Motorola Defy review

Barry de la Rosa
5 Jan 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT

A rugged phone with a great screen and amazing battery life. The Defy has its niggles and WiFi bugs but is excellent value with a contract.



Android 2.1, 3.7in 480x854 display

The Defy's name refers to its ability to shrug off life’s knocks: it's certified to IP67, which means it’s water-resistant to one metre and dust-proof. Its battery cover is sealed and there are rubber covers for the headphone socket and USB port, and the screen is made from Gorilla Glass, which is scratch-and impact-resistant.

Motorola Defy

Despite the 3.7in screen, the Defy feels small in the hand, partly due to its low weight and partly because the screen has edge-to-edge glass, with only a small strip below it for the four touch-sensitive buttons for Menu, Home, Back, and Search. We found them harder to use than push buttons.

Although it has an 800MHz processor, the Defy can feel sluggish at times. The keyboard uses Swype, which spells words as you swipe your finger from one letter to the next. It’s quick to learn new words, and you can always tap the virtual keys to spell something tricky. The touchscreen doesn't have an oleophobic coating so it picks up greasy smears, but it's clear and bright with a high 480 x 854-pixel resolution.

Motorola's Motoblur software aggregates contacts, status updates and even calendars from multiple social networking sites, including Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo! and MS Live. Motoblur doesn't give you interface improvements like HTC’s Sense, but Motorola's home screen widgets are clever - you can resize contact widgets to present more information, for example.

Unfortunately, some of the social aggregation features are badly implemented. You can link contacts with each other to remove duplicates, but we found that the contact's full name from a Facebook entry was replaced in the list by their Twitter name when we linked that account.

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