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Motorola Defy review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £264
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 480×854 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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Price £264
Rating ****
Award Budget Buy


Main display size 3.7in
Native resolution 480×854
Second Display No
CCD effective megapixels 5-megapixel
Flash LED
Video recording format 3GP
Connectivity Bluetooth, WiFi, USB
GPS yes
Internal memory 2048MB
Memory card support microSD
Memory card included 2048MB
Operating frequencies GSM 850/900/1800/1900, 3G 900/2100
Wireless data EDGE, HSPA, WCDMA
Size 107x59x13mm
Weight 118g


Operating system Android 2.1
Microsoft Office compatibility Word/Excel/PowerPoint viewers
Email client POP3/IMAP/Exchange
Audio format support AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, MP3, AMR-NB, WMA
Video playback formats MPEG4, H.264
FM Radio yes
Web Browser Webkit
Accessories headset, data cable, charger
Talk time 6.5 hours
Standby time 18.2 days
Tested battery life (MP3 playback) 49h 59m

Buying Information

SIM-free price $264
Price on contract £20-per-month, 18-month contract
SIM-free supplier
Contract/prepay supplier

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