Review: Motorola DEFY+
A rugged droid for the adventurous types.
Sturdily built; Dust and water proof; Long battery life; Decent sound quality.
No front-facing camera; Supports only VGA video recording; Poor indoor camera.
MRP: Rs 19,500
Street Price (As On 19-Jan-2012): Rs 16,500 (Saholic.com); Rs 16,500 (HomeShop18.com); Rs 17,000 (Letsbuy.com)
UPDATE: The video review of the Motorola DEFY+ is now available here.
Motorola is back with a sequel to its most popular phone - the DEFY. The DEFY+ borrows both looks and ruggedness from its predecessor. The phone is IP67 certified, which means that it is dust-proof and can stay safely submerged under water to a depth of one metre for 30 minutes. The device also boasts of a faster processor and features Android 2.3 (Gingerbread). Does it prove to be a worthy successor, or will it turn out to be a poorly-scripted sequel? Let us find out.
Design And Build Quality
The retail box packs in the phone, USB cable, charger, and earphones. The device measures 4.2" (l) x 2.3" (w) x 0.5" (d) and weighs in at 118 grammes. It looks exactly like the Motorola DEFY. In fact, not a single change has been made to the body. Its 3.7" Gorilla Glass-reinforced display has pixel dimensions of 480x854. The screen is clear and crisp under all lighting conditions, therefore reading text or viewing photos and videos is an effortless and pleasing affair. The ambient light sensor is quick to alter screen brightness as per prevalent lighting conditions. The accelerometer works quite well. Lastly, a small LED status light blinks to indicate missed calls and unread notifications.
The phone features a 3.5 mm jack next to the power button and micro-USB slot, both covered with airtight rubber flaps. At the back, you will find a 5 MP camera equipped with an LED flash and a secondary noise-cancelling microphone.
Slide open the back panel and you'll find a 1700 mAh Lithium-polymer battery - a step up from the DEFY's 1540 mAh. Just like its predecessor, this phone inconveniently places the SIM and microSD card slots beneath the battery.
The DEFY+ is powered by a 1 GHz ARM Cortex A8 processor and has 512 MB of RAM. It features 2 GB of internal storage that can be expanded up to 32 GB through its microSD card slot.
UI And Applications
The device runs Gingerbread with Motorola's MOTOBLUR UI on top of it, which can take some time to get used to. There are a total of seven homescreens. Hitting the home icon on the touch-sensitive menu below the display reveals all the homescreens, each of which can be customised with a wide selection of available widgets. The ability to quickly access the connectivity settings is a personal favourite. This comes in handy, especially to toggle Bluetooth, GPS, Wi-Fi, and Flight mode.
The touch-based QWERTY keyboard features Swype integration, which is a big plus for those proficient with it. The portrait mode does seem a bit uncomfortable, although typing in the landscape mode is a charm. For those who want to get work done, the smartphone features a file manager and QuickOffice. For those who don't, MOTOBLUR allows for easy social networking.
Multimedia And TelephonyThe handset's sound quality is good, but can get better with an equalizer. However, the default player doesn't include one. Since the video player supports only MP4 playback, viewing DivX, XviD, and WMV files requires third-party applications such as RockPlayer. While the 720p video playback is laggy, SD videos run just fine.
The 5 MP fixed-focus camera is illuminated by a single LED flash. Outdoor shots are decent, but once indoors, you cannot use the camera without the flash.
Unfortunately, the phone's video capture capability is very disappointing. It can only record in VGA mode, so the output isn't worth a mention. Videos are saved in the 3GP format, which further deteriorates the quality.
Throughout the testing stage, I experienced no call drops, but a slight echo was evident during long-distance calls. Overall though, the voice quality is quite good. More importantly, the water resistance claims by Motorola stood true, as the device worked like a charm ever after being placed under water for almost 30 minutes.
Battery And Verdict
The 1700 mAh battery lasts over a day under normal usage. Keeping the phone relatively busy by keeping all the connectivity options on, and with heavy browsing, brought the battery life down to 8 hours.
In a nutshell, the DEFY+ works well as a basic calling and messaging phone and is great for people with butterfingers. However, it falls short of in terms of multimedia capabilities. Overall, considering its superior build quality, the phone offers good value for money. If you don't care much for ruggedness though, and prefer feature-laden performance phones, the Samsung GALAXY S LCD, Nokia Lumia 710, or the Nokia 701 are better options.
Design And Build Quality: 4/5
Value For Money: 3.5/5
Overall Rating: 3.5/5