Phandroid » Handsets Android Phone News, Rumors, Reviews, Apps, Forums & More! Thu, 02 Oct 2014 01:42:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Someone carved a Nexus 6 out of wood and compared against the Nexus 4 and 7 Wed, 01 Oct 2014 22:08:30 +0000 xgo5Mb3

It’s probably the last thing we thought we’d see today, but after taking a look at a mockup of the Nexus 6 from the other day, one resourceful Redditor took to making his own. Out of wood. He carved a Nexus 6 out of wood. Yup.

Taking the measurements of its rumored 5.9-inch display and using the carefully crafted mockup, he was able to punch in the measurements into a DPI calculator to come up with a 73.5mm by 13.06mm display. He then printed it out, and began carving out a 3D mockup made out of wood. Excessive? A bit. But it’s also damn cool and we applaud the man for it.

Nexus 6 mockup wood 4aPuZHS

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Putting it up against his Nexus 4 and Nexus 7, we get a better idea of exactly the kinda size we’re talking about here with the phone dwarfing the Nexus 4, but not coming anywhere near the gargantuan size of the Nexus 7. Seems the phone will definitely be big, but not stupid big. For one last illustration, you can see the phone in reference to the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and iPhone 6 Plus with the Nexus 6 size calculated using the same method above. The small bezels help keep the overall size down, measuring in just a hair smaller than the iPhone 6 Plus.

What do you think? Seems this year’s Nexus could be targeting a smaller niche market of phablet enthusiasts. If so (and Google doesn’t come out of left field with a Nexus 5 2014 model), we could be passing on this year’s Nexus for the first time in forever and sticking it out with the new Moto X (2nd Gen) Pure Edition.

Nexus 6 mockup vs iPhone 6 Plus Galaxy Note 4

[Reddit 1, 2]

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Is this guy using a Nexus 6? Wed, 01 Oct 2014 18:37:39 +0000 nexus 6 leak

I have a confession. A deep, dark, twisted and sadistic confession. Ready? I have a strange infatuation with seeing devices in the wild. I get all giddy when it happens, even if it’s a device I have no plans to purchase at any point in the future. So when a purported Nexus 6 is roaming around that just drives me absolutely nuts.

The photo above was obtained by Android Police, and it looks like it matches up quite accurately with the report we wrote on yesterday’s leak. The device is sporting dual front-facing speakers just as rumors have said to expect on the Nexus 6, and it even features the recent build of Android L we got a glimpse of earlier today.

The device is no doubt being snuggled by a protective case likely used to try and hide its identity as much as protecting the hardware from damage. The case design does reveal that the buttons for power and volume are positioned more toward the middle of the device to make them more comfortable to reach — this thing is supposed to be a 5.9-inch WHALE of a phone, after all. See what I did there? Codename “shamu?” Whale? No? Well, it was worth a shot.

All that aside, it’s looking more and more likely that this is the Nexus device Google is prepared to introduce at some point this fall. We’re hopeful for an announcement within a month’s time, but beggars can’t be choosers — let’s just cross our fingers that this thing is actually real and Google is planning to release it before the winter months arrive (though with how many leaks are starting to spring up we’d say there’s nothing to worry about).

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Samsung lays out Galaxy Note 4 launch plans with handy release map Wed, 01 Oct 2014 17:54:01 +0000 note 4 release map

Samsung is getting ready to release the Galaxy Note 4 in 140 countries by the end of this month, and the company has decided to give us a good idea of their launch plans for each region. The map above was posted to Samsung’s Facebook page, and if you know your geography then you should be able to figure out when your country or region of choice is slated to get it.

South Korea has gotten the device already, of course, as Samsung pushed its release date up to September 26th in that part of the world (mainly to battle the launch of the iPhone 6 and 6+ on their home turf). The map shows it’ll be available around North America starting October 17th which lines up with some of the dates we’ve heard in recent weeks. Mexico won’t be seeing a good bulk of their launches until very late October and early November, while South America will be getting a crack on October 18th.

Heading to the European region, we see that most countries in that area are expecting to see the device on either October 17th of October 24th, with just a smattering of launches slated for October 28th-30th. The full map sits above, and note (note pun intended) that exact date of availability might depend on carrier and retailer launch schedules — these dates are just the earlier Samsung expects them to be available for store shelves in each region.

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Best Android Phones [October 2014] Wed, 01 Oct 2014 16:27:08 +0000 best-phones-hero

As fall rolls around, the leaves on the trees aren’t the only thing changing. There has been a shakeup in our monthly best phone rankings, including a new name at the top of our list. Which phone reigns supreme? Read on to find out.

Previously: SeptemberAugust | July | June | May | April | March | February

5. HTC One M8

HTC One M8 DSC06660

The One M8 sees its biggest drop since entering our top rankings, threatened by rumors that HTC will launch a version of the device with an improved camera next week. The current One M8 remains a favorite, however, for its dashing good looks and Sense interface.

4. Sony Xperia Z3


Yes, it seems like just yesterday that Sony released the Xperia Z2, but the Xperia Z3 is here. Like many a Sony handset before it, its premium design, powerful hardware, and waterproof construction give us every reason to want the Z3. Unfortunately, like many a Sony handset before it, a US release has not been one of the Japanese company’s priorities.

3. Samsung Galaxy S5

Samsung Galaxy S5 DSC05763

Samsung is about to outdo itself with the release of the Galaxy Note 4, but the phablet caters to a niche market. The Galaxy S5 remains the manufacturer’s go-to flagship, a contender that pairs premium performance with an innovative feature set that includes a fingerprint scanner, heart rate monitor, and waterproof design. They threw in everything but the kitchen sink (but you can still throw the GS5 into the kitchen sink).

2. LG G3


When it comes to hardware, it would be hard to find any phone on our list that can top the LG G3. With a Quad HD display, blazing quad-core performance, and a swanky new coat of paint for its Android interface, the phone moves to number two on our list after several months at the top by no fault of its own.

1. Moto X (2nd. Gen)

Verizon Moto X 2014 DSC06999

The wait was well worth it. Motorola’s Moto X update for 2014 is everything we loved about the original and more, leading many reviewers (including our own Chris Chavez) to declare the handset one of the best ever made. Solid design and construction meet premium specs in a package the buyer can customize to their liking. Throw in a clean implementation of Android in conjunction with the sort of bells and whistles we actually want to see in a smartphone, and we have a new name at the top of our list.

Honorable Mentions

Nexus 5 shortcuts DSC05736

  1. Nexus 5 — The Nexus 5 exits our top list and lands in the honorable mentions as Google gears up to launch the handset’s successor in the coming weeks.
  2. Moto G (2nd. Gen) — Don’t let this phone’s $180 price tag fool you: this Android device is the real deal.
  3. OnePlus One — You still need an invite to buy, but there is no shame in asking around in order to get your hands on OnePlus’ lauded handset.
  4. Sony Xperia Z2 — The Xperia Z3 might be the better phone, but its launch means now is a great time to find a deal on this previous generation device.
  5. Oppo Find 7a — Think of it as a OnePlus One for people that don’t want to deal with the hassles of procuring a OnePlus One.

Upcoming Phones

It’s rare these days that we should have to wait months for the launch of a currently announced smartphone, but it still happens. Samsung, why must you tease us?

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

samsung galaxy note 4

Samsung’s next entry into the Galaxy Note line was announced last month and is already up for preorder around the globe. Its launch is only a few weeks away, making this device one that might be worth waiting for. It brings many of the features introduced with the Galaxy S5 to the Note form factor along with updated S Pen input and productivity enhancements. The only thing standing between the Note 4 and a spot among our top ranked phones is its retail availability.

Rumor Mill

This month’s rumor mill is Moto-centric, which is fitting considering their new Moto X topped our list in its first month of availability. What can we expect as a followup?

Nexus 6

nexus 6 shamu render leak

Signs point to Google unveiling their new Nexus lineup alongside the rollout of Android L sometime this month. Here’s hoping that pans out, because the Nexus 6 has been churning through the rumor mill for what seems like an eternity. The latest rumors suggest it will indeed feature a phablet-sized 5.9-inch display. Images show us a Motorola-made device that will share quite a bit in common with the new Moto X.

Motorola Droid Turbo

droid turbo 5

As if the top spot on our list and an upcoming Nexus device weren’t enough, there is yet another Motorola device that has the Android world buzzing. The latest in the long line of phones that arguably put Android on the map, the Motorola Droid Turbo looks to live every bit up to its name. Benchmark tests show a device running a Snapdragon 805 SoC, 3GB RAM, and Adreno 420 graphics.

Amazon Best Sellers

We don’t have room for every Galaxy S variant on our list of top phones, but Amazon sure does. We’ve sorted through Amazon’s best sellers to pull out the top phones we haven’t already mentioned. Here’s what we got:

  1. Amazon Fire Phone
  2. Samsung Galaxy S4
  3. Samsung Galaxy S3
  4. HTC One M7
  5. Samsung Galaxy Note 3
  6. Samsung Galaxy S5 Sport
  7. Samsung Galaxy Mega
  8. Samsung Galaxy S5 Active
  9. Samsung Galaxy Note II
  10. LG G2

What Say You?

It’s an exciting time to be in the market for an Android phone. We know which one we would buy, how about you? Does our list jive with yours? Did we make a glaring error or leave off a phone worthy of mention? Sound off in the comments below and let us know your picks for best Android phones!

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HTC One M8 Eye press photos leak; looks just like an HTC One M8 Wed, 01 Oct 2014 12:50:13 +0000 htc-one-m8-eye-leak

According to the rumor mill, HTC is supposed to be introducing an HTC One M8 with a souped up camera at next week’s New York City event. That phone is said to come alongside the HTC RECamera, an activity shooter that’s akin to head-mountable action cams like the GoPro.

A new render of the former device has leaked, and it doesn’t really give us much to talk or think about. This thing is an HTC One M8 through and through, down to its exact looks and most of the specs of the original. The only difference will be the introduction of a 13 megapixel camera sensor on the rear as opposed to HTC’s oft-criticized UltraPixel sensor.

The rest of the specs are poised to remain the same, including a 5-inch 1080p display, a Snapdragon 801 processor, 2GB of RAM and more. We’ll have to see if those extra megapixels in the rear end up making this a necessary launch for HTC, but there it is anyway. Be sure to circle back next week for the official announcement details as we get them.

[Weibo via GSMArena]

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Underwater Sony Xperia Z3 uboxing shows off its killer feature [VIDEO] Wed, 01 Oct 2014 00:57:29 +0000 Sony Xperia Z3 underwater unboxing

Although occasionally guilty of it ourselves, we’ll admit — smartphone unboxings aren’t always the funnest videos to watch. But alas, they’re a necessary evil, meant to give you a quick first look at what you can expect when you open up x device for yourself (and we typically mix in our first impressions to keep things interesting).

Earlier today, we saw what happens when you crack open an actual Sony Xperia Z3 smartphone, exposing all the modular internals to the outside world. Now, the folks at Carphone Warehouse are giving us a more unconventional unboxing of the Z3, taking the phone deep underwater in their latest YouTube video. Given that the Xperia Z3 has an IP68 rating for water, it has absolutely no problem being submerged in 1.5 meters of water. You have to admit, that’s one killer feature.

Check out the video below and be sure to let us know what you think.

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Sony Xperia Z3 gets the teardown treatment, reveals modular components and parts Tue, 30 Sep 2014 23:51:56 +0000 Sony Xperia Z3 20140926170531_6371

We’ve been anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Sony Xperia Z3 and its smaller sibling, the Z3 Compact. Call us sick in the heads, but we take a certain amount of pleasure in watching the disassembly of these tiny pocket computers with the Sony Xperia Z3 being no different.

The phone is the subject of a new teardown by the folks at Ewisetech, giving us an up close look at everything that makes the Z3 tick. For interested parties, take a look at a few of the upcoming smartphone’s exposed parts down below.

Sony Xperia Z3 20140926170305_5259 Sony Xperia Z3 20140926170515_9338 Sony Xperia Z3 20140926170522_6526 Sony Xperia Z3 20140926170307_9478 Sony Xperia Z3 20140926170531_5434 Sony Xperia Z3 20140926170303_0571

Unsurprising, there’s not too much different from the older Z2 model (this ones got more rounded edges). The back plate is removed rather easily, using some kinda of foam insulation to keep a water tight seal. Once cracked open, inside you’ll find the use of Samsung RAM/ROM, and a handful of chips from Broadcom and Qualcomm on the exposed motherboard.

If nothing else, we were surprised at how clean and modular all the internal parts were, leaving us confident that replacing parts on the device shouldn’t be too troublesome. Fore more pictures, check out the source link below.

[Ewisetech | via Xperia Blog]

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LG G3 officially headed to US Cellular next month Tue, 30 Sep 2014 19:25:37 +0000 LG-G3-Software

Not everyone is able to get service with the Verizons, AT&Ts, Sprints and T-Mobiles of the world. For those folks, some good news has arrived — US Cellular will be carrying the LG G3 starting in October. The carrier didn’t have any detailed release date information to reveal, though we do learn that it’ll be offered for $0 down for those on US Cellular’s Shared Connect plans.

That particular route will tie you to a commitment of paying the device off in full in 24 monthly installments, though you do get the option of trading the device in for a new one every 12 months. Not too bad if you like to switch smartphones every year. Be sure to check out our LG G3 review to figure out if it’s a good device to commit money and at least a year of your wireless freedom to, and stay tuned as we’ll be fishing for the final release date in the weeks to come.

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Android Deals: 30% off the Galaxy Tab S, 90s albums at 90s prices, and more Tue, 30 Sep 2014 19:19:57 +0000 deals

This week’s Android deals include sweet savings on the Super AMOLED-equipped Galaxy Tab S, your one-stop shop for password management, and classic 90s albums at vintage prices. Act quick. These deals are here today, but they could be gone tomorrow.

Hardware & Accessories


Take 30% off the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 and unleash the beast that is the tablet’s high resolution Super AMOLED display. Normally priced at $549, the Tab S is available through eBay for $379.99 with free shipping. Also available is the Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2 for an affordable $339. [eBay]

Snag a Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX for $120 and get a piece of the name that started it all. The Droid Razr Maxx is one in a long line of popular Droid handsets from Verizon, and while it’s a couple years old at this point this refurbished edition is still a perfectly capable Android smartphone. [eBay]

Take flight with the $75 Micro Drone and wrest control of the skies. With a built-in camera, this little remote control flyer is one of the most fun and most affordable quad-rotor drones on the market. Normally close to twice the price, you save 46%. [AndroidArea]

Double your data at AT&T from now through the end of October. Sign up for a new AT&T plan at regular price and see your data allowance multiplied by two for the length of your stay at AT&T. Prices start at $130 for 30GB (normally 15GB) of shareable data. [AT&T]

Save 70% on Creative Airwave Portable Bluetooth Speaker and go wireless while you jam out to your favorite tunes. Normally $100, today only you can grab this mighty little sound machine for only $29.99. [Amazon]

Apps & Games


Manage all of your passwords with Dashlane Premium, only $49.99, and keep your passwords secure across multiple platforms. With apps for Android, iOS, and desktop encrypt and manage your login credentials for all your sites and services. [AndroidArea]

Become an elite Android hacker with this discounted bundle featuring 74 lectures and over 10 hours of educational content. Learn about app development, Java, and hacking techniques to test the stability and security of your newly created software. All available for only $39. [AndroidArea]



Music & Media





TV Shows


[[Find any great deals not included here? Be sure to send them our way or share in the comments below!]

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Samsung explains Note 4 gap as a “necessary manufacturing feature,” says it may expand over time Tue, 30 Sep 2014 16:51:25 +0000 samsung galaxy note 4 gap

Earlier this week we reported on an issue that Samsung Galaxy Note 4 owners in South Korea noticed upon picking up their handsets. The device seems to have a gap between the edge of the display and the chassis. The gap isn’t terribly big, though it’s apparently big enough to slot a business card inside. This is concerning mainly due to the possibility of dust, dirt or water getting lodged inside.

Funnily enough, Samsung already acknowledged this defect — in their Samsung Galaxy Note 4 manual. The troubleshooting section of the manual touches on the issue with the following explanation:

A small gap appears around the outside of the device case

  • This gap is a necessary manufacturing feature and some minor rocking or vibration of parts may occur.
  • Over time, friction between parts may cause this gap to expand slightly

We’re not so sure the word “feature” is an accurate way to describe what’s going on, but that’s Samsung’s take. Even more troubling is the acknowledgement of possible rocking and vibration with some of the device’s parts, and the possibility of the gap expanding over time. That doesn’t sit well with us at first thought, though only time and a good amount of use can tell if this would become a big issue down the line.

The user manual didn’t have many other details to share about the device that we didn’t already know. Its main purpose is to teach you how to use the device and all its features, so be sure to download it and take a read ahead of the Galaxy Note 4′s arrival around the rest of the globe later next month.

[via SamMobile]

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Samsung highlights 5 big features made possible by the Note Edge’s display [INFOGRAPHIC] Tue, 30 Sep 2014 15:36:32 +0000 In case you were confused why Samsung’s Galaxy Note Edge has a curved display, Samsung is looking to make it clear with a new infographic they’ve put together. Many people were rightfully skeptical that the Edge display would bring meaningful benefits as Samsung has tried and failed at a secondary display before. We’re hoping this time is different, but let’s let Samsung tell you why they believe the Note Edge will be beneficial to your mobile life.

Quick access to apps

note edge info 1

The Edge display can give you access to your top apps so you can launch them from anywhere in the OS. We didn’t have an issue with the old sliding drawer from traditional Galaxy Note handsets, but making access to favorite apps more quick and efficient is always a welcome change.

Check notifications without interruptions

note edge info 2

Since the Edge display can display information independently of everything else, you’ll be able to see incoming notifications no matter what you’re doing, even when viewing full-screen content like games and video. This also works for incoming calls so you won’t be kicked out of your game when an unsuspecting phone call comes in.


note edge info 3

We’re not sure how many of you care about personal expression outside the use of your standard wallpaper, but you can customize the Edge display to show whatever it is you want when it’s not in use. You can add images and text as you see fit, including drawings with the S Pen. Samsung’s main use case for wanting to customize your Edge display is when it’s sitting inside a folio case, but we’d imagine most people would rather have the display off whenever it’s not needed.

Quick access to live information

note edge info 4

The Ticker Board app can show live information about stocks, sports scores, live news and Twitter trends so you can keep tabs on the latest without having to tab your way through a multi-step user interface. It’s nothing a typical notification can’t handle, but it does look pretty neat.

Quick tools

note edge info 5

Finally, the advent of the Edge display makes way to quick tools that can be used without much effort, including a stop watch, a timer, a ruler, flashlight control and voice recording. Samsung has it 5th on their list, but we’d probably shoot this one closer to the top of the list of useful features the Note Edge enables.

Any of these features appeal to you or would you rather have a device with a straightened display? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section!

[via Samsung]

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Rumor: new HTC One Max coming with 5.5-inch QHD display, Snapdragon 805, 3GB of RAM and more Tue, 30 Sep 2014 14:55:31 +0000 HTC logo misc

Looks like HTC could be hard at work on their next phablet. The company’s first attempt at one — the HTC One Max of yesteryear — was pretty decent, and now they’re could be ready to up the ante with a sequel. According to MyDrivers, HTC is currently on a 5.5-inch follow-up that will don 2560 x 1440 resolution, a Snapdragon 805 chipset, 3GB of RAM, a 3,000mAh battery and an 18 megapixel camera that has optical image stabilization.

On the side of software, the device is said to be loaded with Android L and will run an updated version of HTC Sense on top (Sense 6.5, to be exact). We’re not sure what the latest version of Sense will introduce once it’s made available, but HTC doesn’t often go with a major version change without bringing major features.

It was once thought that HTC would look to abandon the phablet space and work on their main flagship HTC One M8 after a lukewarm response to last year’s model. The HTC One Max came to the table with uninspiring specs and features. Aside from a fingerprint scanner awkwardly placed on the rear of the device it was little more than just a big HTC One. We wouldn’t be surprised to learn that recently stiffened competition in the category (read: Galaxy Note 4 and iPhone 6+) might have inspired them to reboot their efforts. Let’s hope they have something truly remarkable in the works.

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This is supposedly what the Nexus 6 looks like, and here are some of its early specs [Leak] Tue, 30 Sep 2014 13:45:56 +0000 nexus 6 shamu render leak

We’re expecting Google to launch the next Nexus handset later this year, but to this point we haven’t been able to get a good look at the device. A leak last week showed us a purported image of the device sitting next to an LG G3, though with its back plate looking quite similar to the new Moto X we had no choice but to approach it with a degree of caution.

Today, Android Police leaks a render of what they believe the Nexus 6 could look like. The render above was created based on what they’ve reportedly seen, though you should note that it’s considered a faithful recreation and not an official press render.

The Motorola-made device apparently shares a lot of the same design characteristics as the new Moto X, though it obviously comes in a bigger package of 5.9 inches. According to the report, the device features dual front-facing speakers, a metal frame, and a camera ring flash ala the Moto X.

Some early specs include its QHD resolution of 2560 x 1440, a 13 megapixel rear shooter, a 2 megapixel front shooter and a 3,200mAh battery. The device is also said to feature Motorola’s new Turbo Charge feature which promises to deliver 8 hours of battery life with just 15 minutes of charging. Software is said to be Android L, something not at all farfetched considering Google typically uses the latest Nexus phones to launch the latest versions of Android.

There wasn’t much else to be had at this point, though we did also get word that there may not be a smaller Nexus handset in the works. That doesn’t sound too appealing for those who aren’t into the phablet thing, but there’s still a slight chance that a smaller handset could be introduced at some point. Would you pick this bad boy up if it turns out to be the Nexus 6?

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Project Ara still on track for early 2015 release, will run on modified Android L version Tue, 30 Sep 2014 01:27:53 +0000 Project Ara prototype

It might still sound like science fiction, but it seems Project Ara is still on course for an early 2015 release. In a blog post posted earlier today, Phonebloks talks about how the Google ATAP team is gearing up to unveil the first fully functional Ara prototype smartphone — along with the release of a new Project Ara MDK — during their 2nd developers conference in December.

What’s more is because Android isn’t designed to support dynamic hardware configurations, Project Ara is teaming up with Linaro to have the device run on a modified version of Android L, Google’s next major Android release expected to launch later this year (October is the date being whispered around the web). The modified Android version will allow for users to quickly and easily hot swap most of the Ara modules — with the exception of the CPU and display — without having to first power down the device. This includes camera modules, battery modules, and more.

Project Ara Linaro Android L software

With partners like Toshiba, Foxconn, and more, all the modules will be sold in an online store or “Modular Marketplace” similar to the Google Play Store, and will need to be certified before being available to consumers.

We expect to learn much more during the devcon where we expect to see various modules and features never before seen on a smartphone. Pretty exciting stuff! If you’re curious to learn more, you can check out Project Ara lead Paul Eremenko’s talk during this year’s Linaro Connect USA 2014 event (starts at the 44:10 mark).

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Motorola DROID Turbo benchmark boasts 5.2-inch QHD display, Snapdragon 805, 3GB RAM, and more Mon, 29 Sep 2014 22:14:23 +0000 droid turbo 5

If the state of Verizon’s now active “DroidLanding” Twitter account is any indication (that, and a variety of recent leaks), we’d be willing to bet Motorola and Big Red are gearing up to announce a shiny new DROID phone in the coming weeks.

Rumored to launch as the “DROID Turbo,” we’ve already gotten a look at what the device may look like and although not the prettiest of Androids, the phone could carry some pretty impressive hardware under the hood. After rumors suggested as much, we’re seeing the device pop up again, this time in a GFXBench benchmark quoting specs like a 5.2-inch 2,560 x 1,440 display, Snapdragon 805 processor, 3GB RAM, and a high resolution 20MP camera.

Motorola Droid Turbo performance in GFXBench

Unfortunately, there was no mention of battery capacity, although a recent FCC filing may have outed something along the lines of a 3,500mAh. Yeah, despite its arguably fugly looks, this sounds like it could be the one Android device to rule them all (at least, as far as raw horsepower and longevity are concerned).

It’s not uncommon for prototype or pre-production devices to make an appearance on the site, so this alleged Motorola Droid Turbo making an appearance really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Still, there’s always the chance something like this could be faked, so take it with a grain of salt for now.

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