Motorola Defy overview: Nonetheless searching for a distinct segment



The Motorola Defy marks the return of a reputation that was one of many pioneers amongst rugged, waterproof, and dustproof Android smartphones in 2010. After an extended 11 years, Lenovo has teamed up with the British firm that’s answerable for the CAT and Land Rover smartphones. To be able to revive that historical past, we should ask ourselves, “Does the system carry one thing that stands out in a market that has integrated requirements like IP68?” That is what we attempt to discover out on this Motorola Defy overview.


Good battery life
Extra button for fast shortcuts
Good grip
No cowl wanted
Gorilla Glass Victus display screen


Impractical one-handed use
Restricted digicam efficiency
Massive and heavy
Thick bezels across the display screen
Android 10 (in September 2021!) and a couple of years of safety patches
No detachable battery

Motorola Defy (2021): Straight to the purpose
To announce the brand new Defy line, Motorola appears to attraction to nostalgia, however the launch might not have had the anticipated impact. Even among the many editorial workers of NextPit, there have been only a few amongst us who have been within the novelty, and it is not a coincidence that the one two individuals who confirmed any semblance of curiosity have been the editors who had the first-generation mannequin (myself included).Anyway, not like the primary era which shared many of the specs with the Moto Milestone (actually the flagship amongst Android 2.0 handsets), the brand new Defy has much more humble origins. The 2021 mannequin (with the mannequin identifier XT2083-9) shares just about all of the {hardware} specs with the Moto G9 Play (XT-2083).

Defy exhibits it is not messing round / © NextPit

To distinguish the mannequin from the G9 Play, the Bullitt group has strengthened the complete exterior of the system, adopting Gorilla Glass Victus for the show and a double coat on the plastic housing. This has given the system not solely IP68 certification but additionally MIL-SPEC 810H certification for temperature and vibration variations.Sadly, the mannequin will not be anticipated to see worldwide availability since it’s bought by the Bullitt group. We are able to solely hope that Motorola will announce the Defy in your house nation outdoors of its common markets. 

Display screen and end: HD LCD and Gorilla Victus
For individuals who keep in mind the unique Defy, the dimensions of the brand new mannequin is among the very first issues that catches the attention. Whereas the unique Defy had a 3.7-inch display screen (and the approximate measurement of the iPhone 4), the brand new smartphone stands out with its beneficiant 6.5-inch display screen that has been inherited from the Moto G9 Play. One other attribute from the unique – it options barely rubberized end on the edges and rear to supply a safer grip.What I appreciated:
End ensures a great grip with out leaving any fingerprints or stains
Gorilla Glass Victus, resistance certifications
Permits you to use straps, charms, and chains
What I disliked:
Heavy and huge
Thick bezels across the display screen
The show comes with modest specs, sporting a decision rely of 720 x 1600 pixels (270 DPI) and an LCD panel with a 60 Hz refresh price.
The show is protected with Gorilla Glass Victus, which is extra resistant in opposition to falls and scratches, making it the perfect candidate for the Defy.
Nonetheless on the subject about sturdiness, Bullitt has strengthened the chassis of the system, leaving behind curves on the edges of Motorola through which it adopted the proper angles. The plastic materials has been coated with a barely rubbery end, which is able to assist it keep away from selecting up fingerprints, whereas the slight texture on the again helps present a safe grip when holding the system.

The HD LCD display screen is bolstered with Victus Gorilla Glass for added scratch resistance / © NextPit

To extend the safety stage of the display screen, the edges of the Defy have a slight reduction in relation to the part, which ought to cut back the possibility of injury within the falls. In contrast to the unique Defy, the brand new mannequin doesn’t have covers for the USB-C or headphone ports, and brings an extra gap that lets you use keychains, straps, charms, or different equipment with the smartphone (a strap accompanied the overview unit).Evidently, the reinforcement of the smartphone has elevated significantly, therefore doing the identical to the dimensions and weight of the Defy in relation to the already massive Moto G9 Play, tipping the scales at 232 grams. That is near double of what the Defy weighed in 2010 at 118 grams. The scale virtually requires you to make use of it with two arms. As well as, the place of the buttons leaves the amount controls and the programmable button out of attain for many who are used to holding the telephone by the underside.TL:DR: Regardless of the modest specs, there’s nothing incorrect with Defy’s display screen, which provides good visibility underneath most conditions. The Gorilla Victus glass can also be welcome, though the one draw back is maybe the thick bezels across the display screen, which can be justified by the bolstered safety. The resistance “therapy” helps with the system’s grip, however alternatively, it will increase the amount and weight of the already massive Moto G9 Play.

How can we take a look at the sturdiness of a tool?
What I appreciated:
Water and dirt resistant (IP68)
Drop resistant (MIL-SPEC 810H)
Scratch resistant (Gorilla Glass Victus)
What I disliked:
Nothing (however testing out the drop resistance is horrifying!)
The spotlight of the Defy is certainly all of the Bullitt/Motorola endurance options. In a market the place many smartphones are already waterproof, even some with a foldable display screen, simply what sort of world can we reside in? 
The Defy’s key differentiators can be the presence of the Gorilla Glass Victus display screen that’s usually discovered solely on flagships, and the MIL-SPEC 810H certification for “excessive survival, vibration, and drop testing.”

No mother, I am unable to reply that proper now / © NextPit

As anticipated, the Defy quietly withstood an immersion in water for half-hour, albeit at a depth of simply 30cm. To check claims of its drop resistance, in the meantime, we dropped the system from round 1 to 1.7 metres. Spoiler alert: This video offers an thought of the system’s efficiency:

Apart from persevering with to operate usually, the system confirmed no harm to the display screen or casing. Only some scuffs from the ground marked the sq. aspect (the one that features the opening the place you slip in a allure or strap), plus tiny nicks at impression factors, that are disguised because of the opaque end of the case.I wasn’t in a position to take a look at the claims of its resistance to excessive temperatures and speedy temperature adjustments, however in line with the producer, the Defy is able to working in a spread between -25 and 55 levels Celsius. No level in asking one to make use of it in a chilly room…

Underperforming older rivals
The Defy (2021) is supplied with a Snapdragon 662 processor, 4 GB of RAM. Though the Snapdragon 662 SoC is not any efficiency champion, it’s nonetheless enough for on a regular basis duties. What I appreciated:What I disliked:
Outdated processor
The occasional lag in day by day use

The suitable button may be configured to launch apps and even to activate the flashlight, open notifications, and so on / © NextPit

Nonetheless, the 11 nm processor already exhibits indicators of age throughout use. There have been at the least two conditions when the Chrome browser confirmed short-term crashes for no obvious cause. Furthermore, the mannequin will not be solely behind smartphones just like the Galaxy A51 which has related {hardware} to the strong Galaxy XCover Professional, but additionally of the brand new crop of mid-range gadgets just like the Edge 20 that’s geared up with the Snapdragon 778G line. Within the latter case, there’s a efficiency distinction of virtually 7 instances within the 3DMark take a look at and twice in total processing:

Motorola Defy
Samsung Galaxy A51
Xiaomi Redmi Be aware 10
Motorola Edge 20

3DMark Wild Life

3DMark Wild Life stress take a look at
376 ~ 379
596 ~ 856
482 ~ 483
2.461 ~ 2.494

GeekBench 5 (single / multi)
314 / 1.354
348 / 1.265
527 / 1.653
768 / 2.776

PassMark RAM

PassMark Storage

At the least the Defy confirmed no indicators of overheating, exhibiting steady efficiency within the 3DMark stress take a look at (albeit low) and within the examined video games like Name of Obligation Cell or Free Hearth. Simply do not take into consideration taking part in on the highest high quality graphics to make sure a steady body rateTL:DR: The price-performance ratio will not be the power of the brand new Motorola Defy, inheriting configurations from a mannequin that was already uncompetitive with different mid-range smartphones in 2020, the Defy lags behind its direct rival, the Galaxy XCover Professional, which has been in the marketplace for already 20 months.

Primary smartphone digicam
The Defy’s digicam configuration adopts the well-known wide-angle/macro/depth recipe that could be very fashionable amongst entry-level smartphones. And the 48-, 2- and 2-megapixel resolutions, respectively, do not depart a lot room for any optimism. However how does the Defy fare in the actual world?What I appreciated:What I disliked:
Not a really versatile digicam configuration
Macro digicam is just about ineffective
Blurry photographs on the principle digicam

The triple digicam configuration does not excite anybody, identical to the unique Defy / © NextPit

The Defy of 2010 wasn’t precisely provide prime digicam efficiency, and it is not any completely different in 2021 both, which is most certainly attributed as one other Moto G9 Play affect.
The primary digicam pictures aren’t as sharp when reviewed at their authentic measurement, with an inclination to melt or barely blur the picture.
At the least the colour replica appears to be like pure, avoiding exaggerations in shade saturation that some producers use in processing.As what would usually occur with high-resolution sensors, every pixel is the results of combining 4 factors of the sensor, producing a 12-megapixel (4000 x 3000 pixels) picture.

Principal digicam (12 MP)

Principal digicam (12 MP)

Principal digicam (12 MP)

Defy contains just one macro digicam as an additional lens, moreover the depth sensor. The two-megapixel decision of the macro sensor ends in images with out sufficient definition for prints, nevertheless it is likely to be sufficient for sharing on prompt messaging apps or social networks.The Night time Imaginative and prescient night time mode requires the usage of a tripod or very regular arms to work nicely. The sensor captures 4 seconds of photographs earlier than processing the recorded photograph. Personally, I discovered the outcome to be a bit too gentle, however the characteristic at the least manages to point out objects that will be hidden within the shadows if it have been disabled. With or with out Night time Imaginative and prescient, nevertheless, the low gentle images make the principle digicam’s limitations by way of sharpness much more noticeable.

Principal digicam (night time mode on)

Principal digicam (night time mode off)

Macro (2 MP)

As for selfies, the outcomes with the entrance digicam have been higher than I anticipated, with a natural-looking outcome even when the mannequin does not cooperate, and particularly with out the exaggerated post-processing discovered on some gadgets, as with the Moto G30. The portrait mode additionally labored nicely, with a slight blur across the ear and masks straps.

Selfie (8 MP, commonplace mode)

Selfie (portrait mode)

TL:DR: The digicam configuration that was inherited from a base mannequin exhibits off its limitations on the Defy, with the extra 2-megapixel sensors mainly serving to make up the numbers on the rear. Principal digicam pictures are completely usable for sharing on social networks, however not a lot for prints or enlargements. Selfies, alternatively, turned out higher than anticipated, with sharp images and no synthetic pores and skin smoothing.

Massive battery, however solely 20W charging pace
The battery and charging system is one key space the place Bullitt might have differentiated the Defy from the Moto G9. The smartphone has retained the 5,000 mAh battery and a most charging energy of 20 Watts.What I appreciated:
Good battery life
Charger is included (20 W)
What I disliked:
Charging not as quick as I might have appreciated;
Battery will not be detachable for the sort of smartphone
No wi-fi charging help

With average use, the Defy simply lasted greater than two days of autonomy, which isn’t stunning in a tool with HD decision, intermediate processor and beneficiant battery capability.
As a reference, the system recorded 18h13min within the PCMark Battery Life take a look at, which simulates a steady processing battery between 80 and 20% load of the system.When it comes time to cost, nevertheless, it exhibits the age of the design. A full recharge takes about two hours. 5 minutes within the socket with the 20 W TurboPower charger was sufficient for 4 to five p.c cost, 20 minutes yielded 20 to 23 p.c capability, and one hour left the battery with about 63 p.c cost.

Along with the USB-C port, the underside contains the speaker (with muffled playback) and gap to slip in a strap / © NextPit

A element that will not matter to most individuals, is the truth that the battery will not be detachable, one thing that its direct competitor, the Samsung Galaxy XCover provides. This is likely to be a focal point for firms which can be searching for a smartphone for his or her on-site groups.TL:DR: Good battery life might be one of many Defy’s highlights, sporting greater than sufficient juice to final you the entire day. The wired charging system wired is the well-known TurboPower from Motorola, which might be thought-about as a promoting level in its early days, nevertheless it has since fallen behind by way of charging speeds when in comparison with smartphones from the likes of Oppo, OnePlus, Xiaomi, Vivo, and so on.

Technical specs and different data
I checklist different factors which will curiosity the NextPit neighborhood, however will not be value further paragraphs beneath:

The Motorola Defy contains NFC help and is suitable with Google Pay for proximity funds
After resetting the up to date handset, the working system indicated 20.36 GB of used house
The packaging of the overview unit included the 20 W charger, a charging cable, a SIM tray opening device, and a strap
The software program model throughout the take a look at was QZD30.57 (June 2021)
Bullitt/Motorola guarantees 2 years of safety updates for the system, which on the time of overview had Android 10 as the present working system model

Technical specs

Motorola Defy (2021 / XT2803-9)

Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 (Jan/2020)11 nm (Samsung 11LPP)4x Kryo 260 Gold (Cortex-A73) @ 2.0 GHz4x Kryo 260 Silver (Cortex-A53) @ 1.8 GHz

4 / 64 GBExpandable with micro SD card

6.5-inch LCD720 x 1600 pixels (HD+)60 HzGorilla Glass Victus

Digital camera
48 MP primary digicam | f/1.82 MP Macro2 MP depth sensor8 MP Selfie

5,000 mAh20W wired charging

Bluetooth 5.0 | NFC | WiFi 5 (11ac) | 4G

169.8 x 78.2 x 10.9mm

232 grams

Particular Options
IP68 and MIL-SPEC 810H licensed

Working System
Android 10 (improve to Android 11 introduced)2 years of safety patches

Black and inexperienced

€329not obtainable in the USA


Backside line: What’s the Motorola Defy’s goal market?

The Motorola Defy 2021 is a curious smartphone, which tries to experience on the nostalgia think about a really small group of individuals, fairly not like the large fanbase that the Razr or the retro Nokias had. To complicate issues additional, it was launched in a market that already has attention-grabbing choices from Samsung and Bullitt, an organization that developed rugged variations of Motorola/Lenovo gadgets, aside from the lately launched Nokia XR20.
Whereas the CAT and Galaxy XCover gadgets are positioned extra for enterprise use, the Defy doesn’t appear to be a great resolution for them, with the promise of solely two years of safety updates, and doesn’t include a detachable battery possibility discovered within the XCover (which additionally contains the choice of charging through Pogo pins). The XCover is even coated (pardon the pun) by Samsung’s 4-year safety replace coverage, making it considerably just like Nokia’s XR20 (which nonetheless provides 3 years of guarantee and three years of system updates).

The Defy 2021 is even harder than the unique, however specs are much less aggressive in relation to the market / © NextPit

The Defy’s promotional supplies place an emphasis on excessive sports activities, and maybe this positioning explains the strap included within the packaging. Nevertheless, that is the exact same viewers that made GoPro (and DJI) a fortune, leaving the impression that the digicam might have acquired extra consideration from producers, even when it was an ultra-wide-angle lens rather than the superfluous macro digicam.
All in all, the launch announcement appeared to point that the brand new Defy is absolutely focusing on most people who normally lose their gadgets to accidents each day. However on this case, the really useful retail worth of €329 in Europe is virtually double that of the Moto G9 Play or G30, which can make it extra advantageous to purchase one of many fashions talked about with a canopy and maybe an insurance coverage coverage in opposition to accidents.
And it is this discrepancy between fundamental specs with a mid-range sticker price ticket that docks factors from the Defy 2021, despite the fact that it is cheaper than its sturdy rivals from Samsung and Nokia in Europe. There’s nothing incorrect with the system, however to attraction to most people, it might have to have a worth that matches its specs. That is one thing that the Defy of 2010 had and which was the explanation that made me purchase it ten years in the past.

Motorola Defy (2021)
To system database

Motorola Defy (2021)