What is OnePlus Zen Mode and how does it work?

On several OnePlus smartphones, there’s a feature called Zen Mode. As the name suggests, the intention of OnePlus Zen Mode is to bring some peace into your life by helping you put down your phone and focus on the real world for a bit.

How does it do this? In a nutshell, it locks you out of your phone for a set amount of time. Your phone is powered on and there are a few functions you can still use, but overall your phone becomes inoperable.

If you’re the kind of person who finds it hard to put their phone down and focus on tasks — or just difficult to “unplug” for a few minutes — Zen Mode is perfect for you. Check out our guide below on how it works, which phones it works on, and more!

What does OnePlus Zen Mode do?

OnePlus 7 Pro Zen Mode

When you turn on Zen Mode, your phone goes into a kind of deep freeze for a certain amount of time. During this time, you can’t open apps, send text messages, change settings, or perform most other smartphone functions.

The only two things you still will be able to do are make and receive phone calls and take photos. However, after you snap a photo you can’t view your full gallery to edit or post that photo to social media. Also, while you can receive calls from anyone, you can only make emergency phone calls (i.e. 911).

Turning on Zen Mode forces you to stop using your phone for a set amount of time.

Once you turn the feature on, there is no going back: even restarting your phone won’t turn it off. The default active time is 20 minutes, so you will need to wait that full 20 minutes before your phone returns to normal. As such, use this function carefully!

As an additional feature, the Zen Mode app can also notify you if you’ve used your phone without stopping for a set amount of time. The default is two hours, but you can change the reminder window to various other times. The reminder will encourage you to turn on Zen Mode.

Which phones have Zen Mode functionality?

OnePlus 7 Pro vs OnePlus 6T vs OnePlus 6 backs at slight angle

OnePlus introduced Zen Mode with the OnePlus 7 Pro. Since then, the company has pushed the feature to other phones in its roster.

It should be noted that this is a OnePlus exclusive feature — you won’t find it on phones from other manufacturers. However, other manufacturers might offer a similar function under a different name.

The OnePlus phones that have Zen Mode are:

  • OnePlus 7 Pro
  • OnePlus 7 Pro 5G
  • OnePlus 7
  • OnePlus 6T
  • OnePlus 6
  • OnePlus 5T
  • OnePlus 5

It is unlikely OnePlus will push this feature to phones older than the OnePlus 5. However, it’s a sure bet Zen Mode will come to all future OnePlus devices.

How to use Zen Mode:

  1. Unlock your phone and pull down the notification shade.
  2. Pull down the shade again to fully expose the Quick Tiles settings (see screenshots below).
  3. Tap on the Zen Mode Quick Tile to open up the app. There is no standalone app to open, you need to access it through Quick Tiles.
  4. Once you’re in Zen Mode you can tap the settings icon in the top right corner to turn off or on the feature that notifies you that you’ve been on your phone too long. You can also tap the stats icon (next to the gear icon) to see how many times you’ve used the feature.
  5. If you’re ready to start Zen Mode, just hit the Let’s Go button. You’ll be warned about how Zen Mode works.
  6. Hit the Start button and a countdown timer will begin, giving you three seconds to change your mind.
  7. Once Zen Mode begins, a timer will display on your screen showing you how many minutes/seconds you have left.
  8. While Zen Mode is active, you can’t do anything with your phone except make emergency calls and take photos.
  9. Once the timer depletes, you’ll get a “Good Job” notification. You can also share to social media how long you were in Zen Mode and why you used it.

OnePlus Zen Mode Screenshots 2 1
OnePlus Zen Mode Screenshots 1 1
OnePlus Zen Mode Screenshots 5
OnePlus Zen Mode Screenshots 3
OnePlus Zen Mode Screenshots 2
OnePlus Zen Mode Screenshots 1

That’s everything there is to know about OnePlus Zen Mode! Eventually, OnePlus will offer more customization to the feature, allowing you to pick how long the lockout happens, for example. Stay tuned for more Zen Mode updates as they happen!

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