Verizon is teasing the Motorola Droid Turbo 2 with the tagline: “the perfect phone for imperfect people”, hinting at a shock-proof, shatter-proof construction of the device. Manufacturers like Samsung seem to have dropped their affinity for durable smartphones, choosing appealing design elements and gimmicky features instead. Motorola seems to have noticed the lack of available durable Android smartphones and has created the Motorola Droid Turbo 2 in order to target customers that feel disappointed. Although Sony still kept its waterproof certification with the Xperia Z5 family, Samsung has dropped such features from its flagship smartphones. The South Korean company still offers the Active version of the Galaxy S6 as the durable variant users can get, but for a premium price. Motorola aims to fix that with the Droid Turbo 2 and Verizon is going to help.
The Motorola Droid Turbo 2 will be launched on the 27th, alongside the Droid Maxx 2. Verizon and Motorola will be holding an event together to launch the new devices, and while these particular smartphones will be Verizon-exclusive models, international variants will also be made available. Apparently, the Droid Turbo 2 international variant is called the Moto X Force, while we’re not sure if the Maxx has an international variant yet. It will most likely have one, but our antennae haven’t picked up its code-name yet. While most people are looking forward to the international version, we’ve decided that comparing the Verizon-exclusive Motorola Droid Turbo 2 to the newly released Google Nexus 5X would be a good idea for a variety of reasons.
Introducing the perfect phone for imperfect people. pic.twitter.com/OzeiE2znP3
— Verizon (@verizon) October 20, 2015
First off, the Nexus 5X is Google’s current main flagship, right next to the Nexus 6P that Huawei made with the company. Many people are thinking of getting the Nexus 5X in order to experience the stock Android user interface, as well as the unique features of the device and the timely updates that it will be enjoying in the future. Trust in Motorola updates has declined ever since Lenovo took over, as the company seems to be having problems with customer support. However, if we think about how the company is improving and in what stage the acquisition is, our best bet is that Motorola will be getting back on track in the next few months.
With that in mind, the Motorola Droid Turbo 2 sounds like a magnificent machine that is geared towards Android users and active smartphone users at the same time. Holding off on purchasing the Nexus 5X until the international version becomes available might be a good idea, because the Motorola Droid Turbo 2 is said to end up being one of the most powerful and durable devices of the year. At the same time, expectations of the device include a more affordable pricing, for both the Verizon-branded variant and the international Moto X Force. While we can’t confirm pricing yet, the specs of the device are more or less confirmed by the companies involved in the launch, so we have a pretty good idea of what to expect. Let’s get down to it, shall we?
The Motorola Droid Turbo 2 key features will be found in its design. Motorola and Verizon spilled the beans about the new device being in the Motorola Moto Maker program. Before buying the handset, customers will be allowed to use the Moto Maker customization platform to choose the back panel, accents and design features that they would like to see on the phone when it arrives. This is the first time this opportunity is given to Droid fans, and I’m sure many will love the opportunity of customizing a power-user smartphone like the Droid Turbo 2. However, some important design elements are going to be present on the phone, regardless of how you customize it.
One such element would concern the Motorola Droid Turbo 2 display. According to Verizon documentation leaked by Android Police, the Droid Turbo 2 will have a shatterproof glass display. This information has been leaked repeatedly, with Verizon themselves releasing a video on their Twitter account showcasing the Droid Turbo 2 falling towards an ominous-looking cement pavement. Dangerous situation, emphasizing that the Droid Turbo 2 will be geared towards clumsy or active people, depending on the case. Last year’s Droid Turbo already sported such durability features in the form of a kevlar construction, but the shatterproof screen is new and it seems to be popular with fans of the company and fans of Android.
The Droid Turbo 2 design is still a mystery, because we have hardly seen how the device looks viewed from the front. We’ve seen various snapshots of the back of the device, which looks strikingly similar to the Moto X Style or Moto X Pure Edition. Motorola carried over the back button design, but it doesn’t seem like there will be biometric security included in the new smartphone. However, the button placement of the Droid Turbo 2 might be changed to be similar to other Moto X smartphones, to help with the Moto Maker customization options for accents.
From the photos in the Verizon documentation leak above, we can see that the Droid Turbo 2 design seems to have thinned down a bit, as well as refined the screen-to-body ratio. The device looks thin and has seemingly thin bezels on the sides, with symmetric bezels on the top and bottom of the device. The design doesn’t seem to stray from previous handsets that much and goes along with the design ethics Motorola has adopted over the past year. The Droid Turbo 2 will have the Verizon logo embedded near the bottom of the back panel, but this might end up being removable depending on how the Moto Maker platform will work for this device. Our guess is that the Verizon logo won’t go away unless you get an international Moto X Force, which is the one I’m waiting for right now.
Taking the Nexus 5X and comparing its design to that of the Droid Turbo 2 is quite a challenge. That’s because when it comes to materials Motorola will use in the durable smartphone, we’re pretty much in the dark. While last year, kevlar and silicone were the main ingredients, this year, we expect different things to happen. Based on the fact that Verizon revealed that the handset would support microSD cards up to 2 TB, we suspect the handset’s construction to be mostly polycarbonate, with a possible metal frame as seen in the images above. The Nexus 5X has a similar design, with plastic all around the device.
Compared to the Droid Turbo 2, the Nexus 5X has the added benefit of a fingerprint sensor, which will most likely be omitted from the Droid. However, the Droid will also sport IP68 certification next to the shatterproof glass display, which adds another bonus for the Motorola-branded handset. A MIL-STD-810G military certification for durability has also been leaked in FCC documentation, so that’s another feature the Droid Turbo 2 will have extra compared to Google’s Nexus 5X. The usability of these features depends on the user. While the Nexus 5X is designed for power users in love with the stock Android experience, Droid devices are designed for smartphone users that do less resource-hungry tasks on their phones but need the extra protection for their lifestyle.
The Nexus 5X has brought a lot of improvement compared to the first Nexus 5 from LG. It added more performance, features, better battery life and a much better display and camera. The Nexus 5X display measures 5.2 inches and has a resolution of 1080*1920. The Droid Turbo 2 display will up the ante, as Verizon and Motorola spilled the beans about a 5.4-inch Quad HD display with a 1440*2560 resolution. With QuadHD becoming the new standard, the Droid Turbo 2 can be considered to be more future-proof than the Nexus 5X in the display department. The shatterproof glass also contributes to its score in its department, seeing as worrying about destroying the screen in your first week of usage will be obsolete, hopefully. Although the Nexus 5X also has Gorilla Glass 3 protection, shatterproof glass sounds a tad more secure.
Under the hood, the Droid Turbo 2 specs will include a Snapdragon 810 CPU, backed by 3 GB RAM and 32 or 64 GB internal storage. As mentioned above, the handset will support microSd expansion up to 2 TB, the new norm. Android 6.0 Marshmallow with additional Motorola and Verizon features should be in charge of performance, with a 3760 mAh battery handling the charge. According to leaked Verizon documentation, the Droid Turbo 2 battery life will be at two days with regular use, which is pretty decent. It’s not new, innovative or revolutionary and it certainly could have been made better, it’s decent.
Comparatively, Google and LG have outfitted the Nexus 5X with a slightly inferior Snapdragon 808 processor, backed by 2 GB RAM and 16 or 32 GB internal storage. The handset comes with no microSd card slot, but it has a pretty decent two-day autonomy with its built-in 2700 mAh battery. The Nexus 5X comes with USB Type C and fast charging, although it does not support wireless charging. The Motorola Droid Turbo 2 will also feature fast charging, as per Verizon, which is pretty neat, but nothing has been said about the phone supporting wireless charging, which is a bummer.
The Droid Turbo 2 will have a couple of things in common with the Nexus 5X, although most of them have to do with connectivity. NFC, Bluetooth 4.2 and 4G LTE are going to be on board the device, with Verizon planning to launch new internet plans for the device ,too. That’s a rumor, so take it with a grain of salt. The Nexus 5X has the advantage of Google Fiber and fast software updates, which are obviously missing from the Droid Turbo 2. Verizon has been improving its update schedule however, so maybe the Droid Turbo 2 will be fast to get OTA updates than its predecessor. The Nexus 5X will be first to get updates, though, so there’s a decision that needs to be made here. It depends on your, this one.
Moving on, the Motorola Droid Turbo 2 camera is going to be a 21 MP sensor with optical image stabilization, phase detection autofocus and dual-tone LED flash that could end up being an RGB flash. The front camera will be a wide-angle selfie-camera and while leaked photos don’t seem to show it, some rumors suggest it will have a flash up front accompanying it. Front flash isn’t that important, but it would be nice to have it on the new handset. If it’s not going to be featured, I’m sure nobody will consider its absence a deal-breaker.
The main element that will make a big difference in this comparison is pricing. The Nexus 5X price is really affordable this time around, with a starting price of $380 for the 16 GB model and a price of $430 for the 32 GB variant. You can order them both from the Google Nexus store. While it’s not the cheapest ever, and we would have liked more value in this phone, it’s pretty affordable and neat. The Motorola Droid Turbo 2 should have a competing price if it wants to do well in today’s saturated smartphone market. The features that it will supposedly carry are impressive, but its pricing will be crucial, as always. Rumors are that the Droid Turb 2 price will be set at around $450 for the base model, which is pretty acceptable. If the 32 GB Nexus 5X price is $430, and it has inferior specs and features, the Motorola Droid Turbo 2 would definitely be a better option if the price is right. I think that if the handset price stays under the $500 mark for the base model, Motorola and Verizon have a winner. The 64 GB model should cost up to $600 in my opinion, although that sum is already a bit too high. Since pricing is the only thing left unconfirmed, we’re wondering how well the Droid Turbo 2 will do in this area.
Hopefully, the Motorola Droid Turbo 2 price will not be deal-breaker, because the handset seems to be pretty nicely engineered. With the durable design and shatterproof glass, it will present interest to a segment of Android users that has been feeling left out recently. Durable phones aren’t trendy anymore, even though we have thousands of daily reports of damaged phones. Motorola wants to combat that, and the Droid Turbo 2 might be a good approach. With only a few days left until the official launch, we couldn’t be more excited. What would be the deal-breaking Motorola Droid Turbo 2 price for you? How high are you willing to go if the phone is as interesting as it is said to be?