Motorola Defy vs. HTC Desire HD – Review

by Jerry D on December 24, 2010

One last fight before we take a break for the Christmas holidays. What happens when you put the Motorola Defy and the HTC Desire HD on the tilting combat arena from 1980′s cult movie Flash Gordon? Yeah, the one with Brian Blessed as a hawkman. Well, who do you think will win?

defy vs htc desire hd Motorola Defy vs. HTC Desire HD   Review


Let’s kick off with a round all about staying in touch. The Defy is equipped with a 3G/HSDPA (7.2Mbps) chipset, along with 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR/A2DP. The Desire HD counters with a similar specification: 3G/HSDPA (7.2Mbps), 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR/A2DP. (1-1)

See other big phone fights featuring the Motorola Defy:

Size & Weight:

Modern phones are hardly fat and frumpy. They’re lean, mean communicating machines. The Defy is slightly fatter than the Desire HD with dimensions of 13.4mm versus 11.8mm. But the Desire HD is broader, measuring 68.0mm to the Defy’s 59.0mm. In terms of weight, the Motorola Defy weighs 118g, while the Desire HD is a far heftier 164g. That’s a lot of smartphone! (2-1)



Moving on. The Defy comes packing a built-in 5.0 Megapixel camera with advanced features such as: autofocus, LED flash, geotagging, digital zoom and video capture. So-so.

Unsurprisingly, the Desire HD KOs the Defy with an improved 8.0 Megapixel lens (3264 x 2448 max resolution), plus features such as: autofocus, a dual LED flash, face detection capability, geotagging and 720p HD video recording. It brings the scores level as we head into the 4th round… (2-2)

Here’s how the raw technology of the cameras compare*.

1.0MP – 1280 x 960 pixels
2.0MP – 1600 x 1200 pixels
3.1MP – 2048 x 1536 pixels
5.0MP – 2592 x 1944 pixels
8.0MP – 3264 x 2448 pixels
10.0MP – 3872 x 2592 pixels
12.0MP – 4290 x 2800 pixels
16.0MP – 4920 x 3264 pixels

*These are typical resolutions. Actual resolutions may vary


The Defy features a 3.7-inch touch-sensitive LCD display with a resolution of 480 x 854 pixels. The screen has 409920 pixels in total, giving it a rating of 264.865 pixels per inch.

The Desire HD’s touch-sensitive S-LCD display is roomier at 4.3 inches. Its 480 x 800 pixel resolution loses out on the spec sheet to the Defy’s display. But the difference is minimal. Compared to its rival, the pixels per inch (PPI) rating of this screen is 216.977. (2-3)



In terms of processor speed and software, the Motorola Defy features a TI OMAP3610 chip, ticking along at 800MHz. The Desire HD has a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD8255 processor. (2-4)


Android 2.1 (Eclair) with MotoBlur is the OS of choice for the Defy, while the Desire HD runs Android 2.2 (Froyo) with HTC’s Sense UI. (2-5)

Downloadable apps


With 2GB of internal storage, the Defy has more onboard space as standard. The Desire HD features 1.5GB in comparison. The Defy also has a microSD interface, which can extend the overall capacity to 32GB. You can expand the memory of the Desire HD via the microSD slot. The maximum is 33.5GB. (2-5)

Battery life:

With a full battery, the Defy boasts 6.5 hours of talktime according to Motorola, while the Desire HD is rated at 9.0 hours. Standby time is rated at 237 hours and 420 hours respectively. The Defy drops another round here. (2-6)

Note: The Standby time specification is an industry standard that is only intended to allow comparison of different mobile phones under the same circumstances. Power consumption in a standby state is strongly dependent on factors including: network, settings, location, movement, signal strength and cell traffic.


See other big phone fights featuring the HTC Desire HD:


The Defy also includes GPS/A-GPS, built-in FM radio, digital compass, DLNA content sharing and a dust-proof, scratch-proof, water-proof ‘Gorilla Glass’ display. The Desire HD, meanwhile, features GPS/A-GPS, a g-sensor, digital compass, built-in FM radio, Dolby Mobile, DLNA wireless content sharing and clever integration. (2-6)

The HTC Desire HD wins!

htc desire hd1 Motorola Defy vs. HTC Desire HD   Review In Flash Gordon, the hero saves Timothy Dalton’s Prince Barin from falling off of the tilting, spiky combat arena, cementing his reputation as a ‘good guy’.

Here, the HTC Desire HD doesn’t just let the Motorola Defy fall, it grabs a laser pistol and shoots it repeatedly on the way down. A score of 2-6 is a convincing win for the second-gen Desire, which boasts a roomier display and a higher spec camera with HD video capture.

See if the HTC Desire HD makes our list of top 10 best smartphones

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