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(011) 807 3294   itnews@itweb.co.za | Advertise on ITWeb   Thu, 18 Dec, 06:16:43 AM

Review: Motorola Defy+

Motorola Defy+ is well suited for the beach.

The rugged Motorola Defy+ is well suited to cash-strapped, outdoorsy enthusiasts who demand to be connected wherever they go, whether it be at work, on the beach or on a hike.

Motorola draws attention to the fact that it has prioritised protection and durability when making the Defy+.

The smartphone has a tough, rubberised exterior; however, several prominent screws on the external casing makes one wonder whether Motorola made the device in a rushed job to compete against other smartphones that have taken a sporty approach.

Pretty but tough

The Motorola Defy+ is water- and scratch-resistant, while dust caps give it a dust-proof design. While this doesn't mean we recommend placing the device in a bath, it does mean the device can withstand a rain shower or be used on the beach.

The Motorola Defy+ features a scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass touch-screen, and has a stunning 3.7-inch high-resolution display. The screen is smooth, responsive to multi-gestures and it was a pleasure to navigate the user interface.

However, I found the keyboard very small in comparison to other Android devices, and those with larger-than-average fingers might struggle to type rapidly.

The smartphone comes with a modest 1GHz processor and Android 2.3 Gingerbread operating system. Social networking apps, widgets and Google Mobile Services are preloaded.

The usability of the Motorola Defy+ is one of the highlights of the smartphone and I found it extremely simple to manage apps, files and contacts, as well as to make calls.

Android apps

The device comes with Adobe Flash Player 10 for viewing apps, content and videos. Video quality is exceptional and it delivers high-definition graphics. However, the sound system on the phone was very average and not groundbreaking.

The Motorola Defy+ comes with news and weather apps, e-mail, RSS news feeds, a camcorder, CarDock and other apps familiar to Android users such as Google Navigation, Google Places, Google Talk, Google Latitude, YouTube and Voice Search.

It also comes with a music player app that connects to the radio and social networks and also has a song identification feature.

Another interesting widget is Motorola's Task Manager that provides a useful calendar and lets the user plan projects and appointments as well as set deadlines.

Web browsing is a dream on the Motorola Defy+. It provides 3G Internet connectivity, but cannot be used with 4G networks. It was easy to navigate through Web pages and to view videos online.

The 5MP camera comes with auto focus, flash and digital zoom and takes average photographs. I was disappointed with the camera, particularly because the latest smartphones come with 8MP cameras as standard features.

A unique feature that Motorola embedded in the device is what it calls MOTOBLUR, which is a widget that integrates multiple social media accounts and other live widgets directly from the home screen.

The feature is very easy to use, and it took less than a minute to set up all my social network accounts onto one simple interface.

Battery life is poor, and depending on how many apps and features are running at the same time, the device runs on an average battery time of less than seven hours.

In a nutshell

If, like me, you lead an adventurous lifestyle or are constantly dropping your phone or spilling water on it and require a more robust device and are willing to sacrifice some of the high-end features seen in the top-of-the-range smartphones, then I would recommend the Motorola Defy+.

It excels in its interface simplicity, usability and toughness, but falls short in that it lacks some features such as not having a dual-core processor or a high-spec camera that would have placed it in the high-end smartphone category.

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