It's hard to not wake up in Barcelona excited. It's a beautiful city, first of all. And it takes its time getting out of bed on the weekends, so on occasion you can feel like you have the streets to yourself. I'd actually been in the city a few extra days for meetings on all the new HTC stuff. (For transparency's sake, we split the cost of that with HTC. In fact, I think we probably came out a little behind. So read into that whatever you will.) And having a couple extra days to get used to the seven-hour time change truly changed the show for me. Come Sunday I was definitely ready to go. Our UK guys — Alex and Richard — were only an hour ahead, so that's no big deal. And even the other U.S. folks — Derek, Andrew and Mark — were relatively conscious.
We knew it was going to be a crazy day. The question was how crazy.
Breakfast with LG and Acer. Then Huawei and Alcatel. And then the truly big ones — HTC and Samsung. It really doesn't matter how much you have done in advance. (And thank God we had a lot.) There's just something about knowing exactly how many minutes you have left to get something done before having to move on and do another thing — and there's never enough time. I wouldn't want to do that more than two or three times a year, but it's a ridiculous amount of fun, and tremendously rewarding knowing that we did it as well as we could.
Me? I'd give us a solid B+ for the week. I can't say enough about how hard Derek and Alex and Andrew and Richard and Mark busted their collective asses. You never get done everything you want to get done. So you over-plan and over-schedule and then roll with it. And I can't imagine doing this job with anyone else.
A few other thoughts on that crazy MWC week:
- My biggest takeaway? I can't wait to hear what people say when they actually get to hold and see these new devices. Samsung's are that different. HTC's is that much more refined.
- HTC had 700 people at its press event. That's huge for them.
- Samsung, I was told, had something like 7,000. That's huge for anything.
- For all the shit Samsung's gotten about past presentations (and I don't always agree with that), I thought last week's was one of its best. The focus and pacing was mostly excellent. Total time was a little less than an hour.
- And that two of the first three people on stage were women was not lost on us.
- The low points? Essentially taking credit for Material Design, and the promoting of anonymous analysts who supposedly said great things about Samsung.
- HTC Grip seemed a little underwhelming. Fitness bands just don't do it for me.
- I'll forgive you if you didn't go gaga over the mere announcement of the HTC Vive virtual reality thing they're doing with Valve. There's no mobile component, and VR in general just isn't my thing. But holy shit is it ever cool to try. It's going to be interesting to see how the consumer release of this works later this year.
- The LG Watch Urbane is very nice. Can't wait to wear it for more than 5 minutes.
- I'm enjoying the HTC RE camera the more I use it. I mean, this shot ...
- But if you noticed some of the marketing from HTC last week — "RE Grip" and "RE Vive," even though RE is not a part of those products' names — it shows that they're still having a hard time forming a cohesive message. The good news is there's time to fix that, and they've got a fun new CMO to do it.
Coming up: We're going to break down Google+ bit by bit (yes, before they change things again), and finish playing catch-up after a week away. These new devices are going to hit us before we know it.
See y'all on Monday.
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