Rugged phones are still more of a niche in the market and are an Android exclusive feature. The first rugged phone to launch was the DEFY+ and post its launch we saw a handful of companies getting into the same segment. Sony Ericsson, Samsung, Casio – they’ve all got their own water proof and dust proof phones out there in the market. Motorola also released an upgrade to their original DEFY with the new DEFY+. So, we’ve got two similar priced handsets and it’s about time they battle it out against each other in our grudge match – The Sony Ericsson Xperia Active vs. the Motorola DEFY+. Which phone wins? Let’s find out. 

Sony Ericsson Xperia Active – 19,500

The Xperia Active may be wrongly overlooked due to its cutesy design and small looks. But underneath that small chassis, the Active packs in a lot of power. It has got a 3-inch, scratch resistant screen with a pixel resolution of 320 x 480, which might be low for some, but at that size and with the Bravia Mobile Engine powering it, the display is bright and vivid. The interface was solid and smooth and Sony has provided a whole range of pre-loaded apps as well as accessories along with the device. 

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Connectivity options include the usual along with ANT+, so if you’re out gymming and need a data logger your phone can wirelessly sync with the equipment. This also works with health related equipment like heart rate monitors. The 5 MP camera is capable of shooting pretty good shots and record at 720p resolution. The battery is a tad lower at 1200 mAh, but optimization has been worked out quite well. 

Motorola DEFY+ – 19,490

The Plus provides an upgrade in the processor from the original DEFY. Sealed with the scratch resistant Corning Gorilla Glass, the DEFY+ packs in a superior (in terms of plain size) 3.7-inch screen. With Motorola’s MOTOBLUR UI running on top, the DEFY+ is slick and fast. Connectivity options are pretty much covered as well.

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The Plus is strapped with a 5 megapixel camera capable of recording in VGA mode. Motorola has bundled in a couple of miscellaneous apps and a Car Dock and Cardio trainer feature as well. Lastly, there’s 1700 mAh of battery power underneath the shell that gives you an astonishingly brilliant battery life. 

So, that was a brief summary of both the phones. Check out the scoreboard below to see which phone wins the battle (Click to zoom). 

Fight!

Fight!

The Bottom Line

As you can see from the comparison chart, both phones have their own set of pros and cons, but it’s the Xperia Active that emerges as the clear winner. If you’re looking at just the screen size, the Active will definitely not impress you, but if you’re willing to overcome that mental block and look at the features this phone’s got, then you’re in for a real treat. The Bravia Mobile Display makes the display look much better as compared to the display on the DEFY+. Also, the camera has image stabilization, touch focus and 720p recording, which is missing on the DEFY+ out of the box. The dedicated camera button gets a point as well, because if you’re the more adventurous types, the Active will be able to shoot snaps and videos underwater, while the DEFY+ will not be able to do so.

Next, we tried wet finger tracking on the DEFY+, just to check if it might be a gimmick (like 3D sweep panorama!), but we were pleased to say that it wasn’t. The Active actually responds brilliantly well to wet fingers as compared to the DEFY+ that ended up registering random touches. The media player consists of enhancements (no enhancements on the DEFY+) and Sony’s xLOUD feature, so at least you’re not stuck with the audio quality you get. Even in the synthetic benchmarks, the Active fares better than the DEFY+. Though the battery life is slightly less than the DEFY+, it’s definitely not a con, as the Active’s battery performs pretty well in its own regard. Lastly, ANT+ will definitely be a useful feature for health enthusiasts. 

Well, those are the reasons why we’d prefer the Xperia Active over the DEFY+. Which one would you pick? 

Cover Image Credit: DeviantART

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