The first “Droid” phone launched more than 5 years ago. October 17th 2009 to be exact (at least according to Wikipedia). I don’t remember much about the first iteration – probably because I was still drooling over my iPhone – but I do recall the name. And that name, “Droid”, believe it or not, is licensed from Lucas Films. Yup. Motorola pays money to Lucas Films, the creator of Star Wars, every time they sell a phone. So the question has long been: is this the DROID you’ve been looking for? Well, let’s find out in my Motorola DROID Turbo Review.
The DROID Turbo comes in two versions: Ballistic Nylon or Metal Kevlar. The distinction is actually in the back of the device. My version: the Ballistic Nylon. It’s an interesting take on the build of a phone and one that separates it from the pact of other Android phones on the market today. In the hand it feels solid and all the while adds something I’m going to call “opulent utility”. Which is to say it feels high end and at the same time reinforces the phone’s body. In theory this could protect not only the back, but the frame and the screen of the phone.
Adding to that utility is a water-repellent nano coating, which Motorola says protects the phone from “everyday spills”, or if you happen to be using your phone outside when a downpour of rain ensues. Monsoon here I come.
Weight wise the Motorola DROID Turbo is no light weight. More like a light heavy weight. The Ballistic version weighs in at 176 grams, while the Kevlar version 169. I should also note that the Ballistic version of the phone is a tad fatter than the other, albeit by less than a half of millimeter.
Zippity do duh. As in it’s fast, especially considering that it’s slightly skinned. Under the hood is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 805 processor running at 2.7Ghz. But specs are, well, just spec. If the phone’s Android Skin (in this case 4.4.4) isn’t tweaked right, it can be prone to lagginess, no matter how fast the processor is. Fortunately, the DROID Turbo doesn’t seem to suffer from this defect and runs smoothly in most if not all scenarios.
That being said, this phone is packed to the gills when it comes to power. In addition to the processor, there is 3GB of RAM, 32-64GB of storage (the latter only comes in the Ballistic version), and a 3900 mAh battery.
Unfortunately, my data connectivity experience was not as good as I had hopped. It’s always difficult to tell if it’s the network or the phone, but my experience with the new Motorola DROID Turbo, data wise, hasn’t been stellar. Nevertheless, Verizon does boast one of the best networks and does provide perhaps the best coverage in the US. Nevertheless, I often saw the DROID Turbo flipping between 3G and 4G.
With a massive 3900 mAh battery the DROID Turbo should appeal to those power users. Or simply to those that can’t help but be on their phone at all hours of the day. On average I got easily 2 days under light to medium use. Light to medium being a few phone calls, watching some YouTube videos, and surfing the web. I’m willing to speculate if I used the handset heavily, that number would drop by 20-40%. But that could be said for any phone.
That said, included with the DROID Turbo is a special charger; a 15W Turbo Charger. To add context, the iPhone charges at 5 watts, the iPad at 10, so this is a significant boost for a phone. And at 3900 mAh it’s not a surprising addition. Plugged in, the DROID Turbo, from 0%, charges at a point or 1% every minute. In theory that means that the battery takes about 100 minutes to charge. However, Motorola says that the Turbo Charger slows after 78%, so you should probably allow for just about two hours for a 100% charge.
Finally, Motorola claims that in as little as 15 minutes you can get “up to an 8-Hour charge”. And by “charge” they mean standby time, not use. Or, based on the above, your battery will read 15%. Not exactly anxiety reducing for anyone that has experienced their phone’s battery below 20%.
Not horrible, but not amazing. The DROID Turbo uses an AMOLED display, and like most others, it tends to oversaturate the colors. Moreover, in direct sunlight the display is difficult to see, even at max brightness, and shows a sort of fogginess.
But, if you’re into QHD then look no further. That’s over 550 pixels per inch stuffed inside the 5.2-inch display covered with Corning’s Gorilla Glass 3.
While the DROID Turbo sports dual flash, and can shoot 4K video, it’s most certainly not the selling point of this phone, and nor should it be one that sells anyone. And sure, it can snap 21mp photos, but when are you going to take advantage of that? So the question is, and always is, is it better than the iPhone 6’s camera?
And the short answer is no. I need to spend more time with the camera, but ultimately it’s good, and most certainly won’t over shadow this phone’s other features.
There is no disputing that the DROID Turbo is one of the fatter phones on the market. But it’s also one with one of the largest batteries, along with some impressive specs in terms of horsepower. However, the display leaves something to be desired and the lack of microSD card slot (even though the headphone jack is on the top) for expanded memory, makes it fall just short of being a killer handset.