Review Price £150.00
Motorola Defy Mini
Motorola's original Defy smartphone was really the first device to offer a reasonable combination of smartphone experience and rugged, waterproof toughness. The Defy+ update late last year didn't add much to the package but upgraded the phone generally.
Now Motorola has announced the Motorola Defy Mini, a scaled-down version of the Defy which keeps the tough credentials, just in a more compact package.
The Motorola Defy Mini has a 3.2in screen compared to the 3.7in on the larger Defy. For many who want a rugged outdoor phone, a more pocketable device will be just what they are looking for, considering they're unlikely to be watching a film on top of a mountain on the Defy Mini.
The 3.2in HVGA (480 x 320) screen is, as you would expect, covered with Gorilla Glass to make it scratch-resistant. The phone is also water-resistant and dust-proof and has been rated to IP67 standard, meaning it can survive being submerged in water up to a depth of one metre for 30 mins.
As with the larger phone all the port around the side of the phone are covered with rubber seals to keep your phone working even when it is dropped in water. However there are only a couple of ports to protect: a microUSB and a headphone jack.
The device certainly feels nice and solid in your hand, with the soft touch back prviding decent grip which will be vital when using in the great outdoors. Some will find the Defy Mini a bit on the diddy side, and it could be difficult to grip as you careen down a mountain side. That said the screen was decent, being both bright and sharp.
At the top of the screen is a VGA camera for video-calling while a 3 megapixel camera is on the rear along with a flash. The back plate is covered with soft touch plastic and is certainly comfortable to hold.
The phone is powered by a puny 600MHz processor backed by 512MB of RAM. And while the processor is a lot less powerful than those found in today's high-end smartphones, in use the phone showed no signs of being sluggish, though we imagine that trying to use the GPS to find your way off a mountain might cause it some problems.
The phone runs Android 2.3.6 which has been skinned with Motoblur, which is not for us, but gives users some widgets for bringing their email, messages and social networks together in one place.
The phone also comes with an outdoor dashboard app which creates a simple interface for when you are outdoors, giving you access to music, camera, radio and weather information direct from the home screen - which is a very nice idea and worked well in our time with the phone.
The battery is 1650mAh and Motorola is promising 10hrs talk time and 21 days of standby time which is pretty decent considering the size of the phone. The phone measures 109 x 58.5 x 12.55 mm and weighs just 107g.
The market for rugged phones seems to be growing as people want to stay connected even while climbing mountains, cycling or whatever else they are doing and a compact version of a tough phone we really liked sounds like a great idea to us.
We'll have to wait for the full review until we get the definitive verdict, but for now we certainly like the look of this new compact phone with tough credentials.
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