Motorola Defy Android smartphone
Motorola Defy review: Motorola's latest smartphone is the first Android handset to be dust, water and scratch resistant
- Dust, water and scratch resistant
- Lightweight and attractive design
- Swype text-entry
- Text is a little small
- Display feels sticky
- Touch-sensitive menu keys
Motorola deserves plenty of credit for producing an Android smartphone that's rugged but still has an attractive design. The Motorola Defy may not be the fastest Android smartphone on the market, but we recommend it for active users; it is also excellent value for money.
Price$ 600.00 (AUD)
Motorola Defy: Software
The Motorola Defy runs the 2.1 (Èclair) version of Google's Android operating system. Motorola has stated the Defy will be upgraded to 2.2 (Froyo) early in 2011, and the company has incorporated a number of Froyo features into the current software. The Defy comes with a lite version of Adobe Flash, and also has the ability to act as a wireless hotspot, two features normally reserved to Android smartphones running Froyo.
The Defy also comes with the latest version of Motorola's MotoBlur service. Motoblur is a widget-based interface that combines multiple social networking and communications accounts (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LastFM, e-mail, Picasa, Photobucket and Yahoo Mail). You'll need to create a MotoBlur account to use the service, but it's free and all content and data is pushed live to the handset. Motoblur also provides excellent security features including the ability to automatically wipe the handset when it is lost or stolen, and the automatic back up of content over-the-air.
The Motorola Defy comes with Motoblur, a widget-based interface with a big emphasis on social networking. The Motoblur service also offers enhanced security features such as remote wipe.
We like the idea of Motoblur, but the execution of the service on previous smartphones was far from perfect. Thankfully, some of the flaws we encountered with the early version of MotoBlur have been corrected. You can now choose to only display contacts with phone numbers (rather than lumping them together with all your Facebook and Twitter contacts in the address book), and home screen widgets can be resized, which we found very handy. The widgets we found enticing included "happenings", which lets you can see at a glance updates from all connected social-networking services, and airplane mode, Bluetooth, GPS and Wi-Fi quick toggles. We also liked the sticky note widget, which allows you to save a quick post-it style note on the home screen.
The Motorola Defy also features Swype text entry with the on-screen keyboard. Swype allows you to slide your fingers over the letters you want to type in a single motion, letting the software work out the word you're trying to write. Though it sounds awkward, Swype is very easy to pick up and surprisingly accurate. As with most on-screen keyboards, the software will learn as you type and add words you use regularly to its database.
The Motorola Defy is not as fast or smooth to use as more expensive competitors like the HTC Desire HD; while we wouldn't describe the Defy as slow, swiping through home screens and using multitouch gestures tends to have a 'sticky' feel. The large display is reasonably good for Web browsing, and multitouch means you can pinch in and out to zoom. Pages load and render quickly, though the browser is not as responsive on Flash-heavy pages.
The Motorola Defy has a few handy applications preloaded, including Quickoffice, Media Share (for playing video and music through a DLNA-compatible television) and task, battery and data managers. Its media player is a notch above most other Android phones — the "connected music player" automatically finds album art and lyrics from the Internet for any tracks in your library, while a "song identification" feature, similar to the app Shazam, is also included.
The Motorola Defy comes with Swype text entry, allowing you to slide your fingers over the letters you want to type in a single motion, and letting the software work out the word you're trying to write.
The Motorola Defy has a 5-megapixel camera with autofocus and a single LED flash, which also doubles as a video recorder. We loved the fact you can use the volume keys as zoom buttons, and the ability to swipe through scene and effect settings is a nice touch, though we missed having a physical camera button.
The Motorola has 2GB of internal memory, along with a microSD card slot for extra storage. Motorola includes a 2GB microSD card in the sales package. Battery life is about standard for an Android smartphone; it will need a charge every night with constant use, but light users may be able to go almost two days without a recharge.
The Motorola Defy is available exclusively through Telstra in Australia for three months from 30 November and is rated as a BlueTick phone, meaning it provides superior coverage in regional and rural areas of Australia. It can be purchased for $0 on Telstra's $49 cap, which provides $400 worth of calls and text and 1GB of data per month.
Become a fan of GoodGearGuide on Facebook
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @GoodGearGuide
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
Join the PC World newsletter!
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Google Daydream VR headset
Huawei Mate 9
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Lexar® Portable SSD
Acer Swift 7
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Surface Pro 4
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 phone: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 4 HTC U Ultra phone full, in-depth review
- 5 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
Latest News Articles
- Sleek new Galaxy S8 phones feature facial recognition, Bixby intelligent agent
- 5 Samsung Galaxy S8 features Apple should steal for iPhone 8
- HTC is reportedly releasing a new U phone that makes better use of its bezels
- Apple wins China patent battle over iPhone 6 design
- Samsung unveils Bixby voice assistant for upcoming Galaxy S8
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- LG G6 phone: full, in-depth review
- Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 phone: Full, in-depth review
- And the 2017 winner of the Formula 1 Best Pit Lane Boom Gantry is...
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- CCProjects Governance Risk SpecialistSA
- FTSenior IT Business AnalystNSW
- CCSenior Solution ArchitectNSW
- FTICT Change AnalystSA
- FTData and Insights AnalystNSW
- FTIT SpecialistACT
- FTAssociate Consultant - IT Project ServicesVIC
- FTMonitoring Tools Support l NimSoft , SMARTS, ehealth, TivoliNSW
- FTJunior Business Consultant - HR / PayrollWA
- CCSenior Developer - Oracle - TelcoVIC
- FTInformation Security ConsultantACT
- CCExecutive SupportWA
- FTProject Support | $32 phVIC
- TPDevOps ManagerVIC
- CCProject AdministratorNSW
- FTNetwork Solution ArchitectVIC
- FTUX DesignerNSW
- FTFinancial AnalystNSW
- CCSofware Developer/Architect - Media and telco Network Operations - MelbourneVIC
- FTHR Application Architect - WorkdayVIC
- CCLead SAP SRM DeveloperACT
- FTBusiness Consultant - AccountingWA
- FTTechnical Lead - FrontendNSW
- TPNetwork AdministratorWA