OnePlus will debut its upcoming Buds Pro and Nord 2 5G devices during a July 22nd live event. But some lucky tech enthusiasts and influences will have a chance to test the new products a few days before their official release, thanks to the OnePlus Lab program.
It’s not uncommon for phone manufacturers to provide members of the press with early review units. Doing so can help generate hype for a new product and, unless the product totally sucks, encourage customers to buy in.
But OnePlus’ launch strategy for new products is a bit unique. Yes, OnePlus sends early units to popular reviewers, but the company also hosts a OnePlus Lab program that allows anyone to ask for a review unit. Products like the OnePlus 9 went through this process ahead of their launch, as will the Nord 2 5G and Buds Pro.
You can go to the OnePlus Lab page and apply for review units from now until July 17th. If your application is accepted, OnePlus expects you to submit two reviews—one within a week of receiving the product, plus a follow-up review after a month of using the product. These terms are a bit strict (and frankly unrealistic for those who aren’t professional reviewers), but they allow OnePlus to control how and when its products are marketed.
We still know very little about the Nord 2 5G, aside from the fact that it’s the first OnePlus device to run on a MediaTek processor. As for the Buds Pro … well, the “Pro” moniker suggests that they’re expensive, so there’s that. If OnePlus follows its usual strategy, it may intentionally drop the key details for these devices a few days ahead of the official launch event.