OnePlus Pad Review: First Try’s the Charm?

  • 10 min read
  • Apr 28, 2023



Android tablets are sad. Samsung essentially makes all the good ones, and Android has never really been great for tablets. OnePlus is the latest to try to change the narrative, and it’s on the right track with the OnePlus Pad.

It’s no secret that Apple dominates the tablet market. In Q4 2022, about half of all tablets shipped were iPads. Samsung accounted for around 17%, while Amazon came in at 5.4%. That’s the landscape OnePlus has to work in. People already don’t love Android tablets, and OnePlus is not a household name. Can the OnePlus Pad change any of that?

Note: I’ve been using the OnePlus Pad for three weeks. OnePlus provided the tablet, keyboard cover, and stylus to us. I did not use the OnePlus Pad with a OnePlus phone, which unlocks a number of additional features I was not able to try out.

Here's What We Like

  • Great performance and battery life
  • Premium design and build
  • Big, beautiful display
  • Thoughtful tablet software features
  • Competitively priced

And What We Don't

  • Android's tablet app situation is still well behind Apple
  • OnePlus' software support track record isn't great
  • The accessories are a bit pricey
  • Only available in one color

How-To Geek's expert reviewers go hands-on with each product we review. We put every piece of hardware through hours of testing in the real world and run them through benchmarks in our lab. We never accept payment to endorse or review a product and never aggregate other people’s reviews.

Hardware and Design: Making Green Look Good

  • Display: 11.6-inch, 2800 x 2000, LCD, up to 144Hz refresh rate, 500 nits, 7:5 aspect ratio
  • Build materials: Aluminum unibody, 2.5D curved glass
  • Security: Face Unlock
  • Ports: USB-C
  • Water/dust resistance: N/A
  • Dimensions: 10.2 x 7.5 x 0.3in (258.03 x 189.41 x 6.54mm)
  • Weight: 1.2lbs (555g)

The OnePlus Pad immediately feels like a high-quality tablet. I’ve used plenty of cheap, get-the-job-done Android tablets, and the OnePlus Pad is a completely different type of device. The tablet has a solid, balanced weight to it, and the metal back feels nice.

There’s really not much to the actual design of the OnePlus Pad. It’s your basic thin, flat slab with rounded corners and edges. The biggest design feature is the round camera bump on the back. It sticks out just enough to make the tablet feel uneven when lying on a flat surface, which I don’t love.

The front of the tablet is all about the display. The 11.6-inch display is surrounded by slim bezels on all four sides, giving it an 88.14% screen-to-body ratio. I don’t think I’d want the bezels to be much smaller than this. You need somewhere for your hand to go, and the OnePlus Pad has just enough bezel to comfortably hold it without blocking the display.


The 11.6-inch display has an unusual aspect ratio of 7:5. It’s similar to a 4:3 aspect ratio—like found on most iPads—but just a tad more of a rectangle. The screen size works well for multitasking and using apps in both orientations. I don’t feel like there’s one “right” way to hold the OnePlus Pad, which tends to be the case on widescreen tablets.

Speaking of the display, it should be mentioned that 11.6 inches is pretty big. My first reaction was, “This is too big,” but I slowly started to appreciate the size—mostly due to the stylus. It’s a good size for productivity and drawing, but a little cumbersome for chilling on the couch.


The display looks great, by the way. It’s an LCD screen, but it looks just as good as any OLED screen I’ve used. With a resolution of 2000 x 2800, it’s a sharp image for the size of the tablet. The refresh rate is able to automatically adjust all the way up to 144Hz, which wasn’t noticeable to me—maybe that’s a good thing.

The OnePlus Pad is an attractive piece of hardware that feels great to hold. This is not some cheap, plastic-y Amazon Fire tablet. The OnePlus Pad has the fit and finish to rival an iPad or Samsung’s top Galaxy Tab. Also, as someone who doesn’t love green, I will admit the “Halo Green” color looks pretty sharp. And that’s saying something.

Keyboard Cover and Stylus

The OnePlus Pad has a couple of optional accessories to add on: a Magnetic Keyboard cover and “Stylo” stylus. For a tablet of this size, a keyboard makes a lot of sense. 11.6 inches is practically a laptop screen size, after all.

The keyboard cover is well-made and connects to the tablet firmly, but it has the same problems as many keyboard covers. The top three inches of the cover are used to prop up the tablet, which leaves less space for the keyboard and trackpad. Sure, it’s fine if you’re sitting at a desk or table, but using the keyboard on your lap is not comfortable or stable, and the keyboard just feels cramped.


The most annoying problem with the keyboard is the tablet’s inability to detect when it’s attached. There were quite a few times when I took the tablet off the keyboard and it still thought it was attached, which prevented the virtual keyboard from appearing on the screen. I had to re-attach/detach it to fix the problem. Pretty annoying.

One minor complaint I have with the keyboard is the layout. All of the main Android navigation keys—Back, Home, Recents—are stuck behind the Function key. OnePlus has included handy trackpad gestures for these things, but it would be nice to navigate around easier with just the keyboard. I also don’t love that the spot where you would normally find the Windows key is locked to Google Assistant.


Let’s talk about maybe my favorite part of the OnePlus Pad experience: the “Stylo” stylus. The Stylo is an active stylus with an “ultra-low” 2ms delay, a 60-degree tilt angle, and 4,096 levels of pressure. It magnetically attaches to the side of the tablet for storage and charging, which I very much appreciate. There’s nothing worse than an accessory that’s easy to lose and cumbersome to keep charged.

I have to admit I greatly enjoyed using the Stylo with the OnePlus Pad. Drawing is something I loved to do as a kid, but it’s not something I do much anymore. For drawing on a glass slab to feel good, the stylus, touchscreen, and software all have to work very well together. OnePlus did a good job with all three. The stylus seems to track well, and the lag is imperceptible to me in real-time. The pressure sensitivity worked well in the drawing apps I tried, too.

The Keyboard Cover and Stylo do not come with the OnePlus Pad. They’ll set you back $149 and $99, respectively. Both accessories are nice, but the Stylo is the star of the show, in my opinion.

OxygenOS: Tablet Ready

  • Operating system (when reviewed): OxygenOS 13.1 on Android 13 (March 2023 security update)
  • Software updates: 3 years of OS updates, 4 years of security updates

At the time of writing, in April 2023, the OnePlus Pad is running OxygenOS 13.1 based on Android 13. This is my first experience with OxygenOS, and I’ve been mostly happy with it. I tend to prefer Android skins that don’t drastically alter how Android looks and works. OxygenOS is somewhere between Google’s Pixel UI and Samsung’s One UI.

I typically use a third-party launcher (Nova Launcher) on Android devices, but the default OnePlus Launcher is actually really nice for a tablet. The dock, which looks a lot like macOS’, can hold up to six apps, plus three recent/suggested apps on the right side. You have the option to use an app drawer or put all the apps on the screen, which I prefer for a tablet.


OxygenOS has a slide-out “Smart Sidebar” similar to Samsung’s “Edge Panel” feature. This is a feature that makes a lot of sense for a tablet. It would be even better to be able to pull up the home screen dock from anywhere, but the sidebar essentially acts as a secondary “taskbar” for your favorite apps.

Multitasking is a big deal on a tablet. OxygenOS makes it easy to put apps in split screen mode from the Recent apps screen, and apps can be put into a floating window as well. You can only have two apps in split-screen mode, though. It would be nice to have the option to have three or four apps split across the screen, which you can do on a Samsung Galaxy Tab. That being said, the combination of split screen and floating windows is great for multitasking.


My biggest gripe with the software is how it works with the keyboard cover. I find myself wanting things to work more like Windows or macOS when I’m using the physical keyboard. So many of the little keyboard and mouse shortcuts you’re used to just don’t work with Android. For example, something as simple as using the trackpad to drag to select text isn’t possible. Using a trackpad with Android works more like a remote-controlled finger than a mouse.

Another important feature for a tablet is “palm rejection”—the ability to differentiate between intentional and unintentional screen touches. The OnePlus Tab does an okay job with this. It sometimes struggles to detect the stylus accurately when I have the side of my hand resting on the screen. I found myself holding the tablet in portrait orientation to draw so I could rest my hand on the bezel.


Software is very important for a tablet, especially one with a keyboard cover and stylus. It has to be much more than just a phone interface on a larger screen. I was pleasantly surprised by how many of the apps I use have tablet interfaces, but it’s still lacking. Android seems to be getting better for tablets, and OnePlus has included some nice tablet-focused features as well.

It should also be mentioned that OnePlus is promising three years of Android updates and four years of security updates for the Pad. OnePlus hasn’t had the best track record with software support, so this is great to hear. However, we will have to wait and see if they stick to it.

Cameras: Present

  • Rear camera: 13MP, EIS, 720p 30 fps, 1080p 30 fps, 4K 30 fps video recording
  • Front camera: 8MP, EIS, 720p 30 fps, 1080p 30 fps video recording

The OnePlus Pad has cameras on the front and back, and they function. That’s about all you need to know about them. Cameras on tablets are generally just there to be there, and that feels like the case for the OnePlus Pad as well.

Technically speaking, the rear camera is 13MP, and the front camera is 8MP. The photos are remarkably generic looking, but again, this is a tablet. I’m not expecting smartphone-quality photos from a tablet camera. It just needs to be there for times when I can’t use my phone. Photos look okay in good lighting, and the “Night” mode is good enough to make low-light photos usable.

The most important camera on a tablet is the front-facing camera. You’re probably more likely to do video calls on a tablet, especially if you’re using it as a remote work device. The lens has a nice wide field of view, and OnePlus includes a “Limelight” feature that can keep you centered during video calls.

I know it sounds like I’m glossing over a negative aspect of the OnePlus Pad, but no one is buying a tablet for the cameras. It’s like a webcam on a laptop—you just need it to be present and functional for those few times it’s needed. Check and check.

OnePlus Pad Cameras Samples






Front camera in "Selfie" mode.

Performance and Battery Life: Good and Great

  • CPU: MediaTek Dimensity 9000
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB UFS 3.1, no microSD expansion
  • Battery: 9,510mAh
  • Charging: Wired, 67W SUPERVOOC

The OnePlus Pad is powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 9000 CPU and 8GB of RAM. It’s not quite as powerful as the latest Android phones powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, but the OnePlus Pad is a powerful and capable tablet.

Jumping back and forth between a handful of apps, and having multiple on the screen at once, is handled effortlessly by the OnePlus Pad. I never felt like I was waiting for apps to load or resume. Performance is in line with the rest of the OnePlus Pad experience—it feels like a high-end device with high-end specs under the hood.

Battery life is also great, if not better than the performance. OnePlus says the beefy 9,510mAh battery can last up to a month on standby, and I might believe it. In the three weeks I’ve been using the tablet, I only had to charge it up once. On the rare occasion you need to charge the tablet, it has 67W SUPERVOOC charging, which gives you a full charge in a little over an hour.

My experience with Android tablets has primarily been with low-powered, affordable devices, and I think that’s the case for a lot of people. You either want to splurge on an iPad or get by with something cheap, like an Amazon Fire tablet. Using Android on a tablet with performance that doesn’t actively discourage me from using it is a breath of fresh air.

Honestly, there’s not much to say about the performance and battery life, but that’s a good thing. The OnePlus Pad is a powerful and long-lasting tablet. I had no complaints in this area.

The Best Android Tablets of 2023



Best Android Tablet Overall

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8



Best Budget Android Tablet

Fire HD 10



Best Android Gaming Tablet

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Plus



Best Android Tablet for Drawing

Galaxy Tab S6 Lite



Best Android Tablet for Kids

Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Pro



Best 8-inch Android Tablet

Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite



Best Laptop Replacement

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra 5G

Should You Buy the OnePlus Pad?


Now for the ultimate question—is the OnePlus Pad worth buying? That question comes down to two factors: price and operating system.

Price-wise, the OnePlus Pad is pretty competitive. At $479 (without keyboard and stylus), it’s more expensive than some of Samsung and Apple’s entry-level tablets, but quite a bit cheaper than the high-end Galaxy Tab S8 and iPad Pro. Yet the OnePlus Pad has specs that rival those more expensive tablets.

However, it gets closer when you factor in the accessories. The whole package—tablet, keyboard cover, and stylus—will set you back $730. That’s about $70 cheaper than the 10.9-inch iPad with Keyboard Folio and Apple Pencil, and around the same price (with discounts) as the Galaxy Tab S8 with Book Cover Keyboard and S Pen (included with the tablet).

The operating system might be a bigger deal, though. Android is not nearly as adept at the tablet form factor as iPadOS, but it’s a lot better than I was expecting. Most of the apps I use on a daily basis work well on the larger screen. There are some really nice drawing apps available in the Play Store, too, though the Apple ecosystem has a lot more to offer artists.

Assuming you want an Android tablet, the OnePlus Pad is a nice new option to rival Samsung’s plethora of Galaxy Tabs. The hardware and design feel premium, the display is beautiful, the performance and battery life are great, the software is cleaner than One UI, the accessories work well, and the price is pretty good. For a first attempt at a tablet, OnePlus starts on the right foot.

Rating: 7/10

  • 1 - Does not work
  • 2 - Barely functional
  • 3 - Severely lacking in most areas
  • 4 - Functions, but has numerous issues
  • 5 - Fine yet leaves a lot to be desired
  • 6 - Good enough to buy on sale
  • 7 - Great and worth purchasing
  • 8 - Fantastic, approaching best-in-class
  • 9 - Best-in-class
  • 10 - Borderline perfection


Price: $479

Here’s What We Like

  • Great performance and battery life
  • Premium design and build
  • Big, beautiful display
  • Thoughtful tablet software features
  • Competitively priced

And What We Don't

  • Android's tablet app situation is still well behind Apple
  • OnePlus' software support track record isn't great
  • The accessories are a bit pricey
  • Only available in one color

Original Article