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Review: Motorola Bravo

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The Bravo is packed with messaging options, including email, SMS, MMS, IM, social networking, and a universal inbox to wrap it all together

Starting with email, the Bravo offers the fine Gmail application and a lesser, catch-all generic email app. The Gmail experience on Android continues to be the best way to interact with Gmail from a mobile device. As for the other email app, it can be used for Yahoo, Hotmail, AIM, Exchange and other POP3/IMAP4 accounts. It works fine, and alerts come in at a steady pace.

The messaging application is the stock Android version, and offers threaded SMS and MMS conversations. Images and video appear in-line with text, making it easy to follow the natural progression of a convo with your BFF.

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The Bravo offers two distinct instant messaging options. The first is Google's GTalk client. This is one of the better IM clients out there, and those who are invested in Google and Gmail can easily transition IM chats between their phone and PC. The other option bundles AIM, Yahoo IM, and Windows Live into one uber-client. I had no problems using it, though it isn't as seamless as the native GTalk app.

The universal inbox works in concert with the SMS/MMS app, Twitter DMs, and Facebook email. It collects the missives from all three types of communication and dumps them in one spot. It's a neat idea, but it takes some getting used to. Personally, I prefer to stick with the dedicated social networking apps for my own sanity.

Speaking of social networking, it is a core part of Motoblur. Blur integrates Facebook, Twitter and MySpace into one portal and serves them up in widget form on the home screen. Users can post status updates, respond to messages, or just watch the conversation float on by. Alternately, the native Facebook, Twitter and MySpace apps are all robust and offer their own home screen widgets.

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