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Motorola Defy+ review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £228
inc VAT

The Defy+ has the same great screen, camera and rugged build quality of its forebear, and adds better performance and battery life and a much-improved Android OS


Android 2.3, 3.7in 480×854 display

Last year’s Motorola DEFY was one of our favourite phones; its rugged construction meant it was built to take a few knocks, and a large screen, 5-megapixel camera and cheap contract price made it a sure-fire Budget Buy winner. The Defy+ is quite a simple upgrade: the 800MHz processor is replaced by a faster 1GHz model, and the battery has been beefed up from 1540mAh to 1700mAh, resulting in an impressive 12 hours playback in our video test – almost as good as the iPhone.

Motorola Defy+

The only other difference is an upgrade to Android 2.3 Gingerbread – the original Defy is currently stuck at 2.2 Froyo after an official upgrade from 2.1. The upgrade to Gingerbread brings a big improvement in performance, and the Defy+ certainly feels more responsive than we expected from a mere 200MHz processor upgrade. A score of 6690 in the SunSpider JavaScript benchmark may sound slow, but the user interface felt smooth when flicking between home screens and we didn’t notice any performance issues in apps.

As well as a performance boost, Android 2.3 has loads of small tweaks that improve the user experience, such as better copy and paste and improved power and application management. Of course, Motorola’s own Motoblur software defines the phone more than Android itself, and this sees improvements too, in the form of new services to aggregate into one universal inbox and feed – as well as Facebook, Twitter, and Exchange email, you can add, Picasa, PhotoBucket, LinkedIn, Yahoo! and YouTube accounts, to help you never miss an update from a contact.

Motorola Defy+ Back

The application tray has now been improved too, with links at the top to take you to recent or downloaded apps, and you can add your own custom groups as well. We have some issues with Motorola’s replacement Connected Music Player, however – by default, it tries to connect to the internet to retrieve song data such as lyrics, using up your data plan and causing crashes if it can’t connect. We found our music often stopped unexpectedly, which was rather annoying.

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Price £228
Rating *****
Award Best Buy


Main display size 3.7in
Native resolution 480×854
CCD effective megapixels 5-megapixel
Flash LED
Video recording format 3GP
Connectivity Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, USB
GPS yes
Internal memory 512MB
Memory card support microSDHC
Memory card included 0MB
Operating frequencies GSM 850/900/1800/1900, 3G 900/2100
Wireless data EDGE, HSPA
Size 107x59x13mm
Weight 107g


Operating system Android 2.3
Microsoft Office compatibility Word/Excel/PowerPoint/PDF viewers
Email client POP3/IMAP/Exchange
Audio format support MP3, AAC+, WAV, WMA, AMR-NB
Video playback formats MPEG4, H.264, WMV
FM Radio yes
Web Browser Webkit
Accessories headset, data cable, charger
Talk time 6.8 hours
Standby time 9.9 days

Buying Information

SIM-free price £228
Price on contract £20-per-month, 18-month contract
SIM-free supplier
Contract/prepay supplier

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