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3.3 out of 5 stars
3.3 out of 5 stars
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on 25 November 2010
Good: The USP of this phone is that it's rugged but this is a great smart phone in its own right. The hi-res screen is very sharp and vivid (it's also better outdoors and a slightly higher res than the HTC amoled screens). The processor is a lower grade than the most powerful (and much more expensive) smart phones, but you barely notice the difference (avoid using too many widgets if you want a very smooth interface). Angry Birds on this phone is very vivid and smooth. The phone is also slick looking for a rugged phone - it's a lot smaller than an iPhone but has a bigger screen, and you wouldn't think it was rugged apart from the covered ports.

The only bad points are a (slightly) slower processor and the fact that it's running android 2.1. But it will be updated to 2.2 early next year so the phone will speed up with the more efficient OS.

All this for less than £300 (half the price of an iPhone!), and the peace of mind that you can drop it and get it wet without it breaking (and paying the costly repair bills)

Update: Still think this phone is great. I've customised the home screens with Launcher Pro (cost £2) which has a very slick look and great functionality (much like HTC's acclaimed skin) with pinch-to-expose and great social media / calendar widgets. I now use doubletwist as the media player which is great. Using "Advanced Task Killer" I kill apps which such battery life and memory - this app is a must for Android. I've experienced no lags with this set up and it's great to customise things the way you want them. DLNA is brilliant - I can play music over wifi to my computer - why do people bother with docks??
1818 comments| 112 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 16 December 2010
I love Apple products and I loved my 3GS iPhone. Like all apple products it looks and feels like quality ...and then it was stolen. I did masses of homework. Should I get the 4G or stick with the 3G? In the end I finally settled on a Motorola Defy and I after a month, I regard it as one of my personal BEST BUYs for 2010. It feels like a genuine iPhone killer for people like me who are basically untidy, a bit geeky and don't want to spoil the look of a beautiful piece of engineering with protective covers. The Defy doesn't need a cover and I like the solid functional look and feel of it. At 118g (11% lighter than the iPhone) it is just the right weight. Light enough to carry in a shirt pocket and heavy enough to notice when it isn't there. It is fast and offers more possibilities for geeks. Android market is great and I am no longer locked into iTunes, which alone earns it a few points. I got a monthly T-mobile contract for 10 quid (100 mins 100 texts and 1GB broadband) and it gets 2G Orange coverage if needed. Skype works well and is great if you want to talk to fellow skypers for free. On the downside, it can't get many UK telly channels and iPlayer has yet to produce an android app. The camera is a bit flakey in unnatural light, but the flash helps and it does a reasonable job outside. From what I can see, if you want good pics get a good camera.
All in all a great value for money product and highly recommended.
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on 17 December 2010
Ok this phone currently runs Android 2.1 but is due to be upgraded to Android 2.2 possibly 2.3 early 2011 but do not let this put you off. I have had this mobile now for the 2 weeks and I can honestly say it's the best Android mobile I've ever owned. Yes it is water proof up to 1 metre providing you use the rubber plugs attached to seal the 3.5mm headphone jack and the charging port, these both take seconds to do. At first looks the phone seems too small to have a 3.7 inch screen but Motorola have laid everything out really well. It is a comfortable size to fit in your hand trouble free. The touch screen is very responsive and a delight to use. During calls the sound quality is very good. If you do not like the call quality there are 4 different call sound quality options. People have commented on how the Motorola interface is a pain and is too showy well it is, however with just a drag and drop you can remove any or all of the motorola widgets/apps until all 7 screens are completely blank then you can go about customising it with a layout, apps or widgets that are included or that can be downloaded (many are free) from the Android Market. The 800mhz processor is super quick, switching between apps and tasks with lightening speed. Texting and emailing is bliss with the added bonus of having the option of using Swype input. I'd never used it before and after some fiddling with the options it really does make texting/emailing so very easy. You can type without having to lift your finger off the screen! The Wifi capability is above average and connects to and finds WiFi hotspots really quick. The battery is 1500mah. As with any smartphone if you have everything running you can get at least a day of use from a full charge but it you switch off WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS etc this will last longer than any others. To further save battery life, you can switch between 2G & 3G in seconds. Some reviews have been unfavourable towards the camera and camcorder features so I wasn't expecting great things. I have no idea what these reviewers are talking about. It's a 5mp camera with added flash. Unlike the more expensive HTC mobile phones the camera once launched is ready to take pictures in no time atall without the usual wait for it to load and warm up. Click on camera icon, take picture. Easy. Picture quality is average for 5mp but in pitch black conditions with the flash activated the picture quality is very good.

I cannot find a single fault with this phone and every feature it has works extremely well. I have tried the new HTC Desire Z, HTC Desire HD, Samsung Galaxy S, iphone 4 and Blackberry Touch. The Motorola Defy is the only phone I would buy for myself (and I did) and the low price of the Defy makes this an absolute bargain. Buy this phone, you won't be disappointed!
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on 11 April 2011
Great service from Amazon! Delivered in 3 days (Ireland).

Many thanks to everyone for the reviews!
Here my 2 cents for potential buyers...

I work mostly outside (wet conditions,dirty hands :-) so I needed something protected. Btw my prevoius phone died after my baby spitted on it :-)
It's my first android, and I'm more than happy with my choice!!!!

There was a lot of reports about earpeace problem (misplaced and gets broke when you stick headphones in - manufacturing fault).
The "broken" ones were those made in the pre-series. So you can look to your box, and search for the serial.
"xxxxYMxxxx, where Y identifies the year (L-M=2009,N-P=2010,Q-R=2011) and M the month
(A-B=Jan,C-D=Feb,E-F=Mar,G-H=Apr,J-K=May,L-M=Jun,N-P=Jul,Q-R=Aug,S-T=Sep,U-V=Oct, W-X=Nov,Y-Z=Dec).
So L012NU4H8T was manufactured in October 2010, just as an example."
If you bought it and have been made before January 2011, you are an unlucky guy,
or lucky if it didn't have problems untill now. If it's made after Jan 2011, there is no worry.

Mine is QE - March 2011.

I've been using my Defy for more than 2 months now, everything is working, no problems at all.
Screen is bright and clear, responsive, pleasure to use, good under the sunlight, bigger than iPhone's one.
Handset is well built, comfy body with good grip. Right size, right weight, fits palm perfectly. No problems to operate it by one hand on a go. With leather cover it looks much bigger and heavier (if you need that :-)
Gets a good signal at the underground car park, where iPhone, SE xPeria Mini, LG Secret have no signal at all.
Battery survived 12 hours of heavy usage, lasts 2 days on standby with occasional calls. Not bad at all, comparing to other smartphones.
Motoblur doesn't annoy me, I like it. My phone is linked with my Google, Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Facebook, Twitter and Skype accounts.
Android 2.1 - well.. I don't know what I'm missing with 2.2, but I'm very impressed with what I have. Phone is fast, responsive, no delays, loads of nice/cool/usefull/free applications. And Maps, Navigator, FM Radio, Internet radio, News Feeds, fast browser, great connectivity and... you name it :-) Everything is very intuitive and easy to use.
Locale: Deutsch, English, French, Italian, Spanish, Nederlands, Portugese.
Keyboards: English, French, Italiano, Deutsch, Spanish, Russian, Nederlands, Greek, Polski.
3.5mm jack, nice music player, but I've installed 'Power AMP' as well (with equaliser).
Nothing special about camera, does its job. Good pictures, good videos, well organised gallery.

I do like iPhone, but honestly think that Defy is better + waterproof, dustproof, antiscratch.
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on 16 December 2010
Bought to replace 2 year-old iPhone 3G. Was concerned that Android might not be as good as iOS, but it turns out that it's better. The DEFY itself is a joy to use. The build quality is great, and the 3.7" screen is very sharp and clear.

You wouldn't think to look at it that it was a water resistant, or dust proof phone. It is small and neat and very light, although it still manages to feel like a quality device thanks to strong build and nice design.

Although using Android 2.1 and not(the supposedly faster) 2.2 I'm not aware of what I'm missing with the newer versions, and this phone runs just fine. Everything is snappy.

Battery life is very good and with the same sort of use as the iPhone 3G, it's lasting at least twice as long as the iPhone did when I got it first. (Obviously the iPhone's battery life has deteriorated after years of use.)

So why 4 stars and not 5?

Well, the phone only comes with 2GB of on-board memory and a stingy 2GB micro SD fills the expansion slot. I'll be swapping that out for a 16GB card soon. Also, the camera only shoots VGA. If it could have managed 720p it would have been nice. That said, the VGA videos are at 30FPS and are very fluid and perfect for playback on the device, or uploading to youtube.

The only other gripe is that the internal speaker doesn't sound as good as the iPhone's.

All these details are easily forgotten when you remember that this phone is about 1/2 the price of an iPhone 4. When you look at the other phones in this price range, the Defy seems like very good value for money. Even if you're not looking for a phone with tough features, it's worth a look.

UPDATE: Since the time of writing the above, the phone's earpiece has stopped working. I'm currently attempting to deal with Motorola's support, and it's like pulling my own teeth. This seems to be a fairly widespread problem, and Motorola should really have issued a recall of all effected devices. Disappointing. I'm unlikely to buy another Motorola phone.

UPDATE2: After initially being pleased with this phone, it's turned out to be a complete and total lemon. This is not at all helped by Motorola "support". After eventually arranging to return this for repair (at my expense) I was told that I should have my repaired phone back within 5 days. I waited a week, and nothing. When I called (SBE, the repair centre), I was told that it had been sent off for repair because they didn't have the parts. I was told it would be another week. I waited a week and 2 days, and called again. No joy. I called Motorola support, and they said it had been repaired and shipped to me. Long story short, after waiting for 22 days it arrived this morning, but without the battery and the back cover! I am now waiting for those to be delivered. In addition the repair seems to have been carried out by someone with the dexterity of a gorilla. Several of the screws have been damaged. It was shipped in a generic phone package but since it didn't fit, the phone was rattling around in there, along with the microSD card which they did remember to return. They stuck plastic all over the phone, but there is dust and dirt under the plastic, so I'm not sure what the purpose of this was.

I was assured that when I got my phone back it would be like receiving a new phone. Ha!

Even if the phone works flawlessly from now on, I'm left with a very bad experience of dealing with SBE and Motorola. They never call, they never email, they don't return your calls. You have to keep asking and asking to find out what is going on, and SBE are unapologetic about their screw up.

I will never by another Motorola product!
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on 1 June 2011
had this phone for 2 months now and its amazing.

A week after i got it i was pushed into the sea... soaking wet from head to toe i got out and the phone worked! so i wondered just how good it really was...

swimming in a pool... no problem
dropped into a stream from 2 meters up... no problem
thrown 10 meters across a field for the labradore to go get... no problem
found in the dogs jaws... no problem no marks!!!

speaker is brilliant and connected music player better than my ipod touch... which now gets no use! lol this handset gets a lot of use and hase never gone wrong. just wish it had a slightly bigger battery like the new Atrix!! i get 24hours from it.. playing music, always on connection for data, gps mapping for car travel and email-messenger sync... switch the always on data off and it does 2 days! (gps is a battery hog like most handsets!)

screen is bright and clear, as good as iphone but better in sunshine.. and yes, the screen is a magnet for finger prints but as its so hard to scratch it, the dog will vouch for that, its easy to clean by rubbing it on your jeans!

no faults, no problems and three iphone user have now switched to this unit and the atrix after playing with this one!

oh and the video quality under water is epic!

motorola website has said orriginal batch had speaker issues... but that was 6 months ago!!!
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on 16 June 2011
This is my first Android Phone + Motorola phone and I just love it (have been using Symbian + iOS up to now but never again).

1) Great Battery Life (could go up to 2+ days on normal use, i.e calling + texting)
2) Rugged - The only phone that is rugged and not bulky. Why buy an iPhone and buy a Cover + Screen Protector so you can protect it etc when you can have this
3) Value for money - Excelent quality for less money (under 300 GBP) which makes it on of the cheapest Android phones that makes sense to buy
4) Perfect Size - Not too big and not to small.
5) Great screen even if not Amoled or HD etc. It just works and, colors are bright and Vivid.
6) Performance of the phone is quite snappy, even if it is running Android 2.1 Eclair
7) Supports Flash videos, which many more expensive phones do not.
8) Love MotoBlur - Personal opinion of course, some may hate it others may love it. For me it just works
9) DLNA support
10) Its a Mobile Phone that also does follow it primary role, make Calls!!! I have a lot of people compaining (me including) that iPhones have bad reception problems, disconnections, robotic sound etc etc, which is true, that is why I have stopped using it to make/receive calls or send sms. Although iPhones have a ton of features they fail to achieve the primary goal of a mobile phone, which is to work as a proper phone.

1) Slow processor - There are phones out there with faster processors + Dual Core etc. As I am not using the phone as a Playstation Alternative, but as a business phone, I dont care that much about that. You get what you pay for, regarding this feature.
2) Old version of Android - Still running Eclair rather than Froyo or Gingerbread, although there is an upcoming upgrade to Froyo soon and maybe Gingerbread in the not so near future. Personally I am not concerned about that. All the apps I want, do work on this version of Android (Sygic GPS, Corporate + Personal Emails, Quickoffice, WebEx, DropBox, Dictionary, Google Translate, Citrix Receiver, Wifi Tethering +++) and they do work well.
3) Not very good quality regarding camera when shooting at night. Althouth I rarely use this..

Overall this is great phone. If you want a cheap phone with lot of features, which can withstand some abuse, then this is the Phone for you.
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on 15 February 2011
ordered a phone for xmas, the earpiece failed severla days later. sounds like a common fault but liked the phone and good value - or so i thought. I've now had it replaced, great customer service from amazon. sent out a new phone and organise the pick up of my faulty one. unfortunately the replacement phone has only last a few weeks before doing the same thing.

treid factory reset and adding new firmware but no joy.

Returning again.

Surely Amazon have ditched the dodgy stock by now and got some decent phones in.

one more try then i'm getting my money back and going for the safer option with HTC.
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on 16 January 2011
I think this is the first phone on which Motorola can be proud. I have been using iPhones for past 4 years and now when I lost my iPhone 4 a month ago (which was not insured) I looked for some alternates and value for money. I went through so many reviews and product description and ended up choosing Defy. I was glad to see this phone i think the looks are perfect and weight is ideal for the pocket. After using 3 weeks I had a major problem earpiece (ear-speaker) stopped working I called Motorola customer services and they confirmed that they have a problem with this phone the position of headphone socket is not right so when you plug-in headphones they can damage earpiece. They offered free repair and told me they have resolved this issue in new handsets made after November 2010. So I decided to return the phone to Amazon and got a replacement. This is working perfectly fine now.
Defy is enriched with some really fancy features one of the best is Motorola's Motoblur tracking and contacts backup on their website.
This gets 4 stars only because it lacks latest Android firmware and phone speed is a little bit slow.
Overall a very good smart phone.
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on 7 December 2010
I got this phone as it was one of the cheapest Android handsets around as I needed a cheap-ish contact, but this phone seriously punches above its weight.

The screen is amazingly high res, I'd say on a par with the iphone 4. The processor is barely slower than the 1ghz lot at 800mhz and runs everything I've tried well, including Angry Birds. Phew!

Being waterproof is an added extra and really doesn't add any bulk to this, a small phone.

In conclusion this is the best of the cheap android phones (HTC Wildfire, LG Optimus One etc) and I fully recommend it!
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