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Motorola Defy – tough phone review and testing

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Motorola Defy (opens in new tab) Specifications:

Android 'Éclair' 2.1, MotoBlur, 3.7-inch 480x854 resistive touch screen, IP67, 2GB memory, 2GB microSD card, 5MP camera, LED Flash, GPRS, EDGE, 3G, HSDPA, HSUPA, aGPS, WIFI b/g/n/, DLNA, 3.5mm audio jack, microUSB, Bluetooth 2.1, 1540 mAh Li-Ion battery

Motorola Defy is the company's first tough phone and runs from the Android 'Éclair' 2.1 platform with a lite version of the MotoBlur overlay to that OS with its ability to find the phone if misplaced. It's not the Android version or the user interface that's the handsets selling point, but the way the mobile phone can handle life's little knocks and scrapes and in a better way than other handsets.

Moto's Defy has a 3.7-inch 480x854 resistive touch screen, which is very responsive despite its thick display, more on that later. The 800Mhz processor is fast enough to handle most tasks we put it through, over a lengthy period of time and it's a worthy CPU if matched up against high-end smartphones seen around today. The on-board memory for storing music, video and photos from its 5 megapixel camera comes in the form of 2GB, with an included 2GB microSD card and support for 32GB versions. As we’ve said, it’s not the specs that are its redeeming factor – it is the Defy's arduous nature.

Motorola’s Defy mobile phone comes with a tough corning gorilla glass display, which is resistive to being both dropped and also scratched. The display has a 5mm lid that makes up half of the handsets thickness, as it’s manufactured as one continuous piece of material and is actually bolted down to the sides in seven different places.

The screen’s glass is resistant to drops and scratches; the latter of which was proven when we took the Defy on a 30 minute bike ride, with the display facing down on a large set of keys and loose change. The repetitive key-scraping across the screen left little or no visible marks, where just placing a set of keys next to an average phone and walking to the shops would have left detrimental damage.

Adding to this is charging and audio jack sockets, which both have rigid covers that are firmly placed over their respective ports and although are easy to open they are still airtight in use. The battery cover has a compartment protruding from its base, which when firmly placed over the battery seals in the power source with the help of a locking mechanism.

These ports and battery cover, with the bolted-down screen, aid in making the phone both water and dust tight proof – awarding the handset an IP rating of 67, with 6 qualifying the phone as Dust tight and 7 immersion up to 1 metre of water.

One Mobile Ring put the toughness of the Motorola Defy into question, seen in the two videos below. The first of which is the phone in a full glass of water for a whole ten minutes during a call, then repeating the same procedure with a glass full of sugar - just to test the dust proof abilities of the mobile.

Water Proof TestDust Proof Test

The results of these tests are that the Defy would survive being dropped whilst looking for keys; survive being scratched by those very same keys and also having a glass of water being knocked over it – all whilst lasting for 12 hours worth of making calls.

The Motorola Defy survived our tests in an exemplary manner and came through completely unscathed, as if completely unaffected by any of the tasks. OMR believes the phone would be a good addition to anyone and not just someone that needs a tough phone, as accidents do happen and to the best of us.

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Rob has worked in the affiliate industry for many years with large publishers, and previously worked as a journalist on titles such as Wired, PC Magazine, ITProPortal, The Register, The Inquirer, Pocket-Lint, Mobile Industry Review, Know Your Mobile and The Gadget Show.