The Motorola Defy Mini takes the Defy idea and puts it into a small package. It works - up to a point. The chassis feels robust, and the covers for the headset and USB slots afford protection, even though they're fiddly to use.

But the handset is a bit too small and under-powered for our tastes.

We liked

SocialGraph and ActivityGraph are really nice features, and while we could easily make our own shortcuts to favourite contacts and apps, we like the look and feel of what Motorola has done.

The Connected Music Player, Music+, really works nicely. We've always been fans, and continue to be. Similarly, MediaSee is seamless for media sharing - although its video player needs work.

We disliked

There were problems with Twitter sync for us, and MediaSee failed too. Attention to detail, Motorola, please.

The Motorola Defy Mini's screen is just too small for some activities, with cramped viewing around the keyboard area.

512MB of internal storage, with the influx of more expansive apps, really isn't enough these days either, so we'd have liked to have seen that boosted.

And more importantly the OS is something of a concern - we can accept Gingerbread for now as it's still a pretty current platform, but we've not heard anything about an update to the OS to Ice Cream Sandwich.

If Motorola (which is almost owned by Google, lest we forget) doesn't get its act together and start being among the first to publish updates to its handsets, we're going to see a few disgruntled customers.

Final verdict

Motorola seems to have a lot of the components for making fab handsets at its fingertips, but doesn't manage to bring them all together perfectly. The idea of taking the Defy range and making it smaller is a good one, but the execution isn't great.

We're also not sure about the phone's dust and water rating. Moto uses the phrases 'dust proof' and 'water resistant' on its website, but doesn't' mention IP67. Maybe the Motorola Defy Mini didn't qualify, then.

Overall, it's a decent enough little phone in places - and being life proof plus small enough to pop in places you wouldn't normally see a handset should be tempting.

But the lack of overall fluency and reliance on last-gen components (including that underpowered processor) is a worry, even at the modest price.