Motorola Defy Pro XT 560
This phone caught my attention for the usual reason, it has a keyboard and is a berry like form factor. Motorola has tried this on a number of unsuccessful ventures. The Motorola Droid Pro Global being the latest. They can’t seem to get it right. This time around the device is a “ruggedized” device intended to be more resilient to drops and water. This is of interest to me because my daughter like most teens is hard on her phone. I’ve also played with and reviewed the LG Gossip Pro which is also of a similar form factor.
Physicals are good and the device is light and feels good in the hard. Much more balanced than the Droid Pro. It feels and looks very professional. Very, well, Blackberry like. In fact it is so similar in size my case for teh Blackberry 8830 fits it perfectly. The D-Pad is a little awkward and doesn’t come easily. You push the button once to move up, down, left or right and in the center to select. The touchscreen is sensitive and durable with gorilla glass up front to add to the durability of this device. I did find sliding on the screen not as responsive as on other devices. Almost like you have to push as you slide. The screen itself is bright and crisp albeit small. Android and the apps adapt reasonably well to the unusually shaped and sized screen. Some occasional aps end up rotating the screen due to the aspect ratio. The earphone plug as well as the micro USB charging port both have rubber covers that I can’t imagine lasting long. These are all part of the water resistance of the device.
The battery compartment houses the SIM card (normal SIM not a nano) under the battery as well as the uSD slot. You can not change the card without powering off the device. Removing the back cover to get at things is easy. The back feels a bit plasticy and cheap but that’s nit picking.
Motorola has included a message light (yay! Samsung please spend the 2 cents, I miss it sooo much) but oddly it is blue for new messages whether text or Mail. I find it small, hard to see and I miss being able to tell if it’s a text or a email by looking at it. The same LED is used to indicate the phone is charging and then is solid on when fully charged. All in all poorly implemented, but welcome none the less.
As always the inability to change the font size is the major limitation to this device. My eyes aren’t what they use to be and reading this screen without glasses is just impossible (for me). This can’t be my everyday device. If I rooted it I could change the font size, but stuck at Android 2.3.7 this device is not going to be able to get around this font issue any time soon. Increasing font size also messes menues up and the like. With a single core 1G processor the future of this device is anything but certain. For a complete list of specs checkout PDA DB.net. The completeuser manal is online too if you want to read. I was interested to see how lively it felt, I’ve been living on dual core devices for over a year now. It actually feels quite responsive.
The keyboard feels pretty good. There’s an almost rubber feel to the keys, they are placed well, laid out well and have positive feel as you press them. The Settings/Home and back/search are shared where you push up for one and down the the other. Not great but you can get use to it. Pressing the Phone button brings up the dialer and pressing the hang up button seems to take you home. When typing you get auto correct suggestions along the bottom although the font is VERY small.
The dock on the bottom of the screen is customizable something Samsung doesn’t allow. The dock even disappears when not on the center home screen. You can easily bring it back by dragging back up. Nicely done. The app menu can be sorted alphabetically which is good but it doesn’t wrap around. Something Samsung does that I like.
There doesn’t seem to be a way to do video out, something I’ve been enjoying on my last few phones.
Video playback of a DIVX AVI and MP4 was good, smooth and the right layout for the screen.
Software load is good and next to no bloatware. The top notification line is roomy with lots of space. Something that is VERY limited on my Samsung.
I’ve never liked the Motorola Gallery ap. It sorts things by date with no options. The videos don’t even show the name. Yuk. The music ap is really plain with little fluff. One of the blandest I’ve seen to date. I’d be looking to WinAmp or some other alternative player.
The File browser is well done and functional. I think all Android phones ought to have something like this.
Speedtest.net shows 4Mb/s down on Rogers 3G which is comparable to other phones but only 385 K Vs 1M that I am use to seeing. Not great at all. Tethered is even worse with a paltry 465 K down and 217 M up. Ouch. This same upload speed slowness is even visible on WIFI. I have no idea why this may be. Unfortunately there’s no support for Bluetooth tethering that had in the past worked on other Motorola devices. Pooh. Oddly wireless is not one of this phone’s strong point 😦
Motorola have finally figured out how to make a Class 10 flash card work. Woohoo. Even the Motorola XT860 messed this up. Alas!
They have this new concept called Social Graph and Activity graph that attempts to keep a collection of tiles with recently used apps, contacts etc. For me this seems useless as this will change over time and the ability to make efficient use of it seems limited. Things changing position over time would cause efficiency issues for me.
Overall feel is VERY good for this device. And given the limitations of the hardware (single core) it performs VERY well.
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