Motorola DEFY Review
Employing the same exact camera interface seen on other recent devices like the CHARM and FLIPOUT, we're happy to say that the DEFY far exceeds those other devices in terms of performance. However, there is one noticeable aspect that somewhat hinders taking a shot instantly – and that's the approximate 3 seconds it needs to take the shot completely after pressing the on-screen shutter key. Obviously, it requires the time to focus correctly and take the shot, but it would've been nice to see it auto-focus beforehand.
Nevertheless, we're happy with the sharp looking images it's able to take as they are filled with plenty of fine detail and rich looking colors. Outdoor shots in sunny conditions provide for the best looking images, but the quality in low lit indoor environments diminishes a little with softer visuals and colors. However, the LED flash does a good job in illuminating things in close proximity, but quickly loses its power with objects that are further than 5 feet away. In the end, photo lovers will enjoy the quality shots it's able to muster with its camera.
As much as we would've liked to see Android 2.2 grace the handset, we equally have the same feeling of finding a maximum video capture resolution of 640 x 480. Without question, it would've been extremely wonderful to see a handset like this to sport 720p video recording, but you'll have to settle with what's on board. Even though videos manage to chug along at a fluid motion, it's partly due to its fast capture rate of 29 frames per second. Though, it doesn't have the ability to auto-focus during a recording – which can some times make it look out of focus when objects get closer to the camera. Granted it might not have exquisite details, it'll suffice the expectations of most people – but it still would've been nice to see 720p video recording on board; especially nowadays.
Motorola DEFY Sample Video:
The Gallery app displays content in a grid-like view in portrait mode, but switching to landscape will present you a 3D like interface as you're scrolling. And if you happen to look at a photo, you'll have the option of sharing and editing them.
Despite having a traditional presentation approach to its music player, it's nice to see it offer the novel feature of displaying lyrics as a song is being played – which is powered by tunewiki. Turning our attention to its speaker, we're fairly satisfied with its performance as it exhibits some strong and deep tones that doesn't strain. Additionally, you can get a sense of how strong it is as you can literally feel the vibrations coming off from the back of the phone.
Playing videos proved to be no problem for the Motorola DEFY as it manages to play a high definition movie trailer with no apparent hiccups in its entirety. Encoded in MPEG-4 1280 x 720 resolution, the video moves along at a steady pace with no evidence of any pause or slowdown. Combine its fluid looks, high-res display, and stunning looking color reproduction, watching videos on the handset is needless to say such a pleasure.
In addition to the 2GB of internal storage it already packs, the handsets also comes preloaded with a 2GB microSD card which should be more than ample for most people. But if that still doesn't appease you, it can accept cards up to 32GB in magnitude.
Connectivity and Internet:
The Motorola DEFY is a quad-band GSM (850/900/1800/1900 MHz) and tri-band UMTS (900/1700/2100 MHz) handset which makes it an ideal solution for the global trotter. Although it'd be very difficult to find locations around the world where you can't make phone calls, it even comes with an app for Wi-Fi calling. Once you connect to a hot-spot you can place and receive calls normally, but unfortunately, it doesn't regulate any hand-off connections – meaning, it'll disconnect your call if you move out of Wi-Fi and into cellular. Finally, it packs Bluetooth 2.1 to pair up with various devices for wireless transfers, and aGPS for all your location needs.
Seeing that it missed hitting the Android 2.2 mark, the web browser manages to hit all the marks except for support for Flash 10.1. However, it is worth noting that it does have support for Flash Lite to enable some elements to load up within the browser. Besides that, everything is pretty much what you'd expect as it offers quick load times, multi-touch gestures, and an optimized view for reading text. Meanwhile, scrolling isn't as responsive as we'd like, but it isn't to the point downright unusable. All in all, the Motorola DEFY is able to provide a satisfactory web browsing experience.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
6. Andrea (unregistered)
is 480p an hardware "problem" or software "problem" ?
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.
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
Thanks again Phone Arena
9. jseb (unregistered)
Hello, I've made a video of my defy underwater, let's see :
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
11. sky_hammer (unregistered)
how will this compare with the upcoming casio android device coming out
12. maanojj (unregistered)
Has it released in india..?
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
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.
15. sumit (unregistered)
will it be supporting flash 10.1 after upgrading to froyo 2.3??? thnx in advance.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
21. jdcoke3 (unregistered)
the call quality was acceptable. just make sure to dry the earpiece when touched with water lol
22. iLiketoSuckmyOwndick (unregistered)
I LIEK GRASS :D
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.
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.