicians.

    Ha ha... Sending one to save you :p
    [​IMG]

    Thank you so much... Glad you like the Gifs... They actually took most of the time in the review process :D
     

    #10
  11. Optimus_Prime_07
    Ice Cream Sandwich Jul 17, 2020

    Optimus_Prime_07 , via OnePlus 3 , Jul 17, 2020 :
    Thanks for the Answers, Hope i get in my cart soon 😎 and Shared my experience with it.🤩
     

    #11
    Mukesh Pooja and Venky61 like this.
  12. Venky61
    OnePlus TV Expert Community Expert Jul 17, 2020

    Venky61 , Jul 17, 2020 :
    I hope you do... All the best :)
     

    #12
    Batman360 and Smit Purohit like this.
  13. ahuja_varun
    Honeycomb Jul 17, 2020

    ahuja_varun , Jul 17, 2020 :
    thank you for the promt reply @Venky61

    it's a good thing there is no such restrictions in and around my area at the moment ..

    looking forward to buy the 43 inches !! 🤩[e]1f60d[/e]

    would that be on sale tomorrow too ??
     

    #13
    Venky61 likes this.
  14. Venky61
    OnePlus TV Expert Community Expert Jul 17, 2020

    Venky61 , Jul 17, 2020 :
    Any time... And regarding the 43", as you pre-ordered, you should be able to see if it shows that information on it's product page. For others, it shows "Stay Tuned" :p
     

    #14
    Batman360 likes this.

  15. #15
  16. Venky61
    OnePlus TV Expert Community Expert Jul 17, 2020

    Venky61 , Jul 17, 2020 :
    Hey... Not yet... Waiting for the reply... Will ping you once I get it.
     

    #16
    Batman360 and Darshil_Raichura like this.
  17. G_plusone
    Nougat Jul 17, 2020


    #17
    Batman360 and Venky61 like this.
  18. rickybarretto
    Gingerbread Jul 17, 2020


    #18
  19. Darshil_Raichura , via OnePlus 5T Midnight Black , Jul 18, 2020 :
    You have to add TV as well as echo dot both to the cart and then at the time of checkout you will get echo dot as free.
     

    #19
    rickybarretto likes this.
  20. Venky61
    OnePlus TV Expert Community Expert Jul 18, 2020

    Venky61 , Jul 18, 2020 :
    Thank you so much :)

    As @Darshil_Raichura rightly said, you should select "Add Both to Cart" option for getting it for free. If you have not done that and the TV is available for purchase, I suggest to cancel the previous order and redo with the above procedure for getting it for free.. Or contact Amazon Customer care and see if they can help.
     

    #20
    sam6rkz, Batman360 and rickybarretto like this.