PROS / The Turbo's benchmark performance outpaced every other Android phone we've tested, and its battery supercharger is wonderfully convenient.
CONS / The phone's nylon-weave rear cover retains a lot of heat, so certain models of the phone feel almost perpetually warm. Even on models without the weave, its lack of advanced features such as Bluetooth aptX is disappointing.
VERDICT / The Droid Turbo feels great in your hand and offers phenomenal performance. Unless you want to risk overheating its components, though, we'd recommend staying away from the nylon weave model.
A lot of folks love the Motorola Droid Turbo, and for good reason: The Verizon exclusive is among the most powerful smartphones ever made. Its battery lasts through two full days of use, and – using Motorola's aptly named Turbo charger – you can bring it up to about half capacity in a mere 15 minutes. Its processor performed better in our benchmarks than any other Android phone we've tested, and its QHD display is stunning. It's arguably the best smartphone Motorola has ever produced, but it's not perfect – especially if you buy the model with the nylon weave rear cover.
The Droid Turbo comes in two basic variants. The backplate on one is the same Kevlar weave we've come to expect from Droid devices, in that it looks like patterned, hardened plastic, but is incredibly durable because it's made of the same material you'll find in bulletproof vests. The second variant – the one we tested – has a nylon weave over the Kevlar, which bulks up the size of the phone a bit and gives it a pleasing texture against your fingers.
We can't speak for the straight Kevlar variant, but that nylon weave absorbs and retains heat like a blanket. We had to significantly slow our benchmark process with the Droid Turbo, since the device kept overheating and skewing our results. In the end, we managed to draw numbers out of it that put every other Android device we've reviewed to shame; it is a seriously powerful smartphone, second only to Apple's 64-bit iPhones. But the number of times it overheated during testing was almost maddening.
Granted, benchmark testing and real-world use are very different things, and unless you're a heavy gamer, you'll only really notice a slight warmth to the Turbo from day to day. The rest of the phone performs admirably, even offering up a decent, though not extraordinary, 21-megapixel camera. Its 2560-by-1440 screen is sharper than you'll ever need, and Turbo charging is the forgetful man's dream come true. A ton of next-generation features are missing, though: There's no barometer, no USB 3.0 connectivity, no Bluetooth aptX for audiophiles, and you don't even get a pair of cheap headphones in the box. But for raw power and longevity, you won't be complaining anytime soon.
The Motorola Droid Turbo is a phone with lots of power, but little finesse. Sure, it's big, bold, capable and long-lasting, but it lacks the svelte precision of Apple and HTC phones, and the fun features of Samsung's devices. The Turbo is often compared against top smartphones from manufacturers around the world, and while it is very solid, it falls short of being truly top-tier.