Motorola Defy Mini rugged Android smartphone
Lifeproof caller gets smaller
The original Motorola Defy from 2010 was aimed at a niche that no-one else knew was there – rugged cool. The thinking was that rugged phones that were hard to damage were a great idea, but that chunky rubber casings and hard-to-press buttons tended to put people off.
Downsizing: Motorola Defy Mini
The original Defy looked more or less like a normal phone, but came with Gorilla Glass, a tough but svelte shell and protective grommets for its orifices, as did last year’s Defy+ update. This latest version has all that too, but in a more compact package, and with a few interesting updates.
Its name may give the impression that it’s small but actually, there’s really not that much of a risk of you losing the Defy Mini down the back of the sofa. At 109 x 59 x 13mm it’s still way bigger than Sony Ericsson’s Xperia Mini Pro (90 x 52 x 17mm) for instance, and closer in size to HTC’s Explorer (103 x 57 x 13mm) which it actually shares the same CPU with; – Qualcomm's revamped low-end Snapdragon S1 MSM7225A. So it might seem slow on paper, but this actually a fairly recent chipset.
The case is still tougher than most though, made of rubberised plastic, with the 3.5mm headphone jack neatly sealed by a rubber grommet that slots into the port, and the micro USB slot hidden behind a sturdy cover made of the same stuff as the casing. The back plate is secured with a lock switch which makes it easy to open, though it’s not clear if this in any way helps to seal the casing any tighter than normal.
Water resistant, not water proof
Despite some claims on the web that it’s meant to be waterproof, Motorola itself makes no such claim, just that it’s water resistant, and sure enough, the bung hiding the microUSB port doesn’t look like it would withstand being submerged in water for very long, though it will certainly protect against splashes and drips.
But yes, that Gorilla Glass by Corning is pretty tough, at least it stood up to an attack by an irate bunch of keys and some change without a scratch, as well as a couple of drops onto a stone floor from shoulder height. That doesn’t mean you should expect it to survive being thrown from a speeding car or that it will save your life by stopping a bullet – it might be a bit tougher than the average decently put together phone, but not much tougher.
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Re: Low-end Androids
I find that word "performant" a bit annoyant.
Re: Low-end Androids
Don't be fooled - it will still be a Motorola. Updates will be horrifically, and I mean HORRIFICALLY, delayed with the user forced to rely on forum speculation because of a complete lack of update information from Motorola themselves.
Bitter ex Atrix owner here...
"Lucky Android is free and open"
The OS is free and open, sure. Look at CyanogenMod for example.
The problem is not the OS, but the hardware upon which it runs, and any closed source binary blobs required to make that hardward function correctly. Motorola have an unpleasant habit of using signed, ocked bootloaders for example. You can recompile your OS to your heart's content, but it won't be going on locked hardware without the approval of a Moto Veep.
My own tabletty thing can run all sorts of versions of Android, so long as I'm willing to put up with either the sound, or the 3g radio, or both, not working. Again, not an open source problem, but that of an industry which is pathologically closed, restricted and untrusting.
But anyway... 1 day battery life? Oh, suddenly I don't care about what might otherwise have been an interesting device. Its just another toy. Next, please.
Re: Re: Low-end Androids
Uhm, £300 is not "cheap".
Neither is £160, but it's still almost half the price of your "cheap" Microsoft phone. Probably runs more smoothly too.
Re: I've got the original one
the google maps thing is a fairly easy fix.
But it was the last straw for me. It works fine as long as you root it, install cyanogenmod, change memory allocation settings for maps, remove unwanted apps ... in the end I thought, why the hell should I ?