What is OnePlus Zen Mode?

OnePlus Zen Mode is essentially a Do Not Disturb mode but on speed. It puts your smartphone into a kind of coma, reducing the functionality to a bare minimum in an attempt to reduce the temptation to pick it up and start scrolling. Once in Zen Mode, your OnePlus can no longer send text messages, open apps, browse the internet of social media or even access basic menus such as Settings. You can still receive phone calls and take photos, but you can’t view the photos in the Gallery app or start tweaking editing parameters in Google Photos. The only number you can call in Zen Mode is the emergency services in your region.

Perhaps the scariest feature of Zen Mode is that it is unbreakable. Once you have chosen to enter it, you can’t go back on that decision. Even if you reboot your phone you will still be in Zen Mode. Once you have opted to spend a specified time (20, 30, 40 or 60 minutes) in Zen Mode, there’s nothing you can do but wait for it to be over.

This is actually what makes Zen Mode one of the most successful tools for reducing smartphone addiction. If it was easily switched off, the temptation would get the better of too many people. I like the fact that Zen Mode is strict on this point. You’ve committed to a period of time away from your phone, so honor that commitment!

What kinds of devices support Zen Mode?

 From the OnePlus 5 onwards, Zen Mode is available on all subsequent OnePlus devices. That includes last year’s OnePlus 6 and 6T as well as the latest OnePlus 7T and 7T Pro. It is likely that any future OnePlus releases will also come with Zen Mode baked into the company’s software.

How to use Zen Mode

ZenMode is installed as a default app on OnePlus smartphones. However, it does not appear in the app drawer. The quickest way to access Zen Mode is to pull down on the notification tab to access Android’s Quick Tiles menu. If you don’t see Zen Mode there straight away, you will have to tap the pencil icon to customize which options you have in Quick Tiles. Drag the Zen Mode tile into your Quick Tiles and you are ready to go. From there, follow these simple steps:

  1. Once in Zen Mode, tap on the green arrow towards the bottom of the display choose between 20, 30, 40 and 60 minutes. This will be the duration of your downtime. Remember, once you activate Zen Mode, you cannot go back on it.
  2. Tap Let’s Go at the bottom of the screen to begin
  3. You’ll see a timer on the display letting you know how long is left on your session
  4. Once the time is up, you’ll get a notification telling you what a good job you’ve done!


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