T-Mobile Defy touted as a tank of a phone

T-Mobile Defy, the new smartphone built by Motorola, gets the Android 2.1 OS, a 5-megapixel camera – and a thick shell of armor that's dust- and water-resistant.

Defy, a new smartphone manufactured by Motorola, is designed to take a beating. The Defy will be released on T-Mobile in time for the holiday rush.

If you're anything like us, you drop your smartphone about once a week, and your touchscreen is currently more cratered than a hunk of Swiss cheese. Fellow maladroits, take note: Sometime in the next couple of months – and definitely before the holiday season is out – T-Mobile will release a new Motorola phone called the Defy, which is apparently built to withstand scrapes, dings, drops, and everything short of an elephant stampede.

According to the official Defy announcement, the latest Motorola handset is "scratch and water resistant, as well as dust proof." The phone, the announcement continues, protects users "from life's little challenges, such as a sudden rain shower to a drop in the sand." The Defy ships with "two microphones that intelligently filter out background noise and amplify your voice so you don't have to shout," Motorola says.

Presumably, the bulk of the protection comes from the plastic casing on the Defy, which appears to be thicker than the exterior of handsets such as the Apple iPhone. But have no fear: The Defy isn't just an battle-tank. It's also a full-featured phone, which sports an Android 2.1 OS, a 5-megapixel camera, Flash capability, and a 3.7-inch WVGA screen.

No word yet on pricing or exact release date.

“Defy is designed to handle everything that life throws your way,” Motorola executive Bill Ogle wrote today in a statement. “With all the features consumers expect in a smartphone, Defy packs Web browsing, entertainment and messaging capabilities as well as an exterior design that can withstand the stresses of everyday life.”

Defy is in good company: The market for Android phones has grown in leaps and bounds in recent months. Back in August, Google CEO Eric Schmidt told reporters that 200,000 new Android devices are sold every day. And last week, research firm Gartner predicted that the Android OS will finish 2010 with a 17.7 percent share of the smartphone market.

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