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OnePlus TV U1S: Beta Testers' Write-Up

  1. Yash Pratap Singh.
    Lollipop Jun 23, 2021

    Stickied Post
    Yash Pratap Singh. , Jun 23, 2021 :
    OnePlus TV Camera Review

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    Hey everyone!

    In this pandemic situation, video calling from phones became really common for casual purposes and video meetings from laptops/PC was considered the new normal for offices/students.
    But, what about video calling via TV? It has bigger screen, great colour accuracy and better audio, making it a great platform for doing video calls.
    And most TVs don’t have an in-built camera, so, OnePlus thought, if we’re gonna release a TV, why not release a webcam for it too?

    So hello again everyone, my name is Yash and welcome to my review of the OnePlus TV Camera!
    Before starting, I would like to thank two other guys, @Venky61 and @Batman360, who helped me with their valuable inputs to make this review possible. You can read our introduction in the first post.

    Unboxing

    upload_2021-6-23_12-55-55.png
    Front side
    The camera comes in a box which is identical to the packaging of the OnePlus Buds and the Buds Z. It has a minimalistic white/black/red design. A trace of front view of the actual product, the TV Camera, is drawn on the front.

    upload_2021-6-23_12-55-55.png
    Back Side

    The back of the box has all the information regarding the camera, weight, dimensions, MRP, SKU, etc. A hang tab is present on the top of the box, probably for hanging it in the OnePlus stores.

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    Unboxing

    Unboxing experience is neat, simply pull the red box from the bottom, and you’ll see the camera folded to occupy less space and make the box compact.
    The cables are in other compartment, inside a plastic wrap, pretty simple unboxing 😉

    Overall, I like the box design, keeping the flow of ‘minimalism’ throughout the product, outside and inside the box.

    Specifications

    TL;DR - Good specs for the price, FHD 25fps, 2MP camera
    • Optical Sensor Resolution - 2 Million Pixels (2MP)
    • Focus - Fixed Focus
    • Image Output Resolution - Full HD 1920 x 1080p
    • Image Output Aspect Ratio - 16:9, widescreen
    • Image Output Format - JPEG
    • Video Output Resolution- 1080P
    • Video Output FPS - 25fps
    • Video Output Format - MP4
    • Microphone-2 mics, Noise cancellation
    • Connector Type - USB Type-A
    • Platform Compatibility - Android TV 8.0 or above, Windows 7/10
    • Dimensions - 80 x 35.1 x 67.1 mm
    • In the Box - USB-Camera, USB-Cable, User-Guide
    Design

    TL;DR - Premium design, lightweight plastic, minimalistic and with a grey-black finish. A USB C port in the back for connection

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    360° View

    In one word, the camera design is....minimalistic . The corners are cut in such a way that when they're seen from the front, they look like a sharp rectangle, but when seen from the sides, you'll notice the rounded corners . The colour is black and grey. This gives a compact and premium design to the camera. And it is so lightweight due to the plastic finish that you wouldn't notice the weight of the camera even if you attach it to a laptop.

    Magnetic Dock/Holder -
    There's a magnetic holder attached to the arm of the camera which makes it easy to setup, simply place the main module on the top bezel of screen (TV/Laptop) and press the arm to the back panel of the TV/Laptop screen so that it magnetically attaches itself. The magnet is really strong, which prevents any wobbling/shaking after the camera has been setup. Also, the magnetic holder is covered with a rubber padding to prevent damage to the back panel of your device.
    Pros -
    • Less effort required to dock the camera.
    • The magnet is strong, doesn’t wobble much.
    • If the camera is attached to a TV with a metal back-plate (like the U1S), then the camera is tightly fixed.
    Cons -
    • No clamping mechanism for extra safety of camera
    • If back-plate of the TV/Laptop is non-metallic, like the Q series TV, then the camera needs to be adjusted by pressing the front and back dock tightly so that it doesn’t wobble.
    upload_2021-6-23_12-55-55.png

    Connectivity -
    The camera has USB A connector so that you can use with other devices like laptop/desktop. The cable is detachable from camera. As the camera has Type-C port in the back, you can use the Type-C to Type-A ports of your phones which is convenient in case the original cable is missing.

    Pros-

    • The cable is really long, and so there is no problem in docking it to large TVs also (65 inches U1S also faces no problem with camera cable length).
    • Phone’s USB C charging cable can also be used if Camera’s cable is lost or unavailable.
    Cons-
    • The terminals of the USB cable are stretched downwards, this may lead to excessive bending of the cable terminals if the camera is left permanently attached.
    upload_2021-6-23_12-55-55.png
    Back USB C Port

    upload_2021-6-23_12-55-55.png
    Easily Attaches to Back of the TV
    Camera Hinge -
    The camera is attached to the camera limb via a Hinge mechanism, which can help the user to adjust the positioning and inclination even if the camera is fully-magnetically docked to the TV/Laptop because the hinge is protruded above the docking limb and so, it provides a basic, quick and easy adjustment. It doesn’t matter if your TV is mounted/placed high or low from the ground, you can simply tilt the camera up and down as per your convenience.

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    Easy Up/Down Movement

    Physical Shutter & Indicator Light -
    upload_2021-6-23_13-26-13.png
    Front View of Camera

    This is an amazing feature in the camera. You can simply close the shutter towards the left so that the Camera lens is covered, thus it gives you access to your privacy, in your hands.

    Now even if you're attending Zoom in half-sleep and think that you might sleep on the keyboard by mistake to press Alt+V and turn on the video, you're saved by this shutter....sounds too specific? Been there, done that.
    For TVs, as most of the time your camera will be connected to it while the TV is being used for playing content, the shutter makes you feel safe.
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    Shutter Movement

    There is also a white indicator light in the camera which turns on whenever the camera is in use. And it blinks once when the camera detects a power source connected, when you plug in the USB to your laptop/PC/TV.
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    Indicator Light when Camera is ON

    Photo/Video Quality

    TL;DR - Overall, a good quality camera if the apps support high quality calls, lack of autofocus is a disadvantage if users are using the camera by connecting it with the USB of the laptop, but if user is more than 50cm away from the screen, then there’s no issue, video clarity is good.
    Since this Camera is supposed to be used as a webcam for video calling, we’ll not elaborate on the topics such as colour accuracy or zooming capabilities, etc.
    To describe the capability of camera in video calls in one sentence, we’d say that it is, delivering the essentials really good.

    Now, elaborating on some important requirements in a video call and explaining how the camera handles them -

    Sharpness & Quality -
    • The camera is Full HD 1080p, so quality doesn’t get compromised during video calls. And if the app used for calling supports high quality FHD video calls, then the camera works like a charm!
    • The camera can give a sharp focus on the main subject (you) if you’re sitting within a range of 0.5m, 4m. If you’re sitting less than 0.5m away or more than 4m away, then the camera will not be able to give a completely sharp view, due to the lack of auto-focus.
    • Since the camera is dedicated for TVs, this is not an issue because it has taken into account the distance at which the viewer sits from the TV, and it has managed to do it well. So, for video calling via TV, you’ll get a good clarity and focus with no problems at all.
    • However if you’re using it with a laptop/PC you may have to adjust your distance from the webcam by a little distance to get maximum clarity.
    upload_2021-6-23_13-27-52.png
    Photo from OnePlus TV Camera app
    Smoothness -
    • The camera supports 25 fps of video recording, so during video calls, the movements and smoothness doesn’t have any problems if the video calling app is good and supports high quality calling
    • While using the camera with the TV, there were absolutely no issues with the smoothness of the calls, a 10/10 experience with the 25 fps camera. The videos recorded were smooth, the video calls looked good even if you kept moving around the room.
    • However, a bit of a drag was observed in footage details if you were close to the camera (around 0.5 to 1m) but this was noticable only if the video is slowed down, so not an issue for video-calling.
    Overall, the smoothness of the camera is the best point of the product, 25 fps video looks great and 1080p clarity makes it a good camera for video calling.
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    Video (converted to GIF) from Camera App (may appear a bit grainy due to compression)

    Audio Recording Quality

    The camera has two noise cancellation mic on both sides of the lens groove.
    • The mic’s noise cancellation works good if you are in a closed room, it manages to cut-off the background noise so that the voice is heard clearly, however if you’re sitting with the door open, the mic sometimes picks up background noise such as birds chirping, a little bit of fan noise, etc.
    • However, I noticed that the sound cut-off in between if we varied the distance between me and the mic. For example, if you are speaking and lean back on your chair, the voice cuts in between instead of volume going low.
    Overall, the mic is quite responsive, and actively detects and transmits your voice in a meeting without any problem.

    OnePlus TV Apps Performance

    Note - The handsome guy in the photos is @Venky61, and all photos were taken at a distance of 5-6 ft away from the Camera when connected to TV

    upload_2021-6-23_12-55-56.png
    We tested the camera by attaching it to the USB port of the OnePlus Q1 TV and the OnePlus U1S TV. Both TVs showed similar performance of the camera with different apps, even though the Q1 was running Android TV 9 and the U1S was running Android TV 10.
    Here are the experiences with different apps:

    OnePlus TV Camera App -
    The OnePlus TV Camera app is able to record videos and click photos, just like a simple camera app, but has some fun photo-frames too.
    • The quality of photos clicked were good and after a little processing with the camera app, the images looked vivid and colourful (even though the camera's hardware wasn't much focused on colour).
    • The photos, however, looked pixelated while viewing them on the TV, probably because the camera had lesser megapixels and photos were viewed on a 4K 65 and 55 inches TV.
    • The camera app faced some lag in viewfinder screen, but since the camera is attached and stationary on the top of the TV, this was not an issue which interfered with the usage.
    • Video recording by camera app was....sadly, on the negative side, the camera app recorded videos in a maximum resolution of 640 X 480 even though the camera is 1920 X 1080. The video recording duration was also limited to 3 minutes only (probably due to the less storage left from 16GB in the TV after system occupied storage)
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    Frames in camera app

    Google Duo -
    Google Duo app on the OnePlus TV works pretty well with the camera. Though the Duo app will need some improvements from Google’s side, like fixing some bugs in the app, but if we leave the bugs aside, the app is great and easy to use.
    • The quality of video was enough to make a video call with a clear focus on the subject (you, the one who’s making the call) but again, the footage looked pixelated on the large screen.
    • The camera’s microphones were quite responsive and did a good job clearing the background noises even if you were sitting around 4 metres away from it and transmitting good quality audio to the receiver.
    • Surprisingly, Google Duo had a really less lag compared to Camera app. To some people who’ll not observe it closely, the lag will be unnoticeable.
    upload_2021-6-23_12-55-56.png
    Google Duo App

    Additional Apps and OS Test

    Apart from the standard apps like Camera and Google Duo on the OnePlus TV, we tested the camera with some other apps, also available on the Android TV Play Store -

    Jami & Trueconf -
    Jami and Trueconf are two other video calling apps on the Android TV’s Google Play Store. They both had similar quality in video calling but Trueconf’s UI and app design was much easier to use and better than Jami.
    • The fps of video from the camera was at a good 20-25 fps. The lag observed was almost the same as Google Duo, about 0.3 seconds, so it wasn’t a problem
    • The quality of footage was great, however, any object placed in the background beyond 4 meters had a pixelated boundary detailing in the video.
    • Comparing Trueconf and Jami, I found Trueconf’s colours to look better and more vivid compared to Jami.
    upload_2021-6-23_12-55-56.png
    Jami App
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    TrueConf App
    Windows 10 -
    Since the Camera has USB Type-A connection cable, we can use the camera with a laptop/PC too. We tested the camera with a Windows 10 laptop and used some major Video Calling apps.
    • Windows 10 Camera App - The in-built camera app on Windows 10 was able to use the full potential of the camera, it recorded videos in Full HD resolution, 1920 x 1080 and at 25 fps. The quality was great, and the recorded videos/clicked photos looked really well on the laptop’s 14 inch screen. Some drag was observed in the details of objects when they were moved in front of the camera, kept under 0.5m from the object.
    upload_2021-6-23_13-28-59.png
    Windows 10 Camera App
    • Zoom App - the Zoom app on Windows 10 requires a little tweak in settings to give the best video output. Under Video Settings → ‘Enable HD’ should be checked, and post processing features like ‘Touch up my appearance’ should be turned off to provide sharp videos with clear backgrounds. Audio quality was good, but it picked a little more noise from the surroundings, compared to usage on TV.
    upload_2021-6-23_12-55-56.png
    Zoom App
    • Skype - Zoom and Skype showed similar quality of video, but Skype had a major advantage because it allowed the user to change advanced settings of the video. There was an option to change sharpness of the video, and if you set that around 70, you’d get the best quality out of the camera.
    upload_2021-6-23_12-55-56.png
    Skype App
    • MS Teams - The experience with MS Teams was really smooth. The picture quality was identical to other apps on Windows 10, but smoothness of the footage was noticed more on this app, even though the network was same.
    upload_2021-6-23_13-29-13.png
    Microsoft Teams
    Ubuntu (and similar distributions) -
    According to the specs, the camera isn’t compatible with other OS except Android TV and Windows 7/10
    However, I found no difference in the quality of video and audio while using video-calling apps.
    So if you’re looking to purchase the camera for a Ubuntu (or other similar based OS like Lubutu, etc) device, and are worried due to incompatibility mentioned, forget that, the camera works really well with it, based on my experience, without any issues.

    Verdict
    Overall, I can say that the camera is totally worth the price, providing great quality FHD video with a smooth 25 fps experience. Even though the spec-sheet mentions compatibility with Android TV OS only, as mentioned in the review above, it is compatible with Windows 10 and Ubuntu too. I use the camera daily, attached to Laptop for classes, and it works great.:cool:
    For TVs, the Google Duo app needs support for Full HD resolution, since it displays only 720p video ;)

    Thanks to @Venky61 for sharing screenshots and camera unit photos, @Batman360 for giving his inputs and fixing errors in the review and @Sarah P. & Gracie from the TV team for clicking the photos for the GIF :D

    Thanks for reading the review, hope you guys enjoyed it :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2021

    #81
  2. Dresa91
    User of the Year 2016; Most Active User 2020 Jun 23, 2021

    Dresa91 , Jun 23, 2021 :
    💪🏼💪🏼💪🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼great word:) thanks my friend:)
     

    #82
  3. Venky61
    OnePlus TV Expert Community Expert Jun 23, 2021

    Venky61 , Jun 23, 2021 :
    I love my Light Saber skills :D :p

    Great work @Yash Pratap Singh. You have included your usage experience with almost all platforms and apps possible.
     

    #83
  4. Batman360
    Accessory Tester, OnePlus TV Product Ninja 2021 Jun 23, 2021

    Batman360 , Jun 23, 2021 :

    Perfectly written 🔥🔥 very detailed 🍻🔥 Kudos!!
     

    #84
  5. Nipu_1998
    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus Nord 2 Jun 23, 2021


    #85
  6. Dhruv Kashyap
    Jelly Bean Jun 23, 2021

    Dhruv Kashyap , via OnePlus 8T , Jun 23, 2021 :
    Thanks for the wonderful Camera Review @Yash Pratap Singh. It is perfect🔥🔥💫​
     

    #86
  7. Waleed_khan
    Cupcake Jun 23, 2021

  8. Yash Pratap Singh.
    Lollipop Jun 23, 2021

    Yash Pratap Singh. , Jun 23, 2021 :
    Its given in the review under "OnePlus TV Camera App"

    Thanks Andreas....atleast the camera could've been launched in EU :(

    Harry Potter vibes :p

    Thanks a lot!:)

    Thanks for reading!:)

    Thanks bruh, I thought you were also going to buy it, right? ;)
     

    #88
  9. Dhruv Kashyap
    Jelly Bean Jun 23, 2021

    Dhruv Kashyap , via OnePlus 8T , Jun 23, 2021 :
    Yes, planning to get one soon. Your review cleared a lot of doubts I had👍
     

    #89
  10. Dresa91
    User of the Year 2016; Most Active User 2020 Jun 23, 2021

    Dresa91 , Jun 23, 2021 :
    Yeah ,…
     

    #90
  11. Helder_DAlmeida
    Marshmallow Jun 23, 2021


    #91
  12. Todd W.
    TV Product Marketing Staff Member Jun 23, 2021


    #92
  13. Venky61
    OnePlus TV Expert Community Expert Jun 23, 2021

    Venky61 , Jun 23, 2021 :
    The thread is filled with my selfies... The community might think I am self-obsessed now ... lol :p
     

    #93
  14. Yash Pratap Singh.
    Lollipop Jun 23, 2021

    Yash Pratap Singh. , via OnePlus 7T , Jun 23, 2021 :
    Venky is the face of our review 😂

    Thanks Helder! 🙂
     

    #94
    Venky61, Helder_DAlmeida and Dresa91 like this.
  15. vinay11singh
    Honeycomb Jun 23, 2021


    #95
  16. Agil krishna , via OnePlus Community App , Jun 23, 2021 :
    Tv is very lagy while opening any application. Tv also lags while changing the volume it reflects on the screen with a delay. One plus please look into the issue and please provide proper update to fix these issues.
     

    #96
    gopal.kul likes this.
  17. gopal.kul
    Cupcake Jun 23, 2021

    gopal.kul , via OnePlus Nord , Jun 23, 2021 :
    I m facing similar kind of issue. Not sure if I have to return back if it work like this.
     

    #97
  18. Venky61
    OnePlus TV Expert Community Expert Jun 23, 2021

    Venky61 , Jun 23, 2021 :
    Yes... Ish..tar Wars... 🤣
     

    #98
  19. JaynishS
    Honeycomb Jun 23, 2021


    #99
  20. Batman360
    Accessory Tester, OnePlus TV Product Ninja 2021 Jun 23, 2021

    Batman360 , via OnePlus 7 Pro Nebula Blue , Jun 23, 2021 :
    This issue is reported already and the team is fixing it on priority. Kindly keep patience 🍻
     

    Gor.V, Agil krishna and Dresa91 like this.