The Lab 101 | A Beginner’s Guide!

  1. YRJ
    The Lab - OnePlus 7T Reviewer; Community Hero 2020 Mar 8, 2021

    YRJ , Mar 8, 2021 :

    Hello everyone,

    OnePlus just opened the gates to its much-celebrated, favorite community tradition – The Lab – and this time it’s returning for the OnePlus 9 Series, bringing with it not one but two chances for you to jump into the shoes of a tech influencer and get your hands on the latest tech before anyone else! So, if you’ve ever wanted to say, “Hey everyone, I’ve been using this OnePlus 9 for about two weeks now, and here’s what I think”, then now’s the time! But the competition is fierce, and, to secure yourself one of the 25 spots, you’ll need more than just fancy words to win the readers.

    To find out what exactly can increase your chances of getting selected, I reached out to Head Moderator @SoniaB and community consultant @dsmonteiro, who have been screening lab applications for quite some time now. Read on to find out what makes a great lab application!

    Before we dive into this, I’d like to say that there is no secret recipe to a winning lab application; neither are we defining the structure of how your entry should be. What has worked for others may not work for you, so these are tips and a list of do’s and don’ts only. By keeping these pointers in mind, you can rest assured that you have done your part well. But don’t let these pointers prevent you from being creative. After all, that’s the only thing that makes the entry uniquely yours. Finally, please note these tips only cover this Lab’s Phase 1. Phase 2 is a new camera-focused addition that is making its debut

    Take your time; there’s no rush!
    @SoniaB mentioned “several users comment that they have submitted their entry within hours of the LAB contest opening. That brings zero advantages. It may be that you have been working on your submission since the previous LAB, but taking a couple of days to just review it and tweak it, does you no harm.”

    It is worth noting that the Lab is not a first-come, first-serve basis contest. @dsmonteiro says that each entry received until the deadline is reviewed. So stop speeding and maybe check your application one last time before hitting submit ;)

    Additionally, you can also consider getting feedback from family and friends. Maybe they’ll catch something you might have missed earlier?

    How to make my block of text reader-friendly?
    We have excellent wordsmiths in the community, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t proofread your entry, for this is your one chance to make an impression, and you can’t take any chances. SoniaB recommends tools like Grammarly and Spell-checker, which help fix typos. Punctuation is just as important, if not more and according to Sonia, "a wall of text with no punctuation makes the entry almost unreadable for the reviewer."

    How can you make your entry stand out?
    @dsmonteiro reiterates attention to detail is key.

    “While we go through all the entries, there’s thousands of them. That means you have one chance to make a nice impression. A “your” instead of a “you’re”, even if only because you were distracted, is enough to make a difference when you have so many people trying.

    You have one chance to stand out. Use it.”

    SoniaB, however, stresses on authenticity. When reading a review, she looks for a “balance in opinions. Your review should be yours and an honest representation of what you genuinely think, even if it is negative. Critique is important.

    And speaking of things that your review is better off without, she says, the terms “Flagship Killer” and “beast” are generally overused and lack originality.

    What to write in my application?
    While you have absolute freedom to exercise your creative writing abilities here, ultimately, your response needs to be an answer to the question that has been asked. SoniaB recommends, “READ THE SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS.
    Normally, LAB contests ask you to answer a specific question; review of a past or present device or a favourite feature on your device.
    [I think that was last year’s one]. Make sure you actually answer what has been requested.”

    Set your priorities straight...
    A lab application has been designed to evaluate you on various aspects. Your writing ability and photo/video shooting capabilities, but you need to grab the reader’s attention first. SoniaB says it’s the written entry that she reads first. So you’re making a first impression with it! Let it be your best one 😉

    Any tips on how to write a review?
    SoniaB - "Originality and research. Review past entries. Look at how they were structured, the content itself and think about how you could do it better or differently.

    Add some personality to your entry, either in the written content or supporting photos or videos. A bit of humour is always nice to read/see."

    The Word limit?
    Okay, so this is a tricky one! The application usually states a 250 Word limit; however, this is in no way a hard limit. If you do write 251 words, your entry does NOT get filtered. It will be reviewed. But that should not be a free pass to write a novella. Say more with less.

    SoniaB suggests:
    “Take time to brainstorm your entry; the topics you want to cover. Have a structure in mind. If there is a word limit, consider how many words you want to allocate to each topic. If you are going way over, then re-evaluate. An entry covering one topic really well is better than an entry trying to cover everything. Less can be better.”

    Some things to keep in mind when posting video entries
    SoniaB - "Videos: consider your environment, noise and background. Do some testing videos first to practice. How often do we see people not actually looking at the camera? Or the background light is too dull?

    Practicing your spoken content for video means that you start to memorize your content, that in turn makes for a more fluid video."

    Well, that is all for now. I hope this gives you a better understanding of what is expected in your application for The Lab. Special thanks to SoniaB and dsmonteiro for giving us an insight into the process and all the best to everyone applying, may the best ones win :cool:
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2021

  2. SRD.
    Lollipop Mar 8, 2021

  3. YRJ
    The Lab - OnePlus 7T Reviewer; Community Hero 2020 Mar 8, 2021

    YRJ , Mar 8, 2021 :
    If you feel up to the task, I don't see a reason why you shouldn't ;)

  4. Dhruv Kashyap
    Jelly Bean Mar 8, 2021

  5. Tobikage
    Nougat Mar 8, 2021

    Tobikage , Mar 8, 2021 :
    Should...always should.

  6. Abhishek654
    Ice Cream Sandwich Mar 8, 2021

  7. Oreo.
    OnePlus Accessory Tester Mar 8, 2021


  8. #8
  9. Girish.Pranav
    Jelly Bean Mar 8, 2021

  10. SRD.
    Lollipop Mar 8, 2021

    SRD. , via OnePlus 7T , Mar 8, 2021 :
    Ok ok. So let me try this time.
    Wish me " a great content" than luck.

  11. Dresa91
    User of the Year 2016; Most Active User 2020 Mar 8, 2021

  12. McJader
    Lollipop Mar 8, 2021

    McJader , Mar 8, 2021 :
    Some friends *cough cough* are too busy to read your entry;)

  13. camohan
    Moderator Moderator Mar 8, 2021

    camohan , Mar 8, 2021 :
    This is a great guide. I will make sure to apply them during my submission.

  14. Starcommander
    OnePlus Accessory Tester Mar 8, 2021

  15. SJBoss
    Lollipop Mar 8, 2021

  16. Tobikage
    Nougat Mar 8, 2021

    Tobikage , Mar 8, 2021 :
    Oh I can't wait to join the Lab !
    Can't you sense the excitement from all my posts ?? :rolleyes:

  17. Starcommander
    OnePlus Accessory Tester Mar 8, 2021

    Starcommander , Mar 8, 2021 :

  18. YRJ
    The Lab - OnePlus 7T Reviewer; Community Hero 2020 Mar 8, 2021

    YRJ , Mar 8, 2021 :
    All the best, SRD ;)
    This is going to be very interesting :p
    Thanks Star, but I'm not the host. I can't be one. Only OnePlus can host the lab ;)

  19. YRJ
    The Lab - OnePlus 7T Reviewer; Community Hero 2020 Mar 8, 2021

    YRJ , Mar 8, 2021 :
    Apologies. I was under the weather. If not I definitely would have read it. :oops:

  20. Starcommander
    OnePlus Accessory Tester Mar 8, 2021

    Starcommander , Mar 8, 2021 :
    I knew you would say that but still it's commendable journey