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March 3, 2014

Behind the scenes at MWC 2014 – Patrick Walsh tells all!

The biggest mobile tech event of the year has finished and we’re all in that strange post-MWC mood. In case, like us, you’re finding it hard to remember that there’s life after MWC 2014, here’s a little something to cheer you up.

Patrick Walsh a.k.a. the Phoneographer spent a fabulous week hanging out with the movers and shakers of the mobile tech world, and he’s kindly agreed to give us a behind-the-scenes interview about the event. Read on… for a moment, it’ll be as if you were magically transported back to Fira Barcelona. Spill the beans, please, Patrick!

This was your first trip to MWC, wasn’t it? How did it live up to your expectations and what most surprised you about the event? 

Yeah, this was my first MWC and in the days leading up to the event I tried to keep my level of expectations to a minimum, but I did expect it to be big, both in ground space and energetically – however, when I pulled up at the Fira on the Monday morning I never imagined it to be on such a scale – this I suppose is what surprised me most.

stephen at MWC

Nokia launched a range of new devices. Which one most impressed you and why? 

I have to admit that ever since getting my hands on the Nokia Lumia 1520 I have been very impressed with the larger screen devices. Size matters with screens and when it comes to streaming content it is a matter of ‘the bigger the better’. With this I was very excited about the Nokia XL. It is a big bold smartphone with a 5-inch display, and a fantastic 5MP rear-focus camera with flash and autofocus – not to mention the Android OS and all the apps that come with that.


However, this is not what impressed me most. That award goes to the new Nokia 220. It is a lower end phone but the statistics on this new device are simply mind-blowing. It was launched by Stephen Elop as the “most affordable internet-ready mobile phone.” This phone will allow millions of people to connect to the internet for the very first time, using nothing else but the Nokia 220, with Facebook and Twitter both preloaded. In addition to that, it even has a 2MP camera, along with 2G internet and social apps. (So I fully expect to gain a lot of new people joining the #nbanFamily.) It got even more impressive when I learned that it has a battery life of one month standby time – even better than the iconic Nokia 3210. Then to be told that this device is available immediately for 29 Euros was just amazing. It is so good that it may just be the phone that gets my mother on Facebook.

For many, MCW is an opportunity to meet fellow bloggers as well as the movers and shakers of the tech world. Who were you most pleased to chat with or hear speak?

I like to get around, meet people and spark up conversations no matter where I am in the world or what I am doing, so at #MWC14 I was in my element. So many cool, interesting and inspirational people from all over the world mingling and discussing the future of one of my great passions – mobile connectivity. It is always good to hang out with the Nokia community crew in general, but this was a really special event.  

I met everyone from Marin Ordulj of the blog to Stephen Elop himself. Over the three days I talked, hugged, kissed and high-fived everyone that came across my path… and I even won a Nokia Lumia 1020 in a dance-off. So, that should show you how much fun I was having. #NokiaMWC rocked.

patrick and stephen nokia MWC
If you had to pick three highlights, what would they be and why? 

I think that in the years to come I will look back and be proud to say that I was at the launch of the Nokia 220.  It is a device that won’t get the media coverage of the higher end devices, but there are few devices as important as this in the world, as it may possibly change the lives of many people globally.


Hanging out with the Nokia Connects crew and so many bloggers that I have respected for many years was a massive highlight of the event. In addition to this, we had the great Dean Patrick of Nokia MixRadio all to ourselves for a morning and his energy and enthusiasm is really infectious.


Outi Vuorio, Dunia Othman and Carla Eid are really inspirational people also and give an insight into the greatness within Nokia. So, as much as I love tech and gadgets, I am passionate about people, and it would be hard to find more inspirational and cool people than the crew I spent #MWC14 with.

Last but not least, I have to admit that the Nokia Developers party at the beach club, renamed #NokiaBCN for the night, was pretty special. Dancing around with the legendary Ari Partinen and Peter Nisula on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea was great fun…  but the less said about that the better.

We didn’t press Patrick to tell us any more about the party, but it sounds like he really had some good reasons to celebrate. As have the potentially millions of people who’ll be using the Nokia 220 to get online. We hope Patrick’s Mum will be one of them! Anything else you’d like to ask Patrick about MWC 2014? And what were your personal highlights, if you were lucky enough to be there? We look forward to all your feedback, as usual, in the comments below. In the meantime, why not check out the super duper video Patrick put together to showcase his MWC 2014 adventure.