Motorola DEFY review: Drag and drop

Drag and drop

GSMArena team, 10 December 2010.


This is no protocol droid, no phone made for walks in the park. It’s the Motorola DEFY and it isn’t afraid of what comes next. Good. Coming up is one of our reviews. And we’re having the pleasure of the first and only ruggedized Android GSM phone. It’s finally beginning to make sense – droids are dustproof, scratch and water-resistant.

But wait a minute. That’s on the outside. Under layers of rubber and muscle, the DEFY is a true smartphone, a socialist and an entertainer.

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Motorola DEFY official photos

Surviving scratches, falls and splashes is a full-time job but the Motorola DEFY promises to keep you connected too. Whether you friend or defriend, your social life is a tap away on one of those pixel-rich WVGA screens.

Other than that, it’s a pretty standard Android package with all the connectivity options duly covered and good enough media support. Good-looking, social, smart and durable – this mid-ranger seems to have more boxes ticked than not.

Key features

  • World’s first durable Android smartphone
  • Scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass screen, dustproof and water-resistant (no official certification)
  • 3.7" capacitive TFT touchscreen of WVGA (480 x 854) resolution, 16M colors
  • Quad-band GSM/EDGE, HSDPA 900/2100
  • Android OS 2.1 Eclair with custom MOTOBLUR UI
  • TI OMAP3610 800 MHz processor
  • 512MB RAM, 2GB onboard storage
  • microSD card slot (up to 16GB), 2GB card included
  • 5 megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash and geotagging
  • VGA video @ 30fps
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth (with A2DP) connectivity
  • Built-in GPS receiver, digital compass
  • microUSB port, charging enabled
  • Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
  • FM radio with RDS
  • Accelerometer for UI auto-rotate
  • Active noise cancellation with a dedicated mic
  • Nice social networking integration
  • Swype text input
  • Web browser with Adobe Flash Lite
  • Very good audio quality
  • Awesome web-connected music player
  • Video player has Xvid video support

Main disadvantages

  • Android 2.1 is an outdated OS version
  • Limited storage for installing apps
  • No smart dialing
  • No HD video recording
  • No DivX video support out of the box
  • Equalizer controls are not within the music player
  • No secondary video-call camera

The Motorola DEFY has the most recent version of the MOTOBLUR UI but the actual OS is only getting older. This phone is still stuck on Éclair while the hungry smartphone crowd has its eyes on more tempting Froyo or even Gingerbread, which is just around the corner. But Motorola are making no promises about getting the DEFY suited up with a Froyo update any time soon.

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Motorola DEFY live shots

Anyway, if you choose to wait in the company of a Motorola DEFY, you’re unlikely to get bored or disappointed. It’s tough when it needs to be but not in the sense of aggressive – let alone difficult. It’s a phone that knows its limits too. If you know up front what to expect, it should be a fair deal. After all, the Motorola DEFY isn’t charging a fortune.

In any case, there’s no reason for us to wait. Hop on and let the unboxing begin.

Reader comments

  • yellowbal
  • 21 May 2013
  • qmc

If you're brave, you can update to CM10 or CM10.1 which is Jelly Bean. Any earpiece problem can be easily fix with a replacement part from ebay. If you like to tinker, this is a really fun phone with current ROM development.

  • Jonathan
  • 28 Jul 2012
  • P2%

HTC HD7 Windows Phone (T-Mobile)- The phone is incredibly quick btoiong.HTC HD7 Windows Phone (T-Mobile)- The phone is incredibly quick btoiong.- The UI is beautiful and so smooth to use in comparison to other smartphones.- The build quality is solid...

  • Yolis
  • 28 Jul 2012
  • ib@

If you want a waterproof, shock proof, dust proof phone then the Motorola Defy is the one togo for. The Ace ships with Android 2.2 while the Defy will get upadetd to 2.2 so chances are that the Defy will stay at 2.2 while the Ace will atleast get 2.3...