There is a school of thought that the exclusive carrier device is a thing of the past, and that launching a device exclusively in this manner hurts sales. That is almost certainly true, but if the business model is dying out, what an amazing swansong Verizon is giving it with the DROID range. Always excellent, the DROID’s took a new direction into near perfection today with the launch of the DROID Turbo.
Based off Motorola’s Moto X, the Turbo improves that flagship experience by borrowing elements from the Nexus 6 (also built by Motorola) and building on them. A greatest hits of the Moto X and Nexus 6 then? Not quite, because this is probably better than the both of them.
You can see the Moto X design language in the aesthetics of the DROID Turbo, but this still looks like a unique device. The flattened body and use of carbon fiber as a construction material helps with that; it looks industrial and elegant, although admittedly it is not among the best looking smartphones on the market.
Firing up the Turbo will almost instantly tell you that this is not just a Moto X in a new dress. Whereas the X gets a very competent 1080p screen, the DROID has a bells and whistles 5.2-inch Quad HD panel that has a mind blowing 565 pixels per inch. The processor is the same as the Nexus and Moto X, which is no bad thing as it is a 2.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 with 3GB of RAM. As Verizon touches lightly with software, this will be a near stock experience of Android 4.4.4, so performance should be exceptional. On top of that, you get all of Motorola’s flourishes that make Android even better, while the Turbo is a shoe in for Android 5.0 Lollipop in the near future.
The 3,900 mAh juicer takes into account that QHD screen, but is still much mightier than the 3,200 mAh pack in the Nexus 6 and Moto X. That should result in some pretty stellar battery life, and Verizon is already saying the DROID Turbo is good for two days. The 13 megapixel rear camera lens found in the Moto X and Nexus 6 has been replaced with an improved 21MP effort with dual LED flash.
So, the result of all that is one of the very best Android smartphones currently available, a tour de force combination of the Moto X and Nexus 6, with some added improvements thrown in. Its exclusivity to Verizon will damage its sales and prevent any chance of it becoming a massive hit, but the DROID Turbo is as good as it gets right now.
It will be available starting on October 30th for $199.99 on contract for a 32GB model or $249.99 on contract for a 64GB version.