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Motorola unveils Milestone 2, Defy phones

The Froyo-enabled Milestone 2 is Motorola's new flagship Android handset, while the Defy is a water-resistant, dustproof phone based on Android 2.1
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By David Meyer on
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1 of 10 David Meyer/ZDNet

Motorola unveiled two new Android handsets, the Milestone 2 and the Defy, on Wednesday.

The Milestone 2, pictured in the middle, has much the same dimensions as its predecessor, pictured at the top, but includes several enhancements in terms of internal hardware, keyboard and video-shooting capabilities. In addition, it will come out loaded with the Android 2.2 operating system, also known as Froyo.

The Defy, pictured at the bottom of this shot, is a mildly ruggedised Android 2.1 handset. It is not shockproof, but it is scratchproof, dustproof and water-resistant.

Prices and specific release dates have not yet been revealed, but the new handsets will come out sometime in the fourth quarter of this year.

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2 of 10 David Meyer/ZDNet

One of the significant changes made between the original Milestone and the second iteration is the addition of the second version of its Motoblur interface. The handset maker kept the first version of its Motorola-specific Android skin off its earlier flagship Android phone.

Motoblur aggregates contacts' social-networking information, making it easier to keep an eye on everything that friends and colleagues are up to. However, the first version of Motoblur did not discriminate between contacts, resulting in something of an information overload for those with hundreds of contacts in various networks.

The new version, which company representatives referred to at Wednesday's unveiling as 'Motoblur Enhanced', allows the user to choose which contacts he or she particularly wants to track, so make the information stream more relevant.

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3 of 10 David Meyer/ZDNet

The Milestone 2 has similar dimensions to its predecessor, but has a curvier, more streamlined look and feel.

The top and bottom halves of the slide-out-keyboard handset are the same length, so it does not have the idiosyncratic 'lip' of the first Milestone. It is also a significantly more powerful device, using a 1GHz processor rather than a 600MHz processor.

The beefier chipset is suited to supporting Android 2.2 and Flash 10.1. The device is also Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) compliant, so it can interact with other compliant devices around the home, such as certain wirelessly-enabled TV sets.

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4 of 10 David Meyer/ZDNet

The Milestone 2 has the same five-megapixel camera as its predecessor, although 720p high-definition video-shooting capabilities have been added. This feature differentiates the handset from the Droid 2, a very similar-looking and similarly-specified CDMA phone for the North American market.

There is 8GB of internal storage in the Milestone 2, which can also take microSD cards for up to 32GB of additional space.

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5 of 10 David Meyer/ZDNet

The Qwerty keypad on the Milestone 2 is significantly different from that on the first Milestone.

The directional pad from the first version has disappeared, allowing for much wider and more comfortable keys, and even a couple of new keys such as 'alt-lock'.

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6 of 10 David Meyer/ZDNet

Motorola throws a couple of interesting apps in with phones such as the Milestone 2.

This one shows the proportions of data usage that can be attributed to various activities, such as social networking, Android Market downloads and wireless hotspot provision — the last of those being a feature that is newly-enabled in Android 2.2.

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7 of 10 David Meyer/ZDNet

The Defy, which also uses the new Motoblur interface and is also DLNA-enabled, is Motorola's first semi-ruggedised Android smartphone.

The device is dustproof, has a scratchproof Gorilla Glass screen from Corning, and meets IP67 specifications for water resistance, meaning it can be submerged up to a metre deep for up to half an hour with no leakage.

The Defy comes with Android 2.1 rather than the subsequent 'Froyo' version. This means it only offers Flash Lite, rather than the full-fat Flash 10.1 media player incorporated into Android 2.2.

Motorola has not said whether the handset will be upgraded to Froyo. If it is, its 800MHz Cortex-A8 processor should be able to handle Flash 10.1.

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8 of 10 David Meyer/ZDNet

The Defy's dustproof, water-resistant nature is evidenced by the rubber seals on openings such as the 3.5mm headphone jack.

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9 of 10 David Meyer/ZDNet

Like the Milestone 2, the Defy has a five-megapixel camera.

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10 of 10 David Meyer/ZDNet

The Defy comes in black and white, as shown in the preceding pictures, or in black only, as shown in this shot of the protector for the microUSB port.

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