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Droid Turbo review: A sturdy phone with serious stamina

JR Raphael | Nov. 5, 2014
It may not be the most elegant-looking device, but Motorola's new smartphone is brimming with power.

The same can be said about the Turbo's horsepower: The phone is snappy as can be, with nary a stutter or lag anywhere in the system -- but it doesn't feel any speedier than the Moto X, despite the fact that it boasts a more powerful processor and an extra gig of RAM. Even in a closely studied side-by-side comparison, I could find no discernible difference in how the two phones perform.

I point these things out merely as a reminder that, at a certain level, specs -- effective as they are for marketing -- only mean so much in real-world terms. The Droid Turbo has an excellent screen and impeccable performance, which is ultimately what matters, but the superlative-laden hype surrounding its hardware is best taken with a grain of salt.

Standout stamina
The one area where the Droid Turbo's steroid regiment is significant is in the realm of stamina: The Turbo packs a giant 3,900mAh battery that's listed for up to 48 hours of use per charge.

Battery life is obviously going to vary depending on how you use your phone, but based on my experience, I'd say two days should be entirely possible for a lot of people. With moderate to heavy use -- as much as three to four hours of screen-on time -- I've consistently made it from morning to night with 40% to 50% of the device's charge still remaining. At the very least, you should never have to worry about running out of power within a single day, even if you have abnormally heavy usage habits.

The Turbo also comes with Motorola's aptly named Turbo Charger, a power adapter that boosts battery life by as much as eight hours with just 15 minutes of charge time. The phone supports wireless charging, too, so you can easily top it off with any Qi-compatible pad.

Sound, photos and storage
The Droid Turbo has a single speaker on the top end of its face. The sound is reasonably good but a noticeable step behind the Moto X's in both volume and quality: Music is not as loud or full-sounding as what the X delivers, and audio gets ever-so-slightly distorted when the volume's turned up all the way.

The device's camera, meanwhile, is roughly on par with that of Moto X -- which is to say that it's capable of capturing some decent-looking photos but is not entirely consistent. The Turbo has a higher megapixel count -- 21MP compared to the Moto X's 13MP -- but all that means is that images taken on the Turbo are larger, which isn't particularly important. I've actually found the Turbo's photos to be a bit less sharp and vivid than the Moto X's on the whole, though it does do better than the X in low-light conditions.

 

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