Due in the UK by the end of the year, the Motorola Defy has been designed to withstand even the most careless of users. Conforming to IP67 standards, the phone promises to be scratch, water and dust resistant. What's more, it's equipped with a 3.7-inch touchscreen display and a 5-megapixel camera with LED flash. But, is it any good? We take a look at exactly what you can and can't do with the Motorola Defy.

You can use your phone on the beach
As glorious as a bank holiday day trip to the beach sounds, we all know that the reality involves spending the next year uncovering remnants of sand from every object that got even a whiff of sea air. With the Defy, you can be confident that your phone won't end up full of sand, thanks to the number 6 in the IP code which refers to the highest level of protection against "foreign objects", meaning that no dust or sand whatsoever can get into the phone.

You can drop your phone down the toilet
We've all done it. And those that have been victim of this kind of incident know the feeling of helplessness as your beloved mobile phone slips slowly out of your pocket and into the toilet bowl, or is simply dropped from a drunken and shaky hand. This is followed by the inevitable red-faced trip to the mobile phone shop mumbling something about "condensation" when asked why the phone is dripping with water. The 7 in the Defy's IP code means that, although the phone doesn't have the highest protection against water getting in (that would be a rating of 8), it can withstand short-term immersion of up to 1m, thus saving your blushes. Sadly, it won't do anything about the smell.

You can browse the web in full
There's nothing more annoying than trying to look something up on the web on a device that doesn't support Flash, only to be thwarted by a fancy Flash-based website that you can't actually view. However, thanks to the inclusion of Adobe Flash Lite - a "diet" version of Adobe Flash Player - you can use the Defy's 3.7-inch WVGA screen to view more of the web than standard browsers, including the all important multimedia content.

You can put your phone in your pocket with you keys
Buying a slick new mobile and then having to swaddle the poor blighter in layers of rubber casings and screen protectors really ruins the flashy aesthetics that you're probably paying through the nose for. But it's either that or it put it, unprotected, in your pocket or bag with your seemingly innocent house keys and see it coming out covered in nasty scratches. Motorola is combating the problem by using Corning's high-strength Gorilla Glass which, in case you were wondering, is an environmentally friendly alkali-aluminosilicate thin sheet glass. Not only is it thin yet protective, but it also enables capacitive touchscreen capability.

You can hold a conversation in a noisy place without shouting like a fool
Wherever you go nowadays, there's always some idiot bellowing into their mobile phone without a second thought for the people around them or the poor sod on the other end of the phone. That's why Motorola has included CrystalTalk PLUS which uses two microphones to filter out background noise and amplify your voice so that you don't have to shout like a moron.

You can't drop it from a great height
As phones go, this one is pretty tough, but that's not to say that it's indestructible. While it laughs in the face of dust and water, it's likely to change its tune if it was, for example, dropped into a canyon or run over by a steamroller. While we realise that these are things that generally only happen in cartoons, what we're saying is - don't get too cocky. It might be durable, but it's not invincible.

You can't take it for a swim
It's not rocket science, but it might need pointing out to some, that although the Defy is highly resistant to water, it's only good for depths of up to 1m for very short periods. And even that's obviously a limit, not a target. We wouldn't recommend doing anything daft like taking it into a swimming pool or using it as your loofah. It will end in tears.

You can't upgrade it to Android 3.0
The Defy runs on Android 2.1 (Eclair) which is fine and dandy, but you probably will have heard that version 3.0 (Gingerbread) will be launched soon, set to go head to head with the first Window Phone 7 handsets. Therefore, as Android 3.0 has been designed for more high-end mobiles, it's unlikely that the Defy's CPU will be up to the job.

You can't record HD video
Despite the presence of a 5-megapixel camera with LED flash, and a screen resolution of 854 x 480, the phone only offers video capture at a decidedly non-HD-ready 640 x 480.

You can't get away from your "friends"
It seems impossible to buy anything or sign up for any sort of service nowadays without being asked if you want to somehow sync it with one or all of your social networking sites.The Defy sports Motoblur 1.5 which automatically delivers messages and status updates so you'll be able to keep up to speed with what your 500 closest friends are up to every single minute of the day. The multi-talented Motoblur function can also manage your battery and or locate and wipe your phone if it's ever lost or stolen, but you can read more about that over here.

What do you think about rugged phones? Are they as good as they say they are? Let us know your thoughts in the box below.