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10 things to know about the Motorola Droid Turbo

Get to know the ins and outs of this year's flagship Droid phone

The Droid line on Verizon is synonymous with power, features, and hyped-up branding — and the latest flagship in the line, the Droid Turbo from Motorola, is no exception. Like a Moto X with every spec bump imaginable, the Droid Turbo has a higher resolution screen, faster processor, more RAM, a bigger camera, gigantic battery, wireless charging, more storage and a Kevlar casing. It's also a poster device for Verizon throughout the year, getting the big money in terms of advertising and marketing.

So it's no surprise that it's a popular device in terms of sales and also mind share, with most everyone interested in smartphones in the U.S. aware of the Droid Turbo as a leading device. While you may have heard the name and seen the commercials, you should probably know a bit more about the phone itself if you're considering buying it — whether it's for a gift or to indulge on your own. Here are our top 10 things we think you should know about the Motorola Droid Turbo.

1. It may have similarities with the Moto X, but it's quite different

Droid Turbo and Moto X

It's easy to see that the Droid Turbo and Moto X (2014) have similar designs and builds, but there's really more different than the same here. Motorola clearly built both phones on the same platform, and it's seen best in the camera placement, general size, screen dimensions and of course software.

But the Droid Turbo has a drastically different look and feel, dropping the metal edges for solid plastic and Kevlar. The on-screen buttons have been replaced by capacitive ones, the camera loses its ring flash and the speaker arrangement has changed. The Turbo is also notably thicker and heavier, accommodating the boosted internals and gigantic battery. These are all differences that really can't be seen in press renders and photos — but you instantly notice them when holding the Droid Turbo and Moto X side-by-side.

More: Motorola Droid Turbo or Moto X (2014), which should you buy?

2. The battery makes it a bit thicker and heavier than you think

Droid Turbo battery

With a 3900mAh battery, the Droid Turbo was bound to be thicker and heavier than phones of this size that have batteries some 50 percent smaller. At 169 grams it's considerably heavy for its 5.2-inch screen size, and with a thickness of 10.6 mm it isn't exactly paper thin. The biggest thing you'll notice with the Droid Turbo is how dense it feels, as if there's so much more stuffed in that body than there should be. But if you need the battery life, you'll be more than willing to put up with the added girth of the Droid Turbo.

More: Motorola Droid Turbo Review

3. The two material choices give drastically different feels

Droid Turbo in Ballistic Nylon and Kevlar

The Droid Turbo is one phone, but it actually comes in two distinct models and even has two different listings on the Verizon online store. There's both the standard Droid Turbo, which has a smooth case, and a Droid Turbo in "Ballistic Nylon" with a much different look and feel. In either finish you're getting a Kevlar construction that adds strength all around, and while it probably isn't going to stop a bullet it's likely to survive any drops or bumps it encounters.

The standard Turbo is slick and somewhat glossy, with a subtle woven look to it, and comes in either red or black. It's a little more on the slippery side, but is also easy to pick up and super durable. The Ballistic Nylon model has a rough grippy texture to it that'll make it much easier to hold onto, but is a bit tougher on your hand if you prefer something smooth. The nylon model is also only available in black, so you'll have to make a choice on both color and finish if you decide to buy.

More: In pictures: Verizon's Motorola Droid Turbo

4. Only the Ballistic Nylon model offers 64GB of internal storage

Droid Turbo in Ballistic Nylon

One of the big benefits of the Droid Turbo is its storage choice, where you get 32GB in base internal storage with an option to bump that to 64GB for an extra $50. But here's the catch — you can only get 64GB of storage if you choose to go with the Ballistic Nylon version of the Droid Turbo. If you want the smooth exterior (or red color option), you'll be stuck with 32GB. And because there's no SD card expansion here, you'll have to make this choice wisely.

5. You get a Motorola Turbo Charger in the box

Motorola Turbo Charger

Motorola introduced its new Turbo Charger with the announcement of the Moto X, and has decided to include the otherwise $35 optional accessory in the box with the Droid Turbo. Not only is it a cost savings, it's also just an all-around great charger that'll boost up your Droid Turbo at a rate of one percent a minute. That means you'll get about eight hours of usage in 15 minutes if you just need a quick charge, but it also means you're gonna be able to pick up a full charge much faster than on a standard charger — a big deal with a battery this large.

And remember for slower (but more convenient) charging, the Turbo includes Qi wireless charging technology under the back.

6. The SIM card slot is hiding ... until you know where to look

Droid Turbo SIM slot

Bringing on a feature it first introduced with last year's Droid Maxx, Motorola has cleverly hidden the SIM card slot on the Droid Turbo. In order to remove the SIM you'll actually pull out the volume rocker, which has a small notch underneath for you to pry on. The base of the volume rocker holds the Micro SIM, and it's an extremely clever solution to limit the number of cutouts on the Droid Turbo.

7. We hope you like Verizon apps and bloat!

Droid Turbo bloatware

Phones with the "Droid" name are the most Verizon of all the Verizon phones, and that means the software is going to be loaded up with all the apps, bloat and branding you can handle (and more). Get ready to disable no fewer than a dozen Verizon and affiliate apps (mostly from Amazon) on the Droid Turbo when you first turn it on. Unfortunately very few can be uninstalled, but with 32 or 64GB of internal storage they likely won't make much of a dent.

8. A water-resistant nanocoating will keep it safe from occasional spills

Droid Turbo

One of the often glossed-over features of the Droid Turbo is its water-repellant nanocoating that'll keep the phone safe from occasional contact with liquids. Now without flaps and seals covering the various ports and openings we wouldn't go anywhere near calling this "waterproof" (and neither will Motorola), but you'll be safe using it poolside or in the rain walking down the street without fear of having a meltdown from contact with water.

9. You get one free screen replacement in your first two years of ownership

Droid Turbo screen

The Droid Turbo carries a pretty hefty price tag starting at $199 on-contract and $599 without, but baked into that price is a guarantee of one free screen replacement in the first two years you own the phone. With Gorilla Glass 3 on the front you aren't likely to put much of a scratch on the screen let alone shatter it completely, but if you do happen to do such a thing Verizon has your back on the first replacement. It's a great guarantee, just don't use it as an excuse to not take care of your phone on a daily basis.

10. Expect software updates to fall behind the Moto X

Motorola Droid Turbo

Though the Droid Turbo has nearly identical software to that of the Moto X, don't expect the Droid to keep up with Motorola's own flagship in terms of software updates. Due to the extra tweaks and certification from Verizon, things are going to get gummed up as new software releases come along — in the end leading to slower updates.

Now given Motorola's renewed focus on software simplicity and updates you can probably expect the Turbo to pick up future software revisions quicker than some other manufacturers on Verizon, just don't think that you'll be on the bleeding edge with this phone.

More: Motorola Droid Turbo Review

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.

63 Comments
  • So wish I could buy this in UK. When will the manufacturers realise that this is the battery life that every smartphone user wants and not paper thin phone. Posted via the Android Central App on my Nexus 5 running Android 5.0 like a dream.
  • If you're that fired up about it look into the moto maxx being sold in Brazil. It is the same phone for GSM. Not sure if the LTE bands line up with the UK, but I've seen several on ebay albeit for a premium. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Me too. Give me that battery over shaving a few mm of the thickness of the phone any day. Personally I prefer on screen buttons to capacitive though. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Edit: Disregard me, clearly I was wrong. Going to buy this phone now, thanks guys!
  • Can someone explain how this is an issue? "I'm da Blur boys!" - Me with 1200 ping. Yes. My Internet got worse.
  • Don't see an issue at all either haha. Posted via Android Central App
  • Ummm, that's flat out wrong. HD voice is only with other Verizon HD customers right now, but with VoLTE as long as you are using 4G to make the call you have data and voice. I can call a land line right now and have voice and data at the same time. Source: I just did it. Posted via the Android Central App on my Droid Turbo.
  • in addition I can call another verizon customer that has volt e and also use my data I'm doing it right now with my wife who sitting next to me albeit on the same wifi network so not sure that has anything to do with it
  • Yeah but isn't that the case with all of 2014 Fall release and beyond Verizon phones? I know last years (and maybe early 2014, not sure) could do this like my 2013 Moto X can, but I thought all recent releases going forward won't have simultaneous V/D
  • Actually once you download the update and activate the hd calling, the voice and data works no matter who you are on the phone with. You just need to be in a 4g area. The biggest problem people are having is they arent adding the hd calling to their feature plan. It only takes a minute and is free. But simultaneous voice and data works with any number you call Posted via the Android Central App
  • To be honest i dont know what the deal is trying to make phones paper thin. The Droid Turbo is plenty thin, and while a little heavier, the battery is what draws me to the phone so i dont mind!
    I have the 64g version, i wanted the nylon, however to me the nylon is very slick so i had to add a tech21 case to it so i can grip it better. Its been an awesome phone so far and with the hd calling upgrade that came out last week we now have simultaneous voice and data ( something i didnt know when i bought it on release day) Posted via the Android Central App
  • Agreed, I have both the S5 and the Droid Turbo. If it wasn't pointed out in every single review I doubt I would notice the size/weight difference. Beyond that it feels sturdy. I don't want a phone that feels like it could snap. Posted via the Android Central App
  • The BN comes in blue color as well but only the back is blue and its exclusive to BB. I am so tempted to buy it
  • And only 32gb, right? Posted via the Android Central App on my Droid Turbo.
  • Yes, the 64GB only comes in black BN.
  • I went with the BN Blue, I regret nothing.
  • I have the blue model from Best Buy. It's a very well built phone. I would recommend it without hesitation.
  • So buying this phone come January! Posted via Android Central App
  • Definitely getting this phone soon! Posted via Android Central App
  • It's been almost a week since I first got this phone. I was really skeptical after I placed the order, as I was also considering the note 4. The biggest reason I chose the turbo over the note 4 was because I hate touchwiz. Samsung makes great devices, but touchwiz is absolutely horrendous (and I'm not comfortable with rooting yet). Touchwiz was the cause of me ditching my S3 for a 5s, but I missed the open feeling of Android. From just a week of usage, this phone FLIES. I open an app and it opens immediately. No lag. It's wonderful. Coming from a 5s, i was also afraid about the battery life. Sure it'll last about a day to a day and a half according to some people, but I use my phone constantly all day in a 1-3 bar area. From coming off of the charger at 5:45a to getting back to the charger at around 4:30p, my battery went from 100 to 72%. I was stunned. My 5s would've been at 30% by that point. Yes the phone is still new, but it was still amazing to see that and laugh at all of the iPhone users charging their phones all day. There's probably more to this phone that I haven't discovered yet, but so far, this is definitely the best phone I have ever owned. If you're looking to get the turbo, definitely give this phone a chance. Once you use it, you'll never give it up! Posted via the Android Central App
  • Xperia Z3 compact /still/ gets better battery life than the Turbo :-P Posted via the Android Central App
  • Wanted to get the z3 compact for my wife. But the cracking glass worries me and it's not like I can just walk into a Sony store and have them look at it.
  • Great phone. I had an opportunity to mess with it for an extended period of time. Came away almost wishing it wasn't an exclusive. I think it could be the second best phone of the year Posted by my soon to be retired Note 3
  • I heard a lot of complaints about the radios and once a checked it myself at the store I was disappointed as well. So, I got Note 4 instead (much stronger signal than N3).
    Did you have any issues like that ? Speaker or built quality maybe? via AC App on VZW Moto X DE/N7
  • Had the Turbo with me since launch and can't say I have any radio issues. Been pulling down solid speeds every time i check.
  • I have a Droid Turbo and a S5. No issues on either. I previously had the Note 3 and the Turbo is definitely better in areas where I previously had issues with the Note 3 Posted via the Android Central App
  • Pretty ironic that you guys used a picture of the 32GB Ballistic Nylon version when mentioning the 64GB version in number 4 of your list. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Unfortunately we don't happen to get time with every SKU of the phone for pictures ;)
  • It was just a friendly dig. I wouldn't sent you a picture of mine. Love what you guys do on the site and your podcast is the best Android podcast on the Internet. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Not sure if that's irony. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I love the phone too but VZ really needs to approve lollipop already....
  • No, they really don't. Not as long as it's having all the problems i been reading about. I don't want it anywhere near my Turbo until it's a lot less buggy. Posted from my Droid Turbo, Kelly and Ozone
  • +1 via AC App on VZW Moto X DE/N7
  • I have had zero issue on my moto x minus some apps bugs that have all now been fixed with updates... Posted via the Android Central App
  • Pfffh no keep the cluster fuck that is lollipop off our network for now Posted via the Android Central App
  • I'll take my thick and heavy turbo any day over paper thin phones that can't touch the 5+ hours screen on time I can get every day. Also, I believe the Turbo has VoLTE before the Moto X on Verizon. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Turbo 64 GB is a sweet fast beautiful phone. I love this thing. I came from the MAXX and I really cant believe how much better the Turbo is. Battery is so long lasting it is awesome. HD VoLTE is also very good, 5.01 Will come soon. I want a bug free 5.0 so a little wait is ok with me. One other thing. On the Ballistic Black Nylon 64 GB there is no visible Verizon logo. Just the droid logo.
  • I really enjoyed my time with my review unit. If I were on Verizon, I think it would be my daily driver. The battery life and solid feel of it were wonderful. Still do no feel that it was much thicker than the Moto X 2014. Had both here at the same time and could not see much of a difference when holding it, or when laying on a table next to each other. As much as I love my Nexus 6, I think I would choose the Turbo over it if I were not using AT&T. Posted from the Nexus 6 via the Android Central App
  • I went to a Verizon store and checked it out. Got close to buying it but I decided on the unlocked Nexus 6 because I wanted to know that if I get in happy with Verizon, I can always change service providers. I also like the idea of quick updates which Verizon is not very good at. BTW, I am loving my Nexus 6. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Any comparison comments between the LG G3 and the DROID Turbo? I'm particularly interested in a comparison of the camera capabilities/quality. Posted via Android Central App
  • Nothing comes close to G3 camera. The way it handles low light and moving objects is unbelievable. It's better than Note 4 and iPhone 6+ too. Z3 would be the closest. via AC App on VZW Moto X DE/N7
  • I came from a G3 to the turbo and I can make a few comparisons.
    -Colors on display look fuller/deeper on the turbo (im guessing due to the AMOLED vs LCDon the G3)
    -Camera does not have optical image stabalization or the fancy laser focus of the G3, that being said, I havent noticed any unfocused or shaky camera shots yet on my turbo and the MP is higher and i think the aperture is higher on the Turbo. I liked the G3 camera, and I like the turbo camera also.
    -I prefer the camera lens placement on the Turbo over the G3, I always used to smudge the lens on my G3, but on the turbo the lens is inset as to protect from scratches and it makes it harder to smudge.
    -The video camera can do 4K and 720P "slo mo" but im not sure what the fps of that slow mo is on the turbo.
    -I like the interface more on the Turbo vs G3, the turbo has a much more "stock" android feel to it than the LG did
    -Moto features are actually useful
    -Better speaker on the Turbo In short Ive been really happy with this phone and I definitely recommend it.
  • I'd be interested to see if they pump out a new Maxx sometime in 2015. If they do, that makes this decision difficult come time to upgrade in October. I love my Maxx and still think it's one of the best phones out there period.- not cheap though, definitely premium price range. But as much as I use my phone, I'm OK with paying for the right one. Posted via Android Central App
  • I am sure they will release a new Droid next year, it is a popular series for Verizon Posted via the Android Central App
  • Motorola has had a hard time of it.
    Google, their dream parent company, had to sell them because their customers didn't want the competition.
    Verizon, their corporate cash cow for many years, obviously mandates lesser spec'd Moto phones then their own Droid line. Wonder how it plays out with Lenovo. They make a quality product when given the resources.
    Wish them well.
  • Should I leave AT&T and buy a Droid Turbo. I have a nexus 6 and it is too big. I would pay full price for the Turbo so I would not be tied to VZW. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Wouldn't matter how you bought the phone, it's radios are probably only compatible with VZW since it's a DROID (read Verizon exclusive), so if you wanted to leave Verizon in the future, the Turbo wouldn't work and you'd need a new phone.
  • Works on t-mobile and at&t. The best thing about phones is that the supported bands are public. "I'm da Blur boys!" - Me with 1200 ping. Yes. My Internet got worse.
  • I stand corrected. I didn't take the time to look at the bands, but just assumed that it would only support Verizon bands since it was an exclusive. I'm pleasantly surprised that it supports T-mo and AT&T Bands
  • Likely no lte or very limited lte coverage. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I mis-spoke. What I mean is I could switch down the road to any carrier I wanted if a better phone comes out. I left Verizon for the Nexus 5 and got a Nexus 6 from the Play Store. I am not sure I will ever get use to the size and the Turbo or Maxx look like the next best thing. It sounds like the Maxx works completely fine on AT&T but I am not willing to pay 900 dollars for the Maxx and it has been hard to find anywhere except on eBay. So my thought is pay 650 for the Turbo and just start using VZW instead of ATT.
  • Man, I do not understand the concern over the weight and size of the Turbo. I came from an S5 and did two day tests with the Moto X, Z3v and turbo and of the 4 phones the Tubo felt the best. I have now been using it since launch day (S5 is now my backup phone), and still love holding it. And on the plus side I can put it in my jeans pocket and not have to worry about what it will look like when it comes out.
  • I switched from an LG G3 on Tmo to a droid turbo and I love it. I had no issues with my G3 but I actually prefer the added heaft of the turbo, it gives it a more premium feel IMO.
    Also the ballistic nylon is available in blue in addition to black if you purchase it at BestBuy. I got the blue and im a big fan of it.
  • Its a great phone - my only complaint is it's a touch too wide to move my right thumb to the bottom left corner - just a touch less wide/tall would have been perfect. It's not the thinnest and lightest - but I have not had any problems with weight/thickness. The battery life is amazing and Moto has done a great job of staying close to pure android - and the features they add are all very useful and well thought out. I had the '13 version of the Moto X which had the perfect size - other than that the Turbo is fantastic.
  • I did too and U got little lady hands and a DroidTurbo64Gb BN. I came from s Droid2/4...I kind of curl my pinky under the home button on the bottom, support the ← dude with my ring and middle finger, then have my index finger floating on lower the lower middle back wherever it's needed for support especially during dynamic swiping. And s-t-r-e-t-c-h... Looks like my hand is having seizures during this ungraceful balancing act. Probably gonna get carpal tunnel of my thumb and hand. And that is when I am sitting still, if I am walking or in à vehicle, two hands all the way. Bottom line, I am using the voice recognition more than ever and as much as possible, whenever possible. 10 years ago this was not an issue on those 12/15 button flip phones. Longer O t mb swioe/tyoe the mire soelling errors I make, tge longer it takes, tge worse iy gets, so oatdon my ounctustion and grammar. This DT64GB has helped by making me a lot less social online, Good luck, Grass Hopper!
  • About #9: I used my free replacement within the first four hours of purchasing the Turbo. Just sayin'...it's tough, but with enough pressure, it can break. LOL. I was probably the first person to report it broken.
  • I had my 64 gb since the launch and I scratched my glass about a week in, so I'm happy to hear about number 9. This is the first time I've heard ofand car keys in the samethought I was going to have to live with the next four years and reminding myself how much of an idiot I was for putting the phone and car keys in the same pocket, won't make that mistake again!
  • Makes zero sense that both color choices don't come with 64gbs. If I was getting this I'd want that red smooth version with 64. Since they decided choices aren't good then I won't be getting one at all. Good job Moto... Posted via Android Central App
  • Choices aren't good. Choices allow the average consumer to get stalled in the buying process because they can't make up their mind, and then just decide to not buy. Costco's business model of one size fits all on most products is considered one of their marketing breakthroughs. Their studies showed offering too many choices resulted in fewer sales. Verizon likely has same attitude. Geeks like us may feel differently, but we're a very small part of the market.
  • I tried the red version before I go the BN 64. I dropped it on the floor in the store and decided the BN was a better choice. The Red unit is just too slippery for me.
  • I own and use both a Droid Turbo and a 2014 X. They're both great phones, but meet two very different use cases in my opinion. If I had to give one up, it would be the Moto X, mostly due to the tiny battery.
  • #1. No root.
  • on/share?HP% on/share? on/share?HP%3Den-US%26url %3Den-US%26url -US%26url on/share?HP%3Den-US% om/share?HP%3Den-US%26url Posted via the Android Central App