Moto Hint review: Motorola is bringing sexy Bluetooth headsets back

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Credit: Florence Ion
At a Glance
  • Motorola Moto Hint

    Greenbot Rating

    It's so much smarter and better looking than any other Bluetooth headset you'd get on sale somewhere else.

Bluetooth headsets were never cool, and they’re still not cool, but if you have to absolutely stick something in your ear to make a phone call you should really consider the Moto Hint.

I can’t think of any other device I’ve ever loved sticking in my ear as much as the Hint—I know that sounds weird, but I go out of my way now to make phone calls so that I can use this device. Motorola is intent on making a comeback in smartphones, but it looks like it’s bringing back the utility of Bluetooth headsets, too. 

Talking to yourself in public is fun

I use my hands when I talk, so holding a phone up to my ear is no fun for me because then I only have one hand to wave around. With the Moto Hint in my ear, however, I have two hands free to wave around, and it makes walking down San Francisco’s Market Street that much more interesting. 

Yes, you will get stares for talking to yourself and gesturing at the air, but it wasn’t too long ago that this was actually the norm.

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The Moto Hint fits easily in your ear. Unless it doesn't.

What’s particularly nice about the Hint is that it doesn’t feel like a protruding robotic arm hanging out from your ear. Rather, it feels like a comfortable ear plug with a heaping of technology embedded inside.

My only issue with the Hint is that if it doesn’t fit in your ear at first, it never will. It didn’t fit very comfortably in my right ear because of the way my ear is shaped, but somehow it fit fine in my left ear. Also, adjusting it to fit inside your ear can be tricky, and there were several instances where I made an accidental phone call while trying to get a good fit.

Use it with the Moto X—or don’t

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The Moto Hint’s proximity detector turns it on immediately once it’s safely nestled inside your ear.

The Moto Hint works with any Bluetooth-capable smartphone—yes, even iPhones. It’s super easy to set up, too: charge it, pop it in your ear, and then the Hint will softly alert you that it’s looking for a Bluetooth-enabled device to connect to. Once it’s paired, it’ll say “Moto Hint connected” in a soft, motherly tone. I was actually a bit taken aback by how easy it was to set up and use.

The Hint is meant to work in sync with Motorola’s latest smartphones. If you own this year’s Moto X, for instance, the Hint will constantly listen for your command word just as the phone would. You can ask it to search Google, play a song, send a message, or do anything else Moto Voice enables you to do without actually having to whip out your phone. Of course, you’ll also have to trust that your phone understands you as you’re dictating a message while also trying to cross a busy city street. 

If you don’t own a Motorola smartphone, that’s fine; it will simply function as a normal Bluetooth earpiece. I used the Hint with an HTC One (M8) most of the time and it worked remarkably well. There were days where I’d use it to call my boyfriend on my walk from the office to the train station and all I had to do to get that started was touch it and ask it to place a call to him. There were other days where I used it in tandem with the Moto 360—I’d shout “OK Google” to place a call and it’d route to the Hint in my ear, with a soft alert that let me know it was doing just that.

The few times anyone had difficult hearing me was when I was in a spotty reception zone. The Hint even worked when I’d hush my voice a bit to make a comment about some weirdo standing behind me in line for the train. When the screeching finally train approached, the Hint even cancelled out the sound of it approaching—at least, that’s what the person on the other line told me.

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The Moto Hint comes with its own little charging pod that doubles as an extra battery pack of sorts.

The smartest element of the Hint is its stylish charging pod. It charges the Hint when tethered, and then doubles as a portable battery back so that you always have juice with you when you need it. The device itself lasts for about three hours of constant talk time, so you’ll want to carry around its portable little charger when you’re out for the day.

Worth the price

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Yep, it’s small. 

You don’t have to settle for an old school, sticks-out-of-your-head Bluetooth headset. Motorola put so much thought into the Hint, from its components to how it looks, that it’s worth considering over those other alternatives. And although it’s $150 for a device with extra features that only work with certain smartphones, it works great and is much better looking than any other Bluetooth headset.

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At a Glance
  • Greenbot Rating

    It's so much smarter and better looking than any other Bluetooth headset you'd get on sale somewhere else.

    Pros

    • Easy to set up and use
    • Works with Android and iOS

    Cons

    • It may not fit all ears comfortably
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