Motorola Defy – Defies Expectations

MOTOROLA DEFY™ TV ad

    We Liked

  • Rugged Exterior
  • Android OS
  • 800MHz Processor
  • We Disliked

  • Ugly Chassis
  • Fiddly Dust Cap
  • Rating

  • 3.5 out of 5 3.5 out of 5 3.5 out of 5 3.5 out of 5 3.5 out of 5



When Motorola announced the ‘indestructible’ Motorola Defy back in September, we all wondered if it could walk the walk as well as talk the talk. The manufacturer told the world that it was designed to withstand common mobile phone destroyers, namely water and dust. So is the Motorola Defy only for butter fingered smartphone owners, or does it have a little something for everyone? We put it to the test to find out.

Design

When you first pick up the Motorola Defy, it feels like any phone with a tough case on. Its hard shell gives that instant indestructible impression, but Motorola didn’t kit the Defy out with the most flattering colour scheme. They played it safe with the black front and back panels, and the model we had to smack about featured white strips down either side. For us, it created too much of a contrast, making the Defy stand out for the wrong reason. Then again, we’re talking about a phone that its primary function is to laugh in the face of danger so naturally, it wasn’t going to be made with seemingly more attractive, but easier to damage materials. We should point out that the Defy is also available in a slightly more modest all black variant.

Although it has a good sized 3.7 inch display, the Defy is quite a compact handset with dimensions of 107 x 50 x 13.4mm. The four touch-sensitive buttons fill a small gap at the bottom of the front panel, turning all the attention to the TFT capacitive touchscreen. The display is made from Gorilla Glass, another addition to the Defy’s indestructible features. This stuff is pretty sturdy, we recently saw it escape unscathed after being shot at point blank range with a BB gun. The glass doesn’t affect the quality of the TFT display at all, making it a great asset for vision fans. Of course, we don’t recommend that you go and start shooting at the Defy’s display yourself!

Power and Operating System

No phone that is designed to be dropped and battered about would necessarily come with the best specs money can buy, but the Motorola Defy gives technology a pretty good go. It’s powered by an 800MHz TI OMAP3610 processor, those familiar with the OMAP3 series CPU should be warned that this handset doesn’t come with the dedicated PowerVR GPU so it won’t be the best device for gaming.

The Motorola Defy runs on Android 2.1 and the Motoblur user interface, however the social networking features weren’t as prominent on this handset compared to other Motoblur offerings. Social network fans are still catered for with the dedicated live Twitter and Facebook homescreen feed however, you’ll need to download any social apps from the Android Market. At least most of these are free though. The Motorola Defy really does define itself as being a phone for everyone, and has a generous offering of 7 customisable homescreens for users to make the most out of all the widgets, shortcuts and apps Motoblur and Android have to offer. In terms of upgrades, there’s no official word whether the Defy can have a software boost to Android 2.2 Froyo yet.

Internet: The Motorola Defy has a WebKit browser on board, complete with Flash Lite support. The 3.7 inch display offers a decent platform for browsing while 3G connectivity with HSDPA, HSUPA and Wi-Fi connection should sort out those who are after a no frills web browsing experience. Business folk will be able to synchronise their corporate calendar, contacts and email as the Defy has Exchange support. Users can access a Gmail account, Google contacts and calendar too.

Camera: The Defy has a 5 megapixel camera which comes with an LED flash, digital zoom and can capture video. There are some image optimisation features available too including scene modes and effects.

Media: There’s a MP3 music and video player packed into the Motorola Defy plus a built in FM radio. It also has DLNA connectivity.

Other tech specs:

  • 2GB of internal memory with 512MB of RAM.
  • MicroSD slot that can support up to 32GB cards.
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light and proximity sensors
  • MicroUSB
  • aGPS with Google Maps Navigation service
  • 3.5 mm headphone jack
  • 6.8 hours talk time

Conclusion

Motorola have managed to successfully fill a much needed gap in the market. While the Motorola Defy may be the answer to any self-confessed clumsy smartphone owners prayers, it’s also very likeable beyond its tough exterior with a good range of specs and features, thanks to Android and Motoblur.

One thought on “Motorola Defy – Defies Expectations

  1. Hi otmanix and thx for your reonspse. Well I wasn’t counting on it having scandinavian languages support as only devices released up here would. I don’t mind having english as main language on the mobile but there are issues regarding texting Oh I have another question as well. On pictures it looks quite thick compared to most other mobiles in same category. I know it’s 13,4mm thick and that’s not much, but on photos it’s huge. What is your impression of it’s thickness compared to other mobiles?

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