Pulling on the nostalgia strings for some, Motorola is bringing its Defy smartphone brand back from the dead, with a new entry for 2021 that delivers an impressively hardy design, built in partnership with the Bullitt Group.

Those long enough in the tooth may remember 2010's original Motorola Defy: a rugged phone in the early days of the company's Android efforts that boasted then-rare features, like Gorilla Glass and IP-certified dust and water resistance.

Fast-forward 11 years and the Defy is back, this time in a 2021 guise that combines the same core ruggedised design principles, with the company's modern approach to Android, aimed at consumers and business user alike.

Whether you work in construction, like to go bouldering on the weekend or are just clumsy, Motorola has designed the new Defy to withstand more than the everyday scratches and scrapes that a conventional smartphone is designed to hold up against.

The phone features a dual-sealed housing, which as well as providing a grippy outer surface and a loop on the corner to accommodate the colour-matched lanyard that's included in-box, serves as a double-redundancy for its IP68 dust and water resistance; even if the outer layer is compromised, the Defy should remain protected against ingress.

The outer shell is also tested against multiple drops at up to 1.8m, while the display is protected by Corning's most advanced Gorilla Glass yet – Victus, which debuted on last year's Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

Bullitt Group's involvement comes with its expertise in building ruggedised phones, having been responsible for recent tough phones from brands like Land Rover, JCB and Caterpillar.

Beyond the tough exterior (i.e. Bullitt Group's contribution), the internals and feature set are decidedly more Motorola. In fact, the spec sheet reads like that of last year's Moto G9 Play; with a 6.5in 720p 20:9 screen, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 processor, a 48Mp-lead triple rear camera and a 5000mAh battery.

The Defy still runs Android 10 out the box (with a promised upgrade to Android 11 in the near future), which Motorola mitigates by stating that it tries to implement as many improvements as it can through its own software, distributed through the Google Play Store instead.

For those after a new phone that can stand up to more than the every day, the new 2021 Motorola Defy goes on sale in European and Latin American markets in the coming months, priced at £279/€329.

Here's a full spec sheet for the 2021 Motorola Defy:

  • 6.5in HD+ 20:9 IPS LCD w/ 0.5mm recess for added face-down protection
  • 0.7mm Gorilla Glass Victus
  • Dual-sealed housing
  • Structurally reinforced PCB
  • Durable colour-matched lanyard
  • IP68-certified
  • Waterproof up to 1.5m (5ft) fresh water for 35 minutes
  • Sand, dust, dirt, humidity and salt mist resistant
  • Drop-tested (repeatedly) onto steel at up to 1.8m (6ft)
  • MIL-SPEC 810H tested
  • Washable in soaps and mild disinfectants
  • Programmable shortcut key w/ Push to Talk (PTT) mode
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 662
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB storage
  • microSD expandable up to 512GB
  • Rear cameras:
    • 48Mp main camera
    • 2Mp depth camera
    • 2Mp macro camera
  • 8Mp front-facing dewdrop notch camera
  • Android 10 (upgradeable to Android 11)
  • Android Enterprise support
  • Zero-touch support
  • Dual-SIM
  • 4G
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • NFC
  • Mono loudspeaker
  • 3.5mm headphone jack (waterproof port)
  • USB-C (waterproof port)
  • 5000mAh battery
  • 20W TurboPower fast charging
  • Two-year warranty
  • 232 grams
  • Colours: Black, Forged Green