The Defy Mini is a physically sturdy smartphone that lives up to Motorola's "life proof" boasts, but at the cost of usability and performance. Packing a low-end 600MHz single-core processor and a 3MP camera means the device's solid battery and robust design simply aren't enough to justify its £150 SIM-free price tag.
Strong and sturdy, reasonable battery
Design is ugly and uncomfortable in hand, poor camera and slow processor, overpriced
Processor: 600 MHz single-core
Display: 3.2in 480x320 resolution
Storage: 120MB embedded Flash memory
Camera: 3-megapixel camera
Connectivity: GSM/HSDPA, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1
Operating system: Android 2.3 Gingerbread
The Motorola Defy Mini is an almost indestructible handset that compromises performance in the name of durability, with some of its specifications outdated by 2012's standards.
Design and build
In terms of design the Defy Mini is very pocket friendly, weighing in at 107g and measuring just 109x59x12.5mm, so the unit lives up to its 'Mini' billing, while it's available in slate and tangerine and black colours.
Where Motorola hopes to sell the device is on the "life proof" design seen on previous Defy handsets.
The handset is water resistant and capable of taking more physical punishment than regular smartphones. Unsurprisingly, the Defy Mini feels clunky, with its micro-USB and headphone inputs being covered with rubber plugs that noticeably stick out.
Unfortunately the same is also true of the Mini's buttons as they stick out awkwardly of the chassis, with the camera shortcut and volume controls along its right side and a power button on top.
The effect is to make it surprisingly uncomfortable to hold for such a small device.
The four capacitive buttons that line the Mini's base are equally disappointing, feeling unresponsive and regularly requiring multiple presses before recognising commands.
The Mini's 3.2 inch display is also underwhelming with the HVGA 480x320 resolution, Gorilla glass coated screen, often looking blurry and the colours washed out.
The one good thing about the Mini's design, though, is that it lives up to Motorola's "life proof" claims.
In our time with the device we dropped it, spilled coffee on it and even slammed the unit into the corner of our desk, and yet despite our punishment the Mini remained unscathed.