In a town where digital is king, connectivity, sadly, is not. As the social media world descends every year like a bunch of silicon locusts, it’s tough to get work done whilst navigating through SXSW Interactive. The 2012 showing was the largest by far, with some estimates saying there was a 25% increase in attendance this year alone.
At Brian’s first SXSW back in 2009 – there were so many iPhone geeks that the AT&T grid actually crashed for a short while. Carriers have definitely stepped up their game since then, but the Austin Convention Center still has little to no reliable WiFi solution. BBH Labs even went so far as to do a controversial move in making homeless people into WiFi hotspots!
So, what should you do if you 1) need connectivity and 2) see human life more than a battery?
Answer: Bring yourself a mobile hotspot.
Bonnie Hackbarth was generous enough again to give Brian and I the Verizon Droid 4 with mobile hotspot connectivity, which really turned out to be a winner. Having a dedicated device to let 2 people do business is key to such an overwhelming event, and with it being 4G LTE, the speed felt just as if it was WiFi. Although our main use for the Droid 4 was its hotspot feature, we couldn’t help notice how nice it was. It boasts a crisp 4″ display made of super-strong Gorilla Glass, a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, HDMI output, and a 5-row slide-out keyboard. Those hardware features combined with Android 2.3 Gingerbread and Motorola’s software enhancements made this phone easy and simple to use, especially when we were pressed for time.
If you’ve ever been to South by Southwest, or any convention similar in size, you know how hard it is to get a good connection on any of your devices. Having the Droid 4 hotspot really saved us this year, and we won’t be going back without one in the future.
Thank you Bonnie and Verizon!