Having tested two different models of Defy, I thought I knew what to expect from the Mini, but I was wrong.
Gone is the high-resolution screen that typified the other models, instead, this is decidedly average in all regards.
Where the Defy had an 800MHz processor, this has 600MHz, and where the Defy had 480 x 854 resolution, this scrapes in 320 x 480. It results in a sluggish and relatively unresponsive phone - certainly the most unresponsive at this price. You’ll notice the wait before each app loads and when transitioning between settings screens.
Not only that, but the 3.2in screen lacks a little in brightness. It’s slightly nicer to look at than our current favourite phone under $200, the Vodafone Smart II, and it has smoother fonts, but you’d really have to see them side by side to spot it.
The Defy’s main claim to fame is it’s ruggedness. But unlike the Samsung Xcover
, the Defy Mini isn’t IP67 rated, though it does offer water, dust and scratch resistance. All ports have plastic covers, and there’s a sturdy lock for the back panel. Motorola has also included “outdoor apps”, though this mostly consists of a torch and compass. One nice touch is a dedicated camera button - great for those moments when you’re wearing gloves outdoors.
The camera is a decent-quality 3.2MP, with an LED flash.
Finally, there’s a DLNA server, one of its few nods to a premium-style phone. The other is its substantial battery, which makes the phone last well over a day with light data use.
Overall, I’m almost regretting the poor score I gave the Samsung Xcover a couple of months back, if this is all Motorola has to offer to replace the ageing Defy. Look for the original, while it’s still around, if you need ruggedness at a discount. Or spend more and get the rather nice Defy XT