OnePlus "The Lab" is accepting applications for the 12 & 12R

Reviewers may be able to keep the device. You can apply until 11th January 2024.
Adhiraj S. Chauhan

"The Lab" is a unique concept OnePlus first introduced in May 2016 with the OnePlus 3. The OnePlus 6/6T, 7- & 7T-series, 8T-series, 9-series, Nord 2 & Buds Pro, 10 ProNord 2T10T, 11the Pad (their first tablet), and the Open (first foldable) were a part of the program. This unique concept contains answering a few basic questions, including a relatively thorough review of your current device. We recommend taking your time to think about your answers, especially to stand out from the crowd. OnePlus decides which applications they approve, and they'll send devices to the selected reviewers. Assuming all goes well and you complete your review on time, you get to keep the device.

Note: the 7T-series' Lab 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 12 & 12R) is similar to previous ones — there are 6 devices available.

What's different this year though, is that there's also an "External Community Review Program", where users from Reddit, Discord, or Telegram can also apply. At the moment, it's not clear if the 6 device limitation is separate from this program or not.

OnePlus also posted a very useful thread explaining the selection process (including dos & don'ts), so give that a read as well. At the time of writing this article, there are 6 days left to apply.


  • Jan 5: applications open
  • Jan 11: applications close
  • Jan 23: selected users can start posting their reviews

Only 6 reviewers will be selected, so make sure your application stands 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 (posted 4 years ago), where OnePlus explains the story behind The Lab. A user on OnePlus Community 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?

OnePlus has stated that only 18+ users from Europe, India, or North America can apply. At least 3 spots are reserved for existing community members (i.e. those who already have OnePlus Community accounts prior to this announcement). Additionally, it seems only OnePlus Community members can apply, because this time they're hosting the application form themselves, which requires logging in. It's not all bad though, as it comes with some improvements over the old 3rd party form:

  • Usernames are automatically added to the form
  • Form can be edited until the deadline
  • OnePlus Community app will notify selected users

How can you apply?

There are two forms, you can choose to fill whichever one you're comfortable with:

They're both official ways to apply, it's mostly a matter of preference. Please fill either one; not both.

Application deadline

Until 11th January 2024 23:59 HKT (GMT +08:00).


OnePlus posted the following FAQ (note: "we", "our", etc. in this section refers to OnePlus):

  • Q: Who is eligible?
    A: Any person above 18, from Europe, India, or North America with a OnePlus Community account can apply.
  • 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. Since we're trying something new this time around, we'll focus more on the skills you self-evaluate as being your strongest, and pair you with people with complementary skills.
  • Q: How many devices have you prepared for The Lab?
    A: We have prepared 6 devices for this edition of The Lab.
  • Q: When will you ship out the review devices?
    A: We will ship out devices according to the schedule. Depending on the user’s region, Lab Reviewers should receive devices in three to seven calendar days.
  • Q: For how long do reviewers get to create their review thread after receiving the device?
    A: Upon receiving the devices, we ask users to post an initial thread with the unboxing and first hands-on experience as close to the embargo date as possible. Then, we allow approximately seven calendar days for reviewers to write their full reviews. 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 (the initial one and the follow-up review) are completed and submitted on time. While you'll collaborate with someone for your review, you are only responsible for your own work.
  • Q: Are Lab reviewers allowed to write critical reviews of the products they received?
    A: Our top priority is to elicit honest feedback, we are committed to publishing user feedback – positive or critical – with zero censorship or influence.
  • Q: Any tips on how to increase my chances of getting selected?
    A: Of course! We prepared a few threads with helpful tips on improving your content and explaining how selections work. In addition, considering how this edition of The Lab works, I would suggest dedicating a bit more time to the areas you select as your key strengths.
  • Q: How does this edition work exactly?
    A: Thanks for asking! Each user will still write their own review, much like previous The Lab editions. However, in this edition, we'll pair users with a complementary skillset so that you can help polish each other's reviews. Co-creation at its best!
  • Q: How will you decide how to pair people?
    A: Zodiac sign compatibility. No, seriously, we'll look into how users can complement each other, and, ideally, select people who can meet in real life and collaborate. What great stories can come out of it! Don't worry, though, we live in the age of the internet and we'll gladly pair people half a world apart. We'll also check your pairing suggestions for reference.

If you're looking for some inspiration, check out previous reviews by The Lab reviewers:

Keep in mind, however, reviewers will have to sign an NDA before they receive the devices. Check out the official post on OnePlus Community, which contains more information, and a sign-up link as well (which we also linked to above).

If you get selected, do let us know, either via Discord or over email.

This iteration of The Lab, like many previous ones, has 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 these devices, you can read our respective rumour-roundup articles: OnePlus 12, OnePlus 12R. We may write another article when they launch.

Source: OnePlus Community