The Droid Turbo 2 Dares You to Smash Its Screen
Motorola’s Droid lineup stretches back almost as far as the Android platform itself. The first Droid-branded phone was released in 2009, a year after the first Android phone hit the market. Then and since, it’s remained a Verizon-only affair. It’s also become a bit of a forgotten force in Motorola’s lineup. The Turbo 2 wants to remind you that Droid’s still kicking, and it’s doing it with a “shatterproof” display.
The Moto X has been Motorola’s flagship device since 2013, but the Droid often has specs that are just as good or even better. They’re just wrapped up in a beefier body with a more pragmatic slant. Instead of the elegant materials and just-so curves of competitors like the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy, the Droids of the world are chiseled out of meat and potatoes (not literally). They have long-life batteries that charge quickly, expandable storage, features like ballistic-nylon backings, and they sure as hell don’t come in 16GB versions. They’re the smartphone equivalent of a Dodge Ram, one with a Bad Boy Club sticker on the back window.
So it’s no surprise that the Droid Turbo 2 is the first phone touted to have an unsmashable screen. In a way, this is the most Droid feature yet. With a five-layer system called ShatterShield, Motorola says the phone’s break-proof screen took three years to develop.
According to Motorola, the five-decker shatterproof sandwich consists of a durable aluminum core, a flexible AMOLED screen, two touch layers to provide backup if one of the layers gets damaged, and an interior and exterior lens layer. To showcase its durability, Motorola repeatedly dropped the phone onto concrete face-down during today’s launch event. The Droid 2 didn’t crack.
And the screen is certainly worth protecting. It’s a 5.4-inch OLED display with a tack-sharp 1440×2560 resolution. That’s 544 ppi, far more than the iPhone 6S Plus’s 401ppi. At a certain point, your eyeballs can’t tell the difference, but “more is better” fits nicely with the Droid ethos.
It’ll ship with Android L, last year’s update, but Motorola and Verizon say an Android Marshmallow upgrade will go out shortly.
That sharp and durable display is the marquee feature, but the Turbo 2 also has a hemi under the hood. Again, not literally. What it does have is an eight-core Snapdragon 810 system on a chip, with a clock speed of 2GHz, backed by 3GB RAM. That puts it in the top tier of Android phones in terms of bringing the speeds-and-feeds thunder. It’s the same internals you’ll find in the flagship (and Android of all Androids) Nexus 6P.
The battery is no joke. The 3,760 mAh unit tucked inside gets up to 48 hours of life per charge, according to Motorola, and it comes with a 25W charger that firehoses 13 hours of juice into it in just 15 minutes. The camera also does an array of flexes, thanks to a 21-megapixel rear unit that has a fast auto-focus system and “no shutter lag.” There’s also a screen-side 5-megapixel for selfies. That camera only exists for irony’s sake, because no one who owns this phone would ever take a selfie.
Because 16GB phones are for suckers (especially when you’re taking 21-megapixel pictures and 4K videos), there is no 16GB version of the Droid Turbo 2. Your choices are 32GB and 64GB. If that’s not enough for you, you can pop in up to 2TB extra via a MicroSD slot.
For the first time, you can personalize the Droid Turbo 2 with up to 1,000 different custom designs on the Moto Maker site. Rest assured there are some manly leather and ballistic nylon variations in the mix. No deer pelt or alligator skin options, but nobody said the world was perfect, hoss.
If you get the 64GB version, you can also change up its style once for free within a two-year window. Because Moto Maker accents are built directly into the device, that means Moto will ship you an entirely new phone with a brand new color (or leather) palette of your choosing. You just have to port your data over. Then again, that sounds like the errand of a man who don’t know what he wants. The errand of a fool.
Pricing will start at $26 per month ($624 over a two-year lifespan) for the 32GB version and ramp up to $30 ($720 over two years) for the 64GB version. There’s also a deal-sweetener: Verizon says you can trade in an older phone—even a cracked one—for up to $300 credit toward a Droid Turbo 2.
There’s also a new addition to the battery-life-minded Droid Maxx lineup, but strangely, it’s a bit weaker-specced than the Turbo 2 in the battery department. The juice rating is the same, as the Droid Maxx 2 gets up to 48 hours of battery life. However, it comes with a 15W charger that only gives you eight hours in a 15-minute charge. You’re getting a little less muscle under the hood, too, with an octa-core Snapdragon 615 chip that tops out at 1.7GHz.
The new Droid Maxx’s screen isn’t rated as smashproof either, although Motorola guarantees one free screen replacement over two years. And while it’s slightly bigger, at 5.5 inches, it’s lower-res, at 1080p (440ppi). You can still customize it through the store, but with a snap-on back instead of the integrated Moto Maker approach. It has a 21-megapixel main camera, but it only comes in a 16GB version—although it does have a MicroSD slot, too, so you can expand that to your liking. It’ll cost $16 per month ($384 over two years) on Verizon.
So it’s probably the Droid 2 you’ll be most interested in, especially if you’re the kind of butterfingered hombre who breaks smartphone displays like he breaks off beef jerky bites. Both devices will be available Thursday.
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