Tech Savvy: The legacy continues
Hey there, Tech Savvy fans! This week I get to bring you a treat courtesy of our friends at Verizon Wireless. You may recall in the gift guide I hinted that the Motorola Droid Turbo 2 would be arriving soon, and I've had it now for a couple weeks...
Hey there, Tech Savvy fans! This week I get to bring you a treat courtesy of our friends at Verizon Wireless. You may recall in the gift guide I hinted that the Motorola Droid Turbo 2 would be arriving soon, and I've had it now for a couple weeks and we're ready to give you the lowdown on the latest Droid flagship device.
The Droid Turbo was a juggernaut when it first was introduced; it combined power, quality and battery life into a top-tier smartphone that was to continue the legacy of the Droid tradition. In all honesty, the official lifespan of the Droid Turbo was fairly short, with Samsung, LG and others having a banner year for devices, and many great options hitting the market. All that aside, the Droid Turbo was the device I picked up when I could and it has been a fantastic choice.
Fast forward from that launch, and rewind a couple weeks, and it brings us to the launch of the Motorola Droid Turbo 2. It is just in time for the Christmas season and every Android user's wishlist. But is it all the hype has cracked it up to be? Faster? Longer battery life? Shatterproof screen? Yes, you read that right-shatterproof screen.
Let's break down what some of the key differences are, and what has lived up to the hype so far.
It's not often that I have the opportunity to compare a successor model side by side with the predecessor, but this time we do. I'll be using my own Droid Turbo as the control unit here, and we'll actually get to see how it stacks up against its former self.
So, let's dive right in with the noticeable, physical, differences. Right off the bat you can tell that the Turbo 2 is larger, about two-tenths of an inch wider, and just under a half-inch higher, which ups the overall screen size from 5.2 inches to 5.4 inches. When I stack the phones on top of each other you can easily see the size difference, and my initial thought was that it seemed a rather insignificant screen upgrade, which after looking at the specs and using it, I think this was intentional.
To be perfectly honest, I was glad that the screen wasn't much larger. In recent history we've seen up to half-inch jumps from one generation to the next, and 5 inches is about the max I can handle as a one-handed device. After that it kicks things up a notch and I have to use two hands, and it's more like a mini tablet than a phone.
The other thing that's immediately apparent is the phone feels slightly thinner and, when you stack them side by side, it is-just a fraction of an inch-but still a little thinner. It feels good in the hand, for the most part I can still use it one handed, using the swiping keyboard with one hand is a little on the uncomfortable side one-handed, so those with smaller hands should take note - you will either have to stretch, or plan on using two hands.
The design of the Turbo 2 is very much like the first Turbo. Rounded edges, a moderately higher (by comparison) bezel around the screen, and soft keys with minimal physical buttons. The only physical buttons are located on the right side, just like the Turbo - power and volume rocker, nice and simple. The headphone port is still located on the top (Thank goodness at least one company still has some sense) and the charging port is on the bottom. One other noticeable difference on the Turbo 2 is the speakers are located on the bottom face of the phone, rather than all being on the back part. For use as a speakerphone or games this was a nice change, as with my Turbo I find myself cupping my hand behind it often to hear better. This configuration made it much easier to hear when using the speaker.
One thing users will notice is that the SIM card slot was moved from under the volume rocker in the original Turbo to the top of the phone. The reason they did this is? Drumroll please-they brought back the removable Micro SD card. Score! I'll admit this is one thing I've missed and it's not from functionality, I just miss being able to swap out SD cards when I wanted to. I haven't had storage issues with my Turbo, so I think it's more a mental hurdle getting over it but I was very excited to see the option for expandable memory again.
Inside, the Turbo 2 is sporting a flashy 2 GHz octo-core (yep, 8) processor that just screams through whatever you are doing. Video watching, gaming and other tasks are no match for the horses under the hood of this well oiled machine. It's interesting that with my Turbo I didn't feel like anything was lagging but the difference is noticeable and anyone that is into gaming or streams a lot of data, this is a major upgrade.
Battery life-oh that ever important requirement. My Turbo gets me over one day's hard use. When I did the benchmark testing it lived up to the 40 hours it advertised-the Turbo 2 lasted its full 48 as advertised with light use. With moderate use you can expect to make it fully through a day and a little into the next, this is great for those of us that sometimes forget to plug your phone in overnight.
Another interesting tidbit with the battery-they have improved battery usage because the battery is actually smaller than the original Turbo, coming in at 3760 mAh compared to 3900 in my Turbo.
Both phones still sport the 21 MP cameras, although the Turbo 2 also added an LED flash to the front facing camera as well. The camera experience is basically the same, but opening the camera up seemed faster, perhaps due to the octo-core processor, or just my desire for it to be faster.
Picture quality was just as expected, I would recommend using the drag focus option and the light selection, it gives you a little more control over the settings because otherwise the camera is a pretty stock affair.
Screen resolution is nearly identical, but the real story is the process they layered the screen components to create the Moto Shattershield Display. This process strategically layers the screen components in order to add the most stability and strength while still maintaining crystal clear viewing. I didn't have the nerve to try the test someone else did by driving over it, but according to them the screen survived but the bezels and other parts were a little dinged up. I did toss it around a little more carelessly than I do with my phone and it took that beating in stride with nary a scratch.
All in all this phone more than lived up to the expectations I had for it; I would have to consider it a little more because of its size, and it may be just on the other side of too large for me to comfortably deal with, but it's not unmanageable. The specs are through the roof and user experience exceeded what I had anticipated.
So, to sum it all up, it's a great phone and device, is it worth upgrading from the Turbo? Possibly. But is it worth upgrading if you've been on the fence? Definitely.
Thanks again to my friends at Verizon Wireless for sending this behemoth out to me to review, there are way more features to it than I could cover in this one article. Go to www.verizonwireless.com for full specs, or check it out in an actual Verizon store and get some hands on time yourself.