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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.

I did experience some slow downs with Verizon, however, which typically has the most consistent 4G LTE connection in the Bay Area. I switched between streaming local radio through TuneIn and Digitally Imported and both apps struggled to buffer any content throughout my train ride through the Oakland Hills, where reception is typically spotty. What made it worse, however, was that I had to force close apps and then turn data on and off to try to get a measly 3G connection. On the plus side, I barely lost any battery life in the process.

One of the Droid Turbo's biggest hardware setbacks — besides its basic style — is its single-speaker setup, which is a shame because Motorola graced the Nexus 6 and Moto G with stereo sound. It can get loud, but not as loud as its predecessors. Thankfully, it doesn't sound tinny.

It just won't die

The Droid Turbo is the Jason Voorhees of phones: no matter what you do, you just can't kill it. I mean, you can, but it will take a really, really long time. And it'll come back in the sequel seeking vengeance. 

The Turbo lasted from Monday morning to Wednesday morning — about 48 hours of use, just as Motorola advertised. This wasn't on standby or airplane mode either: I streamed live radio through the aforementioned apps, checked Twitter and Facebook, downloaded podcasts over the LTE connection, and even placed a phone call to order dinner. Every time I checked the battery meter it had barely depleted a few percent.

We have one more battery test to do before we can officially confirm how truly long-lasting the Droid Turbo's battery life is. However, the general consensus from other reviewers seems to be that the Turbo is indeed longer lasting than most of the newest flagships out there.

Moto fixed its camera problem

One of the reasons I've refrained from switching to a Moto X as my daily driver is that its photo-taking abilities are subpar. However, the Droid Turbo's rear-facing 21-megapixel camera made me rethink my stance: the photos it took were remarkably clear and it certainly gave its counterparts a run for their money.

Its low-light performance could have been better, but compared to how the Moto X fared I'd say this is a huge improvement — just try to ignore the graininess. 

Thankfully, Motorola stuck to its own camera app for the Droid Turbo, rather than Google's stock Android camera. It's easy to use, too: tap on the screen to take the photo, and then slide from the right to get to the Gallery. If you need to adjust something, slide over from the left to bring out the Settings.

 

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