OnePlus Pad first impressions: a step above the rest


OnePlus first announced its Pad as a ‘one more thing’ product at the tail end of its OnePlus 11 launch event. The OnePlus Pad will be competing alongside Samsung and Apple’s tablet offerings with its own keyboard folio case and stylus accessories. At MWC, OnePlus had its Pad on display at the booth so we had a chance to get up close and personal with it.

The Pad is remarkably thin at 6.54mm and weighs 555g. It uses a unique 7:5 aspect ratio on its 11.61-inch LCD display that sits between the 3:2 and 4:3 aspect ratios – OnePlus calls this its “Read Fit Display”. The screen’s bezels are quite thin and resulted in an 88% screen-to-body ratio. There’s also an 8MP camera above the screen in landscape orientation. The panel also supports a 144Hz refresh rate with peak brightness levels of around 500 nits.

The OnePlus Pad takes a unique approach to its design around back, making sure you don’t mistake it for other high-end tablets. The back of the tablet is made of brushed metal and features a brushed radial pattern that centers on the circular camera bump. This houses a 13MP main camera capable of recording 4K video at 30fps. A single antenna line runs the entire perimeter of the back of the tablet.

The Pad is powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 9000+ and is paired with 8GB of RAM. The base model will come with 128GB of onboard storage as well, though there’s no expandable storage, nor a headphone jack on the OnePlus Pad.

OnePlus will also release two main accessories for the Pad including its Magnetic Keyboard and the OnePlus Stylo. The Magic Keyboard has nice, tactile travel and it instantly attaches to the Pad. The three pogo pins connect the keyboard to the Pad and it can flip all the way around if you need to use tablet mode. The back of the keyboard case has a textured finish that’s grippy and it doesn’t seem like it would collect many fingerprints – at least on this green one. 

The same can’t be said for the back of the Pad, however. The fingerprint smudges are very noticeable on this brushed metal finish so the Magnetic Keyboard is an attractive accessory. Meanwhile, the OnePlus Stylo looks a lot like the Apple Pencil, though with a hexagonal barrel, plus, it charges by magnetically attaching to the top edge of the Pad.

The overall design is sleek and stylish. It doesn’t emulate modern iPads or the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 with flat edges. The edges are curvier and the corners are nicely rounded. The charging port is on the right side of the Pad between two of the loudspeakers, while the power and volume keys are placed in the upper left corner of the unit. There are also a few noise-isolating microphones that are likely employed during calls.

Just as the iPad, there’s no friction against the smooth glass. If you’ve never used an Apple Pencil before, the Stylo may take some getting used to, Otherwise, the Stylo does feature a 2ms response latency. OnePlus wants its Pad to be used for taking notes and sketching.

We’d like to tell you whether you should wait for the OnePlus Pad or buy an iPad, but we can’t determine that just yet. For one, the price of the Pad hasn’t been confirmed yet. In addition, OnePlus hasn’t yet set a release date – it has only confirmed that the Pad will be available for pre-order starting this April in Europe, India, and North America.

Enrique Villacrez
Enrique moved to New York and found his way into tech reporting. Since then, he's been back home in South Florida where he continues to write about tech and works in the industrial machinery business. He enjoys tech, photography, cars, machines, cooking, and yoga.

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