Motorola Defy+ review

Barry de la Rosa
20 Dec 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
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 480x854 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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