The newest addition to Motorola’s Droid family finally is here - the Droid Turbo was officially released today and will be available on October 30 to Verizon customers starting at $199 on contract. The news comes after months of anticipation and multiple leaks with photos showing the Moto X-style smartphone that takes the place of last year’s Droid Ultra. While it won’t ship with Android Lollipop, the new phone boasts some impressive specs, including a touted 48-hour battery life and a 21MP camera.
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Here’s how the Droid Turbo stacks up against its competitors:
|Droid Turbo||Nexus 6||Galaxy Note 4||iPhone 6||Galaxy S5|
|Starting Price||Starting at $199||Currently unknown||$299||Starting at $199||$99|
|CPU||2.7GHz Snapdragon 805 processor||2.7GHz Snapdragon 805 processor||2.7GHz Snapdragon 805 processor||64-bit Apple A8 processor/M8 motion co-processor||2.5-GHz Snapdragon 801 processor|
|OS||Android 4.4 KitKat||Android 5.0 Lollipop||Android 4.4 KitKat||iOS 8||Android 4.4 KitKat|
|Screen Size||5.2-inch, Quad HD, AMOLED||5.96-inch, Quad HD, AMOLED||5.7-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED||4.7-inch, 1080p||5..1-inch, 1080p, Super AMOLED|
|Resolution||1440 x 2560||1440 x 2560||1440 x 2560||1334 x 750||1920 x 1080|
|Internal Storage||Up to 64GB||Up to 64GB||32GB||up to 128GB||16GB|
|Expandable Storage||None||None||Up to 128GB||None||Up to 128GB|
|Battery Life||estimated 48 hours||estimated 24 hours on a full charge||8:42||7:42||9:42|
|Connectivity||802.11 a/b/g/n/ac||802.11ac 2x2 (MIMO)||802.11 a/b/g/n/ac||802.11ac||802.11 a/b/g/n/ac|
|Special Features||voice control, Moto Display, twist gestures for camera, Droid Zap for photo sharing||Turbo Charger, Magnetometer, Ambient light sensor, Barometer||Finger Sensor, Gesture, RGB ambient light, Barometer, Accelerometer||Wi-Fi Calling, Digital Image Stablization, Fingerprint scanner||Fingerprint Sensor, Heart Rate Monitor|
|Accessories||Android Wear (presumably)||Android Wear (presumably)||Samsung Galaxy Gear||Apple Watch||Samsung Galaxy Gear|
At a glance, the Droid Turbo looks very similar to the Moto X, which would make sense since it’s currently the Motorola phone to beat in terms of design. However this smartphone has some slight differences that make it distinctly Droid: it’s got a flatter back with a crosshatch pattern made with Metallized Fiber Glass or Ballistic Nylon, and a capacitive key design, making the entire handset taller than the Moto X. The Droid Turbo will come in red and black, both reinforced with Kevlar, and the black one made with Ballistic Nylon.
In its taller frame, the Droid Turbo packs a 5.2-inch, 1440 x 2560 resolution display protected by Gorilla Glass 3. It’s certainly on par in terms of resolution with its top competitors, and while it’s not as big as the forthcoming Nexus 6 (5.96 inch) or the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (5.7 inches), it’ll give you more screen space than the iPhone 6 (4.7 inches), Galaxy S5 (5.1 inches), and HTC One M8 (5.0 inches).
Verizon is also offering an protection perk: the carrier will replace cracked or broken screens for for the first two years for Droid Turbo owners, both on contract and not.
The Droid Turbo has a 21-MP rear camera that captures 4K video at up to 24 frames per second, and features an LED flash, Quick Capture (the twist gesture to launch the camera), auto HDR, and slow-motion video. Though there are many Android phones with great cameras, we’ve already seen in our hands-on that the Turbo can take some stellar shots.
Arguably the best feature of the Droid Turbo is its battery life - if it holds up. Motorola claims the Turbo’s 3,900 mAh battery can get 48 hours of battery life on a single change, which is an exciting prospect, albeit unlikely. With Turbo Charge, the Droid Turbo promises get 8 hours of power with just a 15-minute charge. We’re going to have to run our battery tests to see if the Turbo really lasts as long as Motorola claims.
Like the Moto X, the Droid Turbo has some of Motorola’s distinct features, like Moto Display which shows you your notifications on the display without waking up the phone. It also has Moto Voice, which lets you control the Turbo with set voice commands.
Shutterbug Verizon customers will get a handy feature in the Turbo - the Droid Zap app lets you quickly share photos and videos with people nearby. Other Zap features include Zap to TV, which beams content to Chromecasts directly from the handset, and Zap to Voice, which lets you use voice commands to control Zap sharing.
We’re very interested to test out the Droid Turbo’s 48-hour battery claim, and we want to take its powerful camera for a spin to test its limits. Judging only on specs, the Droid Turbo is solid competition for all the major smartphone players - but this holiday season will determine which smartphone consumers prefer over all others. The Motorola Droid Turbo will be available starting October 30 with a Verizon contract for $199 (32GB) or $249 (64GB).