There’s been much speculation with the OnePlus TV as to what kind of software it will run, and now we know for sure that it will be Google’s Android TV platform. Apparently, OnePlus is also making some slight changes to the platform, including better integration with its own smartphones.
Speaking to , OnePlus CEO Pete Lau confirmed quite a few details about the OnePlus TV. He spoke regarding how OnePlus wants to position its smart TV, and how they have “no interest” in making a traditional TV. Rather, as mentioned in a previous blog post, OnePlus wants its TV to be at the center of a smart home, almost like a big Smart Display (i.e., Google Nest Hub).
Lau also spoke regarding the pricing of the OnePlus TV. He says the company wants to offer something comparable to premium products from Samsung and Sony, but at a lower price. We shouldn’t expect prices to be “half” of those bigger brands, but moves such as a partnership with Amazon help OnePlus lower costs.
Most importantly in this interview, however, Lau explicitly confirms that the OnePlus TV will be using Google’s Android TV platform. This has previously been hinted at, and just earlier today, it was discovered that Google had certified the device for using the Play Store. Still, it’s great to know that OnePlus will be using Google’s Android TV instead of a custom build of Android itself.
Still, OnePlus has plans to “improve” on Google’s platform. Apparently, the company has been working to “optimizing” the system in ways that other brands apparently haven’t been doing.
Specifically, Lau says that OnePlus will have a custom and “improved” UI on top of Android TV. Since Google doesn’t allow major modifications to the Android TV platform, it seems likely that OnePlus will be using apps to accomplish these changes, likely similar to what Xiaomi has done with its Mi TVs in the Indian market by using a “Patchwall” interface.
Thanks to the customizations, OnePlus smartphone users will see “enhanced” integration with the TV. One example of this is a “seamless” way to enter text on the OnePlus TV using a OnePlus smartphone. Google offers an app to do this with other Android TVs and smartphones, and Nvidia does the same with its Shield. It’s not clear how OnePlus will tie this functionality to its smartphones.
One more key selling point that I want to highlight is that we are really optimizing the Android TV system which I don’t see a lot of brands in Indian market [doing]. Because of our great partnership with Google, not only do we use their Android TV system, but we also optimize it very deeply.
We really want to take advantage of the current strong user base of OnePlus smartphones, and to really improve what the current TV doesn’t have, which is good interactions and user experience specially connecting with your smartphone and we want to improve that, and I believe that’s going to be our advantage.
Beyond this, we don’t know exactly what OnePlus has in mind for “improving” Android TV. Apparently, the company has been making some “deep” optimizations to the platform, thanks to a partnership with Google, but again, we don’t know exactly what this means at the moment.