Motorola Defy vs. Samsung Wave – Review

by Jerry D on December 24, 2010

The Motorola Defy is built for a rough-and-tumble lifestyle and compares well to handsets like the HTC Wildfire and the Samsung Wave. In this fight, we pitch the Defy up against the Wave in a techno-tussle that compares their stats and specifications. The question is: which one wins?


The Defy is well-specced and includes 3G/HSDPA (7.2Mbps), 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR/A2DP connectivity. Samsung’s Wave is no technology slouch and comes crammed with 3G/HSDPA (7.2 Mbps), 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP. Round one is a tie. (1-1)

See other big phone fights featuring the Motorola Defy:

Size & Weight:

Obviously, neither of these phones is a brick. Modern handsets favour slim lines and lightweight construction. Compare the two and the Defy is wider, measuring 59.0mm to the Wave’s 56.0mm. The Samsung handset is noticeable taller, measuring 118.0mm to the Defy’s 107.0mm. Put the two phones on the scales and the Defy and the Wave both weigh 118g. All in all, this is another dead heat. (1-1)



Next, on to photo/video prowess… First up, the Defy’s 5.0 MP lens features: autofocus, an LED flash, geotagging, digital zoom and video capture.

The Wave also sports a 5.0 Megapixel snapper (with autofocus, LED flash, geo-tagging, face/smile/blink detection, image stablilization and HD video recording). A extra camera on the front is designed for video calling. The Wave is the more advanced of the two. (1-2)

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


How about screen size? Well, the Motorola Defy features a fantastic 3.7-inch (480 x 854) touch-sensitive Gorilla Glass display. There are an impressive 409,920 pixels overall, which translates to a superb 264.865 pixels per inch.

At only 3.3 inches, the Wave’s touch-sensitive AMOLED screen has less physical room. It also boasts a slightly poorer screen resolution – 480 by 800 pixels. In comparison, there are 384,000 pixels onscreen, giving the Wave a pixel density of 282.727 pixels per inch. (2-2)



As far as performance goes, the Wave uses a ARM Cortex A8 processor, rated at 1GHz. The Defy’s core is a 800MHz TI OMAP3610 chip. (2-3)


The Defy is based on Android 2.1 (Eclair) with added MotoBlur, the Wave uses Samsung’s own Bada OS. Score one for the Defy… (3-3)

Downloadable apps


You’ll find that 2GB is the default storage capacity for both phones. Naturally, the Defy also features a microSD slot to boost the storage to a roomier 32GB. The inclusion of a microSD expansion slot on the Wave bumps up the capacity to 34GB. (3-4)

Battery life:

Juiced up to full capacity, Motorola boasts 6.5 hours of talktime for its Defy, versus 8.5 hours for the Wave. The standby times are 237 hours for the Defy and 450 hours for the Wave. A defeat for the Defy here and the Wave extends its lead. (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 Wave:


The Defy also includes GPS/A-GPS, built-in FM radio, digital compass, DLNA content sharing and a toughened Gorilla Glass display. The Wave also features a stereo FM radio with RDS, FM radio recording, GPS/A-GPS, Samsung Mobile Navigator and a digital compass. (4-5)

The Samsung Wave wins!

samsung wave s8500 Motorola Defy vs. Samsung Wave   Review This was a close one, but the Samsung Wave just emerges as the winner of this fight (4-5). One of the big deciding factors here will be the OS. The Defy features Android, which seems to have a far brighter future than Samsung’s own Bada software. Does Samsung REALLY need to pursue another OS? In a marketplace where Apple’s iOS, Android, Windows Phone 7, Symbian and the Blackberry OS already compete, I’d suggest that the answer is a big, fat ‘no’.

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