Droid Turbo 2 vs Moto X Pure – one to rule them all
Motorola is on a roll this year, and while fans of the company are increasingly angrier at the smartphone manufacturer because of its support system since Lenovo took over, the company is still going forward with new launches. The Droid Turbo 2 is the next big thing and thanks to the huge amounts of hype around the device, it has already been leaked quite a number of times, so that we now know just about everything there is to know about the next Verizon-exclusive Droid smartphone. The Droid Turbo 2 release date is set for October 27 when Verizon and Motorola will be holding a massive Droid launch event that will not only see the official Droid Turbo 2 launch, but also the addition of the Droid Maxx to this year’s mid-range smartphone portfolio from Motorola.
The Droid Turbo 2 is one of the most anticipated Motorola smartphones of the year, but it will still have to compete with widely popular and appreciated devices from its parent company, such as the Nexus 6 from last year, the Moto X Play. Moto X Style, Moto X Pure as well as with flagship smartphones from even bigger companies like Samsung and Apple. The Droid Turbo 2 will most likely give these options a run for the money, seeing as the leaks about the device do make us wonder if we’re reading about a futuristic industrial communication device or a regular smartphone. The former might be the case.
Right now, Android fans are angry at Motorola. That’s because while the company had excellent customer support for its smartphones, alongside the fastest updates on the planet, ever since the Lenovo takeover was finalized last year, support has gone to hell. One reason for that are the massive layoffs at the company, which lead to small teams having to deal with a volume of work that is increasingly more difficult to keep up with. Hopefully, things within the company get stabilized and Lenovo will keep Motorola as a company that can provide excellent support.
The Droid Turbo 2 will be launched as a Verizon-exclusive device, but an international version called the Moto X Force will also be made available to those who don’t like Verizon’s services. Since it’s a Motorola device, we thought it would be nice to pit it against one of the most highly-regarded smartphones from the company, the Moto X Pure. The Moto X Pure is everything a stock-Android fan would want without buying a Nexus device. Stock Android with a few Motorola enhancements and excellent performance. Can the Droid Turbo 2 end up being better than that?
The Motorola Droid Turbo 2 is set for release in a week or so, but we already know most of its specs and a few elements about its design. While you should take this information with a grain of salt, it’s pretty plausible and reliable, seeing as various certification documents, internal memos, Verizon documentation and flyers as well as benchmark scores stand behind it. While the real Droid Turbo 2 might still end up being a bit different, most of these specs will most likely be part of its hardware setup.
As such, the Droid Turbo 2 display is said to be a slightly larger 5.4-inch IPS panel with a QuadHD resolution of 1440*2560. That’s a slightly bigger screen than its predecessor. Besides increasing the display size, Motorola will also make the screen out of a shatterproof glass that will offer the Droid Turbo 2 increased durability, similar to the LG G Flex 2. Moreover, according to Verizon documentation obtained by Droid Life, the Droid Turbo 2 will be part of the Moto Maker program, which means users will be able to cusomize the design of their smartphones with different finishes.
The documentation also shows off a bit of the Droid Turbo 2 design, which is similar to the Moto X Pure design. With the button in the middle of the back panel, probably hiding a fingerprint sensor and the small accents around the smartphone, the Droid Turbo 2 seems to look much nicer. Since Verizon colors will only be option, we expect more people to be interested in the handset. Whether different build materials will also be configurable is still under a big question mark. Although we expect to see kevlar and silicone finishes, we’re not sure if the handset will be taking the same approach as last year.
Under the hood, the Droid Turbo 2 will feature specs like a Snapdragon 810 CPU, 3 GB RAM, 32 GB and 64 GB internal storage with a microSD card slot also available. The camera setup of the phone will be especially impressive, as the 20 MP Sony sensor on the rear should feature dual-tone flash and optical image stabilization. The wrist flick will also be a supported gesture, and it will allow users to take snapshots or rather activate the camera with a flick of the wrist. The front camera won’t be as impressive, but it will still be a rather good one measuring 5 MP and sporting a wide-angle lens.
Android 6.0 Marshmallow is going to be the operating system on board the Droid Turbo 2. Although sources claim Lollipop will be the OS of the handset, the release schedule for the phone suggests otherwise. First certification appearances of the Droid Turbo 2 took place this Summer, so the smartphone has been waiting for a launch for a few months now. Most likely, Motorola is waiting until they’re done with Android 6.0 Marshmallow to launch the Droid Turbo 2 with it on board. The October 27 release date corroborates that claim, seeing as Motorola is already in possession of the source code and has probably already tweaked it for release with the handset.
One of the main features of the Droid Turbo 2 will be battery life, as rumors suggest we should expect at least two days of regular use out of the smartphone, based on its 4000 mAh battery, 100 mAh larger than in last year’s model. Motorola has outfitted the handset with 4G LTE and there has also been talk of wireless charging being supported. Quick Charge 2.0 is pretty much part of the deal thanks to Qualcomm’s chipset, but wireless charging is still somewhat of an uncertainty. The fingerprint sensor and button placement also qualify for this category, seeing as there’s little information about them. The good news is that the Droid Turbo 2 will most likely sport dual front-facing stereo speakers, similar to HTC’s BoomSound speakers, and those would be a very much appreciated feature.
Although none of these features are officially confirmed and are definitely subject to change, the Motorola Droid Turbo 2 is ready to be released. While we don’t know if the Moto X Force international version of the phone will also be launched on October 27, we certainly hope it doesn’t get too delayed. Rumor is that Motorola is hosting another event in India to launch new phones, which might see the launch of the international version as well as the launch of the international version of the Droid Maxx 2, which will also be launched with the Droid Turbo 2. While the Droid Turbo 2 seems like an interesting pick, let’s see how it measures up to the already popular Moto X Pure.
One of the main differences between the two will be software. Although the Droid Turbo 2 has less skinning than other smartphones, it will still sport Verizon bloat, which is a bummer. That gives a bonus point to the Moto X Pure and its stock-Android software, soon to be updated to Android 6.0 Marshmallow. The Moto X Pure is also a more mainstream smartphone that doesn’t come with durability features but still offers extended customization through the Moto Maker platform.
The Moto X Pure Editions is essentially the Moto X Style, but without bloatware and skinning. As such, it sports just about the same hardware features and design. Although not as durable as the Motorola Droid Turbo 2, the Moto X Pure offers a streamlined ergonomic design that is customizable and similar to last year’s model. Design changes are minimal, but the handset is considerably larger than last year’s Moto X. The Moto X Pure comes with a 5.7-inch QuadHD panel, sporting IP58 water-repellant coating. The display is stunning and the extra Moto features that are included are also pretty neat to make use of.
Under the hood, the Moto X Pure could be very similar to the Droid Turbo 2, if the latter’s specs prove to be accurate. The already popular handset comes with a Snapdragon 808 processor, 3 GB RAM, 16, 32 and 64 GB storage options and a microSD card slot for expansion. The camera setup is impressive with a 21 MP sensor complete with dual-tone flash and phase detection autofocus. That might give the Droid Turbo 2 camera a run for its money, although it might become the better camera smartphone thanks to the optical image stabilization that is said to be on board. The front camera of the Moto X Pure is most likely the same 5 MP sensor, but with an added flash up front which comes in handy more than one would think at first.
The battery life of the Moto X Pure isn’t spectacular, but it does manage to get through a day and a half of regular usage with its 3000 mAh battery unit. The Droid Turbo 2 might be the winner in the battery life department, considering its slightly better processor, bigger battery and smaller display. The Moto X Pure doesn’t feature wireless charging, but it does come with fast charging. If wireless charging is on board the Droid Turbo 2, it might take the lead in the autonomy department.
The price of the Moto X Pure starts at about $400 unlocked, of course, which is a very impressive price point for a flagship smartphone that can easily compete with the Nexus 5X, Galaxy S6 and other mainstream flagship devices launched this year. The Droid Turbo 2 price is said to be around $650, but Verizon will be offering finance plans and exchange programs that might bring that price down to the equivalent of the Moto X Pure.
Even if the Motorola Droid Turbo 2 comes in at a more affordable price, it might not have the positive impact the Moto X Pure does. Although the durability features will most certainly be appealing to some, getting in bed with Verizon might not sit well with them. Ultimately, I believe the Moto X Force is what everyone is waiting for and that might have a shot at dethroning the crowd-favorite Moto X Pure. We’ll just have to wait and see on October 27, when every detail will be revealed.
4 Most Interesting Crossovers in Gaming
Gaming crossovers are a great way to bring in new people and drive up interest in a title. With that being said, crossovers aren’t as rare as they once were. More and more gaming companies are now embracing crossovers, to the point that some may say that it has lost its appeal. And while this is true to some degree, there are still crossovers that are really effective when it comes to adding a whole new dimension to a game. To prove our point, we’ve put together a list of five of the most interesting crossovers.
Forza Horizon 4: Halo
Forza Horizon 4 is the eleventh installment in the Forza series. The Forza series is known for its ability to emulate realistic racing conditions and offer accurate representations of real-world cars. And while they’ve partnered with car manufacturers before, Forza Horizon 4 features one of the most interesting collaborations in the entire series.
For a series that prides itself on realistic racing, Forza also knows when to cut loose and have a little fun. Nothing exemplifies this more than the Halo crossover that features Master Chief and the iconic Warthog.
Fortnite: Travis Scott
Fortnite is no stranger to crossovers. But if we had to pick one as the most interesting it would have to be the Travis Scott concert. Not only did this crossover include custom skins and emotes but it also paved the way for one of the most unique digital experiences of 2020.
The Verge’s article on the Travis Scott crossover details that the crossover included an interactive digital concert that turned the Fortnite island into a music stage. What’s great about this crossover is that it hints towards a future wherein music and video games will be working hand in hand to deliver immersive musical experiences to millions of people from all over the world.
Merge Dragons: Rick and Morty
When you think of the popular TV show Rick and Morty, a fantasy puzzle game isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. This is what makes this Rick and Morty crossover so interesting. The sheer absurdity of this crossover shows what gaming collaborations can achieve when one thinks outside the box. The game features original dialogue spoken by the characters that matches their characteristics from the show. It is a fun addition to the puzzle game.
However, this crossover shouldn’t be too surprising as Rick and Morty have appeared in other games, demonstrating how they have become pop culture icons. The comic nature of the duo makes them perfect for every type of genre, including slot games. Foxy Bingo’s pop cultured-themed slots include an official Rick and Morty game that features the iconic imagery and characters from the show. The show has also produced its own game in the form of the Pokémon-clone Pocket Mortys. One thing that all of these games have in common is that they maintain the show’s penchant for fun and wacky adventures. This is seen in Merge Dragons with the exclusive cow-dragon hybrid featured in the crossover event.
Mortal Kombat 11: Rambo
While crossovers in fighting games aren’t exactly new, Mortal Kombat has always had a knack for creating interesting crossovers for their iconic fighting game. One way that they’ve done this is with the inclusion of popular film characters. The franchise has had everyone from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to Jason of the Friday the 13th franchise appear in their games.
However, the latest iteration of the game may have topped all of the previous crossovers. This is because Mortal Kombat 11 features John Rambo of the legendary Rambo franchise as one of its available fighters. To add to this, CNet’s article on Mortal Kombat 11 details that Sylvester Stallone voiced the digital John Rambo. This is certainly a treat for fans of the popular action film franchise, as they can finally play as one of the most influential action heroes of all time.
Loot Crate vs. The Curiosity Box: A Beginner’s Guide to Subscription Mystery Boxes
With all the loot box shenanigans we’ve witnessed this year, you might have, while searching for more information, accidentally stumbled across something by the name of Loot Crate. Unlike the reviled loot boxes, Loot Crate isn’t a digital gambling scam. Instead, Loot Crate is a physical, subscription-based mystery box you receive in the mail that contains a bevy of geek-related material. Moreover, Loot Crate isn’t the only available service. Alongside the vanilla Loot Crate Classic, the Loot Crate company supplies geeks with anime-themed items with Loot Anime, gaming swag with Loot Gaming (Loot Crate also sells Halo, Minecraft, Fallout, Call of Duty, and Destiny 2 themed boxes), and film/TV merchandise with Harry Potter, Firefly, Marvel, and Star Trek themed boxes. Loot Crate also has a rival in the form of Geek Fuel, which is more expensive than Loot Crate Classic but contains more (and more expensive) merchandise. While I don’t have a Geek Fuel box to compare to a Loot Crate, I received a different subscription box for Christmas, The Curiosity Box. This mystery box is a joint venture between the company behind Geek Fuel and the YouTube Channel VSauce, which is admittedly cool. So, without further ado, let’s get into what sets apart a Loot Crate from a Curiosity Box and determine which is right for you.
WHAT’S THE SAME
On the surface, Loot Crate and The Curiosity Box seem similar. They arrive in big cardboard boxes and contain random items. Well, not precisely random; each box focuses on a different theme, and the items provided center around that theme. While a lot of geeks subscribe to these boxes for various bits of swag, perhaps the biggest draw is the exclusives. The companies behind these subscription services make deals with other firms to create unique pieces of merchandise that are literally impossible to find anywhere else, aftermarket/marked up eBay sales notwithstanding. Some of these exclusives are just color variants of readily available products, such as a glow in the dark Funko POP Groot figure and orange Quantum Mechanix Tribble.
Most exclusives, however, aren’t available elsewhere in any other form and include items like the The Walking Dead art print, the Yeti temporary tattoo, the tower of magnetic rings, and “collectible” pins.
Furthermore, while most exclusives are decorative, some are practical items, such as a pen shaped like the Sledge Saw from Dead Rising 3 and light-up beverage coasters with periodic symbols.
Finally, these subscription boxes have some of the most awesome, exclusive, geeky shirts this side of ThinkGeek or Hot Topic.
The exclusive items tend to be the best pieces of merchandise in each box and are usually worth the price of the subscription alone. Usually.
Let’s get this out of the way: the most obvious differences are the prices and subscription models. Loot Crate Classic is about $20 per box and comes once a month, while The Curiosity Box is well over $50 and arrives once every three months. More importantly, these boxes are designed for two completely different audiences. The Loot Crate (and likely by extension Geek Fuel) is aimed primarily at adults or older teenagers and provides geek-related decorations and practical items, such as the Dead Rising 3 pen, Star Wars and Deadpool fridge magnets, and a Mega Man car air freshener.
Also, Loot Crate tends to include non-exclusive products that are part of a series. Case in point, during my brief stint with Loot Crate, I received (among other things) a Kidrobot Glow in the Dark Ooze Action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle vinyl figure and a Funko ReAction Alien figure. I got Donatello and the titular Alien, respectively, but I easily could have found Leonardo or Ripley in my Loot Crate subscriptions instead. However, since The Curiosity Box is almost exclusively made up of exclusive items, there is no element of randomness and everyone receives the same merchandise.
While Loot Crate caters to the video game, movies, comics, television, and everything pop-culture side of geekdom, The Curiosity Box is more science oriented and is designed for the family. For example, parents who bought the Summer 2017 Curiosity Box got to enjoy a t-shirt, a set of periodic table beverage coasters, a magnetic ring tower, a t-shirt, and a Nikola Tesla (as a sloth) enamel pin, while children will have fun with a temporary tattoo, a unique embroidered sticker patch, a solar system wall decal and poster set, a mobile microscope, and a castle cross-sections book. Finally, the Summer 2017 Curiosity Box came with the Universe Sandbox 2 Steam game, which is fun for all ages.
Since each Loot Crate and Curiosity Box contains new themes and items, you might find the contents of one particular box more to your liking than another. For example, one Curiosity Box contained a “grow your own glow in the dark crystals” kit, while another included a plush of The Curiosity Box’s mascot, the orange octopus Inq. Meanwhile, past Loot Crates have contained a Batman mug, a Doom Marine Funko POP figure, and the One-Punch Man manga.
While I only have personal experience with Loot Crate and The Curiosity Box, they are not your only options for subscription boxes. Geek Fuel is another decent mystery box, and it has come with its fair share of good products, including a South Park: The Fractured But Whole shirt, a Loony Toons Kidrobot blind box vinyl figure, and an exclusive Legend of Zelda pixel sword power bank. While I cannot recommend the Loot Crate, Curiosity Box, or Geek Fuel (or other) subscription boxes enough, you should research each to know what you should expect from these services. Sure, you technically can’t know what to expect since each box is supposed to be a mystery, but look into each specific subscription and figure out which one is right for you. Which do you think tends to have the best exclusives? Which box caters to your interests? These questions are important and will severely impact your enjoyment. Of course, luck also plays a big role, but that’s also part of the fun.
Google Drive will Shut Down in 2018
It seems like yesterday when Google introduced Google Drive 5 years ago. Back then, people didn’t have a good grasp about what Cloud Storage did. Nowadays, there are many Cloud Storage services that it’s only a matter of preference to choose one for your file keeping needs. However, what struck me as an oddity was how Google Drive will pull their Google Drive service come 2018.
That’s right, Google Drive will completely shut down on March 12, 2018. With the software no longer being supported on December 11, 2017. People will have several warnings about this, for now, so they will have plenty of chance to switch to the new version of Drive, Backup and Sync.
This new program is basically a combination of the features between Google Drive and Photos. It’s readily available now for Windows and OSX systems and will be the new host for the Cloud storage. Alternatively, users can get a hold of Drive File Stream, which will become available on September 26, 2017.
The core differences between DFS and BaS come when you compare how they help customers. As shown in the image below:
A day without Google Drive.
It seems like users will have their first experience without Drive today though. Because as of this morning, the service was down for many users who constantly used the GSuit app. According to the independent site Downdetector, more than 7,000 users are experiencing issues with the service. This has been going on since 10:04 AM EDT, but the number of reports has been lowering afterward. You can check the stats here.
It’s a shame to see Google Drive go. To be frank, it was my preferred Cloud Storage option besides MEGA. However, it’s not a huge inconvenience considering they are not shutting down a Cloud Storage service altogether. So we at least have that.
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