Interface and Functionality:
Of course, Motorola could simply issue a Gingerbread update for the DEFY, but since it discontinued it, and replaced it with the DEFY+, original DEFY owners are obviously not getting the new stuff, at least not officially. Anyways, the DEFY+ does come with Android 2.3 preinstalled, and naturally, it's masked with the MOTOBLUR UI. The personalization isn't really bad, we actually find it pretty decent. Many icons have been redesigned, while the interface is full of other little tweaks like additional widgets, new graphical elements and options. For example, you can easily create app groups within the main menu, and then filter your apps by these groups.
Overall, the interface is responsive enough, though you can witness some slight lag here and there. For the most part though, the new 1GHz processor ensures that you have a fluid experience while navigating around the interface or open applications.
In this version of its custom UI, Motorola has also placed its mark on core apps like Contacts, Gallery and Music. We're OK with the changes that have been made to the stock software. They are mostly graphical and don't mess too much with the functionality of the platform. The Calendar has been left unchanged from its stock Gingerbread version.
One of the more significant custom capabilities of the handset is the Social Networking app. Its name speaks for itself – the purpose of the application is to let you keep track of updates from all of your social networks and other communication. The supported services include Facebook, LastFM, Twitter, Picasa, Photobucket, Flickr, LinkedIn and YouTube. A nice feature of the app is that it allows you to update your status on all networks simultaneously. Furthermore, Motorola has designed a dedicated widget for the Social Networking app, which displays your latest updates right on the homescreen. When tapped, the widget itself expands into a nice 3D view of your updates. It's a lot of added functionality, probably not all of which will end up being heavily used, but we're sure that it'll find its fan-base. When it comes to typing with the on-screen keyboards, the portrait one sure seems a bit cramped, and that's because of the dimensions of the display, as well as the design of the keyboard itself, which, we feel, tries to fit too many keys on the screen at once. The landscape option naturally provides a much more comfortable way of typing, although its key arrangement doesn't seem to be the most optimized one yet.
The internet browsing experience with the Motorola DEFY+ can be both satisfying and irritating. If you're wondering what makes this kind of a big difference, the answer is Flash. When your browser is set to load Flash elements, web page scrolling and zoom can get really unresponsive and choppy, especially if there are lots of such elements. However, if you have set Flash to load on demand, for example, the Motorola DEFY+ manages to provide a pretty decent browsing experience.
Camera and Multimedia:
Motorola has made sure to customize the camera interface as well. We find the end result pretty decent, although we can't go as far as to say that it rocks. The company has taken the visual approach again here. For example, when choosing between different effects or scene modes, you are presented with a nice live preview of what the effect or scene will look like.
Although colors looks natural on the pictures taken with the Motorola DEFY+, we're sad to report that the 5-megapixel snapper fails to capture any amount of fine detail. Generally, images look quite blurred. In addition, some of the brighter areas may appear overexposed.
The camera is capable of recording video at the paltry resolution of 640x480 pixels at 24 fps, and... what can we say – it's fine for a VGA video. You know, it can't be anything worth talking about.
The Motorola DEFY+ is a decent multimedia performer, for a mid-range handset, that is. You can easily play DivX and Xvid videos in up to 720p resolution, but MPEG-4 clips won't go beyond 800x480. H.264 is unsupported, but of course, all of this can be changed by installing a more capable third-party video player.
Motorola DEFY+ Sample Video: