Defy Plus is a brilliant cell phone

Published: 27th April 2012
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Motorola’s first try at rugged smartphones was the IP67 certified DEFY and now they’ve launched its successor, the DEFY+. It’s got the same form factor, but the internals seem to have been modified. This one sports a faster processor and a newer version of the operating system, Android Gingerbread. Does that mean that the DEFY+ can take lifeproof to the next level and is a worthy successor to the original DEFY? Let’s have a look.

A good size

We might as well handle our favourite things about the Defy+ first. As a phone, it's not a bad form-factor. It's small enough to fit in even the smallest hand, but it's not too small to use.

It's chunky though, almost certainly as a result of some of the reinforcement needed to make it "lifeproof". But it's not especially heavy at 118g and it's comfortable to carry around in a pocket.

Motorola Defy+ ... waterproof

The sockets are protected from the elements with stoppers and the back door is held tightly in place. It all works splendidly to keep the electronics dry, so now you can finally make phone calls in the bath.

Motorola Defy+: Design and display

All you need to know about the design of the Defy+ can be found in the review of the original Defy. That's because the Defy+ is virtually identical to the original model. It has the same 3.7in touchscreen and an identical ruggedised body, though the screws around the sides, the power button, the volume controls, and the slider that opens the rear battery cover are now coloured silver rather than gloss black. The touchscreen is again coated in Gorilla glass and although its clear, the Defy+'s display does lack the vibrancy and brightness of some of its competitors.

In case you didn't quite catch it earlier, this phone really is identical to its predecessor. It sports the same modest 107 x 59 x 13.4 mm dimensions, 118g weight, 3.7in Gorilla Glass screen, black plastic body and exposed torx bolt heads round the edge – you know, cause that makes it look rugged. Only the finish of the battery cover has changed, from a plain matt black plastic to a soft touch plastic, and the Motorola symbol has dropped its 'Blur' suffix, giving a hint as to the reduced emphasis the company is putting on its branded customisation of Android.


The camera app is sparse, with only a few scene modes and effects to choose from, along with very basic flash control. There’s a macro mode, and focus point selection (which I found could be hit and miss), but outside of that you’ve got to rely on the phone to make the decisions for you. The images produced by the 5-megapixel sensor are average for a phone — color reproduction is reasonably accurate if occasionally a little blue, and when you’re shooting a still object you’re likely to be pleased with the results. However, as soon as any movement is introduced into the photo, you’ll struggle. The shutter delay and lack of control over shutter speed combine to make blurry photos unavoidable, as shown by the photo of the reed in the wind in the gallery.

The low-light performance of the camera is patchy at best — while it focuses well, the background comes out noisy and ill-defined compared to objects that get the full brunt of the flash.

Video is sadly limited to VGA (640 x 480) despite the camera’s 5-megapixel sensor, though if you can look past the low resolution its performance isn’t terrible. The rear microphone handles sound-recording duties well, and there’s no hint of frame skip or judder.


The Defy+ comes with the YouTube app that is exactly the same as any other Android device. You can browse through videos in a number of different categories such as most popular, discussed and most featured. You can also navigate to specific YouTube channels or videos by using the search bar. In terms of video quality, you can either choose between HQ (which is the default when viewing videos on Wi-Fi) and standard quality (which is the default when viewing videos on 3G) but they do playback smoothly most of the time on both of the Internet connection types.

Motorola Defy+ ... Swype

It comes with Swype as an installed keyboard. This means that instead of tapping the screen, you swipe your finger from one letter to the next. It takes some getting used to but it’s a neat alternative to direct poking and can be easier to use in more challenging situations.

Battery life

There's nothing amazing to say about the battery. The 1650mAh cell is an improvement over the original Defy's 1540mAh effort. We could get a whole day out of it, but not doing much more than making a few calls and sending a few texts. A couple of hours of Tiny Tower action are enough to kill it completely though, so casual game addicts need not apply. is a platform where you can get the latest knowledge about Motorola Atrix,
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