MWC 2012: Day 4

Well, that’s it: after four crazy days of indulging in the latest tech it’s time to leave MWC and head home. We’ve been fortunate to spend some quality time with some amazing new LG phones and, hopefully, offered a little insight into what they’re like.

Our interview with the brand’s head of mobile design, Chul Bae Lee, is now also live. In it, he explains the philosophy behind LG’s L-Style design language and how the brand’s smartphones are developed, and also reveals his huge passion for design. He was a great interviewee and speaking to him brought home how easy it is to forget the enthusiasm and hard work that goes into creating the devices we end up taking for granted.

Anyways, that is all – or at least it is other than to say don’t forget to enter our competition to win a new Optimus smartphone by clicking on the link at the top of the page…

Adios amigos!

 

 

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MWC 2012: Day 3

One interesting (and mind-boggling) snippet of news to come out of MWC was the fact that, according to Google, more than 850,000 new Android phones are now being activated every day. To put that in context, that’s not far off double the total number of babies born each day worldwide (good job gadgets take up less space, eh?).

It’s no surprise, therefore, that Android is by far the most popular operating system here at MWC, appearing on everything from entry-level phones like LG’s Optimus L3 to the brand’s mega-powerful, quad-core Optimus 4X HD.

As you’d expect of a flagship device, the 4X HD uses the latest 4.0 version of Android, better known as Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS). This replaces the separate smartphone and tablet versions (2.3/Gingerbread and 3.2/Honeycomb, respectively), but in terms of a user experience it’s actually very similar, just slicker looking with useful evolutions of existing features and a handful of whizz-bang new ones – take a look here for the lowdown.

In fact, the biggest benefit of ICS is actually to app developers, as they can theoretically now just design apps for one unified OS that scales seamlessly across phones and tablets. Of course, in turn that should mean better, more reliable apps and more choice for consumers, which can’t be a bad thing.

Anyway, today we took a look round Android’s huge, playground-like stand at MWC to check out the latest innovations and apps that will be available through LG’s new crop of ICS-toting Optimus smartphones. There are sadly way, way too many to get into here, but we came away seriously impressed, both at the diversity and quality on offer. The future is most definitely bright for Android users.

The stand itself is also very impressive, containing a helter-skelter slide, DJ zone, café, a never-ending conveyor belt of devices and an actual working robot. In short, lots of fun – you can get an idea by taking a look at Android’s own MWC page here.

OK, that’s it for day three. One more day to go…

 

 

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MWC 2012: Day 2

Day two of Mobile World Congress 2012 was as busy as the first, with the Fira de Barcelona exhibition centre heaving with gadget fans and industry-types. But since the sun was out, it seemed a shame to spend all day trawling the halls for new tech, so we stashed our passes and went for a stroll to check out some of Barcelona’s many sights.

First, we headed down to the beach at Barceloneta armed with the LG Optimus L7 and its big brother the Optimus Vu. Both come equipped with good cameras – the former has a 5MP snapper, the latter a sharper 8MP model that can also capture Full HD-quality video.

After soaking up some sun, sipping a café con leche and indulging in a spot of people watching by the sea (this is work, honest), we headed west – pausing for a sec to take a pic of the huge hotel perched on the peninsular and pondering what an awesome view its guests must enjoy (probably something like this).

Talking of views, we used the Optimus Vu (sorry, couldn’t resist) to grab a few photos of the superyachts moored in the marina. Now that’s the way to get to MWC…

Eventually we wandered north along the Rambla del Mar boardwalk that connects Moll d’Espanya to Portal de la Pau, which conveniently delivered us to the foot of the towering, 60m-tall Columbus Monument, one of Barcelona’s most famous landmarks – and a worthy subject to capture in Full HD using the Optimus Vu.

From there it was back to MWC for some real work, but we were glad to have got out for a few hours. You can see today’s footage of the phones being used in the ’on the go’ movies in ‘Latest MWC Videos’.

Right, time for a (relatively) early night…

 

 

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Taking notes with the Optimus Vu

One of the Optimus Vu’s cool features is its unique QuickClip button, which lets you save a screen grab of anything you see on the handset’s display and then do pretty much what you like with it – we took the grab above from the digital edition of Stuff magazine, as viewed through the Zinio app.

You can then doodle all over it, add text boxes, crop it, re-size it and add it to digital scrap book or presentation using the Notebook app, before sharing it over email, picture message or one of the social networks. It’s not hard to see how this would be useful for annotating work documents, but you could just as easily use it to collect snippets from digital magazines or websites for an art project or shopping wishlist.

As an aside, although the screen’s 4:3-ratio is unusual compared to the more typical 16:9 smartphone display, it does mean it’s a lot closer in shape to a standard sheet of paper. In turn – and as you can see above – that means it’s a better shape for reading digital mags or ebooks as you get to see the whole page with no clipping or wasted space above or below.

 

 

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MWC 2012: Day 1

Mobile World Congress 2012 is now in full swing, packed with news-hungry journalists and cameramen from the world’s tech media. For a little taster of what it’s like on LG’s stand, plus info on the brand’s new handsets, check out ‘LG MWC booth tour’ in Latest MWC Videos.

The ultra-powerful, quad-core Optimus 4X HD has stolen most of the LG news headlines – and rightly so, because it’s an amazing piece of design and engineering – but the Optimus Vu has also garnered a lot of attention. We managed to nab one for a few hours this afternoon to shoot an overview video that we’ll get online asap, and we’ll also be out on the streets of Barcelona tomorrow putting it through its paces.

Interested in how gadgets come to be? Well this morning we interviewed LG’s head of mobile design, Chul Bae Lee, who offered insight into the company’s new L-Style design language and the development of phones in general - incredibly, his team can rough out a new phone design in just 2-3 weeks, with a production-ready version in a couple of months, depending on the spec. It’s interesting stuff and we’ll have the video online very soon.

We also had a chat with Cyril Guilleminot, a director from leading mobile game developer Gameloft. We mainly spoke about the benefits and challenges of 3D graphics, so if you’re a fan of immersive mobile gaming, make sure you come back tomorrow to watch the interview.

 

 

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Indulging in good design with the Optimus L7

We headed down to MWC earlier for LG’s official media preview, where we had the chance to play with all its new smartphones, including the Optimus Vu and the quad-core Optimus 4X HD. We’ll have a video from the event online later tonight, but first I wanted to share this snap from the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion, which is just up the road from MWC.

In case you’ve not heard of Mies van der Rohe, he was one of the world’s most famous designers and a pioneer of modern, minimalist architecture and design – he penned the famous Barcelona Chair in the picture, for example – so it seemed an apt place to try out the new Optimus L7, LG’s own ode to sleek, minimalist design…

 

 

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More 3D Max footage

It’s another beautiful day in Barcelona – sunny, fresh and exactly the kind of weather that makes you want to get out and do some exercise. Certainly the locals seem to think so as we discovered a fun run event in full swing outside our apartment this morning…

I took the opportunity to shoot another quick HD 3D clip with the LG Optimus 3D Max, which (if you have a 3D TV, phone or laptop) you can watch in 3D here.

A proper video showing the 3D Max in use will appear on this website very soon, and this afternoon we’ll be getting to grips with the new Optimus Vu and the super-powerful, quad-core Optimus 4X HD. Stay tuned!

 

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Touchdown in Barcelona…

Well we touched down in Barcelona at lunchtime and the weather is great – perfect, in fact, for shooting 3D photos and videos, so we headed to one of the city’s main parks to have a play with the new Optimus 3D Max. You can check out a couple of short 3D clips shot with the phone on YouTube here and here.

We’ll also be at LG’s exclusive MWC preview event tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon, too, where we’ll get to have a play with the new 5in Optimus Vu and LG’s new flagship smartphone, the quad-core 4X HD. We’ll be shooting hands-on videos with both, so keep checking back for our first impressions of LG’s latest and greatest.

 

 

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