Motorola DROID Turbo battery life test: nowhere near 2-days, but still pretty great


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!

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. WAY to soon to be discussing battery life. You don’t get an accurate picture of a phone’s battery life while setting up the phone. Live with it for another week or two…NOT running battery tests, but LIVE with it, as your daily driver, doing normal things with it, you normally do with your phone. THEN tell us what kind of battery life you’re seeing.

    1. That’s all coming in the full review which is why I said in the post: “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 report back our findings.”

      This is just an initial Day 1 test for those curious.

      1. I’m looking forward to it!

      2. Looking forward to it :)

    2. You also have to “train” your battery, to get it’s full potential. When everyone was bitching about N5 battery in the first days of the release, 2 simple full discharge/charge cycles increased the battery life 10-20% for me. Say what you will about how it’s not NiMH age anymore, but the trick still works.

    3. Yeah a battery test on day one is not ideal, but some data is better than no data. 21 hours with 5 hours screen-on time is pretty good considering the circumstances.

      Interested to see future battery tests, I’m worried the Nexus 6 battery isn’t big enough for the screen size and resolution.

      1. What I have been saying all along. The N6, I fear, is going to have considerably worse battery life than the Turbo. With the higher than usual Nexus pricing on the 6, its really inexcusable to have such a relatively tiny battery in it considering its sheet physical size. It needed to have a Maxx/Turbo-sized battery at minimum.

  2. Man how do they get only 2 hr screen time with most phone? I have a g2 and i can stream pandora download torrents and browse at same time and still get over 5 easy. Torrent kills battery very quickly. So i dont know. This turbo needs to perform better. It has latest specs it should do better than z3. Whoops.. Ok i edit.. Screen was full brightness and it does have 2k screen. Probably runs near stock Android and its not known for best battery life. When it gets lollipop it should improve and with real life usage might be longest lasting flagship. Still that ascend mate 2 life is the best even though its midrange.

    1. G2 definitely is a beast when it comes to how long it lasts

    2. If you read (with understanding), then you’d notice that the screen is on at full brightness

      1. No i completely understand. I totally neglected that 2k screen and full brightness. With 5.0 update and real usage should be tops. I dont have verizon but if i did i wouldn’t get any other phone.

  3. I got similar battery life from my Moto X when it was new. However, I’m not getting that now and need to look into why.

  4. Sony Z3 users laugh at that paltry battery life and screen on time, mwaahahahahahaha

  5. I get that type of battery life on my G2, not impressed.

    1. Had the G2, never got anywhere near that. This is about double from what I got with most devices (Moto X, HTC One M8, LG G2).

      1. I think you are kidding yourself, 5 hours of screen time is not anything.

        1. Just my experience after owning more Android devices than I can count (but admittedly, no phablets).

          1. The best phone for battery is ascend mate 2. They just announced it wont be updated to 4.4 still on jellybean but i always wanted it just for battery. 300 unlocked. Hell yes.

    2. Shut the hell up

    3. No, you don’t. 5 hours of screen-on time at 100% brightness? I don’t think so.

  6. It’s gotta be a software problem. No way a battery that size can’t get more life than that.

    I get anywhere from 5 to 7 hours of on screen time with my T-Mobile Note 4 with it set to autobrightness. Maybe the moto OLED display isn’t as efficient as Samsungs? Who actually makes the display?

    1. It’s Samsung. Also, screen on time isn’t everything. Your phone may only get 1 hours of screen on time if you’re playing a game on it the whole time.

      I should note that 16% battery still had a lot of hours left in it and we had the display on full brightness. Probably around the same as the Note 4?

      1. Ah didn’t realize you had it on full brightness. That explains it.

        I agree Screen on time isn’t everything but since the screen always uses the most battery, I believe that it’s still a pretty good indicator.

        1. Yeah, hoping with more charge cycles, the battery will get better calibrated. Will find out in a few more days and report back in the actual review.

    2. The display in this phone is almost certainly manufactured by Samsung. Nobody else really makes consumer AMOLED displays.

  7. It’s not bad for day 1. I never really judge battery life on a new device until a few charge/discharge cycles (as I tend to find it will improve slightly after the first 7-10 days), so 5 hours screen on time with full brightness is pretty good. :)

    1. Yup. I’m still impressed. I think it could only get better from here.

  8. What did you expect the battery live is always pretty bad on the first day. My nexus 5 only got about 2 hours of sot on the first day now I can get about 4 hours.

    1. That’s why we’re going to continue testing will the actual battery life review coming sometime next week.

      Also, I’ve never gotten anywhere near 4 hours of screen on time with the Nexus 5. You rooted?

      1. No everything is still stock but I disabled basically everything that I don’t use. And there is a cell tower next to the place where I work so I always have full reception.

      2. Moto x second generation or droid turbo?

  9. I just read on phone arena review that all the new motos including droid turbo and x have last year’s screen brightness which is around 240 nits.. Thats half of what most phones get. I hope nexus 6 is not using same screen. Maybe that’s why the screen was turned up all the way in this preview. That’s pretty bad.

    1. I don’t think anyone is going to notice that in the real world. It’s hella bright.

      1. I’m hoping its not that bad i have not compared them in person myself but I will soon. I did compare my g2 to g3 and saw noticeable difference. G3 was rated for maybe 30 or 40 nits less than the g2. So to go from 450 nits or even 700 peak on z3 to 250 could be very noticable. Again this is from phone arena review and i hope its better than on paper.

    2. Phone Arena got 248 nits. I have to say I think they made a mistake. The floor sample in the store was definitely brighter than my G3 (291 nits at PhoneArena) and probably comparable to the X at 385 or so. That’s still noticeably less bright than Samsung, but not what PA measured.

      1. From what i read g3 has 455 nits and thats low compared to other new flagships. So under 250 is about half the maximum brightness compared to others. As if they are using old amoled screens from 3 years ago. Also some sites might have ratings different. Here they say g3 is brighter than g2 but ive seen it opposite so they might be wrong or not doing something right. http://www.phonearena.com/reviews/LG-G3-vs-LG-G2_id3723

      2. I’d say something is wrong with their measurements.

  10. It sounds to me like you could easily get two days life out of this phone. You probably could have gotten a day the way you were testing it, which is not how a lot of users use their phone. Turn the screen to auto brightness and tweak a few settings and I bet 2 days battery life is easily reached. I still get around that on my Maxx.

  11. Guess the only way to shut people up is to run a battery test side by side by side with some late model phones. Or do some standard testing that is the same on all phones. I’d say a good mix of everyday tasks that the average person would do.

    For instance run an iPhone6+, Motos, Sony, Samsung, LG and Lumia and watch 1 hour of youtube(same exact videos), install same apps, listen to streaming for 3hrs(same radio station), surf the web(same pages). Get some interns to do this!!!

    Though all those phones have different specs and battery sizes, at the end of the day you can say this phone has X% left after all of these identical tasks. To me that would be the ultimate barometer.

    It seems most battery articles I read give more general take my word for it type tests. Like I surfed a crapload today and listened to a bunch of pandora or whatever. Should be more precise like I listed to exactly 3 hours of pandora, watched 2 hours of youtube etc, etc. Then there is no room for wondering what extent the review variables were.

    1. I sort of wish there was an app to do these sorts of tasks, you know? Something that does various automated tasks for 24 hours… That would be a great benchmark tool.

  12. Blame that useless 2k screen

  13. Wait a second… this phone has around 250nits brightness at 100% brightness which is like 50% brightness on a Note 4.

    1. My guess is that this is a Samsung panel using their 2013-era AMOLED technology. Their 2014 displays are much brighter and also more power-efficient, so it makes sense that Samsung panels on other OEMs’ phones would be dimmer but have equivalent (or worse) battery life. Samsung probably reserves their newer display tech for their own phones, which they can get away with since basically nobody else makes consumer AMOLED panels.

  14. This SAME 5.2″, 1440p, Snapdragon 805, 3GB phone is being released as the Droid Turbo (Verizon), Moto X Play (AT&T), Moto Maxx (International).

    Verizon Droid Turbo: FCC ID of IHDT56PK1
    AT&T Moto X Play: FCC ID of IHDT56PK2

    Has AT&T bands, and the documentation also states that the new device “is electrically equivalent to the certified device carrying FCC ID IHDT56PK1.”

    But, I’m REALLY waiting for the Motorola “Pure Edition” of the Moto X Play. Unlockable bootloader, no carrier branding, no bloatware. Would also have international LTE bands, just like the Pure Edition of the 2014 Moto X.

    1. There is no X Play. That was a rumor by TK.

      FCC ID of IHDT56PK2 is the Moto Maxx which is going to be released internationally.

      Verizon got Droid. International got Milestone.
      Verizon gets Turbo. International gets Maxx.

  15. Any time a new phone is activated it spends hours downloading stuff on background; it’s unavoidable. No matter what shape the battery is in, I don’t think you can get a good read on a phone’s battery life until everything is fully synched, configured, cached and up to date.

    1. I think they said they synced and downloaded everything first then charged it to 100%. It was another review and they said it still discharged too fast.

  16. 5 hours of screen on from a 3900MAh battery?!? That’s TERRIBLE. My Sony Xperia Z Ultra does like 6 hours of screen on time and it only has a 3000MAh battery and a 6.4 inch screen — way bigger.

    1. Exactly… I have a z ultra and the screen time is about 5 to 6 hours and surfing and games is about 5 hours at its best. If thia Droid turbo drains up to 17% in just a 5 hours, then the this phone is just on par with z ultra. I own an ascend mate 1 (6.1 inches) before and i can get more than 8 hours watching movies on that phone.

      1. Do you keep your screen on full brightness? I doubt it.

        1. Around 60-75% in the brightness slider. But still, the 3900mAh battery is a problem based on the test results regardless of the performance of my z ultra and some other phones

    2. It really depends what you’re doing with it. The first day you use a phone, you’re bound to play around with it a lot. He was playing games and most likely downloading apps etc and had the brightness at max, so the battery died faster. If you’re reading or just browsing the internet with a good connect, you could definitely get 10 hours screen time (like phonearena did).

    3. My lg g2 does better then that

      1. On full brightness? Cause that’s what they did. They explain it in the article.

        1. Reading is difficult.

    4. Do you people really not understand that 5 hours of screen-on time with full brightness is phenomenal? Put the brightness at a more reasonable level and you could probably get 8-10 hours, which easily works out to 48 hours of battery life with moderate usage.

  17. Title is sort of misleading, I will never get this phone as I am with AT&T but blast the brightness to nearly full and claim that its no where near 2 days of battery life is reaching a false conclusion. I don’t think anyone at motorola or verizon said 2 days of battery life with 100% brightness.

    1. It’s a relative test; they test all the phones the same way, so it is accurate to compare them and extrapolate usage.

      1. Which in other words means that the phone probably could get two days of battery life or more if the brightness wasn’t so high

        1. Sure, but the max brightness is also lower than other competing phones.

      2. This isn’t a test. He spent his first day with the phone, setting it up and downloading apps and playing with it, with the brightness at max. There was no test, so no, there is no use trying to extrapolate.

        Also, no one in their right mind would expect up to 2 days of battery life with this use case. No one.

        1. The title of the article reads “Motorola DROID Turbo battery life test”. Silly me for thinking it was a test.

    2. It’s not just sorta misleading. It’s just click bait.

  18. LOL I get over 5hrs on my Moto g (1st generation)

    1. And what brightness setting are you using?

      1. I generally have the screen brightness at 25% or 10%

        1. That’s why you’re getting 5 hours of screen on time. Try it at full brightness like the author of this article did.

          1. Oh ok I guess I missed that part of the article Haha

  19. Makes sense. I have the new Moto X and, depending on usage, can get about 10-12 hours of battery life before needing to recharge. Funny when you think about it. According to this, if you unplug the Turbo in the morning, you should be ready to recharge just as you are getting ready to go out for the next day. Perhaps that is why they included the Turbo Charger? ;-)

  20. 2 days doesn’t means 2 day display time, display time max would 10-12 hrs .. Phandroid saying Sony xperia don’t last a day then..

  21. Nice, finally a review that points the battery problem to the resolution. Hopefully Verizon or Motorola will release an update that sets it to 1920×1080 or gives you the option, which should increase performance as well and make it the fastest phone on the block.

    1. You can’t reduce the power draw of the screen by forcing it to display stuff at a non-native resolution.

    2. They’re never, ever going to do that.

  22. My MotoX 0G has battery saver mode when it gets below 4% and there are battery saver mode icons anchored in the notifications tray. Seems you disabled battery saver mode? My MotoX, under normal usage of 10+ hours on LTE then on home wi-fi, i’ll have 40% left after 24hours. Not sure how to relate your test to real-world.

  23. I was at 49% battery after 24 hours of regular use with the Turbo. It may not get another 24, but it’s good enough so that if you don’t or can’t charge it overnight you still have plenty of useful life left.

  24. Leave it to Motorola to mislead people just to try to secure false sales and market share. Pretty comical for sure.

    1. When did Motorola say that the Turbo can get 2 days of battery life on full brightness with relatively heavy usage? I must’ve missed that ad.

      1. Yes you missed it. That’s nothing new now that we know it’s a bold face lie.

        1. Maybe I should be clearer: neither Verizon nor Motorola are advertising that this phone’s battery lasts for 2 days with heavy usage on full brightness. If you feel otherwise, you’re wrong.

          1. Hog wash.

          2. So you don’t have an actual point to make. Gotcha.

          3. Point was made long time ago you just don’t want to except reality that’s not my problem.

          4. As I explained above, the “point” you’ve been trying to make is verifiably false. In any case, this little discussion has run its course. Have a lovely evening.

          5. Exactly droid turbo is dud period.

          6. your mustache is a dud.

          7. Poor soul..

          8. No, a poor soul is a middle aged man hanging on to a mustache from the 80’s and putting down every phone that isn’t a samsung because he has some awkward love for an electronics company and refuses to see that other companies make better products ;)

          9. Blah blah blah blah blah you sound like a scorned homo. Worry about yourself not others it’s something wrong with people who worry so much about others.

            Live your sad life leave others alone faceless fool.

          10. Id rather be faceless than have that mustache wielding mug only a mother can love. Your face is KILLING me!

          11. galaxyNote4isBoss:
            “All things Samsung nothing else matters”
            New York City

            I mean how old are you? Lol. That’s the mentality of a Bieber, or Taylor Swift fan..

          12. Your dirt off my shoe

          13. Why are your shoes so dirty that dirt is just falling off them? Standing in a pile of BS you’ve been spewing?

      2. They advertised mixed usage, which is conveniently vague. I never expected it to last 48 full hours of continuous screen use, obviously. But it’s a much slower drain, so that I don’t have to worry about it dying when I’m out for the day and won’t be charging that night. The next morning I’ll be at 15%.

    2. You are a tool

      1. Sounds good lulu

    3. arbitrary comment. Samsung wasn’t juicing up their benchmarks? And what are false sales? How can a sale be false? Just another monkey trying to look intelligent on the web.

  25. Who the hell keeps their screen on full brightness all the time? Of course you’re not going to get spectacular results if that’s what you’re doing. Set it to a more reasonable level (like half), and you’ll probably pull down closer to 10 hours of screen on time. This test was flawed from the start.

  26. I don’t even use my device at a half brightness. No one use the brightness like that unless they are blind. Droid turbo will last me like 55 hours

  27. My OnePlus last 4 hours screen time with max brightness . Really excited to see the turbo in action. 1 extra hour makes a big difference on the road

  28. I’m getting 24 hours on a Note 4 with 5 hours of screen time… And that’s without using battery saver mode. So I’m thinking this isn’t very good for a phone with a bigger battery than mine.

  29. Z3 Rocks!

  30. I’ve gotten 6 hours screen on with my OnePlus One fairly consistently. That doesn’t look very good.

  31. Can you discribe more about its display???

  32. over 5 hours on screen time! i can barely make 2 hours on my og moto x….ugh i want this phone noww


    1. Nexus 6 is a sad joke of a fake wanna be phablet why perpetrate a fraud to the public. The Nexus 6 is nothing more than a big screened smartphone with no purpose or true multitasking/productivity.

      1. How is it a fraud? Lol. Show me ANYWHERE where google markets this PHONE as a phablet. It’s a nexus with a large screen, ala the nexus 7 which has awesome backing.
        You have no clue what you’re talking about.

        1. He’s pretty much a standard-issue troll.

        2. Dude… It’s a Nexus… The Devellopement community behind it on XDA is the biggest you can found, it’s not charged with bloatware because it’s the most pure Android you will found and it doesnt have gimmicky hardware to make them work on custom ROMs (IR blaster for example), so it will be easy for devellopers to create a huge amount of different custom ROMs, update them quickly, and Google will keep the device updated for many years, for example the Nexus 4 is gonna have Android 5.0 officialy, the Nexus 4!!!! It was here when Android 4.2.2 was only on few phones

      2. I actually prefer a large screen phone. It replaces my tablet as an All-In_one device. I don’t use stylus to do anything so no need for a stylus. I just like big screened phones to watch movies, read, play games, etc. I use my laptop for anything else as no tablet can replace what I use laptops for.

      3. You have a severe misunderstanding of the word “fraud.”

    2. How is the Turbo a copy when both are manufactured by Motorola? They’re slightly different devices with different specs according to the needs of their respective markets.

    3. It’s not a “copy” if both phones are made by the same manufacturer. I do not think that word means what you think it means.

  34. I bought the turbo and returned it aftera day because the battery is awful. After a full deep cycle charge I got 7 hours out of it. My s4 was better on battery.

    1. What was your screen on time? And your voice call time? That screen shot means diddly squat without other information.

      besides the fact that you didn’t even give it the necessary time to calibrate. returned after a day, lol

      1. I went through 3 complete charge and drain cycles. My screen on time was roughly 3.5h and my call time was around 1h. I know how battery cycling and calibration works. The screen shot was of my final drain after cycling the battery a couple times. My initial battery life periods were no better.

        1. Perhaps I received a defective unit but in either case, my battery life was shorter than any other phone I’ve ever had(I’ve had several).

        2. So in one day you were able to go through THREE charges? Stop.

          1. Yes indeed. I bought the phone Saturday morning. It initially had roughly 30% charge out of the box. I ran that down to 10% by migrating my files within 1 hour. That was around 11am. Charged it for about 7 hours without messing with it. After the charge played with it periodically for the next 5 hours or so until it got back down to the red at which time I picked up my nexus tab and left the turbo alone for the rest of the night. Woke up around 6 and pulled it off the charger so it got a full 8h charge (daylight savings) and played with it a few hours consistently (roughly 4h) till it was at20%.. at this pointi decided the battery was unacceptable so I did a quick charge for about 2 hours till it was around 90% then ran it back into the ground before bedtime. Phone was returned this morning as I had no time to wait for the diagnosis to clear me fora new device.

          2. Sounds like you just made that up.

            but more importantly, youre looking to condemn a whole device because you supposedly had a faulty one?

          3. I’m not looking to condemn the phone. I’m simply stating my experience. I did in fact mention that it may be a defective unit. Why exactly would I make anything up? What do I stand to gain?

    2. You returned a phone because of its battery life AFTER A DAY??? That’s nowhere near enough time to get an accurate idea of a brand new phone’s battery life. Good lord, educate yourself.

  35. http://www.phonearena.com/reviews/Motorola-DROID-Turbo-Review_id3838/page/4

    No specific methodology: We measure battery life by running a custom web-script, designed to replicate the power consumption of typical real-life usage.

    MOTOROLA DROID TURBO – 10h 42 min
    SONY XPERIA Z3 – 9h 29 min
    SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 4 – 8h 43 min
    SAMSUNG GALAXY S 5 – 7h 38 min
    LG G 3 – 6h 14 min
    MOTOROLA MOTO X (2014) – 5h 45 min

    Wait for anandtech’s review with a run-down test with standardized display brightness for a more scientific test.

  36. 1 day, 4 hours, 52 minutes to 5% on my Samsung Galaxy Note 4, stock, Verizon. No power saving features turned on. GPS, BT, WiFi all running. Screen at about 75% brightness, auto. Moderate use overall. Screen on time approximately 3.5 hours.

  37. If you people just TURN OFF YOUR DATA STOP FACEBOOKING you will see difference in battery life people. TURN OFF YOUR TRAFFIC DATA!

    1. so whats the point?

  38. I just bought mine 4 days ago. I traded in my Droid Maxx and got the Turbo for free. I have to say that the Maxx easily got better battery life. I work a lot of 15 plus hour days and fiddle with my phone quite a bit. At the end of those days I would come home with 50% or more battery life. Today, I am at 14 hours and have only 35% of my battery left. That is not at all bad especially when I could charge it up in 15 minutes if needed but, no wheres near 2 days. When you think about it, these phones have come along way in a short amount of time. My Galaxy Nexus was lucky to get 8 hours with minimal use. I stayed tethered and carried 2 spare batteries and an external charger. My work bag has gotten a lot lighter since these new Motos.

    I really like the phone. It is definitely more unique but, wish Motorola would make a better camera. They are making some really sharp phones with great specs but, they need a better camera. That is all. ;)

  39. Would love to see some photos off of someones turbo to see if it’s worth getting. The ones I took in store weren’t very good.

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