We knew about the DROID Turbo before it was out in the public eye. It would come with Moto X’s features, a tweaked design, and some really killer specs, the rumors said. When it was announced, we got all those things. But the most important thing about the device isn’t its durable design or ultra sharp screen. The device sports an incredibly beefy battery (3900mAh) that Motorola promises even the heaviest users will love. Out of all the features and big specs upgrades we’ve seen this year, the inclusion of an enormous battery might just be what turns the DROID Turbo into one of the best handsets of 2014.
It’s easy to see the Turbo and think, “That’s just a tweaked Moto X.” You’re right, but only to an extent. You do get all of Motorola’s cool software tweaks, such as Moto Display, Actions and Assist. But the screen is QHD—on par with some of today’s best and brightest—and the camera has been bumped to 21-megapixels (complete with 4K video recording). Those spec upgrades alone might be worth you considering it over the Moto X, and even devices like the Note 4 and iPhone 6 Plus. But, again, it’s that huge battery that’s really important.
Motorola says you’ll be able to get 48 hours with everyday use, and since the device supports Turbo charging, you can get 8 hours worth of battery charged in just 15 minutes. If you’re running low on juice at the airport, just charge your device in between flights and you’ll be good to go for the rest of the day—and probably longer.
The Turbo sports a 5.2-inch QHD screen, 2.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon 805 processor, 3GB of RAM, support for Qi wireless charging, and 32 or 64GB of internal storage. Out of the box, Turbo users will get Android 4.4.4, though Motorola has always been solid with updates, which means the device should be updated to Android 5.0 Lollipop in no time. If you’re not that into the ginormous Nexus 6, the Turbo might actually be the best alternative. Sure, it’s a little thicker because of such a large battery but, honestly, I’d take a slightly thicker device over one with a wimpy battery any day.
The only real downside we can see so far is that the Turbo is a Verizon exclusive. That in and of itself isn’t a bad thing, but it just means that it isn’t easily accessible to customers outside of Verizon. That’s a real shame, too, because we really like what we see so far. Incidentally, you wouldn’t even know the device is on Verizon because there is zero branding, which is unheard of and surprising; the carrier typically doesn’t miss an opportunity to stamp its logo on devices, and that’s not the case here. The other thing that might miff Android users is that the Turbo opted for capacitive buttons rather than onscreen.
On that note, the design of the DROID Turbo is pretty fantastic. The model we got is the 64GB Ballistic nylon, which feels and looks awesome. It’s definitely different, and kind of reminds us of the OnePlus One’s sandstone black, which gives the device texture. Since it has a 5.2-inch screen, it’s not overly big, and definitely feels a bit more manageable compared to some of the larger devices we’ve seen this year (I’m looking at you, iPhone 6 Plus).
The DROID Turbo will be available today, and starts at $199 with two-year contract (or $25 per month with Verizon Edge) for the 32GB option. You can also pick up the 64GB version for $249, or $27 per month on Verizon Edge. If you have a working smartphone, Verizon will give you $100 for a trade-in to put toward the price of the Turbo, and even waive activation and upgrade fees. We’ll have more coverage of the Turbo soon, so stay tuned.