Two weeks away from the expected launch of its third-generation flagship smartphone, Chinese technology startup OnePlus has come up with a new idea that it believes will help broaden its appeal and create more involvement with its fans. The company is now introducing a new initiative called 'The Lab', which will "provide fair, honest, crowd-sourced feedback on the OnePlus 3", as per a post on the company's official website. OnePlus has already put up a specially-curated page for the purpose, and are inviting applications from members of the general public to be a part of the process. According to OnePlus, users from all around the world are eligible to send in their applications, but only 30 lucky fans will get the opportunity to get the upcoming OnePlus 3 in their hands before the device officially becomes available for purchase.
OnePlus says that the 30 lucky applicants would be chosen after "intense deliberations", and once the OnePlus 3 handsets are shipped to them, they will then need to submit comprehensive reviews of the device, highlighting, discussing and detailing "the many features that make up the OnePlus 3". The company describes this new initiative as "a trial by fire – the ultimate test for the OnePlus 3". Either way, for the 30 lucky individuals who'll eventually be chosen amongst the thousands of applicants, it sounds like it would be a pretty good deal – get a flagship smartphone for free in exchange of a review. Those who are interested in signing-up should hurry, because the applications will close in about 5 days' time, and according to data provided by OnePlus, as many as 6,518 people have already signed-up for the opportunity (at the time of writing this article).
'The Lab' is just the latest in a long line of novel ideas from the OnePlus marketing department, and is expected to be a fairly popular one amongst the target audience. While the company does come up with some innovative ideas from time to time to hype-up its products, some of them go on to become more contentious than others. A case in point was the highly-controversial 'Ladies First' campaign the company had launched a couple of years ago that would have given women the chance to "skip the invite line" and get a chance to buy the company's first-generation flagship, the OnePlus One. The contest specifically asked women to take a selfie with a visible OnePlus logo painted either on a piece of paper they're holding, or on their body.
Needless to say, the controversy it created led to the contest being pulled within hours, with the company having to issue a grovelling apology for its offensive and condescending attitude towards women, and for perpetuating "a stereotype that OnePlus in no way supports or condones". Thankfully, however, this new contest promises to be a lot less controversial and a lot more fun for everybody involved.