The Coolsmartphone crew are a pretty organised bunch, it must be said. Planning and preparation is key, so getting bags packed and ready a week before Mobile World Congress starts is a good thing.
At least, this is what they told me. Although most of the team are already packed, I’m the one who usually packs just a few hours before the flight. They asked me to put all the kit I’m going to be carrying around Barcelona into a photo for this story, so here’s what I’ll be taking.
The event will be busy and we’ll all be running around like crazy people to get you the best coverage fast, so I tend to go as lightweight as possible. In addition to a camera (used to take this shot) there’s..
– The Gembonics External Battery, because you never have enough battery life.
– The Ceba Slim Bank. Another external battery / mobile charger because, yet again, you never have enough power.
– The MiPow Mirror Power. It’s yet another battery / external charger. It’s not just my phone, but any other handsets that the other guys may have and also the Bluetooth keyboard you can see below which can charge from devices like this.
– A Proporta Mohawk Charger. Again, it’s an external battery / charger. I know you might think this is a bit nuts, but in one recent trip to London, just taking photos, using GPS to get around, browsing the web to buy tickets and research locations; I charged my phone twice using one portable charger. At 11PM this external battery was flat and my phone was getting low, so I could’ve done with another. I’m also taking lots of batteries because I can drop one back at the apartment at the end of the night and not have to worry about charging it up again or remembering it.
– An iRig HD microphone. This will be used, hopefully, to add better audio quality to the on-stand video demonstrations. Usually the stands are extremely noisy so I’m planning to plug this into an Android handset and ensure that you guys can hear what’s being said. This works with iPhone or Android.
– The Looq Monopod Selfie Stick with auto shutter button. Just in case there’s an extra-crowded launch event or stand. Get a few cheeky shots plus some high-up “scenic” shots so you can get a sense of scale.
– My Samsung Series 5 Chromebook. This is the 550 (XE550C22) and, when it was released, it was crazy expensive for a Chromebook because the specs were almost too good. Nobody really wanted to pay £460+ for a Chromebook. Samsung had put together a pretty healthy spec-list for a Chromebook and the price reflected that. End result? It didn’t sell brilliantly. I picked up this one for around £100 on eBay as a punt and, even though I have a couple of Windows laptops, I’ll be taking this one because it’s just bulletproof, has a great battery life and is lightning quick to fire up.
– LG G3 – Good camera on this one. It’s quick to focus and will be used to keep in touch with the crew plus the odd photo if needed. At the rate I’m going to be using this, it’ll go flat quickly, so hopefully this’ll partially explain the amount of portable chargers / batteries I’m taking.
– The ZAGGkeys Universal Keyboard. I love this thing. Great for tight spaces. It comes with a cover and stand built-in but I tend to use the Standeazy, which slips into a wallet, to prop my phone up and then I can bash away entire articles on those tiny tables you see on trains and planes (see me on a recent train trip using it just that way). It connects to my the LG G3 (or a tablet) via Bluetooth and the battery lasts for ages, but I’ve got multiple portable chargers if I need them. This is very close to a “regular” keyboard and you don’t feel too crazy whipping this out to type something quick in a restaurant, cafe or even sitting on the floor next to a stand.
– Water. I know this is nuts but this is so essential it’s unreal. If you don’t have water in your bag then you’re screwed.
– Top quality Aldi snacks. Great for on the go. The queues for food at the event are just insane, so I have been known to snack on a couple of these harvest bars so that I don’t miss the next meeting.