Internet leaks spoil everything these days. If you’re a smartphone geek, that’s great because you always know what’s on the horizon before products are announced. However, it does take some of the surprise out of the actual product reveals.
We can’t say we didn’t already know a few things about the Droid Turbo before today. That said, we finally got to play with Motorola’s new Verizon exclusive device. Our quick take of the Droid Turbo after the break.
- Display: 5.2-inch (2560 x 1440 resolution)
- Processor: 2.7GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 805
- Memory: 3GB
- Internal storage: 32GB/64GB
- Cameras: 21-megapixel rear camera with dual LED flash
- Battery: 3,900 mAh (48 hours)
- Operating System: Android 4.4.4 KitKat
The Droid Turbo is decidedly a different design from the Moto X (2014) and Moto G (2014). While it has some similar elements, like the camera and Motorola logo dimple on the back, there are some key differences.
First, the Droid Turbo has capacitative Back, Home and Multitasking buttons. It’s been a while since we’ve seen a high-end Android smartphone with those physical buttons instead of software ones.
Second, the rear doesn’t bulge at the top and taper towards the bottom and sides. It’s not a bad design and I definitely like symmetrical designs more. I found the Droid Turbo to be a comfy design — certainly nothing out of the ordinary for a Verizon-exclusive device — and the ballistic nylon and metallized glass fiber rear are a natural evolution of Motorola’s past Droid smartphones.
Droid-branded devices have always skewed towards a masculine aesthetic and the Droid Turbo is no different.
The Droid Turbo will be available in three finishes: Metallic Black, Metallic Red and Ballistic Nylon. The Metallic Black and Red feel like carbon fiber, but I think the Ballistic Nylon is the one that just feels great.
Whether most people will actually be able to see the difference or not, the Droid Turbo joins the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, LG G3 and Nexus 6 with a display that has Quad HD resolution. The 5.2-inch display has a whopping 2,560 x 1,440 resolution, which is noticeably sharper than the 1080p resolution on the Moto X (2014).
I love high-res displays, but I’m also seriously considering the logic to them on a smartphone. I thought the Moto X (2014)’s 1080p display at 5.2-inches was damn sharp and the extra pixels in the Droid Turbo might be excessive.
Software: Android 4.4.4 KitKt/5.0 Lollipop
Android 5.0 Lollipop is rolling out to compatible devices on November 3. The Droid Turbo, however, will ship with Android 4.4.4 KitKat. No “Material design” for you guys — at least not at launch.
Motorola’s packed in its own custom apps from the Moto X such as Moto Touch, Active and Voice. In addition to those Moto X features, there are some Verizon ones such as: Droid Zap — a way to flick photos wirelessly to the TV via a Chromecast. It also lets multiple users take photos and share them with each other at once. Think of it as DJ-ing for photos. Additionally, you can “Zap with Voice” using Moto Voice to activate the feature.
For the most part, the Droid Turbo’s OS is “pure Android”, however since it is a carrier-backed it still has a plethora of Verizon bloatware apps that are un-installable.
It’s not stock Android 5.0 like on the Nexus 6 or near stock like on the Moto X and G, so keep that in mind before considering it. The usual carrier widgets and plethora of Verizon bloatware apps are present, which sucks.
Motorola smartphones tend to have crappy cameras. The Moto X (2014) is a solid smartphone, but its 10-megapixel camera is rubbish. I didn’t get to test it in the real world, only indoors, but the Droid Turbo’s camera appears to be world’s better.
That’s because the camera is a massive 21-megapixel shooter with dual LED flashes. The rear camera is also capable of recording 4K resolution video, which is either something you’ll appreciate because you have a 4K TV or computer monitor to view it on, or not. If you’re looking for optical image stabilization, though, you won’t find it.
Don’t expect much from the front-facing camera: it’s only a 2-megapixel one.
As with the Moto X, the Droid Turbo also features the Quick Capture feature that lets you flick your wrist to quickly activate the camera.
The biggest reason to pick up a Droid-branded smartphone is battery life. The Droid Maxx’s 3,500 mAh battery is still regarded as one of the longest-lasting 4G LTE smartphones ever created — lasting up to 48 hours. The Sony Xperia Z3, Galaxy Note and even the iPhone 6 Plus have received praise for lasting up to two days, too, but those are pretty huge devices.
The Droid Turbo packs a large 3,900 mAh battery, which Motorola says is good for the same 48 days on a single charge. Obviously, I wasn’t able to test those claims in my brief hands-on. That will have to wait once we get a review unit to play with.
Motorola also touts another battery claim: Turbo charging — where charging for 15 minutes will give you up to 8 hours of battery life. Sharp readers will know that the Moto X (2014) has the same feature if you pony up for the Turbo charger; the Droid Turbo comes with the Turbo charger in the box.
I’ve never gravitated towards the Droid devices mainly because I felt they were too “masculine” so to speak. The harsh black and red trims aren’t very “friendly” or “welcoming” if that makes any sense.
That said, I know why people choose the Droid devices. They’re well-priced and have great battery life. Motorola’s really shooting big with the Droid Turbo: it has an top-of-the-line specs, an ultra high-res screen, high-res camera and one behemoth of a battery.
The Droid Turbo will come in two capacities: 32GB in Metallic Black and Metallic Red for $199 with a two-year contract and 64GB in Black Ballistic Nylon for $249 with a two-year contract. The Droid Turbo goes on sale on October 30.
To really sweeten the deal, Verizon also has a “Droid Turbo Screen Assurance” program, a program that lets users get a free screen replacement — once per contract period.