Motorola’s Defy Mini is a phone specifically built to be relatively cheap and compact. But, it seems like it is overpriced for its poor performance.

What are Motorola Defy Mini’s strong points? First and foremost, it is dustproof, water resistant and comes with Gorilla glass which makes the screen scratch-proof. It is not purely waterproof but it can resist being splashed by a large amount of water. But before doing such thing, you should first check whether the plastic flaps covering both the headphone jack on the top and the micro-USB port on the left are closed. The flaps are frustrating to open but it ensures near-immunity from water splash and water leaks. Also, you need to use a special lock on the rear of the Mini to ensure water resistance. You need to slide the lock to the right and then peel it off. The slider needs a little strength to push it open. It is kinda annoying too.

Also, the Motorola Defy Mini can withstand a bit of beating but it doesn’t mean it is completely life proof. You can treat it with disrespectfully but remember that this can still be broken.

Defy Mini is also small which makes its size a selling point. But it also makes it its weakness. Its small size also means small screen size. It is indeed comfortable to hold but its screen size makes it frustrating to type on a cramped keyboard and surf comfortably. The small screen size fails to display crisp text.  It also lacks vibrancy and brightness wherein almost every smartphones are starting to develop that part.

However it isn’t as bad as what you think. The screen are actually reasonably impressive and performance in direct sunlight.

Its performance is worse than the screen. The Android 2.3 on the device LAGS so much that even basic operations like unlocking (swiping), opening the app drawer and swiping through home screens lags too. The 600MHz partnered with a 512MB RAM limits its performance and usability. It doesn’t stand for its price. With its performance, don’t expect to upgrade this to the latest Android OS (Ice Cream Sandwch) as you will even be more disappointed.

Despite the annoying user experience, Motorola is offering users their latest user interface,MotoSwitch UI. They are also offering a social graph widget which automatically displays your frequently contacted people in an attractive layout. It is also applicable in your most used applications.

Defy Mini’s software also offers some handy extras. Examples are the following: ability to sort the app drawer by all apps, recent or downloaded, and the ability to configure up to three profile themes.

Motorola is also offering the Swype keyboard which is intended to aid text inputs. The major drawback in here is that typing a long message usually requires swiping back and forth. However, because of the small screen size, you can just read it back around five lines of text at a time. This makes typing in the Defy Mini really annoying.

It also features a camera which has a 3-megapixel camera with a single LED flash and a front-facing VGA camera. However, the camera captures poor quality shots although it has a dedicated camera key. The camera app also boasts a number of image filters including emboss mono, negative colour and sketch. The volume keys can be used as a zooming tool for the pictures.

The Motorola Mini Defy just has 115MB of internal storage available but it is still upgradeable with a microSD card.

Its small size means more battery life for the phone. If you will just use it occasionally and moderately, then battery life can survive for a day. Ofcourse, its battery life depends on the gravity of how long the users use it.

With a sluggish phone, and crampy screen, this is a fail for a smartphone. If Motorola could just have done something for the UI to maximize the screen and to upgrade its hardware components, this might have been a hit.