It was earlier this year, at the tail end of April, that OnePlus launched their first ever tablet. The OnePlus Pad was a “welcome addition to the Android tablet market”, as I had written in my review. With a starting price of ₹37,999, the company was pushing the boundaries while still being a value-for-money product.
Fast forward to the latter part of the year: OnePlus has now brought all that tablet goodness to the masses. The OnePlus Pad Go has an affordable starting price of ₹19,999. While there are some obvious cost-cutting measures that have taken place (I have one big gripe), there is one area where the OnePlus Pad Go beats its older sibling easily (more on that later).
I used the OnePlus Pad Go for over 10 days and I’ve been pretty impressed with this tablet. Games aren’t meant to be played on the OnePlus Pad Go but in everyday usage, this is one strong machine.
The OnePlus Pad Go comes with an 11.3-inch IPS LCD 2.4k display (with a 90Hz refresh rate). This is smaller than the OnePlus Pad’s 11.61-inch IPS LCD display (with a 144Hz refresh rate).
The OnePlus Pad Go comes with a 7:5 aspect ratio that is great for consuming content on the go. The bummer here is that the peak brightness is only 400 nits. Outdoor legibility is an issue with this tablet.
The OnePlus Pad Go’s display is less sharp than the one on the OnePlus Pad. Having used a number of tablets over the past year, I could instantly tell there was a difference, especially when viewing from an angle. That isn’t to say that the display is bad -- far from it.
The OnePlus Pad Go comes in a Twin Mint colour option (which is different than the OnePlus Pad’s Halo Green), has a centred camera design, and looks and feels almost similar to its big brother. The back panel is different as there is a glossy and reflective top strip, where the camera is housed (which also accumulates a lot of fingerprints). The bezels are slightly larger and noticeable, but it definitely isn’t a dealbreaker.
The OnePlus Pad Go is a slim (6.88mm) and lightweight (532 grams) tablet. It has a unibody design and comes with a curved glass screen, curved edges and rounded corners. This makes it comfortable to hold for long hours.
The tablet features quad speakers (with Dolby Atmos support) and omnibearing sound field technology. The latter is a technology wherein, after determining the screen’s direction, the audio automatically switches between the right and left audio channels. This is similar to the OnePlus Pad. The USB type-C port is flanked by two loudspeakers on the right-hand side of the tablet. On the left is the SIM tray, also flanked by two loudspeakers and a power button.
Yes, the SIM tray is something that was missing on the OnePlus Pad. With the OnePlus Pad Go’s SIM tray slot, one can use 3G or 4G connectivity on the tablet. That’s a big win.
The top of the OnePlus Pad Go features two volume keys and a microphone. The bottom, unfortunately, features no connector pins. This means that the OnePlus Magnetic Keyboard (which was released alongside the OnePlus Pad) won’t be compatible with the OnePlus Go. This means that if you want a keyboard to use with the OnePlus Pad Go, then you’ll have to buy a third-party Bluetooth keyboard.
In fact, OnePlus only sells one accessory for the OnePlus Pad Go. That is the OnePlus Go Folio Case Green, which retails for ₹1,399. I’m not sure why OnePlus didn’t include connector pins for a keyboard attachment. Maybe it was another cost-cutting measure.
The OnePlus Pad Go comes with a mid-segment Helio G99 chipset. This is a much weaker chipset than the MediaTek Dimensity 9000 on the OnePlus Pad and even the flagship-level Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 chip inside of the Xiaomi Pad 6.
For daily use, the OnePlus Pad Go surprised me. It performed almost flawlessly. Whether I was opening a large number of Google Chrome tabs, spending endless hours watching YouTube videos, video calling friends, and family or attending work calls. There was minimal lag and stutter.
Where the OnePlus Pad Go falls short is when you try to push the boundaries. If you’re trying to play games (something other than casual games) or edit photos/videos, then you’re going to be a frustrated customer. It’s better to spend on the Xiaomi Pad 6 (which is similarly priced) or invest some more cash and get the OnePlus Pad itself if you want to do heavy, intensive work.
There is one more thing to note. While the OnePlus Pad Go comes in two variants - 6GB+128GB and 8GB+256GB RAM and storage respectively - it is still LPDDR4X RAM and USF 2.2. The Xiaomi Pad 6 has the much faster LPDDR5 RAM and UFS 3.1 storage.
With the OnePlus Pad Go, one gets OxygenOS 13.2 (based on Android 13). OnePlus has promised two years of Android OS upgrades alongside 3 years of security updates. OxygenOS 13 is one of the better operating systems from the company and it comes with a lot of customisable options and features. The kicker is that it is free from bloatware. There’s the re-designed Home Screen (which can be in portrait mode or landscape) along with lots of display enhancements. It’s the same software as on the OnePlus Pad.
If you’re just a casual user, who wants to use a tab for the bare minimum such as YouTube, surfing the web, and more, then the OnePlus Pad Go is the one to get. For everyone else, please look elsewhere. There are better options out there, with support for accessories and more complete products.
Cameras on tablets are never anything to write home about. The same applies to the OnePlus Pad Go. You get a single 8MP rear camera and an 8MP selfie camera. It’s strictly average, and you cannot compare these to any smartphone. The camera will suffice for your video calls but that’s about it.
The best part about the OnePlus Pad Go is the 8,000mAh battery (with support for 33W SuperVOOC fast charging). OnePlus claims that the Pad Go can deliver up to 14 hours of video playback, 40 hours of music, and 514 hours of standby. While I couldn’t test the latter two, I did get pretty close to the 14-hour video playback claims. The tablet, during my usage, easily lasted two days, if not more.
One pro and one con: Like I said above there are two things that need to be discussed here. The OnePlus Pad Go comes with a SIM card tray, which means there is the option of an LTE version. This is very useful for those that are always on the go. The OnePlus Pad, for whatever reason, missed out on this feature.
On the flip side, the OnePlus Pad Go doesn’t have support for the OnePlus Stylo and the OnePlus Magnetic Keyboard. These are official OnePlus tablet accessories and it's a shame. Instead, one has to invest in a third-party Bluetooth keyboard to use with the tablet. Using a tablet without a keyboard is something I wouldn’t advise at all.
So, which is the better tablet? Well, if you’ve reached this part of the review, then you know that the OnePlus Pad (along with the keyboard) is a more complete product.
The OnePlus Pad Go definitely cuts corners and makes some odd omissions. Nonetheless, if you know what you’re getting into, the OnePlus Pad Go makes for a great product. It’s got access to the internet on the go (via the LTE option), good software, great battery life, and a lean and mean design – and it’s affordable as well, with a starting price of just ₹19,999.
Sahil Bhalla is a Delhi-based journalist. He posts @IMSahilBhalla.