Which would you rather have — a phone with a screen so nice you'd do just about anything to keep it safe for those times you want to use it, or a phone that can survive a whole lot more than most phones but isn't quite as nice to look at?
That's basically the question you ask when comparing the Motorola Droid Turbo 2 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 5. Samsung's display tech is without a doubt the best in the industry right now, but the mostly glass body of the phone makes it unlikely to survive that less-than-sober counter grab to take that late-night selfie. Meanwhile, Motorola's latest is the first high end smartphone where the company all but dares you to drop the phone to see how well it survives.
There's obviously a lot more to these phones than the displays, but this is a great place to start when comparing the Droid Turbo 2 and the Note 5. Let's take a closer look.
Motorola and Samsung both make Android phones, but that's just about all these two companies have in common right now. Samsung is focused on an almost jewelry-like experience with their high end products right now, and the combination of stellar display quality and fantastic camera quality makes up for comparably mediocre battery life and an outwardly fragile look and feel for many people.
Motorola's focus, specifically on the Droid Turbo 2, has been durability and battery life. The new ShatterShield tech in the Droid Turbo 2, coupled with an army of textured backs to offer extra grip and a massive battery inside, create a wildly different experience. These are phones you can knock around a little and not be worried, and Motorola swears you can get through a whole day of just about anything without hunting for a power outlet.
More than anything, it's fascinating to see how differently these two companies do business.
Software is another critical differentiation when comparing Motorola and Samsung. The Galaxy Note 5 is supposed to be what it looks like when Samsung tones down their TouchWiz software a bit, with a whole lot of erroneous features removed and a UI more in line with Google's rules for how to make better software through Material Design. Looking at the phone compared to something like a Droid Turbo 2, which is just about as close to Nexus-style Android as a phone can get in many respects, you see TouchWiz is still a unique and powerful experience in its own right. Motorola's software is a lot more than looks, though, especially once you get to know the context-aware Moto apps and gestures. Set up correctly, Motorola's phones do a ton of work for you, which is a unique and thoroughly enjoyable experience.
|Category||Galaxy Note 5||Droid Turbo 2|
|Operating System||Android 5.1.1 Lollipop, TouchWiz||Android 5.1.1 Lollipop|
|Display||5.7-inch QHD (2560x1440, 518 ppi) Super AMOLED||5.4-inch "shatterproof" POLED Quad HD (1440x2560) 540 ppi|
|Processor||Exynos 7420 octa-core (2.1GHz quad + 1.5GHz quad)
|Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 (MSM8994)
|Storage||32 or 64GB, UFS 2.0
microSD card up to 2TB
|RAM||4GB (LPDDR4)||3GB (LPDDR3)|
|Rear Camera||16MP, f/1.9, OIS, phase detection auto focus
4K video, slow motion video
|21MP, f/2.0 aperture, phase detection auto focus
|Front Camera||5MP, f/1.9||5MP, f/2.0|
(network bands vary by market)
(network bands vary by market)
|Connectivity||802.11ac Wifi, 2.4/5GHz, MIMO (2x2), 620Mbps
Bluetooth 4.2 LE, ANT+
NFC, Location (GPS, Glonass, Beidou)
|802.11ac Wifi, 2.4/5GHz, Bluetooth 4.1 LE, NFC, Location (GPS-A, Glonass)|
|Sensors||Accelerometer, Proximity, RGB Light, Geo-magnetic, Gyro, Fingerprint, Barometer, Hall, HRM||Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, color spectrum|
|Charging||Micro USB 2.0, Adaptive Fast Charging
Qi wireless, Powermat wireless, fast wireless charging
|Micro USB 2.0, Qualcomm Quick Charge
Qi wireless, Powermat wireless
|Dimensions||153.2 x 76.1 x 7.6mm||149.8 x 78 x 7.6-9.2 mm|
Availability is another interesting difference. There's a lot to like about both of these phones, especially if you're a Verizon Wireless customer. The Moto X Pure Edition, which is the closest offering outside of Verizon made by Motorola, is a great phone in its own right but missing a lot of the things that make the Droid Turbo 2 special. Meanwhile, the Note 5 you buy on every carrier offers a nearly identical experience, which is important to a lot of people.
More than anything, it's fascinating to see how differently these two companies do business. At least on Verizon, the Droid Turbo 2 is going to sit side by side with the Galaxy Note 5 for users to choose between, and depending on what you want in a phone that choice is either really easy or quite complicated.