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Jul 25

Motorola DROID Turbo Smartphone Lineup
Motorola DROID Turbo Smartphone With Android Lollipop

Android Lollipop 5.1 has finally landed on Motorola’s DROID Turbo with its best-in-class 3,900 mAh battery. The Turbo has a bright 5.2” Quad HD Super AMOLED screen with Gorilla Glass 3, a 2.7GHz quad-core CPU and many other top specs. It is designed to fit in the hand well, charge wirelessly and blast through downloads via access to Verizon’s 4G XLTE network.


Motorola’s DROID Turbo Android Lollipop smartphone is a marvel of consumer electronics engineering. The model I tested came with 4G XLTE exclusively on the Verizon wireless network. The Turbo is unlike any of the DROID’s series smartphones before it. Its giant battery is sealed in between a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 3 on the front and a finely woven ballistic nylon back. Finally, it is surrounded by a nice black plastic with a rubber finish and a 21MP camera that can record 4k video.

Motorola DROID Turbo Unboxing

VZWBuzz Ambassador Badge

Disclaimer: I am a Verizon Wireless Buzz Group Ambassador. I received a loaner Motorola DROID Turbo at no cost for review. I have not received compensation for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. All photos are courtesy of Motorola.

Motorola DROID Turbo Ballistic Nylon

Ballistic nylon is a good non-conductive material that has less resistance than a metal backing for faster 4G XLTE cellular signal, wireless charging and Google Wallet transactions through NFC. It may require some cleaning every so often as bits of things find their way attached to the nylon fibers. The best way to avoid this is a case. However, adding additional bulk to the Turbo is not necessary.

The touch of Gorilla Glass 3 felt nice throughout testing. I did not add a screen protector or a case, the smartphone felt strong enough on its own to handle bumps. The DROID Turbo’s rubber coated black plastic comes to a slight edge at the base where the micro USB port is located. Its ballistic nylon back provides a decent surface to grip while moving about, whereas glass backed smartphones want to continually slip out of your hand. Ballistic nylon is a new type of backing material and Motorola has made it in several colors.

Motorola DROID Turbo Ballistic Front
Motorola DROID Turbo Front

Screen brightness from the Turbo is on par with other high end smartphones in the market. The quad HD Super AMOLED screen provides a nice experience to record and watch videos with. Taking photos in multiple lighting conditions, including subjects backlit by the sun, was easy and ended up being properly exposed via an auto HDR mode. Shooting in very low light conditions is the only time I saw photos produced by the Turbo start to show a lack of sharpness.

After a bit of a wait, Lollipop 5.1 is finally available as a firmware update from Verizon. Its pre-installed Motorola firmware update app might be the only independent way to get them faster than any other device on Verizon. Usually, the firmware update process checks with Verizon via a SIM check system.
Under the hood, the DROID Turbo has a blistering fast 2.7 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 CPU with 64-bit access to its 3GB of RAM and 32GB or 64GB of storage. There is no MicroSD memory card slot on this phone.

Motorola does a good job of keeping the Turbo fast by not including too many extra apps and interface changes. They have learned that customers like a clean Google Android Lollipop experience.

Motorola DROID Turbo Back
Motorola DROID Turbo Back

The Motorola DROID Turbo is Quick Charge 2.0 enabled, which is helpful as its battery is capacious but not removable. A Quick Charge 2.0 charger was included in the box. It can charge the phone at 5V with 1.67A at 8W, 9V with 1.67A at 15W and 12V with 1.2A at 15W. The last two charging modes are known as TurboPower. 15W for the last two modes is a generous amount of power for charging any mobile gadget. As a comparison, the latest iPad tablet charger provides 12W of power and it has a 12k+ mAh battery. Motorola says the TurboPower charger and Quick Charge 2.0 offers up to eight hours of charge in about 30 minutes. Because I like to provide additional value to my readers, any smartphone can be charged faster if it is off.

A Quick Charge 2.0 enabled portable battery from Aukey is now on the market. It has been tested to offer a fast charge for the DROID Turbo at a maximum of 12V at 1.35A. Qi wireless charging rounds out ways to charge this robust smartphone. After multiple tests, the smartphone does charge faster than most other phones I have tried.

Smartphone photographers will enjoy its 21MP rear camera and dual LED flash. The DROID Turbo has a unique way to launch the camera app without tapping on it. Twist your wrist twice with the phone, in a fast motion and it opens the camera app. Tap anywhere on the screen to take a photo. Drag up to zoom up to 4x. Drag to the right and the camera settings dial appears. Change flash, switch to slow motion video, switch to panoramic mode and more. Drag to the left and the photo gallery app opens.

Premium smartphones like this one can take photos while also recording video. Again, tap on the screen while recording video to take a photo. Apple does not offer any fun ways to open its built-in camera app.
Because space this smartphone has a fixed amount of storage, it caps Ultra HD video at 4GB or 10 minutes and 1080p video at 25 minutes. My longest recorded video in 1080p was about 16 minutes, so this maximum is not a big deal. It makes more sense to record multiple short clips to save on editing time later.

There are multiple video modes on the DROID Turbo including 720p slow motion at 15fps, 1080p at 30fps and 4k at 24 fps. With only 32GB of storage available on the entry level-model, a 64GB version is necessary if you need to record many 10-minute 4k clips.

Video streaming through smartphones to social networks like Periscope with 4G XLTE and a 21MP camera makes sense. Clear video makes it likely to receive more hearts, likes and positive comments.

Selfies are a big hit for premium smartphone owners as they typically have better front facing cameras. The DROID Turbo has a 2MP front camera with 1080p video capability. Motorola understands the mobile photographer and has created a cool way to take selfies with a voice command. Start by activating Moto Assist with the launch phrase. Then say, “take a selfie.” The camera app will launch, switch to the forward facing camera and then a short countdown begins.

Motorola DROID Turbo Voice
Motorola DROID Turbo Voice

Sharing a selfie or that awesome landscape shot from a recent vacation while at breakfast is easier than ever with DROID Zap and its geo-tagged temporary cloud service. People in a 100-yard radius can receive a DROID Zapped photo or video. Initially, photos and videos being shared this way is public. The private option gives you a pin code that can be shared for chosen recipients.

Motorola DROID Zap
Motorola DROID Zap

To initiate a DROID Zap, find a photo in the gallery app and use two fingers to drag up. The photo is then available for five minutes in a temporary cloud. Smartphones running Android 2.2 or above can run the Droid Zap app for downloading photos and video. A modern DROID like the Turbo will be needed to initially share the media file.

Motorola DROID Turbo Voice Assist
Motorola DROID Turbo Voice Assist

Using Google Voice on Android smartphones is fun and can be helpful. The DROID Turbo comes with Moto Voice to extend these capabilities even further. Under the Settings app, tap Moto and then Voice. Give it a launch phrase and the Turbo will do your bidding while the screen is off.

As mentioned before, the Motorola DROID Turbo comes with 4G XLTE Verizon network capability. After multiple speed tests in the Western US, I discovered results from 12.11Mbps to 19.75Mbps down and 15.70Mbps to 16.58Mbps up. While there were a few speed tests with higher and lower results, these are the median range I experienced. The hotspot function was easy to enable and did not have any software trying to initiate a WiFi connection during its use.

Calls were quite good in multiple test environments, its noise canceling hardware helped in busy places like airports and casinos. Your experience with data speeds and calls will rely on where voice and 4G XLTE upgraded towers have been rolled out.

Transferring content between NFC and Bluetooth enabled Android smartphones has become easier with the DROID Turbo running Android Lollipop. Tests with another Android smartphone and Android Beam worked well. It allows for photos to be sent securely over Bluetooth by tapping each phone on the back and then from there, it takes about 30 seconds per photo.

Motorola DROID Turbo Water Repellent
Motorola DROID Turbo Water Repellent

The DROID Turbo can access Verizon’s speedy 4G XLTE nationwide cellular network at a rated maximum of 150Mbps, it has a 565 pixels per square inch 1440×2560 resolution screen, 3GB of RAM, Dual-band capable WiFi a/b/g/n/ac, Gorilla Glass 3, a water resistant nano coating and a best-in-class 3,900 mAh battery. Its top of the line features, easy to use and upgraded Android Lollipop experience gives you a fantastic smartphone from Motorola.

Final Thoughts

Verizon exclusively carries the Motorola DROID Turbo and is currently being sold at $99 with a two-year contract. This is a great choice for anyone who wants a clean Android Lollipop experience and a camera that can take 4k video and high quality photos.

Verizon’s 4G XLTE network is equally fast and compared to other flavors of 4G LTE networks is routinely tested as being number one in the USA. Dense city environments like Downtown San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York City have already deployed XLTE to produce even greater speeds.

Having the hotspot functionality ready to go in this smartphone made it easy to share its 4G XLTE connection with my MacBook Pro, iPad Air and other gadgets. Its ginormous 3,900 mAh battery kept the hotspot going for many hours and left enough juice for me to use it the rest of the day.

The screen is bright and the photos it takes are perfect for uploading to Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram. The pixels per square inch and screen resolution of the Turbo easily beat the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Motorola’s quality engineering of high-end components paired with Android Lollipop show their commitment to make its DROID Turbo a top smartphone choice.

Rating: 4.5/5


  • 5.2” Quad HD Super AMOLED Screen
  • 2.7 GHz Quad-core 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 CPU
  • Wireless Qi Charging
  • Quick Charge 2.0 (Up to four hours in 10 Minutes)
  • 21MP Camera with 4k Video Recording
  • 3GB RAM
  • Nano Coating For Water Resistance
  • 4G XLTE Verizon Wireless Capable


  • Non Removable Battery
  • Weird Hard Edge On The Bottom
  • No MicroSD Memory Card Slot

2 Responses to “Boost The Motorola DROID Turbo Experience With Android Lollipop”

  1. The Macintosh Wizard And PC Tech Blog | Apple Macintosh Wizardry and PC Tech Blog Says:

    […] Boost The Motorola DROID Turbo Experience With Android Lollipop Consumer Electronics, Mobile Networking No Comments » […]

  2. Motorola’s DROID Turbo 2 With Shatterproof Screen & Android 6 Marshmallow » The Macintosh Wizard And PC Tech Blog Says:

    […] with access to Verizon’s exclusive 4G XLTE wireless services. It is even better than the original DROID Turbo smartphone that came before it. Its huge battery is sealed in between layers of shatterproof glass […]