I am not a huge fan of touch-screen smartphones but if you want a modern mobile phone (cell phone) then you are basically going to have to get a touch-screen smartphone; and there are hundreds to pick from. It all depends what you are looking for.
In my case I wanted something that was really good at being a phone. You know … to use to make phone calls with. I have no interest in browsing the Web from my phone, or using it for Facebook or Twitter, or as a GPS or compass when I go bush (I much prefer to use hard-copy maps I can draw on and measure from), or keying up content for my site on my phone.
Also I wanted good battery life. There are many failings with the iPhone, although iPhone fans seem to be blind to most of them. One of the failings is that basically it has one day of battery life. I can already hear the shouts of “I can get almost 1.5 days from a full charge”, or “if I don’t use it much then it lasts almost two days”. Okay. Maybe. But to my way of thinking that still says that it basically has one day of battery life. You really do need to put your iPhone on charge every evening or night to ensure you can get through the next full day.
Finally I wanted useful coverage in what they call “grey zones”. These are places that technically have good or reasonably good cell coverage by one, or even multiple, cell towers yet—or one reason or another—the reception in these ‘pockets’ is terrible to nil.
Hence, after checking many reviews, I arrived at the Motorola Defy.
Not only is the Defy rated at five days battery life with average phone-only usage with excellent fringe area reception (which is basically the same as “grey zone” reception), it is ruggedized and weatherproof. It can be immersed in a jug of water, left there for five minutes, removed, and it still works; and there are a number of videos on YouTube demonstrating this (as well as the Defy surviving being dropped and thrown).
It has ‘gorilla’ glass. In one demonstration on YouTube car keys are scratched over the glass a number of times but no marks are left on the glass.
So I finally I went out and got one … and I have to say, after only having had it for a few hours, I am impressed. I can make calls sitting in my home office. This is something I could not do with my LG Arena, or a Nokia N8, or an iPhone. The Defy shows three out of five bars of signal from my home office. Being able to make calls from the home office is a huge step forward.
Also I am finding the Android operating system very intuitive, and I don’t use that word lightly. I am in IT and everything is reported to be “intuitive” but it rarely, very rarely, ever is. But I will put myself on record here as saying that the Android interface probably could actually be classified as “intuitive”—certainly more intuitive than many other things I have come across that were supposed to be intuitive.
At this point I cannot report on the battery life. This is for two reasons. Firstly I have just got the phone. Secondly Lithium-ion batteries need to be discharged and fully charged three to five times before they achieve their full battery life. If I remember, and I am sure I will, I will do a posting on the battery life once I get the battery ‘conditioned’ and then find out how long it lasts.
In the meantime … feeling pretty good about the Defy … but time will tell …