HomeBlogREVIEWMotorola Defy evaluate: Nonetheless searching for a distinct segment

Motorola Defy evaluate: 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 accountable 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 included requirements like IP68?” That is what we attempt to discover out on this Motorola Defy evaluate.


  • 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
  • Giant and heavy
  • Thick bezels across the display screen
  • Android 10 (in September 2021!) and a pair 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 enchantment 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, in contrast to 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).

NextPit Motorola Defy water proof
Defy exhibits it isn’t messing round / © NextPit

To distinguish the mannequin from the G9 Play, the Bullitt group has strengthened all the 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 offered by the Bullitt group. We will solely hope that Motorola will announce the Defy in your house nation exterior of its common markets. 

Display and end: HD LCD and Gorilla Victus

For individuals who keep in mind the unique Defy, the scale 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 dimension 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 perimeters and rear to supply a safer grip.

What I favored:

  • End ensures grip with out leaving any fingerprints or stains
  • Gorilla Glass Victus, resistance certifications
  • Means that you can 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 depend 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 perimeters of Motorola through which it adopted the right angles. The plastic materials has been coated with a barely rubbery end, which can assist it keep away from choosing up fingerprints, whereas the slight texture on the again helps present a safe grip when holding the system.

NextPit Motorola Defy front camera
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 perimeters of the Defy have a slight reduction in relation to the element, which ought to cut back the prospect of harm within the falls. Not like the unique Defy, the brand new mannequin doesn’t have covers for the USB-C or headphone ports, and brings an extra gap that means that you can use keychains, straps, charms, or different equipment with the smartphone (a strap accompanied the evaluate unit).

Evidently, the reinforcement of the smartphone has elevated significantly, therefore doing the identical to the scale and weight of the Defy in relation to the already giant 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 palms. As well as, the place of the buttons leaves the quantity 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 fallacious with Defy’s display screen, which gives good visibility beneath 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 “remedy” helps with the system’s grip, however then again, it will increase the quantity and weight of the already giant Moto G9 Play.

How can we check the sturdiness of a tool?

What I favored:

  • 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 frightening!)

The spotlight of the Defy is definitely all of the Bullitt/Motorola endurance options. In a market the place many smartphones are already water-proof, even some with a foldable display screen, simply what sort of world can we stay 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.”

Motorola Defy water 30min
No mother, I can not 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:

Aside from persevering with to operate usually, the system confirmed no injury to the display screen or casing. Just a few scuffs from the ground marked the sq. aspect (the one that features the outlet the place you slip in a appeal or strap), plus tiny nicks at influence factors, that are disguised due to the opaque end of the case.

I wasn’t in a position to check the claims of its resistance to excessive temperatures and speedy temperature modifications, however in response to 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 provided with a Snapdragon 662 processor, 4 GB of RAM. Though the Snapdragon 662 SoC isn’t any efficiency champion, it’s nonetheless ample for on a regular basis duties.

What I favored:

What I disliked:

  • Outdated processor
  • The occasional lag in each day use

NextPit Motorola Defy side
The precise 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 no less than two conditions when the Chrome browser confirmed short-term crashes for no obvious motive. 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 outfitted with the Snapdragon 778G line. Within the latter case, there’s a efficiency distinction of just about 7 instances within the 3DMark check and twice in general processing:


 Motorola DefySamsung Galaxy A51Xiaomi Redmi Be aware 10Motorola Edge 20
3DMark Wild Life3708534822.492
3DMark Wild Life stress check376 ~ 379596 ~ 856482 ~ 4832.461 ~ 2.494
GeekBench 5 (single / multi)314 / 1.354348 / 1.265527 / 1.653768 / 2.776
PassMark RAM13.12612.82918.645
PassMark Storage34.30934.82938634

At the least the Defy confirmed no indicators of overheating, exhibiting secure efficiency within the 3DMark stress check (albeit low) and within the examined video games like Name of Obligation Cell or Free Hearth. Simply do not take into consideration enjoying on the highest high quality graphics to make sure a secure body price

TL:DR: The associated fee-performance ratio will not be the energy 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 available on the market for already 20 months.

Primary smartphone digicam

The Defy’s digicam configuration adopts the well-known wide-angle/macro/depth recipe that may be very widespread amongst entry-level smartphones. And the 48-, 2- and 2-megapixel resolutions, respectively, do not go away a lot room for any optimism. However how does the Defy fare in the actual world?

What I favored:

What I disliked:

  • Not a really versatile digicam configuration
  • Macro digicam is just about ineffective
  • Blurry photographs on the primary digicam

NextPit Motorola Defy camera
The triple digicam configuration would 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 probably attributed as one other Moto G9 Play affect.
The principle digicam photographs aren’t as sharp when reviewed at their authentic dimension, with an inclination to melt or barely blur the picture.
At the least the colour replica seems pure, avoiding exaggerations in coloration 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.


Primary digicam (12 MP)

Primary digicam (12 MP)

Primary digicam (12 MP)

Defy consists of just one macro digicam as an additional lens, moreover the depth sensor. The two-megapixel decision of the macro sensor leads to photographs with out sufficient definition for prints, but it surely is perhaps sufficient for sharing on prompt messaging apps or social networks.

The Evening Imaginative and prescient evening mode requires the usage of a tripod or very regular palms to work nicely. The sensor captures 4 seconds of photographs earlier than processing the recorded photograph. Personally, I discovered the consequence to be a bit too mild, however the characteristic no less than manages to point out objects that may be hidden within the shadows if it have been disabled. With or with out Evening Imaginative and prescient, nevertheless, the low mild photographs make the primary digicam’s limitations when it comes to sharpness much more noticeable.


Primary digicam (evening mode on)

Primary digicam (evening mode off)

Macro (2 MP)

As for selfies, the outcomes with the entrance digicam have been higher than I anticipated, with a natural-looking consequence even when the mannequin would 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. Primary digicam photographs are completely usable for sharing on social networks, however not a lot for prints or enlargements. Selfies, then again, turned out higher than anticipated, with sharp photographs 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 favored:

  • Good battery life
  • Charger is included (20 W)

What I disliked:

  • Charging not as quick as I’d have favored;
  • Battery will not be detachable for the sort of smartphone
  • No wi-fi charging assist

With reasonable 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 check, 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 % cost, 20 minutes yielded 20 to 23 % capability, and one hour left the battery with about 63 % cost.

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

A element that won’t matter to most individuals, is the truth that the battery will not be detachable, one thing that its direct competitor, the Samsung Galaxy XCover gives. This is perhaps a focal point for firms which are 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 may very well be thought-about as a promoting level in its early days, but it surely has since fallen behind when it comes to charging speeds when in comparison with smartphones from the likes of Oppo, OnePlus, Xiaomi, Vivo, and so on.

Technical specs and different data

I listing different factors which will curiosity the NextPit group, however should not value extra paragraphs beneath:

  • The Motorola Defy consists of NFC assist and is appropriate 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 evaluate unit included the 20 W charger, a charging cable, a SIM tray opening instrument, and a strap
  • The software program model throughout the check was QZD30.57 (June 2021)
  • Bullitt/Motorola guarantees 2 years of safety updates for the system, which on the time of evaluate had Android 10 as the present working system model

Technical specs

 Motorola Defy (2021 / XT2803-9)
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 662 (Jan/2020)
11 nm (Samsung 11LPP)
4x Kryo 260 Gold (Cortex-A73) @ 2.0 GHz
4x Kryo 260 Silver (Cortex-A53) @ 1.8 GHz
Reminiscence4 / 64 GB
Expandable with micro SD card
Show6.5-inch LCD
720 x 1600 pixels (HD+)
60 Hz
Gorilla Glass Victus
Digital camera48 MP major digicam | f/1.8
2 MP Macro
2 MP depth sensor
8 MP Selfie
Battery5,000 mAh
20W wired charging
ConnectivityBluetooth 5.0 | NFC | WiFi 5 (11ac) | 4G
Dimensions169.8 x 78.2 x 10.9mm
Weight232 grams
Particular OptionsIP68 and MIL-SPEC 810H licensed
Working SystemAndroid 10 (improve to Android 11 introduced)
2 years of safety patches
ColoursBlack and inexperienced
not obtainable in the US


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

The Motorola Defy 2021 is a curious smartphone, which tries to journey on the nostalgia think about a really small group of individuals, fairly in contrast to the huge 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, other than the not too long ago launched Nokia XR20.

Whereas the CAT and Galaxy XCover gadgets are positioned extra for enterprise use, the Defy doesn’t appear to be a perfect 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 consists of the choice of charging by way of Pogo pins). The XCover is even lined (pardon the pun) by Samsung’s 4-year safety replace coverage, making it considerably just like Nokia’s XR20 (which nonetheless gives 3 years of guarantee and three years of system updates).

NextPit Motorola Defy display
The Defy 2021 is even more durable 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. Nonetheless, 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 instead of the superfluous macro digicam.

All in all, the launch announcement appeared to point that the brand new Defy is admittedly concentrating on most people who normally lose their gadgets to accidents every 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 primary specs with a mid-range sticker price ticket that docks factors from the Defy 2021, though it is cheaper than its sturdy rivals from Samsung and Nokia in Europe. There’s nothing fallacious with the system, however to enchantment to most people, it could 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.



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