When the Motorola MotoDefy landed on my desk for review, I was a bit busy with My Digital Life, so I passed it onto someone who could get a review up sooner than me. But I had some free time afterwards and the Motorola guys let me play with it for a bit.

I’ve reviewed Android handsets before, and know what to expect. I’m not a fan of Android on a tablet and think it’s more suited for mobile phone, because it’s more personal.

The phone is light and slim, and fits comfortably in my palm. The 3.7-inch touchscreen is responsive, most notable when scrolling through the seven home screens.

One of the first things I did was remove the YouTube and Weather app shortcuts, so that it doesn’t eat my data. The very first time I played with an Android phone, I lost about R90 in two days because of feeds being pulled “in the background”.

As you know, Android requires a Google account to access Gmail, Gtalk, calendar, Marketplace, etc. I’m not big on using IM from a phone, so I don’t login to Gtalk, unless I’m testing a phone, which is only for a few minutes. I wouldn’t recommend it though; it just eats data and battery life.

I also haven’t used a Motorola phone before and I think, like I did with the Samsung Wave, that the hardware cannot be faulted. Android is what makes this phone what it is, and frankly why Motorola is still making phones. It runs on Android 2.1. Also, you need to remember, it isn’t a high-end smartphone, but a mid-level one (also, shouldn’t be compared with high-end phones as such).

They got the looks right, with it being light and I like that the phone doesn’t slip from your hand. It sort of “grips” into your hand.

The handset comes with MotoBlur, Motorola’s interface for the handset, just like the HTC Sense for HTC handsets. It is social network oriented and pulls your social feeds (email, news & weather included) all in one place. You need to create an account to use MotoBlur.

The phone has a decent 5-megapixel camera as well as camcorder, which isn’t too fancy – good enough to upload and share on social networks.

What I didn’t like about the phone is that the charging slot and 3.5mm jack is covered, and each time you need to use it, you have to uncover it. Can be a bit of a bother, but it is there because it is water resistant.

The screen is resistant to scratches by a technology called “Gorilla Glass”. It’s nice if you have a tendency to knock things about, or if you’re just clumsy.

In conclusion, I’d say this is a very good mid-range smartphone and should preferably be taken out on a contract – you don’t want sky-high data charges especially if it’s not controlled.

Technical specifications can be found on the Motorola website.