The Droid series of smartphones is the long standing hardware love affair between Motorola and Verizon (which became official last year) to bring high-spec'd devices to the carrier. Droid devices aren't subtle. They often scream the word "premium," and the companies' newest collaboration, the Droid Turbo, is no different.
Who's making it?
Let's start off with the easy questions first. Motorola now has an exclusive partnership with Verizon to create the Turbo line of smartphones. However, with Motorola also working with Google on the recently announced Nexus 6, it wasn't exactly certain if the Turbo would be some sort of peace offering to Verizon, who is habitually left out of the Nexus party.
But things are different now. Verizon will be receiving the big 6-inch Nexus 6, combined with the Moto X and the currently well-leaked Droid Turbo, Verizon customers will have lots of Motorola choices this fall.
What's it called?
This is also a bit of information that appears to be an uncertainty. When the first rumors saying Motorola was already gearing up for its release of the device—so soon after launching the Moto X in September—it's been known as Droid Turbo.
If certain leaks are to be believed, then that name is almost a certainty. Droid Life claims to have obtained the technical manual for the device, in which it's written in bold white letters: Droid Turbo. It's not often device names seem so certain. We thought Google might ditch the Nexus 6 name for legal reasons or that Apple would name its big 5.5-inch iPhone the 6L. But for once, we won't argue.
Although it shares the same size as Motorola's new 5.2-inch Moto X, the physical similarities pretty much stop there. According to a full spec leak that was posted by Android Central last week, the Droid Turbo will have "metalized fiber glass" chassis with a Kevlar coating, and will come in two colors: red and black.
The device will also be pretty rugged as Android Central's leak says the device should be able to function even if it's in a downpour for 20 minutes.
Pulled from the leaked Droid Turbo user's guide
As for a quick tour around the devices, the Droid Turbo will have capacitive keys on the bottom bezel to navigate back, home, and to recent apps, a feature that is missing from the Moto X which opts for on-screen navigation. Regrettably there seems to be no MicroSD card slot expansion on the Droid Turbo which is a trait Motorola did migrate to the Turbo.
The Droid Turbo (left) next to last year's Droid Maxx. Via hellomotoHK.
The camera claims of 21 megapixels seem reliable as another leak has also stated that same specification. The Turbo will get rid of the Moto X's ring flash and instead use dual LED's that flank both sides of the lens. The ring flash performed admirably on the Moto X, but Verizon has clearly decided to go with another option here.
the bottom bezel appears to be much more elongated on the Droid than the Moto X. However, specs suggests that both still have a 5.2-inch screen so the Turbo overall may be slightly taller than the 5.54-inch-tall Moto X.
Although it's hard to make out from just images, the top pic looks like the black Droid Turbo has a visible rim around the device as compared to the red one, which looks like a more unibody design. However, in the second leak, the design looks more uniform. It's possible that there are bigger design differences or different material options available for the two models.
Update: New images (of pretty terrible quality) were leaked by AndroidSpin. The pictures show that the previous renders might have been a little misleading concerning the thickness of the device, which seems pretty hefty. It's also a good look at the Turbo's kevlar and metalized fiber glass design.
And of course there will be branding, which Verizon is famous (or notorious) for, but if these renders are any indication, the carrier has shown at least a little bit of restraint. No where on the front of the device is there an unsightly appearance of that red check mark logo, which is a good thing.
As for software, the Droid Turbo will be running a slightly more altered version of Motorola's popular near-stock Android. As is true with any carrier, the smartphone will come with Verizon's collection of apps, specific Droid Zap features, as well as Motorola's own apps, such as Moto Assist, Moto Actions, and Moto Display, according to Droid Life. As for the operating system, the leaked images clearly show Android 4.4 at work but no details have been concerned regarding what version of Android the Turbo will finally ship with.
So up to this point you might be asking yourself: "well, this seems like a pretty nice smartphone, I guess. But I don't really understand where all this 'turbo' talk is coming from." Well, that question is about to be answered.
Until Android Central's tell-all leak earlier this week, rumors were well-established that the Droid Turbo would, at the very least, be a significant spec upgrade from the Moto X. After all, it doesn't really make much sense to offer two devices from the same manufacturer that are relatively similar.
The above image was the first visual representation of the Droid Turbo, which Android Authority posted in mid-August. For the most part these specs have only been consistently proven true with each subsequent leak. The only uncertainty being the smartphone's exact screen size (and in turn the precise ppi).
Fast forward two months later, and here are the current specs that are believed to be housed within that fiber glass and kevlar exterior:
- 2.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor
- 3GB of RAM
- 5.2-inch QHD display (565 ppi)
- 21-megapixel camera
- 3,900 mAh battery for a reported 48 hours of battery life
- Motorola's Turbo Charge feature (8 hours of battery life off a fifteen minute charge)
- 32GB of storage (though nothing is expandable)
Everything here confirms the murmurs and rumblings that the new Droid Turbo would have a pixel-heavy screen with outstanding battery life. Also, Motorola's $35 Turbo Charger is believed to come with the Droid Turbo. The only currently unknown specifications are the device's precise thinness and weight. With such a massive battery along with fiber glass and kevlar material, the Droid Turbo could be a pretty hefty device though we won't know for certain until we actually get our hands on the phone itself.
As you may expect, we have no clue. In fact, we probably won't know exactly until Motorola and Verizon completely pull off the wrapper at the New York City Droid event on October 28th. However, we can try to figure out exactly how much to expect based on past pricing habits.
Last year, Verizon priced the Droid Maxx at $300 as it was more technologically well-endowed than the Droid Ultra by having a bigger screen, bigger battery, and more storage. With no companion device in sight (at least that we know of) and the Moto X costing $100 on contract, I would expect a $200 to $300 on-contract price would be a pretty safe bet. But once again, we won't know for sure until we get official word from the carrier.
This should probably come as no surprise if you've read this far: the Droid Turbo will be a Verizon exclusive. As for exact shipping dates, once again all rumors go dark. However last year, the Droid Ultra and Maxx smartphones were announced on July 23 and began shipping Aug. 20, so we could expect a similar rollout timeframe.
If these specs do hold up, the Droid Turbo will be one, if not the most powerful smartphone you can buy in 2014. Of course, specs is one thing and actually using the the thing is quite another. Right now, with rumors of a stunning display, two-day battery life, and a admirably rugged design, there's not very much room for complaint.