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Review: Motorola Defy

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The Motorola Defy uses the stock Android Web browser. It's a fine browsing app, and Web pages looked great on the phone, usually identical to their desktop counterparts. Most pages would display their full desktop version, but a few, including the New York Times, would only offer their mobile rendition on the Android browser. This is true for even the newest and most advanced Android phones on the market. Still, sites like CNN and our own PhoneScoop homepage came through just fine and looked great.

The browser was also plenty responsive to touch navigation. I flicked my way around long pages with little lag or delay. The browser was one of the more responsive features on the phone, when it came to touch input.

The Motorola Defy does come with Flash Lite 3.1 installed, but this is an inferior version of Flash, and it still leaves plenty of holes in the Web browsing experience. Videos on CNN refused to recognize Flash Lite as a Flash player, and when I did find Flash videos that would play, playback was choppy and unwatchable. The phone barely has the graphical power to run the Android interface and menus, so clearly Flash is out of the question.



Motorola's Motoblur interface offers extensive customization options on top of the already extensible Android OS. I'm a fan of the Motoblur widgets. I think Motorola has done great work with resizable widgets that adapt and change depending on how much screen real estate you give them. I also like some of the simple fixes Motorola has made. For instance, when you drag a Motorola widget on top of an existing object on the desktop, the object simply moves out of the way. On a stock Android build, you have to perform some real gymnastics to line up a full screen of apps how you like. On Motoblur, the process is much more adaptable and intuitive.

There are also a couple of surprising extras for customizing the Motorola Defy. You can adjust the phone's performance, switching from a power saving mode to a higher performance mode. I tested the phone mostly in the high performance mode, and I was able to eke out a day of battery life, though the performance was still unimpressive. You can also adjust the sound quality during phone calls. You can choose a more bass-heavy sound, or a brighter, more treble-rich sound, or something in between.


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