OnePlus Pad Go Review: A stylish tablet for content consumption on the go by ProductSellerMarket

– Excellent build quality, sleek and stylish design
– LTE option, expandable storage up to 1 TB
– Large and sharp display with 90 Hz refresh rate
– Pleasant sound output with Dolby Atmos
– Good battery backup, decently fast charging
– Oxygen OS for Pad is well thought out

– Could have opted for a 5G compliant SoC
– Not suitable for gaming
– Below-par camera output
– Does not support OnePlus keyboard and stylus

Rating: 3.75/5
Price: Rs 19,999 to Rs 23,999

In 2023, OnePlus made highly successful forays into two categories – tablets and convertible tablets (commonly known as foldable phones). We won’t talk about the OnePlus Open in this article but the OnePlus Pad was a fantastic product with a powerful processor, excellent display and provision for add-ons like the magnetic keyboard and Stylo (stylus) that accentuated its utility value beyond content consumption and entertainment.

OnePlus Pad Go Review Design
Image Credit: Firstpost | Ameya Dalvi

While not overpriced, it wasn’t exactly very affordable either and the company wanted to launch a product at a more pocket-friendly price that appealed to a larger audience not in need of the extras offered by the Pad. Enter the OnePlus Pad Go. While it may seem like a stripped-down version of the more premium tablet on paper, there’s one thing it offers that even the OnePlus Pad does not – a SIM card slot for mobile data connectivity. Hence the Go in the model name.

Having used both the OnePlus tablets long enough, it’s time to tell you what’s good about the OnePlus Pad Go, what’s not, what’s missing and whether it’s worth the asking price. Let’s go.

What we liked about the OnePlus Pad Go

The design and build feel premium
Though this is a budget tablet, the design feels a lot more premium courtesy of its aluminium body. Even better, the tablet is less than 7mm slim.

OnePlus Pad Go Review Slim edge
Image Credit: Firstpost | Ameya Dalvi

The Twin Mint shade looks cool with a combination of a matte metallic back and a glossy strip providing two different shades of green. The glossy part does attract fingerprints and smudges but one can easily avoid holding it along that edge. It weighs 532 grams; not the lightest around but the weight distribution is even and doesn’t feel too heavy in hand.

The bezels are just the right size – not too thick to make it look ancient, and thick enough to let you grip the tablet without accidentally touching the screen. The OnePlus Pad Go can be used in vertical as well as horizontal orientation depending on the task you perform on this tablet. However, you may need to make video calls in landscape mode given that the front camera is placed at the centre of the longer edge.

Videos are meant to be consumed this way and the speakers are rightly placed along the left and right edges when you hold the Pad Go horizontally. You get a power button, volume rocker, a SIM + microSD card tray, USB-C port and a couple of microphones along the edges in addition to the quad speakers. An 8MP camera is located at the back of the tablet on a circular island.

OnePlus Pad Go Review Design 2
Image Credit: Firstpost | Ameya Dalvi

Large high-res display with 90Hz refresh rate
The OnePlus Pad Go has a large 11.35-inch IPS LCD display with a resolution of 2408×1720 pixels. While the resolution is a little lower than that of the OnePlus Pad, it is high enough for the segment with a healthy pixel density of 260 PPI. The 7:5 aspect ratio has also been retained. It does miss out on fancy features like Dolby Vision compliance and 144Hz refresh rate found on its more premium sibling. But you do get a 90Hz refresh rate for flicker-free scrolling in compatible apps; much better than 60 Hz seen in most budget tablets.

OnePlus Pad Go Review Display
Image Credit: Firstpost | Ameya Dalvi

The screen has a rated brightness of 400 nits, and it is bright enough indoors and can get sufficiently bright when outdoors. The contrast is impressive and the colour reproduction is good, but not as accurate as the Pad. Though it doesn’t support any form of HDR, the colours feel vibrant without going over the top. The company doesn’t mention the presence of any scratch resistant but there wasn’t a single scratch on the screen after weeks of use. It certainly doesn’t have an oleophobic coating as the screen attracts a lot of smudge marks.

LTE option, ample storage with provision for more
You get two storage options on the OnePlus Pad Go – 128 GB and 256 GB. The latter is only available in the LTE variant, while the former is available in WiFi only and LTE variants both. You get 8 GB RAM on all models. You can expand the internal storage further up to 1 TB using a microSD card, which is a good option to have. Wireless connectivity options include Bluetooth 5.2 and dual-band WiFi with support for 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz networks.

As you know by now, you can use a SIM card to connect to a data network and use this tablet on the go. It is a great option to have as it lets you stay connected and do your stuff even if you step out of WiFi zones. However, you are limited to 4G networks as the chipset used in this tablet is not 5G compliant; we will talk about it in the cons.

Smart software and UI for a tablet
The OnePlus Pad Go runs Android 13 with OxygenOS 13.2. What I like about the software here is that it isn’t just copy-pasted from the phones but optimised for the tablet or bigger screens. At the same time, there is hardly a learning curve if you have used any Android device before. OxygenOS here adjusts well to the large display and makes good use of the extra screen real estate. It facilitates multitasking with split-screen, floating apps and drag and drop options to share files.

OnePlus Pad Go Review UI
Image Credit: Firstpost | Ameya Dalvi

There’s a taskbar that displays shortcuts for recently opened apps and also has a dedicated shortcut for apps drawer that doesn’t take up the whole screen if you don’t want it to. The UI is clean, smooth and pretty much free of bloatware, barring a couple of OnePlus apps that aren’t too nosey. The other preinstalled apps are mostly Google services except Netflix. You also have apps like Kids Space if the children in the house have to use the tablet. You can choose who (adults or children) would be using the tablet during setup, and it gets configured accordingly.

Good for content consumption and entertainment (sans gaming)
The general performance of this tablet is perfectly fine. The Mediatek Helio G99 processor is powerful enough for day-to-day tasks like browsing, watching videos, video calls or listening to music. Things are fairly smooth even if you open half a dozen apps and switch between them, thanks to its 8 GB RAM. However, keep your expectations in check when it comes to gaming. Watching content on Netflix or Prime Video on this tablet is an enjoyable experience.

While you can always use Bluetooth headphones with it, do give the built-in speakers a try first. The four speakers present here are surprisingly good and do a great job in most cases in quieter areas. The Dolby Atmos compliance lends it a broader soundstage than what you expect from tablet speakers, but don’t expect soundbar-like output. Since this is an Android tablet, you have the option of casting the content to larger screens of compatible TVs.

OnePlus Pad Go Review Multitasking
Image Credit: Firstpost | Ameya Dalvi

Browsing the internet or reading e-books is also fun on the OnePlus Pad Go. The screen offers multiple modes like Nature Tone, Eye Comfort or Dark mode for different lighting and activities. While it doesn’t transform the screen into a Kindle, some modes are a lot easier on the eyes when reading in a dimly lit rooms. Video calls are handled well too courtesy of the 8MP front camera, and the larger screen gives you more space to fit multiple participants in a group call.

Good battery life and fairly fast charging for a tablet
The OnePlus Pad Go has an 8000 mAh battery and supports 33W fast charging. That’s about 15 per cent drop in battery capacity as compared to the OnePlus Pad and the charging speed has been cut in half. Having said that, the battery backup is quite similar for both and pretty good. It gives you about 12 hours of screen on time, which should translate into 3 and a half to 4 days of backup if you use the tablet for around 3 hours daily on WiFi. Usage of LTE will drop it much faster.

The standby time is excellent and the battery would barely drop by a percentage point or so overnight. Even after a week of non-usage, the battery reserves were depleted by less than 10 per cent. The company bundles a 33W SuperVOOC charger that takes it from 0 to 100 per cent in about 100 minutes. It isn’t bad at all given that we are talking about an 8000 mAh battery here. All said and done, we were quite pleased with the battery backup and charging speed of this tablet.

OnePlus Pad Go Review Readability
Image Credit: Firstpost | Ameya Dalvi

What we did not like about the OnePlus Pad Go

Not so great for gaming
The OnePlus Pad Go is powered by a MediaTek Helio G99 SoC with Mali-G57 MC2 GPU. That’s a huge drop in processing power from the Mediatek Dimensity 9000 that you get on the OnePlus Pad. We know that OnePlus was striving to keep the cost under 20K and had to make a few sacrifices. Now the G99 is more than decent for most tasks that one would typically look to do on a tablet except gaming. While you can easily play some casual or older games at low detail, don’t expect newer graphics-intensive games to run smoothly at high visual settings.

Could have been 5G-ready in this budget
On the topic of SoC, OnePlus probably missed a trick by not using a 5G-compliant chip. This is not a major con given its price tag and the rest of the features it offers, but we feel they could have squeezed in a 5G-ready chip in this budget too.

Mediocre camera output
The tablet has two 8MP cameras, one at the front and the other at the back. While the front camera is good enough for video calls, the rear camera is average at best and clearly not for photography enthusiasts. Video recording is capped at 1080p at 30 fps. The camera is meant for basic use only, in case you need to capture something urgently on the tablet, and not as an alternative for your phone camera. I know tablets are not meant for serious photography but throw in auto-focus at least.

OnePlus Pad Go Review Camera
Image Credit: Firstpost | Ameya Dalvi

None of the cool accessories are available for this tablet
Typing out articles on a tablet is not an enjoyable act. The OnePlus Pad had these fantastic accessories like the magnetic keyboard case and stylus. The former could almost transform the Pad into a tablet, and I remember typing full-length articles on it. Before I start singing praises, let me quickly add that none of them is available for the OnePlus Pad Go; quite disappointing. The only accessory available is a folio case, and that too non-magnetic.

OnePlus Pad Go – Price and Verdict
The OnePlus Pad Go can be purchased starting at Rs 19,999 for the WiFi-only variant with 128 GB storage. The LTE variants with 128 GB and 256 GB storage sell for Rs 21,999 and Rs 23,999 respectively. Barring a modest processor and mediocre camera, it packs some impressive features like a large high-res 90 Hz display, Dolby Atmos-certified speakers, good battery backup and premium design that justify the price tag. Lack of accessories is a downer though.

As for competition, I cannot think of anything better with LTE around 20K. If mobile connectivity is not a requirement, the Xiaomi Pad 6 is a great option for a few thousand bucks more if you are looking for a more powerful tablet that can also handle some serious gaming. Other than a Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 SoC, it flaunts some of the OnePlus Pad features like a higher resolution Dolby Vision compliant display with 144 Hz refresh rate for well under 30K. You also get some handy accessories for it making it a well-rounded option.

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