• Boldly go: Our Motorola DEFY PRO review

    Our very own Sabesh just finished his review of the Motorola DEFY PRO:

    The Motorola Defy Pro brings an interesting set of features to the party: Moderately water, dust & shock-proof and good QWERTY keyboard. It runs Android 2.3 with Motorola's MotoBlur overlay.

    It's keyboard rivals that of the Blackberry Bold 9900 and is a pleasure to use. They keys are even shaped in a similar fashion. The keys don't "click" as much as the 9900, but do have a good feedback. The physical keyboard even supports Auto complete! One caveat though: The centre pad is a directional button, not a scroll pad like that of the Bold 9900.
    Specification highlights:

    • Dimensions: 110 x 66 x 12 mm.
    • Weight: 115 g.
    • Screen: 320 x 480 pixels, 2.7 inches (~214 ppi pixel density).
    • Expansion: microSD slot, 2GB included.
    • Camera: 5 MP,with Autofocus & LED flash.
    • CPU: 1 Ghz.
    • Additional features: Compass, Proximity sensor, Accelerometer, FM Radio, GPS with A-GPS, Quickbooks, Gorilla glass.

    My first impression was that it looked a slightly less sharp, compared to the 9900 and Telus's HTC Status. However, I realized that this is a phone that can be bought outright for $275 and has features that its rivals don't have. The UI has no latency, as the 1 Ghz CPU with 512mb RAM is quite adequate for most applications.

    It's geared towards business users with the following included: Meeting app, Citrix, a stellar email app and Quickbooks for dealing with office documentation. These are augmented by useful widgets like frequent contacts & frequently used apps. A neat feature is the Dock: It retracts when leaving the home screen and is re-engaged by touch. The physical finish is perfect for office environments.

    Battery life is outstanding, compared to the HTC Status and certainly better than that of the Bold 9900. I can safely go 12-15 hours without re-charging the battery. This is such a relief, after dealing with a mass of juice-sucking Android devices. There's no memory leak, as in the HTC Status. Hence, it's safe to update Apps and not worry about losing storage space.

    I took a risk and carried this phone along with my keys in the same pocket. Not a single scratch or mark on it! I splashed some water on it. No issues. This thing is a tank. Mind you, it's not as tough as a Sonim phone, but should be good for most of us to use without worrying about damaging it.

    Oh, did I mention the speaker? It's LOUD. I have it at about 50% and can hear it perfectly in most situations. Motorola has designed the speaker to be heard in loud areas (construction sites etc).

    The camera is average. It takes good pictures, but AF is slow. The pictures have adequate details and their dynamic range is good.

    It plays most games well, like Angry birds. But slows down with larger games. Browsing on the Defy Pro is good and I didn't run into any sites that it could not handle: Your mileage may vary.

    My biggest issue with this phone (and the HTC Status), is that it doesn't display some apps in correct orientation. Apps like "Speedtest" have to be viewed holding the phone at a 90 degree angle. This makes it cumbersome to operate these apps. I suspect that this has to do more with lazy app developers, rather than Motorola.


    Blackberry keyboard devices finally have a serious competitor. The Defy Pro, with an awesome keyboard coupled with included business software, is a compelling device for existing Blackberry Bold users. I can see a few Bold users switching to the Defy Pro. There's nothing quite like it in the market right now, due to it's ruggedized feature set. It looks good, and is quite small. What's there not to like?


    • Small and stylish.
    • Outstanding physical keyboard.
    • $275 outright price-point.
    • Moderately water, dust & shock-proof.
    • Business apps included.
    • Outstanding battery life.
    • Loud speaker.
    • Speedy for this class of phone.
    • Useful widgets.


    • Have to view some apps sideways.
    • Camera AF is slow.

    Additional pictures:

    This article was originally published in forum thread: Boldly go: Our Motorola DEFY PRO review started by howard View original post
    Comments 6 Comments
    1. bubble.tea's Avatar
      bubble.tea -
      EGAD!!!!!!! Took me a second to realize that wasn't a BB. WTF., how do these guys get away with copying each others styles so hard. Or have they always done it, but Apple was the only one who threw the biggest tantrum and SACKED Samsung for infringing on their patents lol??

      From the QWERTY rows x3, it is a spitting image of the 9000 keyboard lol. I couldn't believe it. The curvature, the chrome accents. Way2Go Motorola.
    1. TheGodfather's Avatar
      TheGodfather -
      I bought a bunch of these for work and the only thing i hate is the back cover. That slide lock mechanism is so cheap looking and is really poorly implemented.

      Other than that these things are brilliant for people who use Google Apps and are coming from a Blackberry.
    1. Guest 332's Avatar
      Guest 332 -
      Thanks for the comment and the review

      Sent from my BlackBerry 9790 using Tapatalk
    1. quickbrownfox's Avatar
      quickbrownfox -
      I really, really wanted to like this phone but just couldn't.

      To me, the Bold 9900 looks like a fairly premium device, but the Moto feels like a boring workhouse kind of phone. This is probably because the Moto was made to be more ruggedized, while the 9900 comes standard with a holster to protect it. I didn't find it stylish at all.

      Second, the keyboard feels nowhere near as good as the Bold's to my fingers. The Moto's key feel is kind of mushy and doesn't have as nice positive click feel like the BlackBerry so it slows down your typing slightly because you aren't as confident of your key hits. The 9900 has by far the best keyboard I've ever used on a mobile device.

      In the review, the 1GHz CPU of the Moto was given as a plus, but the Bold has just as fast a processor and the same amount of memory IIRC. There is seldom any lag on the Bold in scrolling and navigation whereas I felt the Motorola occasionally stuttered. OTOH, the 9900 does occasionally display a spinning clock (but at least you get a clock; in Gingerbread you get freezes with no idea what's going on).

      Just like the Moto, and very unlike some HTC's I've tried (and my daily driver is an HTC Desire), I found the radio and calling performance of the BlackBerry to be very good. I find I can usually get better signal with old school phone makers like Nokia, Motorola and RIM than on Samsung/HTC/LG devices. The same goes for hardware related to call quality like speakers and microphones.

      I'm also kind of surprised to see battery life be a plus of the Motorola compared to the 9900. When it first came out it had some battery issues, but with current firmware I was getting around the same 15 hours per charge. And since BBOS allows you to schedule a power off during the night, I was getting just short of a day and a half usage (e.g. from 8am until after work the next day).

      finally the screen on the BlackBerry is far better. It's 640x480 compared to the 480x320 on the Motorola. And the 9900 screen is viewable in sunlight (I'm guessing they are using a transflective screen?)

      The one thing the Motorola has going for it over the BlackBerry IMO is the price. BlackBerry's are currently hugely over-priced compared to the competition.
    1. Kspecial's Avatar
      Kspecial -

      Does this phone have the proper bands for 3G/4G in the US (AT&T, TMo)?
    1. Guest 332's Avatar
      Guest 332 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Kspecial View Post

      Does this phone have the proper bands for 3G/4G in the US (AT&T, TMo)?
      Yes for att but not for t mobile ( if you are not in the 1900 mhz 3g area )

      Sent from my BlackBerry 9790 using Tapatalk