X

A week at the world's largest mobile tech show

Pack some water and comfortable shoes as CNET takes you inside the massive show floor of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Kent_German.jpg
Kent_German.jpg

Kent German

See full bio
a-look-inside-mwc2016-08.jpg
1 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

This is the home of Mobile World Congress, the Fira Gran Via. Inside these walls is a wireless wonderland of phones, VR headsets and almost everything in between.

a-look-inside-mwc2016-07.jpg
2 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

Stare at that fountain and think peaceful thoughts. You have a busy day ahead.

a-look-inside-mwc2016-02.jpg
3 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

Remember that cryptic Samsung billboard I showed you earlier in the week? As I told you, it's now showing Samsung's new Galaxy S7.

a-look-inside-mwc2016-09.jpg
4 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

Enter through the revolving doors, but only if you have your badge.

a-look-inside-mwc2016-11.jpg
5 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

As you enter you have to show your attendee badge several and times and present a photo ID. Security was tight, but friendly and efficient.

a-look-inside-mwc2016-13.jpg
6 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

You also to have scan your badge in a reader to finally get in. Even with thousands of attendees streaming in each morning, the queues were short.

a-look-inside-mwc2016-10.jpg
7 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

Once inside you're in a large entry hall. Go up the escalators to access the walkway that stretches across the entire complex or head straight into the mayhem.

a-look-inside-mwc-2016-38.jpg
8 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

Those who've been to MWC before know the fastest way to get across the complex is to go upstairs.

a-look-inside-mwc2016-18.jpg
9 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

Moving walkways, or travelators, as the Brits call them, take you over the show floor saving you from fighting the crowds browsing exhibits.

a-look-inside-mwc2016-20.jpg
10 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

Between each hall, escalators take you down to the show floor.

a-look-inside-mwc2016-26.jpg
11 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

Saving that time is important, as this is a big place. The eight halls spread across 240,000 square meters of floor space.

a-look-inside-mwc2016-16.jpg
12 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

Lost? Though the venue is well-signed and organized, I wouldn't blame you if lose track of your location. Touchscreen maps help you find your way.

a-look-inside-mwc-2016-31.jpg
13 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

The press room, which is on the upper level, is the domain of media only. If you're covering the show's happenings, you'll spend a lot of time there.

a-look-inside-mwc-2016-36.jpg
14 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

That is, if you can find a seat.

a-look-inside-mwc-2016-33.jpg
15 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

Or you could just set up your work area right outside.

a-look-inside-mwc-2016-32.jpg
16 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

At such a long sprawling show you'll see plenty of people taking a breather anywhere they can.

a-look-inside-mwc-2016-37.jpg
17 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

Fortunately, there are places to catch natural light, including several sunny courtyards.

a-look-inside-mwc2016-28.jpg
18 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

The courtyards are a nice place to get some fresh air and enjoy a drink or snack.

a-look-inside-mwc2016-19.jpg
19 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

One is the Android Garden, which carries the theme as far as it can. There's even an Android topiary.

a-look-inside-mwc2016-05.jpg
20 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

You can even sit outside and watch one of the keynotes.

media-lunch-mwc-2016-01.jpg
21 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

There are plenty of places to eat in the Fira, serving all kinds of cuisine. This food court of sorts has Mediterranean, Asian, South American and Middle Eastern food stations. It's filling, but not fantastic.

a-look-inside-mwc2016-14.jpg
22 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

Staring at a screen, either a laptop or your phone, is a common sight.

a-look-inside-mwc2016-15.jpg
23 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

All that mobile work will eat your battery. But have no fear, as there are plenty of places to charge up.

a-look-inside-mwc2016-30.jpg
24 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

At the end of the day, the flow of attendees runs the other way. That guy on the left? That's known as "trade show face."

a-look-inside-mwc2016-01.jpg
25 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

If you're heading to the metro, head up and over the bridge.

a-look-inside-mwc2016-03.jpg
26 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

As you head out there are still sights to see, like a mime in VR.

a-look-inside-mwc2016-04.jpg
27 of 28 Sarah Tew/CNET

I'm not sure what's happening here.

barcelonaprotests.jpg
28 of 28 Aloysius Low/CNET

Even with the metro and bus strike this week, transit in Barcelona was relatively smooth. Waiting for a train was usually faster than waiting for a taxi.

More Galleries

Our Favorite Google Doodles Through the Years

More Galleries

Our Favorite Google Doodles Through the Years

49 Photos
2022's Best TV Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More

More Galleries

2022's Best TV Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More

95 Photos
Movies Coming in 2022 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More

More Galleries

Movies Coming in 2022 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More

83 Photos
The 42 Best Games on Nintendo Switch

More Galleries

The 42 Best Games on Nintendo Switch

43 Photos
Dodge Charger Daytona EV Concept Is the Strong, Silent Type

More Galleries

Dodge Charger Daytona EV Concept Is the Strong, Silent Type

30 Photos
Dodge Hornet Is a New Compact Crossover Focused on Affordable Performance

More Galleries

Dodge Hornet Is a New Compact Crossover Focused on Affordable Performance

21 Photos
2023 Hyundai Palisade Plays It Close to the Chest

More Galleries

2023 Hyundai Palisade Plays It Close to the Chest

45 Photos