Motorola WILDER Review

Introduction and Design

Following in the footsteps of phones that can take a few beatings or water drops, the Motorola Wilder looks at those challenges from a different angle. It is not to be dunked in liquids, like the Motorola  Defy+, nor does it have its smartphone operating system, but it takes you by surprise by being an extremely affordable featurephone, which can withstand the nature wrath that others couldn't.

The handset is dust- and splash-resistant, meaning that it will suit kids, teens or the active types, and at $80-$110 sans contract at Carphone Warehouse, you wouldn't cry too much even if it falls apart. Granted, you shouldn't expect much for that kind of money, but even in that regard the durable Motorola Wilder manages to surprise with an extra OLED ticker screen underneath the main one for notification purposes. Will that be enough to fight the cheapest smart phones out there? Read on to find out...


Built handsomely in “licorice”, with your choice of “saffron” or “classic gray” band around the sides, the Motorola Wilder hints that it's purposed for the active lifestyle. It is styled very similar to the Motorola Defy on the back, with tapered edges and the Motorola logo in the middle, but specswise it is way weaker than the tougher sibling – the back hosts a 2MP camera, for example.

You can compare the Motorola Wilder with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

The Motorola Wilder sports a 2.8” resistive touchscreen with 240x320 pixels of resolution. Before you turn away in disgust, we have to say that the display is quite responsive, and the small size makes this paltry resolution bearable. The viewing angles are decent, but the brightness outside is about average, meaning that a bright sunny day will wash away the image quite a bit.

Below the screen we find a nice design differentiation – a second monochromatic OLED display, which serves to show you date/time/signal strength, or display missed calls and message notifications. In addition, it serves as a ticker for the name of the song or video currently played when the screen is off, for example. The smallish 0.7” screen lacks enough brightness for clear view outside; it is not constantly on, in order to be gentle on the 910mAh battery, but lights up for a few seconds when you press the home key. Unlocking the main display calls for a separate lock/power button press at the top, plus a thumb-in-ring swiping gesture very similar to the new HTC Sense UI.

The home button is very well placed in the bottom left of the front, and big enough to conveniently press with large fingers, plus it adds to the cool frontal design with its shape. Overall, we dig the design of the Motorola Wilder very much – it is thin enough, very light, and comfortable to cup in your hand, but warms your heart knowing that it has this extra durability added to it.

The only downside of this extra defense is that the protective rubber lid over the headphone jack and the microUSB port on the left is pretty hard to pry open. That's the price to pay for a dust- and splash-resistant phone, though. Splash-resistance says the phone can bear a few water drops and keep on ticking. You shouldn't swim with it though.

Motorola Wilder 360-degrees View:

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