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printed April 17, 2014
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Review: Motorola Bravo

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Is It Your Type? Body The Three S's Touch  

Screen

The Bravo's screen measures 3.7 inches and offers 480 x 854 pixels (the same as the original Motorola Droid). It looks fantastic. With so many pixels crammed into the display, images, text, web sites, graphics all look sharp and clear. You have to hold the phone closer than 6 inches from your eye to pick out individual pixels. Brightness is also good, though it does lose some luster when taken outdoors.

Signal

The Bravo maintained a solid connection to AT&T's 3G network through several days of testing. In my time with the device, I never saw it drop down to EDGE. The Bravo's antenna did well enough that I didn't miss any calls, though it did drop one conversation. Data speeds were slightly below average for an AT&T smartphone. The best I was able to achieve using Speedtest was 1Mbps on the download and a paltry 200Kbps on the upload. That translates to reasonably good web browsing speeds, but miserable photo uploading times.

Sound

Quality of voice calls on the Bravo were so-so. The earpiece had good enough volume that hearing calls in a crowded mall or coffee shop won't be a problem, but voices were choppy; there was lots of garbling and noise, and other digital garbage. Those with whom I was speaking tended to cut in and out quite frequently, and it was easy to miss parts of the conversation. I also noted a lot of static. Ringers were nice and loud, though not capable of rock concert volumes. They're plenty loud to be heard around the house, though. The vibrate alert was acceptably strong. The speakerphone also has good volume, though probably not enough for a busy office setting. It was loud enough in a fast-moving car, however. Quality of speakerphone calls were the same as through the earpiece. Choppy.

Battery

Motorola has made strides in optimizing its Blur software for better battery life, but the Bravo still suffers from apps that constantly ping AT&T's network. Starting with a full charge at 7AM, the Bravo needed to be plugged back in by about 8 or 9PM. Fine-tuning some of the settings -- such as email retrieval, social networking, etc. -- may help extend battery life a bit, but you're still going to have to charge the Bravo every day.

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