Today Motorola announced the Moto Hint, a tiny Bluetooth headset that lets you control your phone with your voice. The Hint seems like a brilliant new take on Bluetooth earpieces, with its discrete size and good looks, but is the Hint just a rehash from the past?
Nine years ago, Motorola showed off a similar device, the H5 MINIBLUE. David Beckham modeled the product, which, at a glance, bears uncanny resemblance to the just-released Moto Hint. In 2007 Motorola released the H9, which looks even more like the Hint and boasts an incredibly similar feature set, like a charging tower that doubles as a carrying case. Both earpieces sold themselves on these charging cases, which "expand" each device's battery life so you can use it for an entire day straight.
The Hint is smaller than the H9, looks better, and includes some great new features like a sensor that lets Hint know when it's in (or out) of your ear. But is it seven years better? Hardly. One important comparison point is the H9's 1.5 hours of battery life versus the Hint's 3.3 hours. Another is the Hint's price point: $149.95 versus the H9's $89.95, even despite the plummeting costs of mobile electronics.
But it might not matter. For a fairly minimal cost, Motorola may have revived an old product at just the right moment. Spike Jonze's film Her, which features lead actor Joaquin Phoenix donning a tiny Bluetooth headset of his own, drew both awe and desire from audiences worldwide. The Hint may not be much more than an upgraded headset from years past, but I still want one.