- ShatterShield is awesome!
- Great battery life, fast charging
- Good performance
- MicroSD card slot
- Decent speakers
- Display quality a bit drab
- Camera good, but others are much better
- Too much Verizon bloatware
A shatter-proof display and excellent battery performance push the Motorola Droid Turbo 2 to the head of the Android smartphone pack.
It happens and it’s awful. You drop your smartphone and crack the display. What’s worse, because a smartphone can still function with a shattered screen, it’s not an excuse to get a new phone. Too many smartphone owners stick with their shattered devices, complete with spider-webbed cracking to remind them of their fumbles.
The best scratch-proof Gorilla Glass can’t prevent cracked screens 100% of the time, nor can a protective case. But Motorola claims it can with ShatterShield, “the world’s first shatterproof display,” as featured on the Motorola Droid Turbo 2.
We’ve had good things to say about recent Motorola Android smartphones, including the budget Moto G and flagship Moto X Pure Edition. The Verizon-exclusive Droid 2 Turbo shares many of the same specs as the latter, so it has to be good. Right? Read on to find out.
Build & Design
You’d think a shatterproof smartphone would resemble the rugged Android devices designed for jobsites, but the Motorola Droid Turbo 2 isn’t a bulky brick by any stretch. It measures 5.9 x 3.07 x .36 inches (HWD) and weighs .037 pounds, putting it in line with other flagships.
It’s laid out like past Moto X devices with a microUSB 2.0 on bottom and 3.5mm audio jack on the top, next to a microSIM and microSD card slot. The textured powered button rests on the right side, just above the volume rocker.
An aluminum frame wraps around the phone, while the back panel features an oblong inset centered on the top end. Within the inset, the rear camera sits on top, just above the LED light and Motorola-logoed thumb rest. Two pin-hole speakers sit on the top and bottom of the back panel. The Droid Turbo 2 is sealed and the back panel cannot be removed.
The excellent Moto Maker returns, giving users a limited ability to customize the device, including front, frame, back, and accent colors. Droid Turbo 2 buyers can also choose from a soft grip, ballistic nylon, or pebbled leather (for an extra $24) back panel material.
Overall, the Motorola Droid Turbo 2 is a well-built Android smartphone. It feels very solid and features a “water repellent nano-coating” that Motorola claims protects it against “moderate exposure to water such as accidental spills, splashes, or light rain.” It’s not waterproof, however, and should not be submerged.
It’s a bit shorter and slightly stouter than other phablets, but the slightly curved back aids in ergonomics. This Android smartphone is well balanced, and easier to hold than other models, owing a great deal to whichever build material users choose. All offer better grip than glass or sheer plastic.
The Motorola Droid Turbo 2 has a 5.4-inch AMOLED display with a 2560 x 1440 resolution, resulting in an impressive 540 pixels per inch. It has a relatively thick bezel, no doubt due to ShatterShield, especially at the bottom edge. Fortunately for Verizon, this gives them plenty of room to slip in a logo.
It’s here that we typically rave about display quality, especially AMOLED display quality. But we won’t be doing that. The Droid Turbo 2 has a drab screen that’s still dim at max brightness. Indoors, it’s not uncomfortable to view, and is perfectly usable, but whites look especially dirty, and colors lack the pop associated with AMOLED. Outdoors, it has trouble cutting through glare from the sun. Compare it side-by-side with a similarly-specced display, and the difference is stark.
But we aren’t complaining too loudly. And that’s because this is undoubtedly the result of the ShatterShield technology that consists of five layers of protection, with three above the actual display. According to Motorola, that includes:
- An exterior protective lens to guard against scratches and dings
- An interior lens to prevent cracking and shattering
- A dual touch layer to mitigate against touch performance issues resulting from damage
- The actual AMOLED display
- And an aluminum chassis
There’s a trade off here, added protection for display aesthetics. That ShatterShield actually does what Motorola claims; it’s definitely worth it, no doubt.
Technically, Motorola offers a warranty, claiming, “Your ShatterShield display is guaranteed not to crack or shatter for four years.” However, the fine print excludes “impact damage (e.g. dropping the Product),” meaning you can’t drop the Droid Turbo 2 constantly for four straight years and expect it to survive.
But according to our tests, it will survive drops. In fact, our review unit survived dozens of drops, all onto hard surfaces, and all from four to five feet up. It’s really quite amazing. The abuse we heaped upon the Motorola Droid Turbo 2 would have cracked any other smartphone not specifically ruggedized.
Like the Samsung Galaxy S6 active, this is a smartphone we would carry without a case. But the Samsung device looks like a ruggedized smartphone (in fact, we called it “kind of ugly”). The Droid Turbo 2 has elements of Droid’s industrial branding, but it looks like any other device at a glance. ShatterShield is legit, and it’s remarkable.
The front-mounted speakers are also worth noting. They are not the loudest we’ve tested (in fact, the Moto X Pure Edition speakers are much louder), but they do emit very clean sound. Speakers should be the last thing you consider when buying a smartphone. Still the Droid Turbo 2 speakers are quite good.