Despite noises from Motorola suggesting it was going to tone down its MotoBlur customisations of Android, diving into the Defy+ there are still a fair number of tweaks.
The seven homepages come packed with widgets, many of which are Motorola’s own, with their own visual style, but they do all the usual duties with no partcularly standout additions; there’s a message viewer, toggles for aeroplane mode/mute/Wi-Fi etc, a quick music player and many more. As ever we quickly rid the screen of most of these to get the most performance out of the handset, just keeping the Google search bar and settings toggles.
Jump into the main apps menu and thankfully Motorola hasn’t mucked about with the layout – you just get a nice alphabetical list of apps to scroll through. However, you can whittle these down to your most recently used or downloaded apps at the tap of a button.
Strangely we didn’t find Twitter and Facebook preinstalled, which is something of a rarity nowadays. This is particularly odd as one of the key Motorola changes is MotoBlur, which ties in your email and social networking accounts to provide a universal inbox, a combined social network feed and a contacts list populated with information from all the above services. Until we’d got to the MarketPlace and downloaded the aforementioned apps, we couldn’t really use any of these features. Indeed it’s always something to bear in mind with Android handsets; if there’s something you don’t like about them you can more often than not find an app or software tweak that’ll put things right for you.
Another such example of how we had to put in a bit of work before getting the experience we wanted was the keyboard. Motorola has installed Swype – the ingenious, but acquired taste, onscreen keyboard that lets your trace out a word with one touch, rather than tapping at keys individually – as the default choice. We know some people like it but it’s hardly the defacto standard.
Overall, though, we’re talking about a typically capable Android 2.3 handset. From browsing the web to checking out what your friends are up to and playing games to finding out where you’re going, it can do the lot for you, and do it well.