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Droid Turbo Review - a week later.....

Droid Turbo review

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#1 livinginkaos

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Posted 06 November 2014 - 08:09 AM

Droid Turbo XT1254 Review- a week later.....

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I’ve had the device for almost a week now, so it’s a good time to give my views on the Droid Turbo for Verizon.  Being a Droid generally brings some clout and this device is no exception.  There are a couple drawbacks, but in all, I feel positive about the Turbo.  So without wasting time, here we go.

 

Feel-

When the device showed up, I was taken aback by the size of the box. It was bigger than previous Droids in depth.  Upon opening it up and taking the phone out, it was fairly obvious why – the Turbo charger is included with this handset.  That’s a $35 item in itself and I was happy to see that included.  Anyway, picking up the handset, it has a definite “feel”.  The best word I have is a “robust” feeling.  It makes me feel like I could take it and pound nails with the thing.  It’s not extremely heavy, 176 grams, although it does weigh in a bit more than the G3 (149g), M8 (160g) or S5 (145g).  I purchased the Ballistic Nylon back and it has a good grip feel to it.  I don’t fear dropping it because with that “robust” feel, I know what the device is doing in my hand, so if it’s slipping, I’m aware.  The “bill” at the bottom that some have commented is ugly, really isn’t all that bad.  For me, I can’t seem to navigate anything that far down graciously, so the blank area doesn’t concern me.  It does have a rubberized coating, and I think that adds to the “presence” of the device in the hand.

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Display-

The Turbo has the 5.2” 1440p Quad HD Display 2560x1440 Amoled 565ppi behind a Corning Gorilla Glass 3.  It is nothing more than beautiful.  It is very crisp, clear and easy on the eyes.  After having a Samsung S5 in my mix, this display is better to me.  For my viewing, the S5 display is overbearing.  It gives me a headache if I stare at it too long in just a little off lighting.  The Turbo display has a good tone for me.  Now, everyone’s eyes are different, so, you’ll have to compare them yourselves in order to judge, but, I don’t think you would be disappointed in this one.  I’ve heard complaints about not enough brightness, but I don’t find that a problem.  In auto brightness mode, many of the current devices will gauge the auto part with where you set the manual brightness as the high end and perhaps, this is what people are seeing?  IDK, you be the judge.  I am able to see this outside in daylight with little effort.  One thing for me, living in the Northwest, is I fight the rain.  Using a smartphone in the rain is the pits.  The G3 is unbearable, clicking everywhere at the slightest wet.  The M8 wasn’t much better.  The Turbo is GREAT in the rain.  Unless it is getting completely covered, you still have functionality without the random screen clicks.  The Turbo gets a BIG thumbs up from me here.  Oh, buttons, yeah, they are capacitive…. It’s one of those things that bother some and not others.  Like I mentioned, I don’t seem to be able to navigate very well in the lower regions, so not having screen in that area doesn’t bother me.  It does use real estate, but if you look at the M8, it has a ton used top and bottom of the device.

 

OS-

Typical Droid styling with Moto X flair is how I would describe floating around the OS.  It is still 4.4.4, so no Lollipop action yet (and I would not expect it until a bit after the New Year).  Not as heavily choked with bloat as some previous Droid models, but it does have its share.  Active notifications is one big hit.  Being able to see important notifications without having to pick up the device is always handy and a battery saver as well.  The typical addition of a Droid centerpiece widget on the Turbo is called the Command Center.  It has obviously the clock, weather, events and battery meter.   A tap to the side of the command center will open “wings” to display a little more of the same info as well as play a nice vibration in your hand- yeehaw !  The rest is your basic Moto skin, tiled quick settings, etc.  You will notice that there is little to no delay in anything you do.  Sporting the Snapdragon 805 CPU at 2.7Ghz and an Andreno 420 GPU, you fly through just about everything.  Now, I am no gamer, wish I had the time, but it seems to handle some of the things I tested out quite well.  I install Epic Citadel and have to say the result was impressive for me.  There was little linearization in the images as they transformed across the screen.  My resulting FPS on Ultra High Res was 52.2 FPS @ 2560x1440.  Not too shabby.

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Sound-

The front facing stereo speakers pack a light punch.  Having the speaker on the front has advantages and disadvantages, but they balanced it fairly well.  The biggest downfall is that the speakers are only in a left/right orientation in portrait mode.  Put the device into landscape and listen to a stereo video and the flow is up and down.  A little disheartening…..

 

Battery-

The Turbo sports a hefty 3900mah Battery – unfortunately, it needs it for the display.  I have been going 16-17 hrs on time with appx 4hrs of screen on and ending with between 30-40%.  While that’s nothing to cry over, it’s definitely not where the specs put it and from what I am told, not any better than the Droid Maxx.  For me, I charge every night, so this will obviously suit me.  I can see making most domestic flights playing on the Turbo the entire time without issue. 

 

Camera-

The rear camera on the Turbo is a 21MP (5248 x 3936), autofocus, dual-LED flash.  Default the image is set to a widescreen 15.5MP in a 16x9 ratio just to fill the display 100%. To get to 21MP you need to change it to the standard 4:3 ratio.  All I have to say is wow.  So far the images I have taken are crisp and colors are very close to true.  I am no photographer, so don't judge my skills : )

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Quirks-

One thing that bugged me right away was the fact that I couldn’t get my mUSB storage device to mount.  KitKat’s inability to read exFat and NTFS has been left unaltered in the Turbo.  This is something that can easily be adjusted with root privileges, but, guess what…… we have none.  So, I have had to resort to reformatting my drive to FAT32 to regain the use.  Not a huge deal, but, come on, it’s just a silly MS licensing thing…..

 

Advanced Calling- don’t have it.  I have had the privilege of previewing the next software build that has the ability put in, but I cannot get VZW to turn it on for my acct.  That said, out of the box, you will not have the ability to talk and use mobile data simultaneously.  For me, no big deal, but many use this feature and it is a big let down immediately.  It will be fixed when the new build is OTA’d but until then, be forewarned.

and, that’s it for quirks really.  Nothing else had caught my attention enough to be worthy of mentioning.  By this point, you have got to know there is no SD card support.  Not a huge deal in my mind, some have big issues with it, but your call.

 

BIG Plus-

One thing I was not aware of until after picking the unit up is the screen warranty.  Believe it or not, Moto will replace a damaged display for free once within the first 24 months !  This is huge IMO.  Especially in the first few months after release in that replacement displays are hard to find and generally fairly costly.  And, with the newer devices, they tend to be a bit more difficult to replace on your own.

 

In the end, the question being, will I keep this device?  Heck yeah.  It’s worth the desk space….

 

 


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#2 themrgoats

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Posted 06 November 2014 - 10:26 AM

Thanks for the review!

#3 livinginkaos

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Posted 06 November 2014 - 10:52 AM

No problem.  I'm no reporter, so I hope it wasn't too hard to read thru.


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#4 Not_A_Dev

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Posted 06 November 2014 - 10:05 PM

I went to a Best Buy today to run some errands, and while I was there, I asked one of the employees if they had a Droid Turbo that they could show me. As it is, they have a huge Samsung mobile phone section (wonder how much Sammy pays them for that), and just a few "other" phones. Anyway, the guy was nice enough to whisper something in his supervisor's ear who then gave him a key to the "vault", and out came a virgin Droid Turbo box. The one with the Kevlar back. WOW, what a nice device! Perfect size, a bit larger than my Moto xt926m, but still easily offering the ability for one-handed operation. I wish the Nexus 6 had the battery and size of this beast. It's gonna be a tough choice next March when my VZW contract is up.



#5 dg5301

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Posted 07 November 2014 - 07:21 AM

Thanks for taking the time to do this, Kaos! This one is on my short list, and it's great to have your take on it. I'm especially glad to hear what you had to say about the display's outdoor performance. That's a major factor for me.



#6 BladeRunner

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Posted 11 November 2014 - 04:30 PM

I agree with your review mostly.  I thought the screen was nice, it's the right size (although I am OK with a bigger screen now) and the vanilla android is nice and smooth albeit a bit boring IMHO.  The biggest problem I have with the turbo and it's the same beef I had with the Droid Maxx is the battery life. The 3500mAh in the Maxx and the 3900 in the Turbo should make these phones unbeatable but something in the Moto firmware just isn't right.  Both the Maxx and the Turbo suffer from inexplicable standby drain. I think it has something to do with the always listening and active notifications.  As it is the Turbo gets roughly the same life on a full charge for me as did the LG G3 (smaller battery, bigger QHD screen) the HTC One M8 (smaller battery, equivalent sized HD screen) and the Note III (Smaller battery, larger HD screen)  For a phone that it's biggest adevrtised feature is the battery I find this unacceptable.



#7 MJordan81

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Posted 23 November 2014 - 02:16 PM

Agreed.





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