Motorola DEFY MINI Review
Interface and functionality:
What we have running on the Motorola DEFY MINI is Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread with the MotoSwitch UI installed on top. There is nothing fancy about interface itself and eye-candy has been reduced to a minimum, but we are happy to see that a few handy features have been thrown in. For example, you can launch the smartphone's camera or toggle its vibration on or off straight from the lock screen. Also, a couple of very useful widgets have been included: one of them automatically aggregates shortcuts to your most frequently used applications, while the other does the exact same thing with your contacts.
The on-screen keyboard is frustratingly difficult to use in portrait mode, so you better get used to tilting the device sideways when typing those text messages. Swype comes pre-installed, which helps to some extent, but still, typing requires more patience that we are used to putting in simple things like texting.
There is an application called Dashboard that comes pre-loaded on the Motorola DEFY MINI. Think of it as a tool for the sporty smartphone user: it features a chronometer, pedometer, and a counter that tells you how many calories you have burned during your exercise. Also, with a little help from the handset's GPS radio, the app tells you how many kilometers you have traveled while hiking or jogging. Sadly, the pedometer was pretty inaccurate during our testing, so we don't advise you to trust it.
Processor and memory:
It is really underwhelming to see that the smartphone has been equipped with a miserable 600MHz single-core processor, but at least the 512 megabytes of RAM should prove sufficient. Thankfully, that hardware combination is just good enough to get the job done, so basic applications work well and navigating through the interface is responsive enough, as long as you don't use a live wallpaper and keep the amount of on-screen widgets to a minimum. However, the lack of processing power becomes evident when using heavier applications. For example, browsing through the Google Play store is sometimes laggy while games such as Angry Birds Space and Temple Run get choppy at times. More sophisticated titles refuse to be installed.
There are 512 megabytes of on-board storage, but only 165 of them are user available. Before you know it, the smartphone's storage capacity depletes so transferring apps to the microSD card becomes mandatory. Included in the set is a 2GB microSD card, which will get full pretty quickly. That said, buying a microSD card with more capacity is strongly recommended.
Internet browser and connectivity:
The stock internet browser on the Motorola DEFY MINI is pretty usable considering the phone's low-end hardware. Pages load fast enough and scrolling is sufficiently smooth, as long as you let heavier web pages to load completely. It even supports Adobe Flash, which you can download manually from the Google Play store, but we don't recommend getting it as it significantly degrades the browser's performance. Embedded videos automatically go fullscreen once you tap them, which is a nice feature to have as it puts a lighter load on the handset's processor. As we mentioned before, you will be zooming quite a lot in order to view pages in detail, but thankfully, pinch to zoom works just fine. The on-screen zoom buttons are quite annoying, however, and we really wish they had skipped them.
Any connectivity feature that should be on a smartphone is present on the Motorola DEFY MINI. You get a 3G radio, Wi-Fi b/g/n with support for DLNA, Bluetooth 2.1, FM radio with RDS, and USB mass storage for quick and easy file transfers between the handset and a computer. The GPS radio was kind of slow at locating us from a cold start – a process that took it over 2 minutes, but after that, it could determine our location within a couple of seconds.