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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.

Beyond that, the buttons' placement makes the touch-oriented area of the phone extra tall, which creates an awkwardly long reach for your thumb during one-handed use. And the setup will soon look dated, since the upcoming Android 5.0 Lollipop upgrade shifts to a new visual appearance for the buttons -- one that'll automatically appear on other devices, where the buttons are virtual and thus able to be changed.

Speaking of future OS releases, one benefit of Motorola's approach to software is that it paves the way for speedy OS upgrades. The Turbo ships with the current Android 4.4.4 OS and a promise of an upgrade to Android 5.0 once that release becomes available. If Motorola's past efforts are any indication, the Turbo should see the software in a reasonably timely fashion, without the waiting and uncertainty that frequently accompany other manufacturers' phones.

Bottom line
With its excellent display, top-notch performance and outstanding battery life, the Droid Turbo is a real powerhouse with few limitations. And Motorola's smart approach to software provides a great overall user experience you won't find on many other devices.

The Turbo's brawn, however, comes at a cost: The phone's strong yet utilitarian form makes it far less sleek and pleasant to hold than its more refined (and less expensive) Moto X sibling. And its capacitive buttons are less than ideal, especially with the Android Lollipop release right around the corner.

Technology is full of tradeoffs, and only you can decide what factors matter most to you. If you want a durable device and need exceptionally strong stamina -- and are okay with the asterisks that accompany those traits -- the Droid Turbo is a terrific option with plenty of positives. It's a standout player in Verizon's lineup and a phone I'd happily recommend.


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