By Claire Reilly

Almost a year to the day after it released the Defy smartphone, Motorola Mobility has announced that it will be refreshing the handset sub-brand with the new Defy+. Motorola made the announcement yesterday at the launch of Telstra’s Christmas product line up.

Like the Defy before it, the Defy+ is set to be marketed as a "life-proof" phone, with a water-resistant and dust-resistant body and a 3.7-inch, high resolution touch screen display finished with scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass.

Talking about the newly-released handset, Motorola Mobility’s marketing manager Barry Smythe described it as “evolution” of the original Defy.

“We’ve taken all the good things that we had about the original Defy and put them on steroids,” said Smythe. “The 1-gigahertz processor supports a great integrated experience, and it has all of the original hallmarks of the Defy.”

The Defy+ is updated with the latest Android Gingerbread operating system as well as a 1700 mAH battery (offering up to 7.1 hours of talk time) and, like the original handset, features a 5-megapixel battery and 2GB of internal memory with a 2GB microSD card in the box.

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The Defy+ is Blue Tick certified – something that the Defy was originally able to boast before its Blue Tick certification was revoked earlier this year. No doubt Motorola will be keen to keep the tick of approval for rural and non-metro coverage this time around.

Following the release of the original defy, the smartphone was supported by a “Summer Proof” marketing campaign that trumpeted the tough elements of the device. This campaign will also run in late 2011 to support the new Defy+.

“Motorola DEFY+ is the ultimate life-proof smartphone and delivers the endurance and design strength to suit even the most demanding lifestyles,” said Motorola Mobility’s MD of Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Islands, Timo Brouwer. “The social and entertainment capabilities of the device also help put friends and fun in easy reach.

“We specifically designed Motorola DEFY+ with all the smartphone features you need to live your summer to the full. We’re excited to be able to offer Motorola DEFY+ with Telstra and to extend the success that we’ve had with its predecessor Motorola DEFY by offering the Telstra customers the latest in our lifeproof device offering,” he said.

The Motorola Defy+ is available from Telstra for RRP $299 outright, or for purchase with a range of Telstra Freedom Connect Plans, including the $49 Freedom Connect Plan with $7 per month handset repayment.