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OnePlus Pad Review: First time’s the charm!

[Update: This tablet is on Android 13 with patch number OPD2203_13.1.0.592(EX01). You can check out the latest changes in the Latest Update section.]

We’ve been waiting for a tablet from OnePlus for years, and the company finally delivered. The OnePlus Pad is here, and Android Headlines was given the opportunity to review it. Is this a good first attempt at making a tablet, or is it back to the drawing board for OnePlus? Let’s find out.

By the way, this isn’t the only OnePlus device that launched this year. The company also launched the OnePlus 11. If you’re interested in checking out the company’s latest flagship phone, you can check out our review right here.

OnePlus Pad: Build and design

OnePlus really put a lot of love and care into the build and design of the OnePlus Pad. Design-wise, it’s rather simple. This tablet has a high-quality metal unibody that’s both sturdy and smooth to the touch. As opposed to Galaxy Tabs and iPads, the frame is rounded. The frame is only flat at the top to facilitate the stylus pen.

OnePlus Pad 10

The back of the tablet has a brushed metal look to it, but it’s extremely smooth to the touch. It looks nice, but it’s a definite fingerprint magnet. Also, you’ll want to watch what surfaces you place it on. It’s pretty slippery.

Overall, this is a tablet that undercuts most of the Galaxy Tabs and iPads in terms of price, but it doesn’t cut any corners in terms of build quality. It’s able to set itself apart from those tablets while remaining tough.

OnePlus Pad: Display

In my opinion, the display is the best aspect of this tablet; however, there is one drawback. Most tablets in this price range will opt for a 1080p (or similar) display. OnePlus opted for a display that’s between 2K and 3K. It has a resolution of 2880 x 2000, and it looks absolutely gorgeous.

This is an OLED display, so the colors pop throughout the software, and this makes watching media a treat. To top it off, it runs at 144Hz. So, not only is the display pleasantly saturated, but it’s also smooth as silk. So, I can honestly say that this device has the best display of any tablet that I’ve reviewed.

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OnePlus Pad 11OnePlus Pad 11

The one drawback is the contrast. When I first powered on this tablet, I had to double-check to see if the display was actually OLED. For some reason, the blacks on this display aren’t truly black like you’d see on other OLED displays. They’re the hallmark dark gray that you see on LCD displays. That’s rather confusing, seeing as the colors are so saturated. That’s the only complaint that I have about the display.

OnePlus Pad: Speakers

OnePlus touted a powerful set of quad speakers for this tablet, and they are powerful, indeed. The set of speakers offers a loud and punchy sound when you’re watching content or listening to music. They’re loud and full enough to use this tablet without needing to take out your Bluetooth speaker.

That being said, the quality of the speakers isn’t really anything to write home about. They’re not terrible, but they’re definitely lacking in the immersion department. They get plenty loud, but the sound is very flat overall.

The thing is that nothing really pops out. It doesn’t matter if the song is more bass-heavy or emphasizes the higher frequencies, the sound profile is pretty flat. You can adjust the tuning with the Dolby Atmos sound settings, but they don’t do much to improve the sound.

OnePlus Pad 1OnePlus Pad 1

Overall, the speakers get the job done. They’re not bad, but they’re not great. If speaker quality is secondary to you, then they’ll serve you just fine.

OnePlus Pad: Performance

The OnePlus Pad uses the Dimensity 9000 SoC. This is MediaTek’s most powerful processor out at the time of writing this review, and it’s the company’s competitor to the latest Snapdragon SoCs. Going into this review, I expected top-of-the-line performance.

However, I was let down a bit. From a performance standpoint, the OnePlus Pad doesn’t particularly impress. I wouldn’t say that the experience is laggy overall, and it’s far from unusable. But, you get the hallmark experience of a device with a mid-range processor.

OnePlus Pad 8OnePlus Pad 8

Navigating the interface, you see a couple of stutters in the animations. The app drawer lags a bit, closing an app takes a second, etc. They’re few and far apart, but they do happen. When the interface hiccups while you’re not doing anything particularly labor-intensive, it’s never good for morale.

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When it comes to gaming, the story is the same as the general performance. It’s not bad. In fact, it’s pretty good. Most of the games you’ll get will run perfectly fine. 2D titles are no sweat, and most 3D games will run just fine. Sky: Children of Light is a good-looking 3D title and it will slow down most underpowered devices. It runs perfectly fine on the OnePlus Pad, and the same goes for Asphalt 9.

When it comes to more graphically-intensive games like Genshin Impact and Star Rail, you’ll start to see the performance dip, but not by much. I was able to play both games on full graphical settings and get relatively smooth gameplay, but there were stutters here and there while playing.

Action scenes with a lot of effects will be the main cause of stutters, and I saw them more often in Ganshin Impact. However, these games are more than playable on the tablet.

OnePlus Pad 2OnePlus Pad 2

If you’re looking to make this your gaming tablet, you will not be disappointed with the majority of the games on the market. Just know that the more demanding games will definitely push the OnePlus Pad to slow down a bit.

OnePlus Pad: Battery

The battery life on the OnePlus Pad is pretty middle-of-the-road. Using the tablet with several hours of gaming, video-watching, and writing, I was able to get about seven hours of screen-on time. That’s not bad considering that I had the brightness up to 100% and the display was set to 144Hz. Adjusting those settings will definitely push the battery a bit further, so it should be able to get you through the day.

If you have to top it off quickly, then OnePlus has you covered in that department. You get a 67W charger included in the box which is always nice to have. You’re able to charge the tablet from 0% to 100% in about 80 minutes which is great for a tablet.

OnePlus Pad: Software

Moving onto software, the OnePlus Pad is running OxygenOS 13 running on Android 13. Because it’s on Android 13, it’s running a version of Android that’s well formatted for tablets. You’ll see the revamped notification shade along with the new multitasking view and optimized Google apps.

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OnePlus Pad 7OnePlus Pad 7

Since this is OxygenOS, you have access to a ton of customization tools. You have deep customizations for the app icons, animations, home screen transitions, theme, animation speed, and much more.

If you’re a OnePlus phone user, then you should feel at home with this software. OnePlus did a great job optimizing its software for the tablet form factor.

Latest update [March 2024]

The OnePlus Pad is currently running Android 13 with the build number OPD2203_13.1.0.592(EX01). It has the June 2023 Android security patch.

This update brought fixes to the issue causing videos to turn black and white at points, the physical keyboard problems, and issues with Photos app.

Lastly, this update brings the latest slew of system stability improvements.

As for additions to the software, there’s a new sharing feature that allows it to use a phone’s 5G to make/receive calls and send/receive SMS messages.

At this time, we don’t know just when OnePlus plans to send out another update to this tablet. The OnePlus Pad is a very good tablet, and it’s a shame to see that the company isn’t supporting it properly. At the time of this update, Android 14 is already out, and we’ve seen numerous additions to the software. It’s sad to see that the company isn’t pushing any new features to its tablet which is still really new.

So, how did the company do on its first tablet?

This is OnePlus’ first time making a large-screen device, and I think the company knocked it out of the park. OnePlus was able to give us a tablet with a sturdy design, a beautiful and fluid display, good performance, a pretty good gaming experience, and perfectly optimized software while keeping the price within a reasonable range.

If you’re looking for a great tablet experience for a great price, then I recommend that you pick up the OnePlus Pad.

OnePlus Pad 5OnePlus Pad 5

You should buy this tablet if you:

  • Want an affordable tablet
  • Want a tablet with a gorgeous display
  • Want a tablet with stylus support
  • Want a tablet that’s good for gaming
  • Want a tablet for reading

You shouldn’t buy this tablet if you:

  • Want top-notch performance
  • Want great speakers
  • Need deep blacks in your picture

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John Smith

My John Smith is a seasoned technology writer with a passion for unraveling the complexities of the digital world. With a background in computer science and a keen interest in emerging trends, John has become a sought-after voice in translating intricate technological concepts into accessible and engaging articles.

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