Motorola Defy First Look

An Android phone for new users who want a 'tough' product.
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01.Motorola Defy


3 stars out of 5
Price: $ Varies, depending on plan.

First released for the Australian market in late 2010, the Defy claims to be a tough, dust proof and water-resistant mobile phone. A scratch-resistant glass called ‘Gorilla’ glass is used for this phone. Being dumped in a bag for a couple of days rough travel, with a set of car keys, certainly didn’t mark its face at all. Since its release it has lost its blue tick for use in regional areas due to changes in the manufacturing process. It’s available in black and white – though we do wonder why this selection limitation is marketed at all.

The touch screen is very responsive and all options quite accessible. The phone allows for Flash on websites and has a good 5MP camera and video, which you can switch seamlessly between. It runs on an older Android operating system which is a little disappointing for a smartphone.

Importantly, we found no issues with receiving or making calls, the sound is clear over a variety of circumstances. You need small hands for texting, and though the built-in Swype feature of Android makes that a little easier to get used to, it’s not perfect.

As a non-Android user, I found it surprisingly simple to set up. Although the fact that the Motorola Motoblur feature focuses on social media through a large part of its setup means a lot of logins to enter. This ends up being an advantage on one side, as it automatically delivers social media and email updates on screen, but a disadvantage in that it drains the battery rather quickly under heavy usage. In that respect it could have been done better. The phone also slowed down when multiple applications were open at the same time.

With a very simple process for removing the battery and a screwed in cover the style of the phone is a weird cross of modern and retro, but it works well. Good speeds on browsing our website and the crystal clear screen makes for a pleasant online user experience. A swag of pre-installed applications mean the phone is a bit of a research project to begin with.

The Motorola is available on Optus Business and Telstra plans. This limits your provider selection, however it can be bought unlocked from $415 .

CHOICE Verdict

If you are in the market for a good touch screen and you are not the kind of person who takes a lot of care of their phone, you might find this a useful upgrade to your current phone. It meets some of the simple claims: its screen can't be easily scratched. Dust and water resistance, on the other hand, are a difficult attributes for any phone to live up to, so don’t base your purchase on this claim. We weren't able to test the claim on a review sample but will in a future test.

Its useful interface and integration of social media into the phone are a plus, as is the camera and phone – other phones may do it just as well, but you may not find them as inexpensive. We’ll be including this phone for testing in our next mobile phone test.

Looking for a new mobile? See all our mobile phone reviews.



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