Here’s a surprising turn of events: Wireless Goodness spotted the cute ‘lil DEFY MINI going through the FCC at the behest of Motorola. The budget phone was revealed early this year for various international markets, but we didn’t think it would be headed to the US any time soon (at least not with the same branding). The wireless bands that the test phone was sporting point to an AT&T release – or not, since those are the same HSPA+bands that are used in many countries around the world. Manufacturers often send phones and tablets through the FCC as a formality to show off to prospective carriers, or on their way north to Canada.

The DEFY MINI is small 3.2-inch Android phone with low-end specs and a low price. If Android phones fit the old Starfleet naming pattern, we’d call this one “Wildfire class“. A 600mHz processor and 512MB of RAM won’t win any races, but the phone is designed to be durable, with Gorilla Glass and a water-resistant body. A 1650mAh battery is huge for such a small phone, and thanks to a small 480×320 screen should outlast most superphones. A 3MP camera with a bonus front-facing cam round out the package. If you live in the UK you can pick one up now for £174.99 contract-free.

As noted above, going through the FCC isn’t a guarantee of a US release, but it is a pretty good indication that it’s headed somewhere in North America. Unfortunately the DEFY MINI’s launch partner, the unique MOTOLUXE, is nowhere to be seen. Odds are pretty good that we’ll see one or the other headed for various world markets at Mobile World Congress next month, so if the DEFY MINI strikes your fancy, stay tuned.