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Motorola DEFY Review

Posted: , by John V.

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Interface:

Under its tough exterior is an 800MHz TI OMAP 3610 processor with 512MB of RAM which manages to provide an appropriate level of performance – even though it might not look as fast or responsive as the processors powering the DROID X. Regardless of that, moving about the 7 homescreen panels is pretty good without much pause. However, we're a bit saddened to find it running Android 2.1 when so many devices are coming to market with Android 2.2 Froyo. Honestly, it's seriously the only tainted thing to its otherwise resilient persona. But once you manage to look past that, you'll find it to be running Motorola's customized experience in what's commonly being referred to as advanced MOTOBLUR.

Much like what we've already seen with the Motorola CHARM and FLIPOUT, this newer version of MOTOBLUR takes some elements that we first saw running with the DROID X. There are a total of 7 homesceeens for you to personalize with various folders, shortcuts, wallpapers, and widgets – the latter of which offer specific ones from Motorola on top of the usual Android ones. Now what makes the Motorola widgets different from others is the fact that they adapt when you modify their size. So if you happen to make it look more rectangular as opposed to square, it'll quickly rearrange itself to provide the most optimal look – in fact, it works pretty well with things like the Happenings widget. Depending on your taste, it can be seen as a convenient solution seeing that it's able to display some relevant content directly on the homescreen rather than running dedicated apps.

There are a total of 7 homesceeens - Motorola DEFY Review
There are a total of 7 homesceeens - Motorola DEFY Review
There are a total of 7 homesceeens - Motorola DEFY Review
There are a total of 7 homesceeens - Motorola DEFY Review

There are a total of 7 homesceeens

Motorola DEFY Review
Motorola DEFY Review
Main menu - Motorola DEFY Review
The Happenings widget - Motorola DEFY Review
  

Main menu

The Happenings widget



One of the newer things we find with the Motorola DEFY is the Family Room Panel which is pre-configured out of the box. As it's name implies, it allows you to setup the phone to specify the relatives in your address book. Once you've taken care of that, it'll display the appropriate information, such as Facebook status updates and contacts shortcuts, directly into their respective areas in the specific homescreen panel. There are also the “Blast” and “eBlast” shortcuts in the panel to enable you to send a text message or email directly to family members – all without having to experience the monotonous process of listing them all down one by one. Some will find it useful, but we would've rather have it focus more on your favorite contacts as opposed to family members.

Family Room Panel - Motorola DEFY Review
“Blast” and “eBlast” shortcuts - Family Room Panel - Motorola DEFY Review
 

“Blast” and “eBlast” shortcuts

Family Room Panel



Organizer and Messaging:

Following in tradition, the address book with the Motorola DEFY heavily integrates social networking into the mix which will enable you to view some quick tidbits on certain contacts. When you launch the Contacts app, it's broken down to three panels which you can swipe through – History, Contacts and Status. When you look at the Status panel, it'll display all of their status messages on their respective social networking accounts. Aside from that, it's your basic tried and true organization which allows you to add a multitude of information for each person in your address book.

Contacts - Motorola DEFY Review
Motorola DEFY Review
Dialpad - Motorola DEFY Review
Dialing contacts - Motorola DEFY Review

Contacts

 

Dialpad

Dialing contacts


Social networking on the Motorola DEFY - Motorola DEFY Review
Social networking on the Motorola DEFY - Motorola DEFY Review

Social networking on the Motorola DEFY



Naturally, you'll be able to set an alarm or timer via the Alarm & Timer app, but unfortunately it doesn't come with the Clock app we see on other phones that essentially converts it to a bedside alarm clock. However, the calendar is no different from previous Android smartphones seeing you have the option of seeing it in a month, week, day, or agenda view. When you create a new event, it'll automatically sync with your Google calendar so you can even check it out online. Not only that, but you'll even have various details you can set for the specific event – like reminders, exact times, location, and descriptions.

You can set an alarm or timer via the Alarm & Timer app - Motorola DEFY Review
You can set an alarm or timer via the Alarm & Timer app - Motorola DEFY Review

You can set an alarm or timer via the Alarm & Timer app


Calendar - Motorola DEFY Review
Calendar - Motorola DEFY Review
Calendar - Motorola DEFY Review
Calendar - Motorola DEFY Review

Calendar


Having a healthy sized display makes typing away messages relatively easy, but if you happen to master the art of the Swype keyboard, it'll make it feel more effortlessly. When using it, the portrait options basically enables for a one handed operation – which surprisingly can rival those who prefer the traditional method. Of course, you'll also have the option of using the Multi-touch keyboard for those who prefer the usual process of inputting text. Although it's pretty responsive and can keep up with the most rigorous of movements, the landscape option is by far the most optimal setting since it's roomy and spacious enough for fingers.

On-screen keyboards - portrait mode - Motorola DEFY Review
On-screen keyboards - portrait mode - Motorola DEFY Review

On-screen keyboards - portrait mode

Landscape mode - Motorola DEFY Review
Landscape mode - Motorola DEFY Review

Landscape mode


If Gmail is your kind of thing, then you've come to the right place as the dedicated Gmail app plays to the strength of what you experience on the desktop. Keeping track of back and forth emails is a thing of the past seeing that it compiles all of your emails in threaded view – meaning that you'll always be organized. Aside from that, the experience is fairly solid as you won't find the experience any better on other platforms. Moreover, the email app will allow you to set up other accounts by simply providing your email address and password. In the event that it's not one of the generic clients out there, you'll need to provide additional piece of information, like server addresses, in order for it to complete.

Google Talk might be the preferred method of instant messaging, especially when it tightly integrates with some other native apps, but the handset includes an IM app that has connections for AIM, MySpaceIM, Windows Live Messenger, and Yahoo Messenger.

Email - Motorola DEFY Review
Email - Motorola DEFY Review

Email

Instant messaging - Motorola DEFY Review

Instant messaging


Aside from the usual medley of core Android apps on the DEFY, you'll also find some preloaded third party ones like Amazon MP3, Blockbuster, Kindle, Quickoffice, and Telenav GPS Navigation.

You'll also find some preloaded third party apps on the Motorola DEFY - Motorola DEFY Review
You'll also find some preloaded third party apps on the Motorola DEFY - Motorola DEFY Review
You'll also find some preloaded third party apps on the Motorola DEFY - Motorola DEFY Review
You'll also find some preloaded third party apps on the Motorola DEFY - Motorola DEFY Review

You'll also find some preloaded third party apps on the Motorola DEFY



24 Comments
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posted on 08 Nov 2010, 12:40

1. Thump3rDX17 (Posts: 2160; Member since: 10 May 2010)


it's a shame it wasn't graced with 2.2 especially since 2.2 is about to have a bargain bin sale with the news of Gingerbread around the corner.

posted on 08 Nov 2010, 12:41

2. aone (unregistered)


First of all THX for great review! But still something is bugging me- 3D performance of DEFY. Could you make a video of 3D games and post it? Would be nice to see how it handle games like Asphalt5 or NFS Shift. There was a lot of fuzz about DEFY packing PowerVR GPU and still we don't have any proof of that. Again big THX for review.

posted on 08 Nov 2010, 13:46

3. KeepNTouch (unregistered)


I totally disagree with the in call quality of this review. I evaluated the phone in the store and yes I made a call and phone the quality to be very good to excellent.

posted on 08 Nov 2010, 16:27

4. NIteWalker (unregistered)


This is the first review I've read mentioning poor call quality. Maybe the reviewer got a defective phone? I plan to get this though still. I need a rugged phone for workshop use.

posted on 09 Nov 2010, 18:50

5. Sharon (unregistered)


I agree that it would be nice to have 2.2 but to tell the truth I prefer 2.1 layout. I need a smaller sized phone and there aren't a lot of those on the market. The only comparable ones I know of are the HTC Gratia (Aria) and the LG Optimus 1? but the screen resolution on the HTC Gratia is only a little better than that of the HTC Wildfire and that is quite poor for displaying text. Having read most of the reviews on the Defy it seems a pretty all round phone and as long as it makes phone calls without dropping signal then its a thumbs up from me. Thanks for your in depth review it was very precise and clear and certainly answered any questions that I had thought of asking!

posted on 13 Nov 2010, 10:41

6. Andrea (unregistered)


is 480p an hardware "problem" or software "problem" ?

posted on 30 Nov 2010, 21:34

7. ric (unregistered)


I got this phone for two days. The call quality is very good for both. The review is wrong for weak earpiece - very loud if you set maximum volume.

posted on 20 Dec 2010, 05:12

8. Pouj (unregistered)


Thanks a lot Phone Arena for this very good review
I purchased this handset and I LOVE IT

For the update to Android 2.2 on The Motorola Defy, see this link
https://supportforums.motorola.com/community/manager/softwareupgrades

Thanks again Phone Arena

posted on 05 Jan 2011, 01:49

9. jseb (unregistered)


Hello, I've made a video of my defy underwater, let's see :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrnNI9rc4FQ

posted on 15 Jan 2011, 10:51

10. morrison (Posts: 1; Member since: 15 Jan 2011)


i originally wanted the milestone 2 but good old t-mobile send out this phone then say they dont stock the milestone 2, anyway i played about with this phone and came to like it, well that was until 8 weeks after purchase the handset only works with calls on loudspeaker, pain in the ass now ive got to travel 15 miles to the shop to take it back to get fixed and in the mean time i'll have a complimentary brick of a phone from t-mob to use until its fixed

posted on 18 Jan 2011, 08:46

11. sky_hammer (unregistered)


how will this compare with the upcoming casio android device coming out

posted on 22 Jan 2011, 01:08

12. maanojj (unregistered)


Has it released in india..?

posted on 03 Feb 2011, 02:10

13. vineeth (unregistered)


It is released in india.
its price is 18k
I think its battery is very weak and also i dont think it will get a 2.2 update

posted on 05 Feb 2011, 06:32

14. venkat vijay (unregistered)


It is having excellent battery packup according to reviews, and from some sites i came to know that defy is getting 2.2 update by march end 11.

posted on 10 Feb 2011, 03:32

15. sumit (unregistered)


will it be supporting flash 10.1 after upgrading to froyo 2.3??? thnx in advance.

posted on 09 Mar 2011, 13:18

17. Schmao (Posts: 302; Member since: 05 Jul 2009)


There is no such thing as froyo 2.3. 2.3 is gingerbread. But if it gets 2.2 , which is froyo, then flash wil be supported.

posted on 25 Feb 2011, 09:32

16. greygolem (unregistered)


Best handset available in my books. Can hack the real world and still be a real smartphone.

Anyone who dropped or got caught in the rain with a smartphone will know this. Anyone with a scratched to hell screen will know this. It also fits pockets well and gives decent screen real estate.

It is by and far my favourite design of the smartphones. I'd love to see Motorola follow it up with a Dual Core Defy II with gingerbread on absolutely the same physical specs. Identical, Mr Motorola, Identical. Do not deviate, this is a ripper good design. Oh how sweet that would be.

posted on 16 Mar 2011, 16:24

18. roliver (unregistered)


Initial opinion was great as it was a compact phone with heaps of features. Sadly the feature promises did not meet what was advertised.

The phone can only be enabled with a connection to Motoblur. Which means that if you put in a SIM the phone has to have access to the internet to grant access if you get a Motoblur a/c. This means that you are totally dependent on a Motoblur server somewhere to use your phone.

Secondly it claims to be able to sync contacts. What they dont tell you is that you can only sync music, movies and photos directly from your PC. If you want to update contacts you need to save them in .csv form, upload them to a server on the internet then suck them onto your phone. Somehow someone thought this was ok to do.

I took it back to my provider and got an HTC Desire which is brilliant.

posted on 16 Mar 2011, 16:26

19. BobG (unregistered)


Agree with roliver. I too my phone back to the provider and got an HTC.
The provider did not know about these restrictions and will be advising people from now on.

Good luck Motorola.

posted on 17 Mar 2011, 13:09

20. Darshan (unregistered)


I heard that the Defy has problems connecting to the net thro' wifi.Is it correct??I heard that it needs a G router for solving the problem.Please put some light on this issue(if really it is).

posted on 20 Apr 2011, 02:59

21. jdcoke3 (unregistered)


the call quality was acceptable. just make sure to dry the earpiece when touched with water lol

posted on 11 Jun 2011, 05:54

22. iLiketoSuckmyOwndick (unregistered)


I LIEK GRASS :D

posted on 29 Jun 2011, 06:29

23. sparkle (unregistered)


I am disappointed with my Motorola Defy - it is hard to turn on-
also the camera takes at least 3 or 4 presses to come on and stay on - it has a habit of going back to the main screen and so has to be pressed again to open up.

And Google Speak is driving me nuts - it keeps coming up on the screen when I am trying to take a photo or do something else and has to be cancelled.

Battery life is tiny compared to my other phones and coverage is also a disappointment.

posted on 12 Oct 2011, 11:40

24. jwish (unregistered)


had this phone for about 2months and love it but it is extremley alow at times and likes to turn its self on and off at least three times in a row randonly alsi it freezes ALOT. and the keypad for texting is terrible to use specially for big fingers.

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Motorola DEFY

Motorola DEFY

OS: Android 2.2 2.1
view full specs
Display3.7 inches, 480 x 854 pixels (265 ppi)
Camera5 megapixels
Hardware
TI OMAP3630, Single core, 800 MHz, ARM Cortex-A8 processor
512 MB RAM
Size4.21 x 2.32 x 0.53 inches
(107 x 59 x 13.4 mm)
4.16 oz  (118 g)
Battery1540 mAh, 6.66 hours talk time

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