The Motorola Droid Turbo at first glance looks like a bulky take on the sleeker, stylish Moto X. It’s with good reason. The Turbo brings together some of the best features Motorola has been churning out and slaps on a beefy battery to take you far beyond a typical day. In short, the Turbo alleviates one of the most griped-about aspects of the “make it thinner” war that we’re somehow still involved in.
It needs to be noted this guy is a Verizon exclusive. Motorola and Verizon together promised 48-hours of battery and it’s plausible. Being able to stretch a modern phone to two days on a single charge sounds like a miracle but it isn’t far fetched. The far-slimmer battery in the Samsung Galaxy S5 can achieve that too, limited usage and turning off features withstanding, but the Turbo does have an astounding battery life. Putting it through normal usage of web browsing, photos, playing games and general usage it’s possible to stretch this beyond two sunsets.
While a promise of two days of battery life is nice (but possibly far-fetched) what it does achieve is still fantastic. Average users charge up at night but the bother that we’d like to avoid is tethering during your day. If you’re an office dweller it’s remembering to plug in. If you’re a traveler it means venturing for an outlet in public places (sometimes akwardly). The Turbo means you don’t need to have battery anxiety and that’s a pretty good thing.
You can strap a big battery on any phone but what the rest of the device has to offer is important too and Motorola surprised us a lot. With some average use tests the device is really snappy. Android is fluid as you swipe and jump in and out of apps. The engine is more powerful than anything it needs to handle which means it’s more than capable for any job you have for it.
The Droid Turbo also brings together some really cool features that are both usable and showy (it’s fun to brag about what this phone can do). The always-listening Moto can be brought to attention with a command of your choice (including the default, “Okay Droid Turbo”) that can fire off a few useful commands. To show off the feature we used the “Okay Droid Turbo … Take a selfie” command a lot. It’s fun, but not totally practical. Verizon has baked a few commands in to launch features of their My Verizon app but it’s unlikely you want to pay your bill by yelling at your phone.
The suprising stand out was the camera. The Turbo’s big touted feature is the battery so its expected the camera to be on-par with similar flagship devices at the moment. Not so.
The Turbo can handle low-light pretty damn well. Night shots are really crisp and colorful. And that (color) came up again and again. The camera on the Turbo bested other current Android flagships including the HTC One (m8) and Samsung Galaxy S5 in many areas but mainly the vibrance that showed up. Photos are really beautiful but the camera app itself is a little clunky to navigate requiring a lot of swiping to move around to features and not offering any menus. It was also easy to get trapped in the photo gallery when trying to get back to the camera.
The quality of pictures were only second to an iPhone 6 which picked up slightly more detail on our test image.
Like other Android devices, the Turbo offers a solution to jump into the camera from a cold start — twist your wrist twice. From other phones having you swipe or tap the volume rocker it might be the most natural (maybe not natural looking) way to activate the camera.
- That battery
- Small screen