Phandroid » Handsets http://phandroid.com Android Phone News, Rumors, Reviews, Apps, Forums & More! Fri, 31 Oct 2014 23:15:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Watch this: Samsung Galaxy S5 running leaked Android 5.0 Lollipop build [VIDEO] http://phandroid.com/2014/10/31/watch-this-samsung-galaxy-s5-running-leaked-android-5-0-lollipop-build-video/ http://phandroid.com/2014/10/31/watch-this-samsung-galaxy-s5-running-leaked-android-5-0-lollipop-build-video/#comments Fri, 31 Oct 2014 23:15:15 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=152292 Samsung Galaxy S5 back DSC05780

When Google showed off Android 5.0 Lollipop’s new Material Design aesthetic during this year’s Google I/O, the first thing we thought about was how this would translate to the custom skins offered by OEMs like HTC and Samsung. Just before we kick off the weekend, the boys at SamMobile are quenching a little bit of this curiosity with an early look at Android 5.0 Lollipop running on the Samsung Galaxy S5.

This is actually the second time they’re showing off Samsung’s version of Lollipop, although this one is much more recent build. Although it’s still an early version of the software Samsung will eventually roll out to their Galaxy line, it clues us in on exactly what the OEM has in mind for their version of Google’s Material Design UI and really, it’s not half bad.

The current version of the TouchWiz running on the Galaxy S5 we found was actually much easier on the eyes and in some respects, not too far — at least in color scheme — to what Google introduced in Lollipop. The newly leaked version of Lollipopped TouchWiz shows a similar TouchWiz interface, only with small design tweaks to the Settings, Calculator, Dialer and more. Here’s what SamMobile noticed was changed from the previous leaked Lollipop build:

Samsung Galaxy S5 Android 5.0 Lollipop 1 Samsung Galaxy S5 Android 5.0 Lollipop 2 Samsung Galaxy S5 Android 5.0 Lollipop 3 Samsung Galaxy S5 Android 5.0 Lollipop 4
  • New Note 4 fingerprint lock screen
  • New system-wide font — similar to the original one, but a tad thinner.
  • New animations, much smoother than before — there’s a screen off animation present as well.
  • Google Search bar in recents menu
  • Brightness slider in notification center has a new yellow color — while changing the brightness, the notification centre disappears and allows the user to view the content beneath it.
  • Removed “Interruptions” from Sound settings
  • Gallery: Media can be sorted using new filters including Pets, Events, Scenery, Documents, Food, Vehicles and Flowers.
  • Music: Improved UI
  • Clock: Navigation bar icons are now accompanied by text
  • Calculator: Removed square grids which surrounded the numbers and symbols
  • Contacts: New search box
  • Stock Material Design inspired applications receive colored status bar
  • Android Lollipop theme’s core green elements replaced with Samsung’s blue color
  • Settings: Improved UI, new icon color
  • New UI for setting wallpaper from home screen
  • Better spacing between options in power off dialog

For more image comparisons, make sure to check out the post on SamMobile but in the meantime, check out their hands-on video below.

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Motorola DROID Turbo battery life test: nowhere near 2-days, but still pretty great http://phandroid.com/2014/10/31/motorola-droid-turbo-battery-life-test-day-1-nowhere-near-2-days-but-still-pretty-great/ http://phandroid.com/2014/10/31/motorola-droid-turbo-battery-life-test-day-1-nowhere-near-2-days-but-still-pretty-great/#comments Fri, 31 Oct 2014 20:39:51 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=152233 Motorola DROID Turbo Battery Life DSC07228

We’re getting ready to charge up our newly purchased Motorola DROID Turbo for the day, but before we do, we wanted to share some personal battery life stats with you from our first day with the device. By now we’ve all heard Motorola and Verizon’s claims of 2-day battery life on the Turbo, one of the reasons we rushed out to buy the phone on day 1. So, just how true are those claims? Well, as to be expected, they’re a bit overly optimistic. In our first day’s use, we didn’t get anywhere near the 2-day battery life as advertised but what we did get wasn’t all that bad either.

After about 21 hours, our battery life was down to around 17% and still kicking. We know. On the surface, that doesn’t sound too great considering the DROID Turbo is outfitted with a substantially large 3,900mAh battery but there are multiple factors to consider, one of which is our screen on time: a little over 5 hours.

Motorola DROID Turbo battery life Day 1

Now, we’re not big phablet users but coming from a reasonably sized smartphone that is absolutely unheard of in our experience. Typically we only see around 2 hours of screen on time (full brightness) from most of our Android devices in the same amount of time with light or normal usage.

With the DROID Turbo, we were doing quite a lot with it (installing apps, playing video games, streaming YouTube, taking pictures, browsing Imgur). It’s not extremely heavy usage, but definitely more than we’d do on any other device where battery life is always something you keep in the back of your mind (“Should I watch this YouTube video? Nah, better wait until I plug in just in case“).

Another factor to consider is we had the brightness on nearly full blast the entire time we were using the DROID Turbo. And while battery life will never, ever, be the same for any 2 people (we know, you get 2 days of battery life on your old MyTouch 4G with blah, blah screen on time — whoop-dee-doo), we wanted to give you a rough ballpark figure of what we experienced from the Motorola DROID Turbo on the first day. We know battery life is a major deciding factor for many when it comes to their next smartphone purchases.

Our guess for why battery life wasn’t all that groundbreaking? The phone’s overkill 1440p display. We can only wonder how things would have looked on the Moto X (2nd Gen) with the same sized battery. Keep in mind we still have our full review coming soon, in which we’ll be sure to take into account multiple charging cycles and will report back our findings. Stay tuned!

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Virginia judge rules police can order a suspect unlock their phone via fingerprint (but not passcode) http://phandroid.com/2014/10/31/virginia-police-can-order-phone-unlock-via-fingerprint-but-not-passcode/ http://phandroid.com/2014/10/31/virginia-police-can-order-phone-unlock-via-fingerprint-but-not-passcode/#comments Fri, 31 Oct 2014 19:52:11 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=152248 Galaxy S5 Fingerprint Reader

On Thurdsday, a Virginia Circuit Court judge made a fairly groundbreaking and eye opening ruling involving the police asking someone to unlock their secured smartphone. According to the judge, demanding a suspect to provide the passcode to unlock their phone would be unconstitutional, while a suspect providing their fingerprint to unlock their phone would be fair game.

For those living under a rock, iPhone users since the iPhone 5s have been able to secure their smartphones using a fingerprint, a feature Apple calls TouchID. This was seen as a more convenient, but still plenty secure method of locking a smartphone to keep one’s data secure. If you’re a suspect detained police in Virginia, that’s not the case.

This relates back to the case of a man who allegedly strangled his girlfriend and police believe, may have recorded the act with this smartphone. Because his phone was locked with a passcode (and not a fingerprint), the defendant’s attorney argued that it was protected by the Fifth Amendment given that it would require a suspect to divulge knowledge. This is not in the same category as a person’s identity, which includes DNA, handwriting, or — you guessed it — fingerprints, all of which are within the bounds of the law.

While it would be easy to scoff at iPhone (or even Samsung) users who use fingerprint locking on their devices, keep in mind that Apple has a safeguard for anyone who hasn’t unlocked their phone in 48 hours which requires a secondary passcode be entered in the event that TouchID is enabled. That still gives police plenty of time after a suspect has been apprehended to require a fingerprint for unlocking.

How do you guys feel about the judge’s ruling? If you have a Samsung device, will any of you start using passcodes over the fingerprint scanner to secure your phone? Keep in mind, the NSA is watching this post. We kid…. (we think).

[Ars Technica]

 

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What do these Halloween photos tell us about the Nexus 6’s camera? http://phandroid.com/2014/10/31/nexus-6-night-camera-samples/ http://phandroid.com/2014/10/31/nexus-6-night-camera-samples/#comments Fri, 31 Oct 2014 14:38:27 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=152220 It’s one thing when a company presents carefully curated (and possibly edited) photo samples to show off their latest phone’s camera capabilities. It’s another when a representative of the same company posts a few casual shots to a social network. Which, we might ask, is the more accurate representation of the camera’s true nature? If you believe the latter, see Matias Duarte’s recent Google+ post in which he showcases his pumpkin carving skills and, simultaneously, the Nexus 6 camera.

matias-duarte-nexus-6-photo-pumpkins

Making these photos even more telling is the fact that they are night shots — the bane of many a smartphone photographer. While plenty of Android devices boast perfectly capable daytime shooting modes, it is when we transition into the dim lighting of the night that we really get a sense of the limits of any particular camera sensor. While it is important to note that Duarte is not presenting these photos in order to directly show off the Nexus 6 camera (and therefore they may not be representative of the best the phone is capable of), one could argue that this example of “real world” use says more about the latest Google phone’s photo capabilities than any set of PR-selected photos could.

We have mixed feelings about the results. As far as nighttime photos captured with a smartphone are concerned, these are pretty good. You can see plenty of detail out of the darkness, but there is a good deal of graininess. The resolution is there but it’s fuzzy around the edges. The colors don’t exactly pop, but the sensor is obviously sensitive enough to capture subtle differences in shadow and light. Needless to say, the Nexus 6 isn’t blowing us away here, but it seems perfectly capable of grabbing some decent photos in darker lighting conditions (anyone who wants amazing nighttime photos will need a more powerful camera setup than what’s available on the smartphone market, in any case).

What says the peanut gallery? Do these photos get you excited about the Nexus 6 camera, or do they leave you wanting more?

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Samsung announces Galaxy A5 and A3 with metal unibody design, 5MP front facing cameras [VIDEO] http://phandroid.com/2014/10/31/samsung-galaxy-a5-a3-announced-metal-unibody/ http://phandroid.com/2014/10/31/samsung-galaxy-a5-a3-announced-metal-unibody/#comments Fri, 31 Oct 2014 05:04:10 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=152183 Samsung Galaxy A5 kids

We’ve heard about Samsung’s A series many times in recent months. The subject of countless leaks, tonight, on the eve of Halloween, Samsung is formally announcing their metal-clad Samsung Galaxy A5 and Samsung Galaxy A3.

Samsung says the new phone line feature a more “trendy” design aimed at a younger demographic (probably those who love the look of the all metal iPhone) thanks to an all metal unibody exterior and a side profile Samsung says is their thinnest smartphone yet (because paper thin smartphones are still a thing). The Galaxy A5 measures in at just barely 6.7mm thin, while the A3 is 6.9mm (same as the iPhone 6). Yeah, these things are slim. There’s 5 colors too (no doubt limited by region): Pearl White, Midnight Black, Platinum Silver, Soft Pink, Light Blue and Champagne Gold.

Samsung Galaxy A5 Pearl-White Samsung Galaxy A5 Midnight-Black Samsung Galaxy A5 Platinum-Silver Samsung Galaxy A5 Soft-Pink Samsung Galaxy A5 Light-Blue Samsung Galaxy A5 Champagne-Gold

The other interesting hardware spec is the front facing camera. Samsung opted for a 5MP shooter on the front because the kids, they’re all about the selfies nowadays. You know what the kids aren’t into? The smartphone spec arms race we saw this year. There’s no 2K displays or octa-core processors to be found on these devices. No, sir. The A series is all about style and aesthetics. Here’s where we’re at in terms of hardware:

Samsung Galaxy A5 hardware

Samsung Galaxy A5

  • 1.2GHz unnamed quad-core processor
  • 5.0” HD SAMOLED
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB internal storage w/ micro SD card slot (up to 64GB)
  • 13MP rear / 5MP front facing
  • LTE Cat 4
  • NFC (LTE model only)
  • 2,300mAh battery
  • Android 4.4 KitKat

Samsung Galaxy A3

  • 1.2GHz unnamed quad-core processor
  • 4.5-inch qHD SAMOLED
  • 1GB RAM
  • 16GB internal storage w/ micro SD card slot (up to 64GB)
  • 8MP rear / 5MP front facing
  • LTE Cat 4
  • NFC (LTE model only)
  • 1,900 mAh
  • Android 4.4 KitKat

Samsugn Galaxy A3 hardware

Samsung mentioned that while the new Samsung Galaxy A5 and A3 will definitely be headed to China, availability will also be limited to other select markets as well (although was mum on details). Check out Samsung’s hip new promo video below and be sure to let us know what you think about the new A series.

[Samsung Tomorrow]

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Motorola DROID Turbo now available from Verizon, watch it save James Franco’s life [VIDEO] http://phandroid.com/2014/10/30/motorola-droid-turbo-now-available-verizon-wireless/ http://phandroid.com/2014/10/30/motorola-droid-turbo-now-available-verizon-wireless/#comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 04:43:50 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=152118 James Franco Motorola DROID Turbo

After a series of teaser videos starring movie star James Franco were uploaded to YouTube, tonight, as the clock struck midnight, the full ad has finally been revealed. This time uploaded onto Verizon’s YouTube channel, the video — which is now prominently featured on the DroidDoes website  — finally shows off some of the Motorola DROID Turbo’s best features (like the fact that it’s fast and can deliver 8 hours of battery life from a 15 minute charge). Verizon drives home the point with Franco free falling from a building but not giving AF thanks to his blazing fast DROID Turbo which he uses to change his trajectory.

Motorola DROID Turbo Verizon Wireless

In fact, the phone is now officially available for purchase from Verizon’s website in black, red, or ballistic nylon. The 32GB model will run you $200 with a 2-year agreement ($25 a month on payments), or 64GB for $250 ($27.08 on payments). If you’re looking to go the full price route, 32GB is $600 and 64GB is $650. Keep in mind the only color option/finish for the 64GB model is ballistic nylon.

We’ll admit, we tried to hold off on purchasing (weren’t a fan of the looks) but in the end, there’s just no denying 2-day battery life and a near stock Android experience. You win, Verizon. We’ll bite. Expect our full Motorola DROID Turbo review in the coming days.

Motorola DROID Turbo (Red)

Motorola DROID Turbo (Black)

Motorola DROID Turbo (Ballistic Nylon)

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T-Mobile Sony Xperia Z3 now available for purchase, comes with 6 free movie downloads http://phandroid.com/2014/10/29/tmobile-sony-xperia-z3-now-available-for-purchase/ http://phandroid.com/2014/10/29/tmobile-sony-xperia-z3-now-available-for-purchase/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 19:58:09 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=152042 Sony Xperia Z3 T-Mobile

After pre-orders for the Sony Xperia Z3 opened up almost 2 weeks ago, starting today, you can finally pick one up at T-Mobile. It’s arguably one of the best “pocketable” smartphones you can buy this year and while you wont be able to pick up a free copy of DriveClub (pre-orders only), you can rest assured knowing the phone is all yours for $0 down and only $26 a month over the course of 2 years.

Of course, many of those who pre-ordered are already enjoying the phone since last week, but for everyone else, here’s what you can expect out of the Xperia Z3 on the hardware side of things:

  • 5.2-inch 1080p display
  • 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 processor
  • 3GB RAM
  • 32GB internal storage (with micro SD card slot)
  • 20.7MP camera
  • Front facing stereo speakers
  • 3,100mAh battery with up to 2 days battery life
  • IP68 water/dust proof

As far as media, Sony is throwing in 6 free movie downloads which includes: 22 Jump Street, Amazing Spider-Man 2, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, Captain Phillips, 30th Year Anniversary Edition of Ghostbusters, and Moneyball. All that just for buying the Xperia Z3.

The phone is already available for purchase online, but you may want to call your local retail store ahead of time to make sure they have stock. While today probably wasn’t the best time to launch a new smartphone given all the Nexus 6 hype, we have a feeling the Sony Xperia Z3 will do just fine for itself on T-Mobile.

[Sony Xperia Z3 on T-Mobile.com]

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Must watch: working Project Ara prototype shown off in behind the scenes video http://phandroid.com/2014/10/29/working-project-ara-spiral-1-prototype-video/ http://phandroid.com/2014/10/29/working-project-ara-spiral-1-prototype-video/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 18:24:22 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=152027 Project Ara Spiral 1

Still in its infancy, Project Ara still has a ways to go before it reaches a consumer release. Over the past few months, we’ve watch as more information surrounding the project continually trickled out, the most recent being a second round of Project Ara developer’s conferences slated for January in both the US and Singapore.

Some might be surprised to know that although Project Ara runs Android, it isn’t actually an official Android project or even a Nexus device. In fact, it’s not even a Google project. This was made clear in Phonebloks’ latest blog post which clears up some confusion about their involvement in the project. The Ara team wants to make it clear that Dutch designer Dave Hakkens who came up with the Phonebloks concept we showed you guys awhile back is more of a community manager, creating videos and giving sneak peeks at Ara development.

That’s all good and dandy, but we’re sure many of you are dying to see more of the actual prototype and in Phoneblok’s latest video — released just today — you can watch as Dave goes behind the scenes at the NK Labs in Boston, MA and fires up a working Project Ara prototype known as Spiral 1. We’d be lying if we said we didn’t get goosebumps.

Although space on the Spiral 1 prototype is limited (about 49% of the space available to developers), Spiral 2 which is being developed by Toshiba will have “most of the area” available for the developers’ function. Unfortunately, the Toshiba-built prototype wasn’t shown off in the video but will instead take center stage during next years’ Project Ara developer’s conference.

Once again, pricing for an entry-level Project Ara device will likely run around $50-100, although final pricing of an actual Project Ara device will largely remain in the hands of developers building modules. Sign. Me. Up.

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Google offering six free months of Google Play Music when you purchase a Nexus 6 http://phandroid.com/2014/10/29/nexus-6-play-music-offer/ http://phandroid.com/2014/10/29/nexus-6-play-music-offer/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 17:30:11 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=152019 google_play_music_all_access

Google’s giving folks quite the incentive to purchase a Nexus 6 for the holiday season. The company is set to offer 6 months of Google Play Music All Access for no charge if you order the phone (which should be up for pre-sale any moment now) by December 31st, 2014. The only other catch is that you must redeem your offer by the end of January 2015, though we have a feeling you won’t be dragging your feet on a $60 value.

Unfortunately this offer does not apply to you if you’ve used a Google Play Music trial or have been a paid subscriber within the past 12 months. Another catch is that you need to be a United States resident in order to be eligible.

Once you get a 6-month helping of Google Play Music you probably won’t want to look back. Google has built up a massive collection of on-demand music that you can listen to without issue. The added bonus of being able to store 20,000 of your own tracks in the cloud is just more icing on a very sweet cake. Let us know if you’ll be taking advantage once you get your Nexus 6 starting next month.

google play music nexus 6 offer

[via Google, Google Play]

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[Update: someone jumped the gun] Nexus 6 is now officially available for pre-order on Google Play http://phandroid.com/2014/10/29/order-nexus-6/ http://phandroid.com/2014/10/29/order-nexus-6/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 17:17:52 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=152015 nexus-6-domino

When Google first took the wraps off the Nexus 6 earlier this month, they failed to pin a specific date on when we could expect the phone to land on Google Play. About a week later, we watched as the phone’s Play Store listing was suddenly updated with an October 29th pre-order date. Well, the time has come: the Nexus 6 is now officially available for pre-order from the Google Play Store.

Nexus 6 quick specs

  • 5.96-inch, QHD (1440×2560) display
  • Snapdragon 805 processing (quad-core 2.7GHz) with Adreno 420 graphics
  • 13MP rear and 2MP front-facing cameras
  • 3,220mAh battery

Available in 32GB for $650, or 64GB for $700, like Google Play edition devices, we don’t expect the full-priced unlocked model to break any sales records. Thankfully, unlike Nexus devices before it, you can get the phone subsidized through any of the 4 major US carrier’s early upgrade/payment plans when it officially launches next month.

Google’s early estimates say the device is shipping in 3-4 weeks which somewhat lines up with their expectations to have the device shipped out in early November. We have to ask — anyone actually pre-ordering the full-priced unlocked model?

Nexus 6 on Google Play

[Update]: The Google Play listing allowed us to add the 32GB model to cart for about 2 seconds, though Google seems to have set it back to out of inventory. The 64GB is model is still showing the same “coming soon” banner that we’ve ween before. Reports from our comments section, inbox and even our own Derek Ross confirms people who were fast enough were able to place orders.

We doubt Google has already sold out of their initial stock of Nexus inventory so quickly and without saying a word. They are more than likely just making sure everything on the Play Store listing is peachy clean and ready to go. The addition of new promo text that details an offer for a free 6-month Google Play Music All Access subscription certainly leads us to believe someone at Google accidentally let the order form go live ahead of time.

This certainly does mean they’re preparing to open the floodgates, though, and you’ll want to have that trigger finger ready for whenever it goes live. We’ll be updating this post with any relevant information as the seconds and minutes tick by.

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You can now order the Galaxy Note 4 developer edition for Verizon http://phandroid.com/2014/10/29/buy-note-4-dev-edition/ http://phandroid.com/2014/10/29/buy-note-4-dev-edition/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 15:47:30 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=152009 note-4-typical-pic-phandroid

Just a quick heads-up that the developer edition of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is now available over at Samsung’s website. This device comes with an unlockable bootloader, though the catch is that it will only work on Verizon –AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile customers will need to look to the development community for some after-market bootloader love.

Other than the key to unlocked shackles, everything about the developer edition Galaxy Note 4 is identical to the normal version you can buy from Verizon. That includes a 5.7-inch 2560 x 1440 display, 3GB of RAM, a quad-core Snapdragon 805 chipset clocked at 2.7GHz, a 16 megapixel camera with optical image stabilization and more.

Need info on the phone itself? Our Galaxy Note 4 review should get you going. Now all that’s left for you to decide is whether the cost of smartphone freedom is worth $700 without a contract. Head to Samsung’s site to order one if you’re interested.

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Latest DROID Turbo ad starring James Franco sees the star inhaling an iced coffee [VIDEO] http://phandroid.com/2014/10/28/latest-droid-turbo-ad-starring-james-franco-sees-the-star-inhaling-an-iced-coffee-video/ http://phandroid.com/2014/10/28/latest-droid-turbo-ad-starring-james-franco-sees-the-star-inhaling-an-iced-coffee-video/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 02:22:28 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=151990 Motorola Droid Turbo ad James Franco 2

We’re starting to notice a reoccurring theme with these new Verizon ads starring James Franco. After yesterday’s “viral” video showcased Franco speeding around town on his bike, today’s video has the star practically inhaling an iced coffee unawares of those filming him. We get it. James Franco is fast and it’s all because of his new Motorola DROID Turbo and the powerful 2.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon 805 processor inside.

With the phone now official out in the open, it’s interesting to see Verizon/Motorola continue making an effort to create buzz for a phone in a series of viral ads that don’t actually show off the phone or its features. At least not yet. Guess there’s still some time left. The Motorola DROID Turbo doesn’t officially launch on Verizon until this Thursday, October 30th.

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Discuss the DROID Turbo’s insane battery life and specs over at Android Forums right now! http://phandroid.com/2014/10/28/droid-turbo-android-forums/ http://phandroid.com/2014/10/28/droid-turbo-android-forums/#comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 17:08:27 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=151933 droid turbo hands 4

Verizon unleashed the Motorola DROID Turbo earlier today, and it turned out to be a pretty beastly phone. The thing is packed to the brim with class-leading specs at every category. Our announcement post has all the details you’ll crave, and we’ve even got hands-on for you to enjoy as we await the device’s October 30th launch date.

But if you’re in need for some serious discussion then AndroidForums.com is the place you want to be. The DROID Turbo section is alive and kicking with some healthy conversation already going down. Folks have been comparing the device to the Nexus 6, and rightfully so being that they’re made by the same company. Considering the DROID Turbo is actually cheaper off-contract some folks are considering it to be a better deal over Google’s 2014 flagship Nexus handset.

There’s also talk going on about the device’s massive 3,900mAh battery and the 48 hours Motorola promises to be able to deliver with that hefty pack of juice. It’s OK to be skeptical of their claims, though we imagine an accompanying Turbo Charger (which can get you 8 hours of juice with just 15 minutes of charging) will overshadow any lingering concerns about battery life.

All of that and more is being discussed over at AndroidForums so head over, sign up and take part. We’ll be seeing you over there!

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Hands-on: Motorola Droid Turbo http://phandroid.com/2014/10/28/hands-on-motorola-droid-turbo/ http://phandroid.com/2014/10/28/hands-on-motorola-droid-turbo/#comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 16:41:45 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=151920 droid-turbo-rear

Another year, another Droid. Despite turbulent times at Motorola the company remains dedicated to churning out Droid devices via their partnership with Verizon, but their strategy has shifted slightly. While previous years have seen a plethora of Droid-branded devices, 2014 brings us only one. The Motorola Droid Turbo comes in as the lineup’s new flagship. If first impressions mean anything, Moto and Verizon are off to a good start.

On paper the Droid Turbo has every means to dominate:

  • a 5.2-inch Quad HD display,
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 SoC (Quad-Core @ 2.7GHz),
  • 3GB RAM
  • 21MP camera,
  • and a 3900mAh battery.

As per that last spec, Motorola made a big point to emphasize the Turbo’s big battery. It’s not a spec we can truly test in our so-far limited hands-on time, but there are promises of 48 hours worth of battery life with an 8-hour boost attainable via only 15 minutes of charging thanks to Motorola’s Turbo Charge technology.

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But I digress. The Droid Turbo lives up to the excellent build quality Motorola has come to be known for. Even better, the Turbo improves in some areas. A new ballistic nylon finish option makes for the most appealing version of the device (also available is a “metallized glass” finish in red or black). The fabric weave is this year’s alternative to the kevlar construction of previous Droid handsets, and it promises a similar level of durability while offering a unique feel and visual texture.

The device is by no means light in the hand, but it doesn’t feel overwhelming or uncomfortable. It’s a nice size and the weight is distributed evenly. Moto’s bezel game is again strong with the Turbo, allowing the 5.2-inch display to take up the majority of the handset’s front. We like what we’ve seen so far from that display. It’s as crisp and clear as any other Quad HD we have experienced and capable of some deep and rich colors.

The internal hardware of the Droid Turbo shouldn’t disappoint. Its Snapdragon 805 is the top of its class in terms of processing power and capabilities. The Droid Turbo will be among a select class of devices to feature the chip (the Nexus 6, a Motorola device that shares much of its DNA with the Turbo, also carries the Snapdragon 805 but won’t make it market until after the Verizon-exclusive Droid).

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And it feels powerful flowing through homescreens and the usual sorts of surface-level tasks. It’s helped along by a “pure” Android install — much like the Moto X. For those wondering, yes, Motorola is promising an upgrade to Lollipop when available. Although our first impressions of the Droid Turbo’s hardware were positive overall, there is a bit of lag in some spots (notably the camera shutter).

As for how capable that 21MP camera is? It’s nice, for sure. Again, we need more time to throughly evaluate its potential, but a few initial shots in a well-lit NYC loft space came out on the higher end of the smartphone spectrum in terms of quality.

The Droid Turbo has all the makings of a great Android device. For those considering the new Moto X and Motorola-made Nexus 6 as their next smartphone, it’s worth tossing the Turbo into the conversation. It shares much in common and offers some compelling additions (the 21MP camera and massive battery perhaps the most), but one can’t help but get the feeling that the Turbo will be overlooked in the conversation. Stay tuned for our full review for a more in-depth look at how the Droid Turbo stacks up to the competition.

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New DROID Turbo gets 48 hours of battery life, launches October 30th on Verizon http://phandroid.com/2014/10/28/droid-turbo-official/ http://phandroid.com/2014/10/28/droid-turbo-official/#comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 16:00:39 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=151903 Talk about the Motorola DROID Turbo at AndroidForums.com!

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Verizon has finally officially revealed the Motorola DROID Turbo. The company made it quite obvious that this is what they were announcing over the past few weeks. Earlier rumors told us to expect a phone that exceeded all expectations, and we’re happy to say that it totally does.

The phone should be heralded as the beast of all beasts right now. It sports Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 805 chipset, 3GB of RAM, a 5.2-inch 2560 x 1440 display, an insane 21 megapixel camera that can shoot 4K video, a 3,900mAh battery that delivers 48 hours of battery life and can be charged for 8 hours of use in 15 minutes with Motorola’s Turbo Charger.

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While it’ll be coming with Android 4.4 KitKat out of the box, Motorola and Verizon promise a guaranteed upgrade to Lollipop at some point after release (though we didn’t really need a promise to assume that would be the case).

The duo were quite proud to announce that this would be a “pure” Android phone that doesn’t make use of any bloated user interface customizations or a ridiculous amount of pre-installed apps. This should make for faster upgrades to new software versions down the line as the Moto X and the DROID phones of yesteryear enjoyed. With that, you can expect Motorola’s light coat of paint in the form of Motorola Assist, Touchless Controls, Active Display and all the other useful software features they’ve become known for in the past year.

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In typical Verizon fashion, the device will be available just two days after today’s announcement — that’s Thursday, October 30th if your calendar is broken. You’ll be able to choose from a 32GB option for $200 on a two-year agreement or get stepped up to a whopping 64GB of storage for just $50 more. The former can be had in either Metallic Black, Metallic Red or a new premium ballistic nylon material Motorola is using. Those opting for the $250 version will only have the option of going with ballistic nylon.

Oh, and one more quick perk Verizon’s throwing in — you’ll get one free replacement/repair for a broken display in your contract period. Not a bad deal if you hate having to pay a hefty deductible because your phone took an unfortunate tumble one day. Sound off with your thoughts on this beast in the comments below and stay tuned for more coverage from Verizon’s announcement event, including hands-on video right from the shindig!

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