Design & Handling
The Defy Mini doesn't claim to be the sleekest, most style-conscious smartphone on the block. And that's probably for the best, as it wouldn't get very far in a mobile phone fashion parade. The Defy Mini is all about resistance and practicality—it's a phone that can withstand plenty of manhandling and which can be easily slipped into most pockets. It's not trendy, and it's not supposed to be trendy. Although relatively thick, this compact and light mobile has an entirely matte finish and feels as robust as you'd expect with this kind of product. The overall finish is good.
Butterfingers take note—IP67 compliance means this mobile shouldn't die if dropped in a puddle or onto a dusty surface (building site, beach, etc.).
The Defy Mini has a 3.2" screen (compared with 3.7" for the original Defy) with a resolution of 480 x 320 pixels. The screen has wide viewing angles, a decent contrast ratio of 840:1 and good colour fidelity, with an average Delta E of 3.5 (the closer the Delta E is to zero the more accurately onscreeen colours are rendered). All in all, for an entry-level smartphone, the screen is sharp, accurate and generally pretty good. The only downside is that it could be more responsive.
Interface & Navigation
Android is garnished with Motorola's MotoSwitch interface, with seven customisable homescreens plus a customisable lock screen with notifications for new messages and missed calls.
Motorola's interface is easy to use and lets you tailor the phone to your needs and preferences thanks to a range of widgets. It's a far cry from the kind of customisation on offer with HTC's Sense and Samsung's TouchWiz, but it's still a nice touch. The Defy Mini runs on Android Gingerbread (version 2.3), so internal navigation isn't quite as slick as with Android Ice Cream Sandwich. For example, the apps menu can only be displayed as an alphabetical list.
However, the pre-loaded Dashboard app is pretty handy, as you can organise shortcuts to your favourite apps on one page.
The 600 Mhz TI processor and 512 MB of RAM do a relatively good job of the tasks at hand (making calls, sending texts, occasional web browsing, some basic games). In fact, we didn't notice any hangs or slow-downs in the interface. However, we did sometimes notice that the phone seemed to run out of steam with several apps running simultaneously.
In terms of mobile multimedia, the Motorola Defy Mini doesn't have the most attractive set of tech specs—but then that's not the point of this handset. Plus, it doesn't really have enough internal memory (120 MB) to store media content (music, photos, films), so you'll probably need to kit it out with a microSD card. All in all, it's fine for surfing the Internet from time to time, but the screen doesn't make this the most comfortable experience ever.
The Defy Mini has a 3-Megapixel camera with LED flash and takes photos that aren't amazing quality (they're not particularly sharp and there's plenty of noise). You clearly wouldn't go out snapping the most important landmarks of your life with this mobile, but it's good enough for taking the odd snap now and again (the kind of snaps that'll generally stay on your phone).
The audio out is therefore powerful enough to use comfortably with headphones—just make sure you buy a decent pair, as those supplied as standard are pretty bad. They'll be OK for tuning into a conversation, but not more.
Thanks to DLNA support, content stored on the phone's memory card can be streamed to a DLNA-compatible TV.
Generally speaking, this phone lasts for about two days before it needs recharging. Seeing as it's less geared up for multimedia than many of today's smartphones—with bigger screens and fancier tech specs for heavyweight gaming and video playback—the Defy Mini isn't as power-hungry as many handsets. Plus, the robust 1,600 mAh battery helps. All in all, the Defy Mini should breeze past the 24-hour mark without too much trouble for calls, texts, a bit of social networking, plus some music, photos and gaming thrown in for good measure (with 3G and Wi-Fi).
- Water and dust resistant
- Robust and compact
- Good battery life
- Limited photo/video and Internet functions
- Not much internal memory
The Motorola Defy Mini is a good little smartphone that's robust and has a decent battery life. It's a good choice for clumsier users, as well as outdoor types or anyone who works outdoors. It's also a sound choice for users who aren't bothered about having a power-packed smartphone with all the latest cutting-edge multimedia functions.