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Featured Review: Moto Hint 2015

September 28, 2015 - Written By Alexander Maxham

In 2014, when Motorola announced the Moto Hint at their press event in Chicago, many of us weren’t expecting it. When Rick Osterloh came out to speak to the media, none of us even noticed it was in his ear, until he announced it. The Moto Hint is a super small Bluetooth headset that allows you to take calls, talk with your Moto X (of course that only works with the Moto X), play music and more. Unlike other Bluetooth headsets, the Moto Hint is very small, and not that noticeable. Many others wrap around your ear and hang out a bit. I’ve been using the Moto Hint 2015 for a few weeks now, but have been waiting to get my hands on a Moto X Pure Edition to try out all of the features, so now we can provide you with a full detailed review of the new Moto Hint.

If you saw the Moto Hint from last year, or even bought it, you’ll likely say that this year’s version looks the same. And it does. Motorola didn’t need to really change the design, but what they did do is add 70% more battery life. As well as better volume and audio and a more comfortable fit. Not only that, they dropped the price. The original Moto Hint was selling at $149, and this one is now selling at $129, but that’s still a bit pricey, so it is worth the money?

Inside the box, Motorola includes the Moto Hint, the case as well as a few ear tips. So you can use which ever one feels the most comfortable for you. Additionally there is a very short micro USB cable. But since it does charge via micro USB, you can always opt to use another cable that might be longer, for charging the Moto Hint. You also get your assortment of paperwork. As is usual with new gadgets. Setting up the Moto Hint is really easy as well. As long as it has some charge, all you need to do is put it in your ear and it will detect that it is in you ear and turn on. If it hasn’t been paired yet, it’ll tell you how to pair the Moto Hint with your phone as well. Once paired, it will tell you it’s paired and how much talk time is left. It really can’t get any easier than that, in my opinion. Especially since the Moto Hint has no buttons at all.

I have been using the original Moto Hint off and on for the past year, and can definitely say that the new Moto Hint is much more comfortable in the ear. Now the Moto Hint comes in a variety of colors and materials. There are even leather and wood models that look pretty legit. We have the black leather model here from Motorola, and I think it looks great. The Moto Hint does charge over micro USB, but because it comes with a nice charger, the actual Moto Hint doesn’t have a port on it. Instead it has contacts. So just pop it in the charger and it’ll charge up. What’s even cooler is the fact that the case also has a battery, which can hold around 4 charges for your Moto Hint. This is great for when you need to charge up your Moto Hint and you aren’t at home or near a wall outlet. This is also another improvement over last year’s model. Which the case only gave you about 2 charges. So now you can have up to around 17 hours talk time with the Moto Hint. Now what else is cool about the Moto Hint is that there is a light in the top part of the case. Which blinks when it’s charging and stays solid when it’s done charging. It’s very subtle, but uber useful.

So we’re looking at a little over 4 hours talk time per charge. Through my usage, I’d say that’s about right. However, when you are wearing it but not using it for a phone call, or for music, it does last quite a bit longer. Definitely important for those that wear their Bluetooth headset all day long. The Talk Time numbers do also depend on what volume you’re listening to music or talking to people at. Obviously the higher the volume, the less battery life you’re going to get. Very similar to what we have with Bluetooth speakers and headphones. Motorola has two microphones on the Moto Hint. There’s one in the front and one in the back. And it actually picks up your voice very well. We used it to make a few phone calls, and those on the other end said that they didn’t even know we were using a Bluetooth headset. Even when talking to our Moto X using Moto Voice, the phone had no issues making out what we were saying. We didn’t need to repeat ourselves our talk very loudly. The two microphones do a pretty good job, I’d say.

As already mentioned, the Moto Hint will work with just about any Bluetooth device, that even includes iOS devices like the iPhone and the iPad. However, to get the most out of the Moto Hint, you’ll want to connect it to a Moto X. Whether that is last year’s Moto X or this year’s Moto X Pure Edition. With Moto Voice, it makes a huge difference. Being able to say “OK Moto X, how’s the weather” and it answer in your ear. Or say something like “OK Moto X, what was the score of the Oregon game”. Again, it’s subtle, yet really cool. The inner-geek is super excited.

The Moto Hint does also work with music. So for instance, I can turn on Spotify and have it play through the Moto Hint into my ear. Now it’s not going to outperform a pair of Sony’s Bluetooth headphones, especially given how small the Moto Hint is, but it is great for taking on a morning run, as the Moto Hint doesn’t fall out of your ear that easily. That’s something I always worry about with earbuds, as they do typically fall out of my ears, but the Moto Hint has yet to do so. Now, with a Moto X, playing music with the Moto Hint is even better. Simply say “OK Moto X, play Big Sean on Spotify” and within a few seconds it’s playing Big Sean on Spotify.

So the question remains, should you buy a Moto Hint? Well that depends. If you’re someone that still makes a lot of phone calls every day, the Moto Hint is perfect. Also if you own a Moto X, it’s perfect. But if you’re using a Galaxy S6 Edge+ or an Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3, you might be better off with another Bluetooth headset. While I really do like the Moto Hint, it is so much better with a Moto X. You can pick it up now from Motorola’s website for just $129. However, at the time of writing this, it is listed as sold out. Hopefully it does come back into stock rather soon though.