Motorola's flagship and the latest Droid are cut from the same cloth, but each excel in their own areas
Since Motorola took over the job of making all Droid phones for Verizon, it has put customers on the carrier in an interesting position of choosing between the leading Droid device and the latest Motorola flagship. This year that's the Moto X (2014) and the Droid Turbo, which are clearly based on a similar platform but diverge in outward appearance, features and point-by-point specs.
If you're on Verizon and interested in the top phones on the carrier, there's no doubt you'll have both the Droid Turbo and Moto X on your short list — we're going to help you make the final decision between the two. Read on and see which is best.
Where the Droid Turbo is superior
Rather than release three different Droid models at once like last year, Motorola and Verizon instead released one to rule them all — the Droid Turbo. It takes on the same basic shape and style as the Moto X, but turns all of the knobs to 11. The Droid Turbo has a higher resolution screen, larger camera, faster processor, dramatically bigger battery, a tough exterior made of ballistic nylon or kevlar, includes wireless charging and has an option for 64GB of storage.
In many ways the Droid Turbo fixes the "problems" with the Moto X by adding a huge battery along with wireless charging, while also bumping up the screen resolution and accompanying internal specs. It does so without making the screen any larger, and while retaining Motorola's simply great software features. And even though you don't get the sleek metal and hardware customization of the Moto X, you get super tough materials that can survive a drop and two different texture choices for the back plate.
While the screen is higher resolution, it's roughly of the same quality of the Moto X and has the small annoyance of KitKat-styled capacitive buttons below the screen. The gigantic battery, while giving the Droid Turbo amazing longevity also makes the phone a bit heavier and thicker than the competition. And while the 21MP camera takes super-high resolution shots, the Turbo takes a bit longer to process them as a result.
It's impossible to say that the positives don't outweigh the negatives on the Droid Turbo, though. Considering the bump in power and features, it's worth putting up with a phone that's slightly tougher to manage in your hand and may be a step behind the Moto X in software updates.
Where the Moto X takes the cake
Motorola did a complete 180-degree turn around last year when it released the original Moto X, and has continued its renewed focus on user experience with this year's model. The new Moto X is bigger, pushing the limits of single-handed usability that made the original so great, but it also has much better build quality and styling. The addition of true leather backs to the lineup of customization options is something you won't find anywhere else, and now that it has Lollipop on board it's up-to-date with the leading competition.
The Moto X is one of those devices that really feels like a complete experience, with lots of little flourishes and tricks that make it seem well thought-out. Motorola has solidified its spot as the manufacturer making the simplest customizations to Android, only touching the basic places that need improvement.
But just as many feared when it was first announced, the Moto X's 2300mAh battery just isn't quite enough to make it through the day for some, and the lack of wireless charging limits your opportunities for a quick battery top-up during the day. The camera is once again a step behind the competition, though a bump in resolution, new ring-style flash and software processing have definitely improved things.
The Moto X has the distinct advantage of having its lowest model be cheaper than the Droid Turbo by $100, which is more notable when looking at Verizon's on-contract prices but savings are savings. Comparing head-to-head the Moto X has also shown to receive software updates quicker than the Droid line, though that's not always the biggest factor in buying a phone for many.
So, which one should you buy?
The Droid Turbo beats out the Moto X in every part of the spec sheet, but for some people the individual pieces don't add up the be greater than what's on offer from Motorola's non-Verizon exclusive device. Speeds and feeds are one way to measure a phone's worthiness of being your choice, but experience, looks and feel are other categories that carry weight for many people. The Droid Turbo is going to be a fine choice for the majority of people who go into the Verizon store and buy one, but those who appreciate a nicer-feeling device that is a more cohesive piece of technology will prefer the Moto X.