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OnePlus reveals plans to make its first TV

Pete Clark
17 Sep 2018
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OnePlus, the company best known for its smartphones, is going to launch a Smart TV

In one of the most surprising press releases we’ve seen this year, Chinese smartphone manufacturer OnePlus has announced that a Smart TV is in the early stages of development.

For the past five years, OnePlus has made a name for itself developing mid-range smartphones to rival the very best on the market. Their latest offering, the OnePlus 6, offers the same performance as the most recent iPhone for almost half the price, and it sits comfortably near the top of our list of the best smartphones you can currently buy.

So, why the sudden change in trajectory? In an officially press release, Pete Lau, OnePlus Founder and CEO, says that “as other consumer electronics have evolved and improved our lives, televisions have remained conventional and cumbersome.”

He goes on to explain that OnePlus will be able to address gaps in the television market by bringing the “inherent advantages to the industry” that the company has picked up while developing smartphones.

READ NEXT: The best TVs you can buy right now

It is unusual for a smartphone manufacturer of OnePlus’ standing to skip past wearables and other mobile devices, and go straight for the jugular in developing a new TV. Lau (via Business Insider) acknowledges this, and says that the company is simply fulfilling the wishes of its famously loyal fanbase, many of whom have “already asked the company why it doesn’t make a TV”.

(DISCLAIMER: Above is the OnePlus 6, definitely not the new Smart TV)

So, will the new product be able to rival the likes of the Samsung Smart Hub and Android TV? Lau sees ease-of-use as the most significant challenge facing the current generation of Smart TVs. He says that “something as simple as displaying photos from your mobile phone to a television is still difficult to achieve”. It looks like the raison d'être of the Chinese firm’s new television division will be to develop as seamless a user experience as possible.

How will they go about this? Well, until OnePlus officially announce the new TV’s specs, it’s impossible to tell. We don’t know whether it’ll be fitted with a 4K resolution panel or support HDR, but Lau promises OnePlus is building a premium, flagship TV, and that it will have specs to match.

He places significant emphasis on the ability of the user to connect their smartphone to the TV, allowing them to view useful information such as weather updates, calendar events and transport information for your daily commute.

A built-in camera will also be also play a big part in the OnePlus TV experience, and Lau quells fears of an invasion of home privacy: “we have this in mind, and we will have a solution”.

READ NEXT: The best TVs for your 4K console

Both Lau and OnePlus have only just started the long process of developing, producing and selling a telly and the absence of a scheduled release date is notable, so as yet we don’t know when you’ll be able to buy one. With this press release, Lau says OnePlus “want to be clear and make it well known that this decision has been made and we are going to make this product”.

OnePlus’ colours have firmly been nailed to the mast: the Smart TV is their next big thing.

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