My 2 cents at cracking the OnePlus Lab - OP9 Lab

  1. naveenjafer
    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus 9 Series Mar 19, 2021

    naveenjafer , Mar 19, 2021 :
    Today was a pretty unusual day in the Community app. Woke up to a bunch of messages from fellow Lab aspirants requesting for my entry to the Lab OnePlus 9 edition that made it to the final cut. I would have loved to share it with the community. However, it absolutely made no sense to hand over the final product when I could rather hand over the recipe for the same. This post is my 2 cents on how fellow aspirants could go about building a successful entry for next time.

    PS: @YRJ has previously done a great job at explaining what an ideal entry to the Lab could look like! A 10/10 read that you should check out before proceeding further

    The first paragraph could make or break your entry

    Judgments and prejudice, things that not even the best of us are immune to.

    You have 4 lines to catch the attention of the evaluator. Would you want to waste that precious real estate with an introduction about yourself, something banal and uninspiring?

    The evaluator has read hundreds of entries, it is safest to assume that they are exhausted and have gone through cycles of excitement and disappointment. Make sure that your entry breaks them out of this cycle. Simply catch their attention.

    Can you view things from a different lens?

    It is highly possible that the reviewer has already seen the very same things you are penning down in other entries. The idea is not to see how good you are at listing down technical specifications (NDTV gadgets could do the same for them). Right off the bat, I can think of 2 ways you could approach the review.

    Review your old device as you would have reviewed it on day 1 of receiving it.

    Review the device from the perspective of how it progressed and aged with time. (The approach I decided to go ahead with).

    My entry was all about things that aged well with my OP6 and things that did not. I was fairly confident that this storyline could click. You ask why? Simply because you do not see enough reviews that talk about a device after so many years of usage. Instead of talking about the snapshot of the device in its prime, it contrasted the device on day 0 to day 1025.

    With a slightly different approach, you have broken the monotony, bettering your chances of keeping the reader engaged.

    Choose your battles carefully

    You possibly cannot do justice to the review in 10000 characters if you were to address every single component. Pick your battles, select your strong points and stick to them. Be it the camera, performance, OS, or other aspects. Definitely do title your sections. You can spice things up by using innovative titles that are subtle indicators of what you would like to address.

    For example, instead of using "low light photography", I went with "The “can you stay still” snaps" for the title.

    Why go down the ungrammatical route when you can Grammarly?

    Grammatical errors are probably going to terminate your review and send it crashing to the filtered out pile. If English is not your strong point, start working on it at the earliest. Use tools like Grammarly to filter out errors that slip past even the best of us.

    No one likes a toxic fan

    The team is not looking for entries to stroke its ego. You could endlessly sing eulogies about how your current OnePlus device is nothing short of perfect. Or you could honestly point out issues that really grind your gears.

    However, there is an art to pointing out issues. You could always use humor to make it more digestible to the evaluators. Interspersing the negatives and positives with the right placement and timing can be beneficial. Avoid listing out topics like Pros, Cons and stacking up the praises and negatives as a bunch. Give your evaluator the emotional rollercoaster they deserve to go through with your entry.

    Dropping in a few occasional well thought suggestions can go a long way in showcasing your intellect to some extent. Cliches like "Battery life is not good" or "Phone gets too hot to hold" are probably going to set your application back. A better way to express the same could be

    "I have been left wanting for ~2 more hours of SoT to get through my day"
    "The device is practically a hot box while playing hot titles like PUBG. So much for an immersive experience".

    Infusing some sense of humor can get your constructive criticism across efficiently.

    In my experience, the extra warmth of the OP6 camera was something that had put me off multiple times. "The colors are too warm" vs "The camera warrants a 'Objects in the viewfinder are less yellow than they appear' ". They both put the same point across, but you can see how the second makes for better criticism.

    Closing remarks

    Conclude. Always conclude. How would you like a movie that cuts straight to credits without a climax?
    A quick summary of the device is crucial. You could rate it on a numerical scale, talk about how likely you are to recommend it to a friend, or simply talk about how the device makes you feel.

    I sure hope that this post helps a community member. If it does, drop me a message when you make it to the final Lab roster in upcoming editions.
    Cheers! Look out for the lab reviews in the coming weeks!

    Congratulations to all my other fellow Phase 1 reviewers @ejyu @Isab3lla @Kurt_Paris @Anklang @Nipu_1998 @PhotoPicker @TheBlitz7 @LukasBxy @MarkSpurrell @jlasensiofi @Ronin-hc @LucasM6 @Vigneshxchan @F_Sulaimaan_Aslam_zVXk

    A huge shout out to @Crystal Z. @dsmonteiro and @Eric X and others BTS (that I am not aware of) for making this edition of the lab a smooth process like always! Thank you, team!

    Disclaimer: The opinions are completely my own and are not based on any feedback or suggestions from the evaluators or OnePlus.

    PS: Some of the shots of my OP6 taken.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 24, 2021

  2. DIVITH.C , via OnePlus 8T Aquamarine Green , Mar 19, 2021 :
    Thanks man! That was very thoughtful and informative! Sharing recipe after a good cook is what makes a true reviewer! Congratulations on your new OnePlus 9 from lab and I'll keep my eye for your review!

    MosheG1 and naveenjafer like this.
  3. naveenjafer
    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus 9 Series Mar 19, 2021

    naveenjafer , Mar 19, 2021 :
    You are welcome mate! :)

  4. Athreya_S
    Gingerbread Mar 19, 2021

    naveenjafer likes this.
  5. McJader
    Lollipop Mar 19, 2021

    McJader , Mar 19, 2021 :
    A very insightful read, and now I know why you were chosen.:D
    It actually opened my eyes to some things I had overlooked previously, and I agree with all of the points you've raised. Thanks for the thread @naveenjafer, and indeed, objects are a bit less yellow than they appear:p

  6. Bittoo06
    Ice Cream Sandwich Mar 19, 2021

    Bittoo06 , Mar 19, 2021 :
    thanks for sharing your thoughts. now i get it where was i lacking. you all definitely deserved to be there. looking forward to the review from your side. all the best. :)

    @camohan this is what that i was talking about. i guess the users want to help me by themselves. :p

    naveenjafer, KaranRIyer and McJader like this.
  7. Dhruv Kashyap
    Jelly Bean Mar 19, 2021

    naveenjafer likes this.
  8. camohan
    Moderator Moderator Mar 19, 2021

    camohan , Mar 19, 2021 :
    That's nice if you could identify what you wanted.
    But again, there are no set structures, there are no set winners. It's just striking a balance and being lucky on that day.

    Bittoo06, KaranRIyer and McJader like this.
  9. MarkSpurrell
    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus 9 Series Mar 19, 2021

    MarkSpurrell , Mar 19, 2021 :
    This is an excellent guide as to how to improve your entries for future Lab contests. Very insightful @naveenjafer!

    I'd just like to add that the images you submit with your review are almost just as important as the review itself. Remember: OnePlus is always looking for talented people that are able to take impressive photos of their devices that they can use later for promotional purposes. Don't spend all of your time formulating the perfect script only to throw in some half-arsed images of the phone on your kitchen table! ;)

    naveenjafer, KaranRIyer and McJader like this.
  10. oneplusfav4ever
    Ice Cream Sandwich Mar 19, 2021

    naveenjafer likes this.
  11. ParamK.
    Moderator Moderator Mar 19, 2021

    McJader likes this.
  12. McJader
    Lollipop Mar 19, 2021

    McJader , Mar 19, 2021 :
    Cool, this is officially the first thread in this section!

    ParamK. likes this.
  13. Bittoo06
    Ice Cream Sandwich Mar 19, 2021

    Bittoo06 , Mar 19, 2021 :
    yes, that luck factor seems to be in a negative value in my case. :p

    KaranRIyer likes this.
  14. McJader
    Lollipop Mar 19, 2021

    McJader , Mar 19, 2021 :
    Spoke too soon, did I?:oops::p

    naveenjafer likes this.
  15. ParamK.
    Moderator Moderator Mar 19, 2021

    naveenjafer and McJader like this.
  16. camohan
    Moderator Moderator Mar 19, 2021

    camohan , Mar 19, 2021 :
    Honestly, one should never blame luck and never count fruits.

  17. naveenjafer
    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus 9 Series Mar 19, 2021

    naveenjafer , Mar 19, 2021 :
    I am glad it helped in whatever little way! Thank you for your kind words! :D

  18. naveenjafer
    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus 9 Series Mar 19, 2021

    naveenjafer , Mar 19, 2021 :
    If only I could have told the same to my math teacher a decade back.

    KaranRIyer, Nipu_1998 and McJader like this.
  19. anunayC
    Honeycomb Mar 19, 2021