In 2010 Motorola launched a tough phone called the Defy, and now in 2021 the Motorola Defy is back, this time built with the assistance of rugged phone experts Bullitt. It’s the first phone to come from a brand new global, long-term strategic partnership between the two brands. Motorola you’re probably familiar with, but if Bullitt is a new name to you, it has specialized in making tough phones for a decade, for brands like Cat and Land Rover.
The Motorola Defy fits right in with Bullitt’s expertise. It’s designed to meet the demands of highly active people who enjoy activities where fragile tech easily gets broken, people who work in difficult environments, and of course, the chronic phone-droppers among us. Motorola and Bullitt have gone all-out to ensure the phone survives any unfortunate incidents.
It’s wrapped in a textured, dual-layer case made from rubberized TPU and has been built to meet the latest military test, MIL-STD-810H. This means it survives falls from up to 1.8 meters in height; will resist heat, cold, vibration, salt, and humidity; and passed what’s referred to as “tumble tests,” where it’s dropped from a meter height 100 times in quick succession. It also has an IP68 water and dust resistance rating.
What’s clever about the dual-layer case is that even if the outer section gets scratched or damaged, provided the inner layer stays intact, so will the water and dust resistance, giving you a true extra layer of protection. The structure has been reinforced to withstand twisting and bending, the screen is covered with Gorilla Glass Victus, and the whole phone is washable with soap, alcohol, or even bleach. The team put all this to the test in the real world, in scenarios ranging from an off-road expedition in a 4×4 to dropping the phone in the toilet, to make sure it performs as it should.
As you’d expect, the phone is heavy at 232 grams and thick at 10.9mm. It comes in two colors, Forged Green and black, plus there’s a lanyard strap on the body for additional security. What about the tech side? It’s a midrange phone under the tough body, with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 processor, 4GB of RAM, a 4G modem, and 64GB of internal memory. The triple camera has a 48-megapixel main camera and a pair of 2MP cameras for macro and depth efforts.
Unfortunately, Motorola and Bullitt have settled on launching the Defy with Android 10 and have said an update to Android 11 will arrive in the coming months. It won’t receive an update to Android 12, but it will get two years of general updates and three years of security updates. Finally, there’s a 5,000mAh battery inside, with Motorola’s TurboPower fast charge system.
The Motorola Defy will be released before the end of June in the U.K. and Europe, with Latin America to follow. It’s priced at 279 British pounds, or about $390. When asked about a North American release, Motorola and Bullitt told Digital Trends there were no specific plans for the Defy but said we should watch this space, indicating a different but similar device may be released in the future. In the meantime, we have a list of the best rugged phones you can buy here.