updated 12:35 pm EST, Thu January 5, 2012
Motorola MOTOLUXE and Defy Mini up cheap Android
Motorola sought to raise the baseline on Android smartphones Thursday with a pair of new world models. The MOTOLUXE runs on a modest 800MHz processor but has a four-inch, 480x854 screen, eight-megapixel back and VGA front cameras, and a fairly healthy 1,400mAh battery good for 6.5 hours of talk. Borrowing a slight cue from the HTC Rhyme, the lanyard slot lights up for missed calls, mail, and text.
The Defy Mini takes on the very pocketable smartphones defined by models like the HTC Wildfire S with a more rugged design. Motorola's model shelters the 3.2-inch, 320x480 screen in Gorilla Glass and is dustproof and water-resistant like its full-size counterpart. It uses just a 600MHz processor and a three-megapixel rear camera, but it still has room for a front camera and has a long 10-hour talk time.
Either phone carries Android 2.3 and has a new addition, MotoSwitch, that aggregates the most common contacts in a home screen 'cloud' where the most frequent contacts get larger on screen.
Motorola brings the pair of phones to Europe, Latin America, and mainland China in the spring. Although no North American plans have been outlined, both phones come in versions that clearly support AT&T and Canadian carrier 3G bands, leaving the window open to imports or official deals.