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Droid Turbo review: Motorola's big red phone is almost unkillable

Florence Ion | Nov. 19, 2014
The Motorola Droid Turbo is a powerful smartphone with the latest high-end components, a better-than-average rear-facing camera, and a guaranteed two days of battery life--but it's only available to Verizon Wireless subscribers.

The Motorola Droid Turbo is a powerful smartphone with the latest high-end components, a better-than-average rear-facing camera, and a guaranteed two days of battery life — but it's only available to Verizon Wireless subscribers.

That's the Motorola Droid Turbo's biggest setback, and one that will likely keep it from becoming a best seller. I'm impressed with how much thought Motorola put into this handset, but the fact that it's tethered to Verizon's network means that only a limited few will have the option to experience it. And its basic, manly design makes it hard to justify switching carriers for.

A basic phone for a basic bro

Remember when Android phones were plain bricks with a bit of red or silver trim around the edges? It seems Motorola's feeling nostalgic, because that's what the Droid Turbo reminds me of. I'm under the impression that the Turbo's target demographic is middle-aged men, hence its utilitarian design. I've seen what Motorola can do with phone design and I'm disappointed it didn't carry that over to this particular device.

The Droid Turbo sports ridged metal buttons for both its volume rocker and power button, and they feel more sturdy than the buttons on other phones. You'll also find a ridged Motorola "M" logo on its backside, as well as a ridged bar across the front-facing speaker. I think it looks cool, but it certainly reinforces that masculine aesthetic it's got going on. 

The Turbo features a fantastic 5.2-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display with a pixel density of about 564 pixels-per-inch. The display is fully visible from any angle, and its color profiles aren't overly saturated like Samsung's Super AMOLED displays. My only complaint is that it would have been nice if Motorola extended the display down a bit and used soft, on-screen buttons instead of off-screen capacitive buttons.

It's what's on the inside that counts

When it comes to specs, the Droid Turbo is one hell of a smartphone. It's packed with a quad-core 2.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor, 3GB of RAM, and a whopping 3,900mAh battery pack, which we'll touch upon in the next section.

Performance is what you'd expect from the latest processor on the market — everything is incredibly fast and responsive. You don't normally see a device slow down until later on in its life, however, after you've downloaded and installed hoards of apps and services. I didn't experience too much of a slow down after six months with last year's Moto X, or two months with this year's refresh, so I imagine the near-stock Android on offer here will manage the same. The Turbo is getting Android 5.0 Lollipop soon.

 

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