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Motorola Droid Turbo 2 A Nearly Unbreakable Display And All-Day Battery Life

Yes, you can now add “nearly unbreakable smartphone screens and all day battery life” to the list of humanity’s greatest accomplishments

I’ve dropped my smartphones more times than I can count. And every time one of them slips from my grasp and crashes to the cold, unforgiving ground, I immediately begin pleading with whatever higher powers there may be to keep its poor screen intact.

Motorola wants you to put down the prayer beads: Its new handset, the Droid Turbo 2, features a screen that can handle pretty much anything you can throw at it. Literally.

If you’re the kind of person who lives in constant fear of dropping and breaking your phone, or, like me, you’re actually a serial phone breaker, the Motorola Droid Turbo 2 is absolutely worth checking out.

Motorola’s Droid Turbo 2 is the first phone since Nokia’s virtually indestructible 3310 that made me feel like I could actually use it without treating it like a Fabergé egg.

A shatterproof screen
Motorola says the Droid Turbo 2’s screen can survive being dropped on nearly any surface without shattering. During a demo, a Motorola representative repeatedly dropped a Turbo 2 in front of guest every time he picked it up, the screen was just fine.

So how did Motorola manage to make a smartphone screen that doesn’t break? Well, it all comes down to layers: Motorola constructed the Turbo 2 with five layers of material, starting with its aluminum core. On top of that, Motorola added a flexible AMOLED display, then a dual-layer touch sensor, an interior protective lens, and an exterior lens.

Basically, the phone is equal parts flexible and rigid where it matters, and it has a plastic screen. All of that makes for a display that Motorola says is guaranteed not to break for up to four years.

But just because the Turbo 2’s screen is shatterproof, doesn’t mean its body is. In fact, the phone’s frame is far more likely to be damaged than its display scrapes and scuffs on the phone’s edges after a few drops onto concrete. 

Strong and beautiful
So the Droid Turbo 2’s screen is indeed tough. But how does it look? Pretty damn good, actually. At 5.4 inches and with a super-high 2560 x 1440 resolution, the Turbo 2’s display is as sharp and clear as any top-of-the-line handset on the market.

(By comparison, the iPhone 6s Plus has a 5.5-inch screen with 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution, while Samsung’s Galaxy Note5 has a 5.7-inch, 2560 x 1440 resolution display.)

The Turbo 2 actually outclasses the iPhone when it comes to colors. That’s because the Droid Turbo 2 (like the Galaxy Note5) uses an AMOLED screen, while the iPhone’s display is LCD, and the colors on AMOLED screens are simply more vibrant than those on LCDs.

Solid design
The Droid Turbo 2 doesn’t look like some kind of crazy durable superphone. There are no special bumpers on its sides, and it’s not built to resemble an Abrams tank. It just looks like a normal phone. It’s not as attractive as the iPhone 6s Plus or Galaxy Note5, but it gets the job done.

Up front, there’s that 5.4-inch display. Above that sits a 5-megapixel camera with a dedicated flash. Below the display is a pair of stereo speakers that pump out clean, loud audio. Those speakers do give the phone a kind of chin, which is a little off-putting. Around back you’ll find the phone’s 21-megapixel camera and its dual-tone flash (more on those in a second).

As with Motorola’s Moto X, the Droid Turbo 2 can be customized using the company’s Moto Maker service. With Moto Maker, you can choose the color of the phone’s frame, front panel, and accents, as well as the color and style of its back panel. The rear panel can also be customized with leather, ballistic nylon, and soft-touch materials.

More megapixels
That 21-megapixel camera I mentioned, while impressive, can’t quite match up to the best smartphone cameras on the market.

Remember, a high megapixel count doesn’t automatically translate into incredible photos. The one thing those megapixels do indicate is how much you can enlarge images before they become pixelated. Got it? Good.

In terms of overall image quality, the Droid Turbo 2 captures largely clear, colorful photos. Shots taken with the Galaxy Note5, however, offered more vibrant colors. The Droid Turbo 2 also struggled in low-light settings, with images looking pixelated when taken without a flash.

Powerful performance
The Droid Turbo 2 boasts a powerful 8-core processor and 3GB of RAM, which means the handset won’t slow down when you’re running multiple apps. In terms of storage, the base version of the Turbo 2 gets 32GB of space for $624. You can also get the Turbo 2 with 64GB of onboard storage for $720.

There’s also a microSD card slot, so you can expand the Droid Turbo 2’s storage capacity up to an extra 2TB via a microSD card.

In addition to touting that shatterproof screen, Motorola is also boasting about the Droid Turbo 2’s battery life. The company claims that the handset will last up to two days without needing to be recharged. Based on my time with the Turbo, that boast is pretty spot on. And thanks to the phone’s fast-charging technology, when the Turbo’s battery does run dry, you can recharge it back to 13 hours of battery life in just 15 minutes.

Unfortunately, the Droid Turbo 2 still uses a micro USB charger, rather than the newer USB Type-C chargers that come with such smartphones as Google’s new Nexus 6P and 5X. The benefit of using USB Type-C — in addition to the fact that the cables are completely reversible — is that Type-C can carry video signals as well as power. That means you’ll eventually be able to connect USB Type-C cables to everything from your TV to your handset.

Droid Turbo 2 runs Google’s Android 5.1.1 Lollipop operating system. And while other companies like to customize the look of Android (to make it look more like their own OS), Motorola leaves it relatively untouched. You’re getting an essentially pure version of Android.

The phone does, however, come with a few Motorola apps, including the excellent Moto app. That app includes four features that provide you with a bit more control over the Turbo 2. The first option, Moto Assist, can automatically silence your phone’s notifications depending on the time of day and where you are. So if you’re at home and it’s 11 at night, the Turbo 2 can automatically set your handset to vibrate.

Moto Display can provide you with notifications on your phone’s lock screen even when the phone is off. That way you can see texts without having to pick up your handset.

The Droid Turbo 2 is being sold as a Verizon exclusive in the U.S.

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