For some weeks now I use the Motorola Defy+ as my primary mobile phone and I have to say that I’ve never been that satisfied with a mobile phone before. The phone itself is smaller than my previous Motorola Milestone XT720 and even if it looks a lot like an outdoor phone with all the open screws and the rubber plugs for the ports, the design is very nice and looks valuable. In the following short test I want to point out the most important things concerning the great Defy+.
The phone’s GUI is a lot faster than the one of the first generation Defy I was able to test on a friend’s phone, so the everyday use of this phone is very good. The whole experience on this Android 2.3 smartphone can be best described as flawless and comfortable. The faster processor does a good job and there’s plenty of memory for installing all the necessary applications. Connecting to either Wifi, Edge or HSDPA is stable and shows a good performance while surfing, mailing or any other task in need of a internet connection. Switching over to a phone with MotoBlur needs some time to get used to it, but the launcher/homescreen is fast and of good use. The display is very good and the touchscreen reacts without any lags.
One of the only things I’ve found is that because of the MotoBlur (I think) you’re quite unable to use the pattern unlocking because you also have to slide to unlock after the pattern is drawn, which is rather annoying, so I switched the pattern unlock off after a day. I don’t count the hours, but in heavy use I have to recharge the phone after around two days. This includes full synchronization of all apps during the day and reduced synchronization during the night. Awesome!
Phoning with the Defy+ shows a good quality of sound and the handling of the phone GUI is of usual good quality. Surprisingly the handsfree function delivers very good sound at a high volume. Rather surprising since the speaker has no free holes in the battery cover and the sound is nevertheless really good.
The photos of the integrated digital camera are of decent quality. Better than on most other smartphones, but definitely not as good as on the XT720. The flash is decent, but not strong enough for bigger rooms. Keep that in mind when shooting at parties. The video camera shows a good performance at 640×480 and the flash can be used as permanent video light. At the current state of my memory, I’m able to still store around 4700 photos or 3.5 hours of video on my included 8GB MicroSD card and you should keep in mind that I installed most of the apps on the MicroSD to save internal memory. Geotagging of the photos is supported and this leads us to the GPS functionality.
I recently use my Defy+ a lot for navigation. Whenever I’m too lazy to get out my ordinary navigation system, I just pin my Defy+ to the car’s dash (using a sticky mat) and use the Google Maps Navigation to find my way. The GPS (and A-GPS) works fast and reliable and even when it has no direct view to the sky it works like a charm. Also the tagging of photos is quite fast and well done.
The phone is certified to fulfill the IP67 standard and therefore it’s completely protected against the ingress of dust and it’s also protected against the ingress of water up to a depth of 1 m of submersion (the test includes the resistance to water for 30 minutes). I also already tested this several times, partly unintended, and it’s a big advantage to be able to clean the phone with water. This also makes this smartphone a perfeect companion for all kinds of outdoor sports and I’m really looking forward taking it with me while skiing or hiking. I also should mention that the display is protected by Gorilla Glas which makes it resistant to scratches.
For the moment this is the smartphone I’ve been searching for. It’s tough, it’s nice to use and it features all the stuff I need in my everyday mobile life. The digital camera is more than “good enough” for the everyday needs, the battery life is really good and the look and feel of the phone and it’s GUI is absolutely satisfying. I’m using the Defy+ with a data contract including 1GB of traffic at full speed and it’s sufficient for the traffic I’m generating with my usage of the phone.
I didn’t regret buying this smartphone for a single moment, because this is truely “the smartphone for real men”! o/