Hands-on: Motorola Droid Turbo



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.


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).


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.

Kevin Krause
Pretty soon you'll know a lot about Kevin because his biography will actually be filled in!

New DROID Turbo gets 48 hours of battery life, launches October 30th on Verizon

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  1. No tap-to-wake?

    1. Huh, thats a Lollipop feature. As Active Notifications is an app feature and comes pre-installed on this device.

    2. I’m not 100% sure how the Turbo works, but I’m assuming it’ll have the same IR sensors as the X14. You don’t need to tap to wake it. You wave your hand over it, and it’ll display the lock symbol for you to unlock.

      1. You can just wave your hand over it like the droid Maxx/ultra and moto x. Or just lift it a centimeter. Tap to wake should soon be an android 5.0 implement if I’m not mistaken.

  2. Too bad it will surely not launch globally :-(

  3. I’m so disappointed that this isn’t the nexus 6. :(

  4. Honestly I might choose the turbo over the Nexsix (dat battery), were it not for screen size. I just can’t go back to something that small. Once you go Phablet you never go back.

  5. If Moto does a twin of this that works with T-Mobile, I’m picking it over the Nexus 6 and Moto X.

  6. hopefully something similar comes out for other carriers? I’m still on the fence for the nexus 6…

  7. As these are US only releases its no wonder they are overlooked.

  8. My question is this: how rootable will the Turbo be? If the past is any indication, with the history of Verizon and Motorola, it’s going to be locked down tight.

    1. It will be a tough sucker to root based on my experience with the Maxx. However, I only wanted WiFi tether on my grandaddied unlim data (and adfree). I’m rooted now but stuck on 4.4 until I soft upgrade. I was torn but the battery life is insane on the Maxx and it has 400 less ma than the turbo. Your call.

  9. Dimensions Please!!!

    Edit: Got it. 11mm is way too thick for a phone…props for the battery tho.

    1. you can have an idea of the dimensions following this link http://versus.com/en/motorola-droid-turbo-vs-motorola-nexus-6 it compares the phones in real scale

    2. The Moto site claims “8.3-11.2 mm” for the Kevlar and “7.8-10.6 mm” for the Metallic

  10. Kevin, you must have an LG phone? :)

  11. Want this for AT&T please. I know there are rumors of a GSM version, but I need confirmation.

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