Two simple examples of features from 2.2 that Motorola has included are a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot that lets you share your Defy's Internet connection with up to 5 other Wi-Fi capable devices, and the ability for the browser rotated horizontally whether you turn the phone left or right, neither feature of which is in standard Android OS 2.1.
It's taller than the iPhone's 3.5-inch screen but narrower, for a screen that is 'bigger' yet on a smartphone that is smaller than an iPhone, which Motorola says 'provides edge-to-edge views of your favourite photos, videos and websites.'
DLNA is included so you can wirelessly send content to DLNA capable TVs (which is the answer to Apple's AirPlay and Apple TV setup), there's lots of other expected features like a 5 megapixel camera with Flash and video recording, and compatibility with Google's newly released and free Google Maps with free GPS Navigation.
The internal processor is a TI OMAP 600MHz model with 512MB RAM, 2GB MicroSD card included (32GB capable), Flash Lite for some Abobe Flash compatibility, 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1, up to 360 mins talk time and all the other expected Google mail, calendar, Android Market and other Google features.
So, what's it like to use? Well, from the relatively brief time I've had thus far (with a review model in my possession for further testing), it's a solid and capable Android phone.
Overall the phone felt fast and smooth, with scrolling through songs or a web page being a smooth action. However, when you bring up the main menu of programs that you vertically scroll through, that scrolling action isn't smooth but a little jerky.
Still, while that's a shame, it's not a deal breaker. The Motoblur enhancements are clearly an enhancement to Android, and for someone new to smartphones and a fan of social networking, the phone will be a very nice experience.
Swype is also built-in as standard, letting you drag your finger over each letter of a word to spell it out, instead of having to type it, proving an interesting alternative to the on-screen keyboard and auto-correct system, and for some, a better one.
Another inclusion is a Connected Music Player that 'displays lyrics for the songs stored on your phone, and enables you to discover, buy and download music', with music purchases from BigPond Music or Motorola's own store.
Whether an enhanced Android OS phone can tempt iPhone users away is something that happens on a user-by-user basis. The iPhone experience, in total, is still superior to Android, and I personally prefer iOS to Android OS (while using them both happily with iOS as my primary device), but Android is definitely more sophisticated today than when it first appeared.
There's also the issue of cost, with the Defy and most Android phones cheaper than Apple's iPhone, thus making them more accessible to more people, with a cheaper end-cost to consumers part of Android's allure.
The Defy is a great Android handset and competitive alternative, and comes with some pretty special features of its own, while letting anyone actually use a smartphone to surf the web, check email, organise your calendar, stay connected through social networking, take photos and videos, and use all kinds of apps.
Android really has been a great equaliser for phone manufacturers needing a way to compete with Apple but who don't have their own OS or one modern enough to quickly compete with the game changer that the iPhone has been.
Is it the DEFyPhone? Well, that's something you'll have to answer for yourself, but as a brand new model, with multi-touch, apps and Google's free GPS navigation, it's a compelling package that should prove quite popular, especially for those who want their phones to be more rugged than the norm, while looking normal, instead of like a pocket tank.
Continued on page three, please read on!