Motorola’s Defy phones have been a success with those looking for a robust, water and dust-resistant Android handset. Until recently, that has been the only option in the market at its price. Motorola has now come up with a new variant called the Defy XT, which isn’t exactly a replacement for the Defy+ but more of an alternative if you didn’t fancy the design and look of the old one. The XT has the same IP67 durability certification as the old one and is very similar in terms of features as well. Let’s see if there are enough reasons to pick this over the existing Defy+.
Design and Build
The Defy XT535 has received some slight design tweaks and is now lighter at 115g and a bit slimmer as well at 11.9mm. The design also looks a lot more elegant as compared to the rugged look of the old phone, so this would appeal to a broader audience. The DEFY XT stands out especially when it comes to durability. It is IP67 certified, which means it’s very capable of following you underwater. Of course that certification means it’s water resistant only up to about 1 meter and for about 30 minutes, so no deep-sea diving, please. This also means it can keep dust at bay. Its rugged shell and Corning Gorilla Glass display ensure that your handset is safe from the elements, keeping your phone totally safe in this monsoon season.
Will appeal to a larger audience
Connectivity includes a headphone jack and a microUSB port, both of which are covered with rubber caps. Physical buttons include a power switch and volume rocker. On the rear, we have the 5MP camera and a flash. The microSD card slot is hot-swappable and you can expand the phone's capacity to 32GB. Overall, the Defy XT is a much more pleasing phone, not only to look at but also to hold, as compared to its predecessor. The lighter weight and slimmer body are nice bonuses as well.
Fairly slim and lightweight
We tested the handset in a jar of water. We left it there, switched on for quite some time, and even sent it messages and calls. After about 25 minutes, we checked the handset and it was working just fine with no issues. On removing the rear panel, which has its own locking system, there was just a little bit of moisture in areas that could damage the handset. The battery, SIM, memory card and another major components were bone dry.
The Defy XT still runs on Gingerbread 2.3 so if you were expecting ICS, then tough luck. Motorola has skinned the UI heavily with a whole new look and feel. This has taken a toll on performance and despite the 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon SoC, the phone interface is not at all responsive. The UI and icon set chosen are very nice though and much better than LG’s implementation. You can sort the apps according to ‘Recent’, ‘Downloaded’ or you can just create your own group. You can have a total of seven home screens if needed.
Interface looks good
The 3.7-inch screen size has remained the same along with its resolution of 480 x 854. Images and text do appear sharp and clear and there aren’t any visible banding issues either. Legibility in sunlight is also pretty good.
Motorola has integrated TuneWiki and ShoutCast radio in the media player so other than listening to your own music, you can even stream music, share what you’re listening to with others, etc. There’s no equalizer preset unfortunately so the sound quality can’t be tweaked. It’s pretty good by itself, but we wished the volume level was a bit higher.
Media option could have been better
The video player can only handle 480p MP4 videos. Moboplayer can extend the format support but you won’t be able to play 720p video.
The Defy XT535 is a quad-band GSM phone with full support for 3G as well. You have enough storage room for all your media and apps. With regards to connectivity for those on the go, the DEFY XT has plenty to offer. It’s equipped with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth with A2DP support, and USB 2.0 for starters. Wi-Fi capabilities have been enhanced with Wi-Fi direct, DLNA for media streaming, and Wi-Fi hotspot functionality so you can share its 3G connection.
Browser is a bit slow despite the 1GHz CPU
There are plenty of extra apps like DashBoard, FileBrowser, Lantern, Media See, MediaServer, NotePad, RingMode, Quickoffice Lite and RingMode.
The 5MP camera is lifted straight from the previous Defy+, which wasn’t that great to begin with so the same story continues with the new XT as well. You have all your standard tweaking options like scene modes, etc. but the picture quality is below average. Even in good lighting conditions, photos lack a lot of detail and there’s a lot of noise seen in dark areas. The flash doesn’t really help much either and simply overexposes the subject if it’s a macro, else it’s too weak to illuminate a small area.
Camera is just not up to the mark
Video recording maxes out at 480p. The video quality is pretty average as well so nothing to shout about over here. There is now also a front facing VGA camera for video calling, something that was missing from the Defy and Defy+.
The DEFY XT is very capable of providing users with a better than average battery life. You’ll easily get a full day’s usage out of this handset without a charge required unless you’re consuming Wi-Fi or videos more frequently than anything else. But you’re assured at least a full work day. For some reason, Motorola has fitted a slightly smaller capacity battery in the Defy XT; 1650mAh instead of the standard 1700mAh.
Verdict and Price in India
You can find the Motorola Defy XT535 for Rs.15,000 which makes it a bit expensive, especially since it’s not all that different from the Defy+ (which is now cheaper) apart from the front facing camera. Also, there are better phones in this price range such as the Sony Erccisson Live with Walkman, which might have a smaller screen but is a lot better in terms of performance. This is still one of the cheaper IP67 certified phones in the market but the overall performance and features is quite a let-down, so we wouldn’t really recommend you buy this.
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