scorecardOnePlus TV U1S 65-inch review: Superb value for a large 4K screen on a budget
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OnePlus TV U1S 65-inch review: Superb value for a large 4K screen on a budget

OnePlus TV U1S 65-inch review: Superb value for a large 4K screen on a budget
Tech8 min read
  • OnePlus U1S 65-inch is among the best 65-inch TVs on a budget that come with all the popular smart features.
  • It’s been used for over a hundred hours and it’s managed to impress in most areas except for a couple.
It's been over two years since OnePlus got into the TV segment with its premium Q1 and Q1 Pro. While after two years, the premium QLED TVs are still a great deal for the price, the company decided to follow up with budget variants for a wider consumer base. The latest in the portfolio is its U-series TVs that don't use the QLED panels but is a value offering for those who are ok to have an IPS LED panel in bigger size and lesser price, which is usual in this segment.

I have been using the 65-inch U1S TV for over four months which is a fair amount of time to find out whether it's a safe investment or not as it’s been used for over a hundred hours. It has received a handful of software updates refining the user experience over time, and some initial bugs have also been fixed.

Price and competition
If you're looking to buy a 65-inch TV, you must read this review because this TV might save you some money. The OnePlus U1S 65-inch retails at ₹66,999, and its counterparts from Sony, LG and Samsung cost between ₹90,000-1,00,000, while brands like Xiaomi, HiSense and others are priced similarly. The Redmi X65 4K LED TV comes closest to taking on the U1S at ₹60,000.

OnePlus U1S display performance
The U1S, as mentioned, has an IPS panel with 4K resolution and supports HDR 10, HDR 10+ but no Dolby Vision. The picture quality on the panel is splendid regardless of the low cost and the panel type. You can't compare it to more expensive counterparts having OLED or QLED but the colour accuracy and tones look very close to natural in both HDR and SDR content. Even more impressive is that the blacks look great, which is an uncommon trait on IPS panels and the same goes for the viewing angles and dark scenes.

It's been a go-to screen for me for quite some time for dozens of shows and movies that came out during the course. The HDR performance of the TV is quite impressive for the price but it falls short in some areas compared to slightly premium competitors from Philips and Vu which are priced around 80K, and at that price, the best bet is to go for the 55-inch OnePlus Q1 Pro. While there's no Dolby Vision support, the HDR 10 and 10+ does enhance the results for HDR content if supported. The colour reproduction and tones, sharpness and brightness are very impressive.

Even for SDR content, the quality was at par with the best in this range, it shows evenly saturated colour tones and crisp details with ample brightness. There's also an option to change picture modes and other settings like brightness, warmth etc to suit your preference. But of all the modes, we liked the 'Movie' the best for watching shows and movies.

It also upscales regular 24fps and 30fps content to 60fps without showing any sign of stutter with the help of MEMC. It's great to watch fast-moving content like sports and even movies that support a higher refresh rate.

I did not notice any banding or clouding issue, which used to be a common trait on LED panels, but this one does a great job in that department. I would recommend you to keep the TV in a position where there's no light source on the opposite sides as you might see the reflection on the screen in dark scenes. Even with the peak brightness, the issue sustains and it can be seen in the pictures I took of the TV.

If you're a gamer with any of the new consoles with support for high refresh rate at 4K resolution, this TV can do a fair job for gaming as well. it supports HDMI 2.1 with Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) which turns on as soon as you plug your console. I used my PS5 to play some new titles like Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Ghost of Tsushima and some multiplayer games like Fifa 21, and Rocket League and I didn't find a reason to complain unless your expectations are supremely high. It handles 60fps well, has great black levels and doesn't miss a single particle effect.

Ghosts of Tsushima is a visual treat in itself and the TV doesn't upset in showing the beautiful horizons in their full glory. Details like the blowing wind, greenery, water and even combat sequences look great.

Overall, this TV is tuned well for content ranging from animated cartoons to dark DC movies. Not only that, but gamers can also resort to this one if OLED and QLEDs are out of budget and the size matters more than the picture quality.

Overall, the TV has a good panel for content consumption and gaming and this is where the praises for the TV come to an end as we will now venture into areas that have some issues that could affect your purchase decision.

Audio performance
As soon as I set up this TV, I went to YouTube to check the audio and I was a little disappointed. Not that I enjoy the audio now, but software updates over the months has improved the audio performance by a thick margin. The TV also supports Dolby Atmos, which means you can attach a supported soundbar or speaker if you wish to experience the best of what it has to offer.
The TV's audio is tuned in collaboration with Dynaudio and has two bottom-firing speaker units with 30W output. I am not a fan of built-in speakers on affordable TVs as the content nowadays is made for bigger and better speakers just like the screens. While the U1S does a fair job at voice clarity, loudness and definition, the bass response leaves you asking for more. You won't have the best experience watching a movie or even listening to a song unless you connect it to an external speaker.

It's good enough for family members who watch daily soaps, cartoons, podcasts, news or even for gaming. So, investing in an external speaker is suggested only if you wish the get a theatre-like movie watching experience at home.

User Interface and performance
Like all OnePlus TVs, the U1S also comes with Android TV 10 with a layer of OxygenPlay on top. It's a hybrid OS, which means you can operate in either of the two with a click of a button, which is a good addition as a preferential alternative.

It offers tons of customisation options, modes and features but thankfully it doesn't make the interface look cluttered or ugly. Even kids and first time smart TV users can navigate through with ease. It offers multiple casting options like Miracast, Chromecast, and DLNA. There's also a seamless Google Assistant support that is accurate and fast, but at times it wakes up even when there's an 'Ok Google' advertisement on the TV.
Other impressive features include the data saver mode, parental control using Connect app, and also screentime monitoring. The OnePlus Connect app not just acts as a remote control but also to play media using the phone.

Lastly, the ecosystem that OnePlus is building with its accessories is also promising for the future. For example, those who own a OnePlus Watch can use it as a remote control, also the TV detects the TWS buds and enables quick pair when it's around the TV. However, we expect it to be more intuitive and seamless to call it a valuable addition to the overall experience. Especially, when they're restricted to OnePlus products that might not be the best investment for a user.

The performance of the U1S is one area where the affordability of the TV becomes evident. While it did work smoothly initially, it did not keep it consistent over the past three months. It has a Mediatek MT9612 SoC with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. Instances like switching between OxygenPlay and Android, opening apps like Netflix or Amazon Prime wasn't seamless as it stutters in between the process occasionally. The hiccups and lags are seen across the UI and more specifically in third party apps even those which come preinstalled.

Design, build and connectivity
The OnePlus TV U1S comes with tabletop feet and wall mount options, but I chose the former in my usage. Like most large-sized thin TVs this one also wobbles, but the feet are of metal and hold it sturdily so it won't fall off unless it's pushed with force. Also, the feet are placed widely unlike some TVs that have the stand in the centre, which means you'll need to have a big TV stand to place it.

The build quality is at par with my expectations at this price and also the standard. The bezels are minimal, the ports are convenient to reach. It has 3 HDMI ports, 2 USB ports, an RF port, an AV port and an optical port. It also supports dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0.
In terms of dimensions, ‎it is 21.2 x 88.8 x 144.8 cm and weighs 18.3 kg.

The remote control has a new design, a better build quality and is very ergonomic to use. The power buttons remain embedded in the OnePlus button, which does confuse anyone who uses the TV for the first time, but it's not a deal-breaker. You need to long-press it to open power on/off options and a single click will navigate you to the OxygenPlay interface.
Everything from button feedback, placement seems fine but the long press isn't something conventional TV users are used to.

Who should buy the OnePlus TV U1S?
The OnePlus TV U1S has an impressive 65-inch panel which makes its presence felt in any room. It has its own share of shortcomings like average audio, stuttery UI and occasionally slow response rates. But considering the picture quality, features, design, ease of use and the price point, it is our top recommendation for those who want a large-sized 4K TV, with all the necessary smart features under the ₹70K price range.

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