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How to Get the OnePlus 5 for Free

If you're hoping to get your hands on the OnePlus 5, the China-based boutique smartphone maker is offering you the chance to get it without paying one dime.

Credit: OnePlus

(Image credit: OnePlus)

OnePlus is now accepting applications at The Lab website for a contest where you can win a OnePlus 5 for free. The program, which already has nearly 8,000 applications, requires some Instagram work, but could net you a OnePlus 5 if you snap just a few photos and share them on the social network.

To join the contest, you need to first follow OnePlus' Instagram account @oneplustech. From there, you need to submit three pictures from your Instagram account that you've snapped with a smartphone. OnePlus will then look at all of those images and pick 10 people to participate in the program and get a OnePlus 5 to snap photos on.

MORE: Here's How Powerful the OnePlus 5 Is

Interestingly, OnePlus isn't saying in its promotion that its next handset is even called the OnePlus 5, and it hasn't said when people will get the device. However, the OnePlus 5 is one of the worst-kept secrets in the smartphone world and OnePlus has said that it's planning to release a new device this summer. Earlier this month, Qualcomm confirmed that the OnePlus 5 will ship with the Snapdragon 835 processor.Meanwhile, a slew of rumors have cropped up in recent weeks on features the handset might offer. Among the features, OnePlus's handset might come with a 5.5-inch screen, though reports are mixed on whether it'll have a full-HD or quad-HD resolution. There's also talk of the smartphone offering a dual-lens camera.

OnePlus's The Lab is a crowdsourcing platform designed to give the company feedback on different aspects of its products. This time around, it's focused on camera technology and how to deliver better photography in the OnePlus 5.

"For many people, smartphones are their go-to daily camera," OnePlus writes on The Lab page. "With the right technology in their hands, users can take mobile photography to new heights. We want to bring a device that's truly tailored and perfected for photography lovers. That's why we're looking for voices from the mobile photographer community hear and learn from."

It's unclear whether insight OnePlus derives from The Lab will be used in next year's flagship handset or in the existing device to make tweaks before (or after) it launches. But if you're interested in getting your hands on the smartphone sooner than most, now's the time to go for it.

Don Reisinger is a communications strategist, consultant, and copywriter who has also written for many leading technology and business publications including CNET, Fortune Magazine and The New York Times, as well as Tom's Guide.