Motorola Defy vs. Samsung Galaxy S – Review

by Jerry D on December 24, 2010

Can the Motorola Defy challenge the smartphone elite? A good way of finding out is to set it up against a top-of-the-range handset like the Samsung Galaxy S. Time for a big phone fight…

defy vs samsung galaxy s Motorola Defy vs. Samsung Galaxy S   Review


The ruggedly-built Defy is a 3G/HSDPA (7.2Mbps) phone with added 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR/A2DP. The Galaxy S, meanwhile, features a similar feature set that includes 3G/HSDPA (7.2Mbps), 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP. (1-1)

See other big phone fights featuring the Motorola Defy:

Size & Weight:

Few of today’s newest phones are big and beefy. The Galaxy S is slightly skinnier than the Defy with a chassis that’s only 9.9 thick. Few phones are thinner. That said, Samsung’s smartphone is also wider than its opponent, measuring 64.2mm to the Defy’s 59.0mm. Drop the two handsets on the scales and the Motorola Defy weighs 118g, while the Galaxy S is only 1g heavier at 119g. (2-1)



The Defy’s built-in digital camera has a resolution of 5.0 MP, plus features that include: autofocus, LED flash, geotagging, digital zoom and video capture.

The two phones match each other for raw megapixels – the Galaxy S also packs a 5.0 Megapixel camera with autofocus, geo-tagging, touch to focus functionality, face and smile detection and HD video recording. There’s no LED flash. But a second camera on the front can be used for video calling. (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


Headlining the Motorola Defy is a 3.7-inch touch-sensitive LCD display with a resolution of 480 x 854 pixels. It has 409,920 pixels onscreen overall, which works out at 264.865 pixels per inch.

The Galaxy S’s touch-sensitive Super AMOLED screen is bigger at 4.0 inches. Its 480 x 800 pixel resolution is just a touch poorer than the Motorola display. You can see the difference when it comes down to pixel density. The PPI of 233.25 here is less than the 264.865 rating given to the Defy. (3-2)



As for overall usability and performance, the Motorola Defy is built around an TI OMAP3610 chip, clocked at 800MHz. The Galaxy S has a speedy ARM Cortex A8 1GHz processor. (3-3)


Both phones launched with Android 2.1 (Eclair) and will undoubtedly get upgrades to 2.2 and above. The tricky part is saying when… (3-3)

Downloadable apps


In terms of storage capacity, the Galaxy S features 16GB of internal storage, while the Defy features only 2GB. Yes, the Defy also boasts a microSD slot to increase the maximum capacity to 32GB. But hold on… The 16GB storage capacity on Samsung’s phone can be expanded to 48GB via the microSD slot. We have a winner! (3-4)

Battery life:

Measuring the staying power of phones is difficult. But the Defy weighs in with 6.5 hours of talktime, matched by the Galaxy S. In terms of standby times, Motorola’s phone can last 237 hours, while Samsung’s model boasts 576 hours of staying power. The Defy loses this round. (3-5)

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 Samsung Galaxy S:


Into the last round… What else do the two phones have to offer? The Defy also includes GPS/A-GPS, a built-in FM radio, digital compass, DLNA content sharing and a tough-as-old-boots Gorilla Glass display. The Galaxy S features its own stereo FM radio with RDS, GPS/A-GPS and a digital compass. (4-5)

The Samsung Galaxy S wins!

Samsung Galaxy S Motorola Defy vs. Samsung Galaxy S   Review Despite a strong fight back from the Motorola Defy, the Samsung Galaxy S has just enough to win this bout (4-5).

Key differences include: the most onboard memory, a bigger screen, a faster processor and an eye-catching design that’s been squeezed down to a width of 9.9mm. The lack of a flash on the Galaxy S could be a problem for some, but Samsung’s phone has a better overall specification.

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