by George Heymann

Preview: Motorola Launches Defy Mini and MOTOLUXE Android Phones

By Simon Drew

The Droid RAZR launched at the end of 2011 saw Motorola getting stuck into the mobile phone market, offering the first handset in several months to offer something comparable to the Galaxy S2, which was the biggest selling phone of the year. Now, less than a week into 2012, Motorola is announcing two new phones to join its Android range.

The MOTOLUXE and Defy Mini are not quite as high end or impressive as the RAZR but still have plenty to make them appealing handsets to many people. The MOTOLUXE has all of the style of phones like the RAZR, but will be available with some much more affordable mobile phone deals thanks to some streamlined hardware features.

It has a less powerful 800MHz processor, which may feel a bit behind the times for a phone running Android Gingerbread, but it still offers a decent amount of competence for running apps from Android Market and general web browsing. It also has a nice 4 inch screen with WVGA resolution which is pretty unusual for a phone of this price bracket.

he Motorola DEFY MINI (left) and the Motorola MOTOLUXE (right). Image: Motorola Mobility

The most interesting feature of this phone is its lanyard display, which will glow a different color when you receive a message, email or missed call. This can alert you to pick up your phone if you have placed it down and not noticed the new message or call. This sort of feature used to feature quite a lot on old flip-phones, as it allowed the devices to display information on the exterior without the phone needing to be opened. In an age when most smartphones will turn their screens of when not in use, it is a wonder why not many other manufacturers have thought of reviving this feature.

The Defy Mini is the follow on from 2010’s rugged phone, the Motorola Defy. This was one of the first phones to put rugged principles into a smartphone – as rugged features were until then reserved for basic handset designs. The Defy Mini is resistant to dust and water, can be held under water for a substantial amount of time without breaking and can also be dropped on the floor without smashing into pieces.

As it is a smaller device than the original Defy, much of the hardware is fairly similar to the original. It comes with the same processor and connectivity features, although it does have a more modern version of Android (Gingerbread), superior battery life but a less impressive 3 megapixel camera.

Both of these phones make use of MotoSwitch, which evolved out of the earlier MotoBlur social networking interface. MotoSwitch will display contacts on your phone’s home screen and add more prominence to people you interact with the most. This can make it easier to make contact with your nearest and dearest. A simple idea, but one that makes using your phone so much more enjoyable. The phones are due to be released in Europe, China and Latin America in the coming weeks, but Motorola has not yet specified how much mobile phone deals will cost for each of the phones.


Filed under: Android, General technology, Hardware, Preview, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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