News by Micah Bartos on Thursday October 29, 2015.
|Sponsored links, if any, appear in green.|
Verizon has revealed that its two Motorola exclusive, the DROID MAXX 2 and the DROID Turbo 2, are available to purchase from today. Of course, Big Red only has exclusivity on those handsets inside the United States, around the world the MAXX 2 is known as the Moto X Play, while the Turbo 2 was announced as the Moto X Force in other regions of the world.The DROID Turbo 2 does not come cheaply from the largest carrier in the United States, costing $624 (32 GB model), or $720 (64 GB model). As for the more modest DROID MAXX 2, it will cost from $384, both devices available off contract only. DROID Turbo 2
Motorola have completely changed the design here, so the DROID Turbo 2 does not look like 2014's DROID Turbo, moving far closer to the Pure Edition Moto X. Whereas previous DROID?s have looked towards rugged design, the Turbo 2 is more elegant and this time out Motorola has opened the device up to its Moto Maker customization suite. That means you can choose the color and materials used to build the DROID Turbo 2. There are noticeable differences in aesthetic compared to Motorola's flagship, such as a thicker metal bezel, while it is also obviously smaller. Different looks maybe, but not different ethos. The DROID Turbo 2 is still a rugged old beast, a tank would be a fair way to describe it. It can deal with falls that would leave other smartphones in tatters, although it is oddly not waterproof, which would have been perfect for that extra bit of durability. The original DROID Turbo from last year was the first Motorola handset to sport a Quad HD screen, and indeed only the Moto X Pure Edition and Nexus 6 have followed its lead since. There is no surprise then to see that the DROID Turbo 2 also sports an AMOLED Quad HD panel, although it is smaller than its predecessors at 5.2-inches. Indeed, that smaller size means the pixels are more packed and that close density should make this one of the richest displays on the market. The real news here though is that this panel is shatter-proof. The company's ShatterShield technology means you can drop the DROID Turbo face down and the screen will not crack. We imagine many will test this theory when reviews land, but we don't recommend you taking a hammer to this thing just for shits and giggles. Motorola is on the ball when it comes to Android, but it seems the DROID Turbo 2 was too far ahead in development to get Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box. Instead it gets build 5.1.1 Lollipop, but don?t be surprised to see Marshmallow land early in 2016, if you ignore the fact the original DROID Turbo took an age to get Lollipop. As always with Motorola, this is arguably the best third party Android software out there. The company's extremely light touch on Google?s OS means you are getting a near as makes no difference stock Android interface and features here. One of the hardware updates the DROID Turbo 2 has over the Moto X Pure Edition is that the new device boasts a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810, while the latter only gets a Snapdragon 808. We say only rather flippantly considering we are not even sure the 808 is a worse chipset. Sure, it will perform slightly lower than the 810 with its six cores (the 810 sports eight cores), but then the flagship 810 has been plagued with overheating issues. Motorola likely passed on the Snapdragon 810 for the Pure Edition for that very reason, so we can only assume that the company or indeed Qualcomm has solved the issue the processor had with causing heat throttles. In terms of RAM, the Verizon exclusive comes with 3GB of the stuff, while there is 32GB and 64GB available depending on variant, and indeed the DROID Turbo 2 does come with a micro SD slot to expand the space. The snapper is the same configuration found on the Moto X Pure Edition, and here is what we had to say about that set up when that handset launched: A 21 megapixel camera sits on the rear as the primary shooter, and it comes with all the bells and whistles we would expect from a flagship, including F2.0, phase-detection autofocus, and dual-tone LED flash. Around the front there is a 5 megapixel snapper that is ideal for selfies with its LED flash.DROID MAXX 2
The Moto X Style is a true looker in the flagship market, but Motorola decided to make the X Play a little more understated to match its mid-range aspirations. Not that the Moto X Play is ugly, it has a pleasing form and actually is best thought of as a more affordable variant of last year?s second generation Moto X. The fact that you can still use Moto Maker with thins handset means you could make it look vastly different with engravings, color matching, and metal frames. Motorola has stuffed a Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor under the hood, a 64-bit processor that we have always found to be a very able performer and there is a reason why it is a bit of a mid-range standard these days. 2GB of RAM provides the guts for the 615 to do its thing, while a 5.5-inch 1080p screen should not be too much of a drain on performance while still offering Full HD resolution. There are 16GB and 32GB storage variants of the Moto X Play, and Motorola has included a micro SD card slot for expansion up to 128GB. A fairly huge 3630 mAh battery should provide plenty of oomph considering the lower specs of the Play, and indeed Motorola says that the device should last for 48 hours with mixed usage. We were surprised to see that the company has kept the same camera setup from the X Style for the X Play, which is certainly no bad thing. That means this handset comes with a 21MP rear shooter with F2.0 aperture and a dual-tone LED flash, while the front end snapper is a 5MP lens. Android 5.1 Lollipop provides the software, with Motorola's very light take on the platform draped over the top. We really mean light too as the company offers near as makes no difference a stock Android experience, and the Moto X Play is a shoe in to get Android M when it launches.