Ease of Learning: 4 / 5
Ease of Use: 4 / 5
Enjoyment: 2.5 / 5
Design: 2 / 5
Value for Money: 3 / 5
Motorola achieved reasonable success in Asia with the release of the original Motorola Defy, which subsequently lead to the development of the Motorola Defy+. The Defy+ was aimed a more global audience and this, too, had decent numbers shipped since it was first spotted in August of 2011. As trend and necessity are key factors in driving the market, it made reasonable sense that Motorola would release yet another Defy smartphone, this being the Motorola Defy Mini. With its reduction in terms of its specs, and ultimately the cost, it’s worthwhile to take a closer look at the Defy Mini and compare it to its big brother, the Motorola Defy+, to see if it can deliver the same results at a lower price.
Although comparing the Motorola Defy Mini to the Defy+ will allow us to observe the measure of the Defy Mini’s overall stats and provide a better analysis of the end result and the costs attached.
At first glance, the Motorola Defy Mini is quite a bit smaller than the Motorola Defy+, with a screen size of 3.2”, and dimensions of just 109×58.5×12.6mm. The reduced screen size means the resolution suffers a little and produces a 320x480px display at 180ppi with only 256K colours. At 107g, it also weighs 11g lighter than the Motorola Defy+, which isn’t all that significant in the end. The most significant reduction of its specifications is with its CPU, which yields a mere 600MHz, the least amount of processing power I’ve seen in a smartphone for a while. Although you will also observe reductions in terms of the camera’s MP count, a slight decrease in terms of the battery’s mAh and a few others, it’s not really a big talking point. It is worth noting that the 1650mAh battery yields better battery performances, with a standby time of 504h and a talk-time of roughly 10h.
The Motorola Defy Mini is running Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread. Unlike most of the other Motorola devices, though, the Defy Mini runs a variant of Motorola UI known as MotoSwitch. MotoSwitch incorporates features that will track your usage preferences and learns how you use your smartphone, which, in turn, adapts your UI experience accordingly, in the form of Social Graph, Activity Graph, etc.. Although the changes aren’t drastic, it is a pleasant feature to have. Another of the more notable software additions is in the form of the Dashboard app. This app provides a single point of entry for features and tools such as chronometer for timing, pedometer and a counter which measures your workout results in the form of calories burnt run time, distance, etc. This is quite handy for those outdoorsy, sporty smartphone users. This app also integrates with Google Maps, GPS and a few other apps, which allows it to better track your progress and provide helpful information.
Keep in mind that when using these features, they may not always be as accurate as you’d want them to be.
You will notice that the Motorola Defy Mini won’t be setting the world ablaze with its looks. Be that as it may, its plastic appearance serves a greater purpose than posing for pictures at the end of the runway. The Defy Mini was developed as an inexpensive, outdoors, life-resistant smartphone that can withstand a number of elements you throw at it. As with the Motorola Defy+, the Defy Mini is splash proof, beach and dust proof, and pocket/scratch proof with its Gorilla Glass screen. The Defy Mini also has a locked a battery cover, which is even trickier to open compared to the Defy+, which I would like to think means better water and dust resistance.
At a recommended retail price of R1999, the Defy Mini is around R500 cheaper than the Motorola Defy+. With a number of reduced specs, which often lead to somewhat slow responses, I can’t see the Defy Mini being the better choice of smartphone for those on a budget. It is important to note that there are a few other element-resistant Android smartphones on the market, but it will take some browsing around to find them in South Africa. Although the Defy Mini has a few positives points, I can’t see it replacing the Defy+. If water resistance is really what you’re after, then I would recommend the Motorola Defy+, simply based on its superior specs, which is not a great deal more expensive. If you’re simply looking for an affordable smartphones, then it would be wise to continue your search.
You can find the full specifications here.