"The Lab" is a unique concept OnePlus first introduced in May 2016 with the OnePlus 3. The OnePlus 6, 6T, 7-series, 8T-series, and 9-series were part of the program. This unique concept contains writing a relatively thorough review of ~10000 words (previous "The Lab" editions had a word limit of ~250), as well as answering some questions regarding the required skills of reviewing a product. OnePlus decides which applications they approve. Winners get a device sent and they have to review it — if it passes the criteria then they can keep the devices.
The 7T-series' had it slightly different - participants had to buy the device first, and winners could choose between a full reimbursement of their purchase, or a custom device with their name engraved. This year's iteration (for the Nord 2) is similar to previous ones — except this time the Buds Pro is also part of it. OnePlus says they have 10 devices (each) available.
- July 9: Open for Application
- July 9 – July 17: Community team reviews your application
- July 17: Application Closes
- July 21: Lab Reviewers are announced
- July 22: Devices are shipped
- TBD: Unboxing and Embargo
- TBD: The Lab Review commences
In total, only 10 reviewers for each device (i.e. Nord 2 & Buds Pro) will be selected, so make sure you make your application stand out. Try adding links to your existing work, if you have any (photography, news articles, blog posts, YouTube videos, etc). You can also check out this thread (was posted last year), where OnePlus explains the story behind The Lab. A user on OnePlus Forums who was also a Lab Reviewer for the 7T, gave some tips when writing an application (they made that post for the 9-series Lab, but it applies here as well).
Who can apply?
Both OnePlus and non-OnePlus users can apply, as well as community and non-community members. Eligible locations include Europe, India and North America. In the past, OnePlus reserved some spots for community members, but this time they've not specified anything about that. However, they have made it clear that users who were in the Nord 2 or Buds Pro beta test programs are ineligible.
How can you apply?
Head to this website and follow the instructions: https://lab.oneplus.com/. If you rather want to sign up directly, you can go to these pages instead:
Until when can you apply?
Until 17th July 2021 23:59 HKT.
OnePlus posted the following FAQ:
- Q: Who is eligible?
A: All users will be eligible for our program. However, users who have previously participated in either the Nord 2 or OnePlus Buds Pro beta test programs cannot participate.
- Q: What criteria will OnePlus use to select the winners?
A: Your entry will be reviewed based on your photography and writing skills. Other criteria include your tech gadget experience, review history, blogging, and related user-generated content highlighting your writing proficiency. This allows us to determine whether you qualify as a Lab reviewer.
- Q: How many devices have you prepared for the Lab?
A: We have prepared 10 devices for each edition of the Lab.
- Q: When will you ship out the review devices?
A: Reviewers will receive devices around the official launch event date.
- Q: For how long do reviewers get to create their review thread after receiving the device?
A: We allow approximately seven calendar days for reviewers to write their review. A follow-up review after using the device for one month is also required.
- Q: Will reviewers be able to keep the devices?
A: Yes, provided both reviews are completed and submitted on time.
- Q: Are Lab reviewers allowed to write critical reviews of the products they received?
A: Our top priority is to elicit honest feedback, so we can better improve our products. We are committed to publishing user feedback – positive or critical – with zero censorship or influence.
If you're looking for some inspiration, check out previous reviews by The Lab reviewers:
- OnePlus 9
- OnePlus 9 Pro
- OnePlus 8T
- OnePlus 8 Pro
- OnePlus 7T-series
- OnePlus 7 Pro
- OnePlus 6T
- OnePlus 6
Keep in mind, however, reviewers will have to sign an NDA before they receive the devices (either the Nord 2 or the Buds Pro, dependending on what they applied for). Check out the official post on OnePlus forums, which contains more information, and a sign-up link as well (which we also linked to above).
This iteration of The Lab seems to have a stricter selection process, so put some effort into your application as well as your review of the devices.
Best of luck! If you'd like to know more about the upcoming devices, you can do a quick Google search for "OnePlus Nord 2 rumours", and you can check our article on the phone as well. According to rumours the launch date of the Nord 2 was supposed to be 9th July, but it turned out to be just the announcement of The Lab. We'll be writing another article confirming the specs, pricing, and availability of the Nord 2 when around the launch of the device.
Source: OnePlus Forums