Episode 29: The hot phones and tablets of Mobile World CongressHola! We hit Barcelona, Spain, where the new smartphones and tablets are mucho caliente. Plus, we torture test the iPod Nano and Shuffle in the snow, and test out a Nest Thermostat in the home of a stylish, interior designer.
-This week on Always On, we hit Barcelona for Mobile World Congress. And the new cellphones and tablets that are mucho caliente. -And back in the cold snow, the iPod Nano and Shuffle go to the ringer. -And can the Nest Thermostat win over an interior designer? Always On is on. -Welcome to Always On. I am Molly Wood. -And I'm Jeff Cannata. -And this is the show where we take a look at the tech that's part of your life-- -And your future. -This week, we are in Barcelona, Spain. -One of the most beautiful cities in the world but it's also a little cold. -It's a little cold this week. However, things were hot at Mobile World Congress, the big cellphone and mobile devices show. We took at look at all the cool stuff that was announced from the phones to the tablets, to the copy-makers. -Check it out. -Yes, Virginia. Mobile is huge. This year's Mobile World Congress pulled in more than 72,000 attendees, a new record, all in Barcelona to see the latest in phones, tablets, mobile services, apps, and trends. All right. We're here at Huawei. This is Jeff's first hands-on with a tablet. -It is. It is not just any tablet. This is the Ascend Mate and it is gigantic. -It was announced at the-- made a huge splash and it's a huge-- so to speak-- trend. -Yeah. -I think a phone-- bigger phone. -Definitely. Got a-- Do I look stupid? Hello. -What-- it's not for that. -Hello. -Stop pretending the phone's contacting. -I'm on the-- -Trust me. I think we're gonna see a lot more of these-- this. This is the next big thing. Get it? 'Cause it's really a big phone. -It is big. It's a large thing. -Everybody's getting that 7-inch tablet thing. -Yes. Lots of these around these parts. -Another big trend in mobile phone development, China. These manufacturers that you're just starting to hear of, Huawei, and also up and comer, ZTE, are starting to make some very cool phones. Expect them to be sort of the next-generation Samsung. Remember how they came out of nowhere and now they own it? Seeing ZTE, this grand memo and some of their other announcements at this show, looking pretty good. -Oh, it's so easy. That's a very nice keyboard though. That's wonderful. -It is. It is. It is. -Traditional audio devices that's been on the market for years, what we have done is we've integrated a display on the front. -I'm videoing you guys videoing me, and there's a menu on the upper right. -Wow. The Galaxy Note 8.0 is super nice. It's a good size too. That was a really good idea that Apple had, to build the 7-inch tablet as actually an 8-inch tablet. -Yet another 7-inch tablet. This one from Huawei. It's the MediaPad7 Lite which is kind of an ironic name when you consider it's not very lightweight compared to all the other ones we've been seeing. It's the least impressive of the 7-inches I've seen at the show so far. It's big and thick and clunky and it's only got Android 4.0 on it. No Jelly Bean here. Color me unimpressed. -And of course, there were new gadgets galore. Here are just a few of the big announcements from [unk]. Obviously, there were a lot of product announcements at Mobile World Congress but there was one big hole in the schedule. Samsung announced the Note 8.0 tablet but they did not announce the Galaxy SIV, the phone we were all hoping to see. They said they'll have a separate event in March to show off that guy. -Yeah. Everybody's gonna have their own events nowadays. -Same with the [unk]. -We're gonna have lots more from our trip to Barcelona in upcoming episodes including an epic road test of the Blackberry Z10. Molly and I ran all around the city with that thing. It's really cool. But this episode, you're gonna see the last of the reindeer game segments. The iPods are going head-to-head on their spring break. -That's right. Welcome to the Always On reindeer games. Just in time for your spring break ski trip, we brought some gadgets out to the snow to torture. I have some Monster iSport Headphones. I've got a couple iPods, the Nano and the Shuffle. Now, we're gonna drop these guys off the chair lift, ski and snowboard over them, drop them in hot chocolate, bury them in snow; you know, all the stuff that you normally do with your tech when you're playing in the snow. We're gonna put them all through their paces in a series of ski-related torture test ranging from green circles to blue square to black diamond. Let's see how they do. All right. Here we come. Time for our first drop test for the day, the iPod Shuffle and the iPod Nano. Frankly, I think it's so lame. I'm kinda looking forward to dropping it. I think is speaking to a primal fear in me, the fear of falling off a lift. Maybe that's why I'm a little nervous right now. I dropped it. Oh no, I'm not gonna have a spare. Oh no, I dropped that one too. That was terrible. I can't believe that happened. Oh no. There's a child down there [unk] thinking of stealing my iPod. We got you on camera, kid. Where are my iPods? Aha. There's an amazing indentation in the snow in the exact shape of an iPod and its headphones. Let's try turning this on. It's on. It's on the photo screen but just a little damp. Clearly, it's a pass. Looks like we're here-- ish. Oh, there it is. Shuffle is very small and the white headphones are definitely not helping to find it. In fact, I'm pretty sure that if I had dropped this for real, there is no chance that I would find it again. Okay. [unk]. Now, it's really cold. On Shuffle. Oh, totally. I have [unk]. iPod Shuffle, pass. All right. Here we go. Slow, controlled ski test. All right. I'm gonna try to snow [unk] all over these guys. Boom. Boom. I think I got them all. Yes [unk]. Good. Good. Good. Good. Nice. This should be an Olympic score right here. This is gonna be in the Olympics next time. Mark my words, Olympics. It was hard to hit a straight line like that. Just take them out, edge them. Yeah. Nice. Outstanding. Okay. They gotta be dead now. All right. Guess it's time to go hiking, see if those guys are okay. I think I see our first signs of damage actually. The Monster iSport have lost an earbud. Okay. I'm sure it's fine, just popped off. Everything else seems to be intact. Let's see if we can get this thing back on and see if our little special song is still rolling in there. Okay. I will say one thing about these. They don't fit my ear. I'm just gonna try the other one. Truly be nice if this thing had like a display. All right. Let's see. Still playing. Okay. The Shuffle is okay. iPod Nano, let's see how this guy is doing. They're all basically getting a wet test too, kind of. All right. I see a David Grace green and this green is responsive. I can press play. iPod Nano, a-okay. We think it's time for the dunk test. After all, the iPods, they're small, they're easily dipped and, you know, I think we're a little bored with water so we got a beer for iPod Nano and a hot chocolate for iPod Shuffle. I'm gonna take a couple of sips of each before we contaminate them because they're both quite delicious. But then, in they go. First up, iPod Shuffle and Monster iSport Headphones in the hot chocolate. There's so much more cream, I'm gonna have to like push it down there. Just make sure it's all in there. And they're very sticky. Just gonna go out and get some napkins ready. I think it's probably well and truly soaked. I didn't really think this out very well 'cause to test it, I'm gonna have to put it in my ear. Oh, it's on too. It was on when it went in there. That is not a nice thing to do to an iPod. All righty, let's see. Eww. Gross. Gross. There's still my music playing. It's playing "Let It Be" as in "Let me be. Don't do that anymore." I'm gonna turn it off to protect its little circuits. But, dude; good job, Shuffle. All right. Now, for our Nano in our perfectly good beer. I'm not sure which of these two things makes me sadder actually but in you go, headphones and all. You have a lot of bubbles. I think it's still on though. No. Oh, no. It's definitely not. So-- Let's stick a [unk] at it. It was pretty tempting. I think I might be tempted a real beer. It can't be any worse than all those times I baked it in my oven. All right. Let's get that out of there. Come on, little buddy. And it's kinda plasticky. Right. Let's dry this guy off a little, see if it still comes on. I know, for all those of you who are planning to email me, I know I'm not supposed to turn it on but I just can't help myself. Oh, look at that. Okay. The screen is still working. The music comes up. Let's listen 'cause I don't have enough chocolate in my ear. I need to add beer too. A little-- Oh my god, that is loud. It's working. Hear it? That is super loud. Oh yes, all the way up. Oh, look, even the volume works. This ear. Beer, no big deal, for iPod Nano. All right. That's a wrap for the Mount Shasta Ski Park where it turns out that winter sports are not nearly as tough on your gadgets as you would think they are. By the way, if this is what iPod tastes like in a beer, iPod tastes delicious. Time for us to take a quick siesta; but when we come back, one very stylish interior designer takes the Nest Thermostat for a spin in her own home and with her clients. It's a road test and it's coming up next. -Typical day today. Been on three different job locations. -So, Lisa, tell us about what you do so people can understand why you're the perfect candidate to road test our Nest. -All right. Well, I'm an interior designer and I specialize in kitchen and bath design and part of that is how warm, you know, how comfortable is this place gonna be both from a flow perspective as well as the temperature perspective. -So you're familiar with the Nest Learning Thermostat? -No. I have seen it in the Apple Store but I have not used it. -All right. So, Lisa, what I'm gonna do is give you this Nest Learning Thermostat and I'm hoping that you'll install one in your house and then take on with you on job sites, see how your contractors respond, maybe clients, just kind of integrate it into your interior design business. -Awesome. -Great. -I'll give it a whirl. -Here's your Nest. -Can't wait to try it. -My elegant [unk]. Looks like a hockey puck. Look. And the actual-- Haha. Yay. We actually have an LED display. Very exciting. -So the installation I witnessed, it was difficult. It was a little bit challenging. I emailed Nest. They helped me and then we got it booted up. -It's gonna be fixed to 63 degrees when we go to bed. Awesome. We'll check it out in the morning and we'll teach it what temp we want it to be when we wake up. Good morning. Day one. This kinda cool. Watch. Yo, and I'm touching [unk] it. I wanna set it back down to 64 and hopefully, it will learn from us [unk] low temperature that we want during the day 'cause our birds need it to be a little warm. I think there are actual birds that live in our nest. Here's [unk]. Hi, birdy. So here I am. I'm home. I'm feeling like I don't wanna get up and adjust my thermostat so I'm just gonna do it through my phone. So I'll have it-- activate. Here it goes. And I hear the furnaces kicked on. Awesome. Don't even have to leave my chair. So, good morning. We're on day three of our Nest. So let's just crank it up to 66 and I'll check it from the road and just see where we are. I want to see what the temperature situation is at the house. So I wanna make sure it doesn't get too cold. It's kinda cool that on my phone or on my iPad, I can check to see like, "Oh, did I turn the thermostat down or did it really learn that it-- when I'm gone, I want it down to 64 degrees?" So that's pretty cool. All of a sudden, I'm totally obsessed with the thermostat. Check this baby out. You can hide it on places, have little designed thermostat, time for it to change. So, Larry, I have your Nest. -Excellent. -The Nest is a digital thermostat. -You know, it looks like-- -Adjust it to where you want it to be and then it will remember. And it learns what temperature you like to keep your house at. -Yeah. Let's see how it works, if it works. -It does. I have to whisper because I'm getting a massage. But check out this old-style thermostat. That's so old school. The one question I had about the nest is whether or not I can move or replace my thermostat for my baseboard heaters on my office with the Nest as well 'cause it gets really cold down here. I'm gone a lot and sometimes I forget to crank it down. But unfortunately, you know, it won't work with high-voltage systems so with this kind of set-up, the Nest won't work. Too bad. I wanted to show all this stuff. This is really cool. Going back here to energy, this indicator is saying that the away feature caused our energy usage to be below the weekly average. So, it's still early for us to really have an average since we've been just over a week. But I think it's really cool. Yeah, I think the Nest is a great alternative to your typical plastic box. This is really good-looking a way that are-- aesthetic alternative to a traditional thermostat. -No surprise. She loved it. She even geeked out bigtime on the iPhone and the iPad app because they're awesome. -Yeah. I guess if you can get past the installation. -And the $250 price tag. -Yeesh. -Yeah. Otherwise, it's worth a go. All right. Now, it's time for an international mail bag. Now, this is a pretty long email so we're gonna split up the reading of it. But I love it for sheer geek factor. -He knows what he's talking about. -Oh yeah. Molly Wood, on episode 28, you stated that the adhesive mouse did not work well and came off too easily. It is true that the tape adhesion can be broken. Use a tether as a backup. But you also applied the tape incorrectly. Most tape cannot be applied below 50 degrees. You applied it to a snowboard that was probably below 32 as it was outside. -True. -The tape would work best if both pieces were at room temperature during application and cure time, then the bond will work out in the cold. A piece of tape of that size would require 60 to 100 pounds, 15 psi minimum of pressure to obtain full adhesion, and 72 hours of cure time. It looks like the unit was applied right before going on the lift so you would have 50 percent strength, as well as the temperature issues. [unk]. It goes on though. -GoPro and other manufacturers only provide one multi-purpose tape on their mounts but ideally, the tape type should be matched to the surface you wanna bond too. So if you have hard bond surface, -Yeah. -we move to GoPro supplied VHB tape and apply the proper tape to the mount. If you refer to the 3M guideline link below, you should have better adhesion from tape mounts in the future. I'd use the VHB tape on my ski helmet, motorcycle helmet, and on my bicycle and have not had one come off yet except in a crash. -Oh, well, we crashed. That explains it all except for how we apparently every other thing wrong. [unk], none of that was in the manual. -No. -Well, some of that might have been in the manual but we didn't read it. -I had no idea there was so much information I need to know about tapes. -Tape. Well, you know-- -72 hours in advance is crazy. -72 hours. See, this is the kind of information that you can only get on this show. So please, keep emailing us that kind of information so that we can tell it to you. Our email address is email@example.com <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>. You can also find us on Twitter, Facebook, and of course, Google+. Sadly, that is it for us from Barcelona. -I don't wanna leave. -Me neither. But coming up next week on Always On, we are unboxing the new Chrome Book Pixel. I'm excited about that. -And I am unboxing my new I'M Watch that I got here in Barcelona. -Jeff also is going to break a Nexus 10 and we will declare Passwords officially dead. That's all coming up next week. Thank you so much for watching Always On. -Adios. -Adios. -So this is what-- this is like really pushing the ball. [unk]. -I am-- [unk]. -going on. I didn't-- -I was curious here. -I know. It just came off. Help. Help. Help. I'm so sorry. -And that was our last report from Mobile World. -It is. -And that was the [unk] we rented down. I didn't-- -Molly, I'm-- It's just a [unk]. -I didn't know it [unk]. I really want one.