Bottom line: It’s mostly a case of function over form with phones like the new Moto Defy, which also marks Motorola’s return to the ‘Defy’ series after a 9-year hiatus. This mid-ranger is the first addition to Motorola’s resurrected series and is built in partnership with Bullitt Group, the firm that makes CAT- and Land Rover-branded rugged phones for outdoorsy folk. The Moto Defy with its IP68 rating, MIL-spec 810H certification and Gorilla Victus display is launching in select European and Latin American markets for €329 / £279 ($387).
Dress the Moto G9 Play in tougher overalls and you get the new Moto Defy, a mid-ranger powered by Snapdragon’s 662 SoC with a sizeable 6.5-inch 720p display that’s now protected by Gorilla Glass Victus.
The Moto Defy comes with a dual-sealed housing and is IP68 rated for protection against harsh elements like sand, dust, dirt and humidity. Its 3.5mm jack and charging port are also waterproof, while the phone itself can be submerged in up to 1.5m / 5ft of water for 35 minutes.
It will also survive 1.8m / 6ft drops and has a structurally reinforced circuit board to secure it against vibrations and tumbles. While not something as extreme as the Samsung Galaxy S20 TE, the Moto Defy should withstand harsh weather, fumbles and coffee spills of everyday life.
Motorola says that 34 percent of consumers have either broken or damaged their phones in the last three years, making the Moto Defy a worthy proposition. Although it looks tempting with the toughened exterior and a 5,000mAh battery, some will be put off by its size, the last-gen (non-5G) chipset, 4GB/64GB microSD expandable storage and a mediocre camera system.
In terms of software, the Moto Defy ships with Android 10 (upgradeable to Android 11). Motorola also notes Android Enterprise level support, two years of security updates, and a 2-year warranty. The phone will be available in forged green and black colors when it launches in select markets over the coming weeks.