UPDATE: This "first impressions" review was written after a brief time with this smartphone. A more complete version is available here:
The Motorola Defy from T-Mobile is water and dust resistant, designed to keep up with even the most active of users. It offers Android OS 2.1, a 5 megapixel camera, and advanced MOTOBLUR for easy setup and access to social networking sites.
The Defy is currently available for $100 after a $50 mail-in rebate with a new two-year service contract with T-Mobile.
This smartphone just launched, so I've only had a short time to form some first impressions of it. A full review will be published in the near future.
BUILD & DESIGN
The Defy is one cool-looking phone. Even though it's mostly black, it has some unique features: the white band all around the sides of the device, the seven screws that secure the case and give the phone extra water resistance, and the fully covered ports.
I really like how it feels in my hand; the sides curve sharply away from the screen, so the Defy doesn't feel as thick or as wide as it measures. It should fit in the smallest of pockets and definitely won't weigh you down.
The display on this phone, a 3.7-inch FWVGA (854 X 480) touchscreen, is absolutely gorgeous. It's bright, sharp, and ultra-clear, with a level of detail that you'll notice immediately.
I was only able to try it out inside and for just a few minutes outside on a partly cloudy day; I'm not sure yet how readable the screen will be on a sunny day.
Also of note, the display is made of Gorilla Glass for extra scratch resistance. I haven't tested that aspect of the phone yet, but the idea of being able to go without a screen protector is an attractive one. There's nothing worse than a scratched-up display, but screen protectors can be difficult to install and tend to reduce the overall screen clarity of the device.
This Motorola model doesn't have a physical keyboard, instead relying on a virtual keyboard.
The Swype keyboard is on by default, and once you get the hang of it you can enter text very, very fast by swiping your finger along the screen instead of by tapping on each key individually. If you'd prefer, though, you can switch to a more standard one.
Other Buttons & Controls
The buttons on this phone aren't too obvious; since the Defy is water and dust resistant every port and access point is covered with a small flip around rubber cover. The headphone jack and power button are on the top edge of the phone, and the volume control button is on the right. The charge/sync port is on the left side of the phone, and those are the only buttons aside from the usual menu/home/back/search buttons on the front of the device, under the display.
The SIM card slot and the microSD card slot are both located on the back of the device, underneath the battery.
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