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Motorola Defy+ - Multimedia, Camera and Verdict

By Edward Chester


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User Score

Review Price £213.00

So far we've established that the Motorola Defy+ is a competent little mid-range smartphone that packs in all the basics you'd expect of an Android device. But what about some of those nice extras? Well, unsurprisingly the Defy isn't exactly packed to the rafters but neither does it let itself down.

Although modest in terms of specs, the 5 megapixel camera actually takes quite a nice shot, getting exposure and colouration right, even if every detail isn't captured. The app also offers a few extras like real time effects (black and white, negative, sepia, solarise, red hint, green tint, blue tint) and scene modes (portait, landscape, sport, night portrait, sunset, macro and steady shot). However, you can't touch anywhere onscreen to focus, which makes taking shots such as our closeup of the flower almost impossible, and there are few really clever extras like an inbuilt image tweaking tool.

Motorola Defy 2

Also, video is mediocre. Again the basic quality is okay in terms of colouration and framerate but at only 640 x 480 it's rather low res.

Motorola Defy 1Motorola Defy 2

One area Motorola hasn't skimped on for both photos and video is illumination. No, not that the phone will ornament your emails with gold lettering but that there's an LED flash/lamp to add a bit of light to your dark shots.

Motorola Defy

Despite the gloom, the Defy has done a reasonable job of capturing this scene, though peer closer and the lack of detail is obvious.

Motorola Defy

With no way to choose a focus point, closeups and shots with the subject off centre can be a bit tricky.

When it comes to playing other videos, it's clear why that camera is limited to non HD resolutions. Anything above 640 x 480 resolution simply won't play and even some high-bitrate videos at this resolution will be a little stuttery on occasion.

Playing a few of our choice games that sluggish performance also came through with even Angry Birds looking a bit choppy. So in case we needed any further confirmation, this phone isn't a powerhouse that'll storm through everything you throw at it. Instead it's one that simply provides enough performance to ensure you can make a call, write a text, check your emails and browse the web without frustration.

When making those calls you shouldn't find call quality is a problem either. While again this phone doesn't offer the best going, it will provide enough clarity to get you by, though you'll have to wait for it to dry out to get the best from it.

Considering it packs a higher than usual 1650mAh battery we were expecting a higher than average battery life, and the Defy+ does deliver. You should easily be able to get away with charging it only every other day, rather than every night like most handsets require.

Motorola Defy

It's this longevity combined with this phone's ruggedness and price that really combines to make it so appealing. Retailing for just over £200, it's eminently affordable, thus making it a potentially great choice for children or as a second phone for taking out on your more adventurous trips. Competition is minimal in this semi-rugged sector but one other model to look out for is the Sony Ericsson Xperia Active, which is a bit tougher and does sport a lanyard loop. However, it's a much smaller handset with a more confined 3in screen.


Those looking to upgrade their existing Motorola Defys may be disappointed with the modest enhancements made to the Defy+, indeed it's not worth the investment, but newcomers to the waterproof smartphone market should be excited. It won't survive the most extreme of environments but for keeping going in the UKs wet and muddy wilderness, it's more than adequate. What's more it offers a proper smartphone experience and looks quite civil too. All that for £200 seems like a good deal to us.

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December 7, 2011, 10:37 pm

Have they fixed the issues surrounding the ear piece though? This is one of the few phones that'd make me tolerate the dogs mess that is Android.


December 8, 2011, 12:57 am

All I can say is 'so far, so good'. I've been using a handset on and off for a couple of weeks, with it being dunked a few times during that period, and have had no issues. There is a chance there will be a repeat of the issues as the basic hardware has changed so little but I think the original handsets only had sporadic problems anyway.


December 8, 2011, 4:04 am

Sporadic is enough to put you off though, especially if you'll buying it second hand like I'll be. A solution exists though for those inflicted, involving replacing the damaged ear piece with one from an old Sony Ericsson handset.


December 8, 2011, 4:17 pm

I mean sporadic as in it only effected some handsets. Assuming you buy a working one there's little to suggest it will then stop working.

Martin Daler

December 8, 2011, 8:15 pm

How so Ed? From what I understood, all the fautly earpieces started out working, and developed the fault thereafter.


December 9, 2011, 11:56 pm

Have had a Defy for a year now. It is noticably slower than our Atrix but you get what you pay for. Screen size is perfect for use as a hiking gps (Backpack app is awesome). I think the reviewer misses the point there. A larger screen would mean a larger phone and that wouldn't really help in an "active" device. The defy has rubber flaps (so does our indestructable Sonim btw). They are used every day nearly for the headphones and charging. They are still as good as new. The screen has a few scratches but nowt major. Very good, limited speed phone. Perfect for outdoors as it has survived mud and water over and over. Even a fall in the river. It's not a patch on the Sonim xp3.2 Quest pro, it isn't supposed to be. BUT it is smaller, lighter and can do so much more. A friend has the shiny new Sony Xperia Active. It's tiny with a very nice screen that responds better in the rain than my Defy but the battery is unbelievably poor. Doesn't last an 8 hour hike, makes it a bit pointless. He's looking into on of those Duracell recharge on the go units. The Defy battery has to be charged every night. The Sonim lasts for yonks, days at a time.

Martin Daler

December 10, 2011, 6:28 pm

Thanks Paul B, exactly the kind of "how does this device stack up in real, everyday use, especially the particular use for which I would buy this particular device" type of info which reviews, forever trapped in their "formula", often seem to lack. For example, the 'use in the rain test' is not in the formula for a phone review, so it never rates a mention, but here it is useful and relevant. It is the sort of detail which only jumps out at you is you have actually lived with and used the device to it's full. Well done!


December 12, 2011, 5:01 pm

Because the reports seem to suggest the problems occurred fairly quickly, in which case a working second hand device is reasonably likely to be okay. It is of course a risk though.


December 12, 2011, 5:08 pm

Couldn't agree more. It's great to hear from our readers giving constructive advice back to the community. Especially as in this case we didn't really envisage this phone as being for quite the usage you put it to, so such tests weren't on our radar. Thanks Paul B.


December 14, 2011, 11:38 pm

hi all

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