This fall I had the chance to take a look at two of the most popular Android phones on the market and compare how well each of them performed compared to each other. The response to that was overwhelmingly positive. So to follow up with that today I will be taking a look at another pair of flagship Android phones, this time the Droid Turbo and the latest version of the MotoX. While both phones have a lot of similarities, a lot of you might still be wondering which phone is best for you. Today I’m going to run through their features, performance, and find out if one or the other stands out from the crowd.

Product Name: Droid Turbo and MotoX 2014

Review Sample Provided by: Verizon Wireless

Written by: Wes

Pictures by: Wes

 

Specifications

Droid Turbo

MotoX 2014

Price

$599.99

$549.99

Price With Contract

$199.99

$199.99

Display Size

5.2"

5.2”

Display Resolution

2560 x 1440

 1920x1080

Rear Facing Camera

21 MP (5248 x 3936) in 4:3

15.5 MP (2952 x 5248) in 16:9

4K (UHD) video

Dual LED flash

13 MP

4K UHD video capture

1080p HD video (30 fps)

Ring flash with dual LEDs

Front Facing Camera

2MP + 1080p HD Video

2.0MP

CPU

Motorola Mobile Computing System, including Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 805 processor with 2.7 GHz quad-core CPU (APQ8084) with 64-bit memory access

Adreno 420 @ 600 MHz GPU

Natural Language Processor

Contextual Computing Processor

Motorola Mobile Computing System including 2.5GHz Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 801 with quad-core CPU (MSM 8974-AC), Adreno 330 @ 578 MHz GPU, Natural Language Processor, Contextual Computing Processor

Dimension

5.65”(H) x 2.89”(W) x 0.42”(D) inches

5.54” (H) x 2.85” (W) x 0.39” (D) inches

Weight

6.2 oz

5.08 oz.

OS

Android 4.4.4 (Kitkat)

Android 5.0 (Lolipop)

Battery Capacity

3900mAh

2300mAh

Wireless Charging

Qi Wireless Charging

No

RAM

3 GB (LPDDR3 with 64-bit access)

2GB

Internal Storage

32/64 GB Memory

16/32GB Memory

External Storage

None

None

 


Packaging

To start things off we have the Droid Turbo. Unlike most of Verizon’s other phones, with this being a Droid phone they packaged it in a black box to help it stand out in the stores. As per the usual, the packaging doesn’t really have much going on other than the product name up to on the sleeve and a short listing of contents on the back.

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turbo 2

Inside the box, you will find the Droid Turbo up top. Under that tray they include a whole stack of documentation to help you get to know your phone, for required information, and about its safety and warranty information. The Droid Turbo comes with a large AC to USB adapter that will most likely cover more than one plug on your power strip and a USB to micro USB cable.

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turbo 5

The box for the MotoX went to the other end of the spectrum with a white box. This is exactly the same as the previous MotoX, only a little larger. On the cover, you have the MotoX name and then the Motorola logo shows through a cutout.

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The MotoX comes with a small box filled with documentation. Along with that you also get an AC to USB adapter like usual. This time around, the adapter comes with two USB plugs, something no one else does but they should do. Imagine how much space you could save by being able to double up on your USB chargers. The adapter is also small enough that it won’t cover any other plugs on a power strip like the Droid Turbo’s adapter. Then you also get a white USB to micro USB cable to get the power from the adapter to your phone or from your PC to your phone for data transmission.

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Droid Turbo Photos and Features

While the Droid Turbo is basically based on the MotoX when you take a look at it you can see that it comes from the MAXX family of phones. They packed in a high capacity battery, the rubbery coating, and the carbon fiber weave design on the backplate are all features that all of the MAXX phones have had. That isn’t a bad thing though, as a whole the MAXX phones have been some of the best phones on the market at any given time.

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The bottom edge of the Turbo sticks out a little past the bottom of the glass where a lot of phones have been keeping their bezels to a minimum. Another feature that is a little strange is the built in buttons where most phones have increased their screen size by running the buttons onscreen. This should make things interesting when the Turbo gets 5.0 with its new button icons. Up on the top half of the front of the turbo you have a center mounted 2MP front facing camera. The speaker up top is much larger than normal, running nearly from one side to the other where most phones have been closer to a half inch wide, I wonder if that will make for a louder ring and speakerphone, I will find out in testing though.

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The Turbo is a little thicker than other current phones at .42 of an inch. This is because of the larger battery capacity mostly. They still managed to bevel the edges a little but not as much as the G3 and the MotoX. The beveled edges help make the phone feel thinner than it really is when you hold it. Up on the top edge you have a microphone/headphone plug that is mounted close to the right side of the phone. The right side of the phone has thee color matched buttons. The top button is the power/unlock button and the other two are volume controls. I was just happy that they didn’t try to do anything crazy like on the G3. Down on the bottom edge is the USB charging port, we can see here that they didn’t try to make the phone waterproof or anything like that because there isn’t a cover.

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On the back of the phone we can really see the bright Verizon red. Near the middle of the back we can see through the red coating to see the ballistic nylon weave. There is an additional Turbo model that offers a Kevlar weave as well. Down on the bottom is the Droid logo along with the Verizon logo. Up under the camera is a black plastic plate with the Motorola logo on it as well. As for the camera you get dual LED flashes, one on each side of the lens. The camera takes pictures in an impressive 21MP format if you would like and can record video in up to 4K.

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Motorola packed in a nice screen as well with an impressive 2560 x 1440 resolution. You will need that to view those mega high resolution photos the phone takes.

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MotoX 2014 Photos and Features

From the front, the MotoX looks a lot like the G3 and S5 that I took a look at before. The white trim helps that as well. What is a little different is how they matched the speakers on the top and bottom of the front, when you are watching movies, playing games, or listening to music this should help give you a better audio experience. The white trim helps every single sensor on the front of the MotoX stand out as well as the front facing camera. Speaking of the MotoX has a 2MP front facing camera, just like the Turbo. The 5.2 inch display stands out on the white as well.

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Moving around the edge of the phone we can see that on the right edge the MotoX has the standard volume/power button combination rather than anything crazy. On the bottom the Micro USB charging/data port is in the center but we can also see small gaps in the aluminum frame. I’m sure this helps prevent issues like the antenna issues with the iPhones but also with these spacers on both sides of each corner I have a feeling they also help absorb an immpact if the phone is dropped. Up on the top of the phone the headphone/microphone jack is centered and they also slipped the sim card slot in up there as well. The MotoX is comes in at .39 of an inch thick at its thickest part but if you look closely you can see just how curved the back of the phone is. This gives it a really thin feeling in hand even though it is thicker than the S5 and G3 tested previously.

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The back of our MotoX looks especially interesting because it has a bright wood finish on it. I should also point out that the wood finish even has a matching texture to it as well, they did a good job with it. One of the biggest features that the MotoX has is the option to go online and completely customize your own phone with a whole list of trim colors and back finish options. Some of the premium finishes are the wood and leather options, you can really make it your own with all of the options. The back of the phone also has the main camera, in this case it is a 13MP model. That is 8MPs less than the Turbo but you do still get the option to record video at 4k. I really like that the dual LED flash is built into a ring around the lens, it gives a clean look and having LEDs on each side of the lens should give a more even light when you use it. Also on the back is a metal Motorola logo, from what I understand this is optional as well just like the wood back of our test model.

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While the screen is the same size as on the Turbo they did opt to go with a lower resolution. The 5.2 inch screen has a still respectable 1080p resolution for watching movies and gaming.

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On a fluke when they sent out the MotoX 2014 they originally sent out the original MotoX. This gave me a chance to rebenchmark the original and also get a few photos of the new and old together. Its funny how you forget things over time because if I didn’t have the two phones next to each other I would have never noticed just how much larger the new MotoX is over the original. It’s a little hard to see with the white bezel but it is very noticeable when holding the phones in hand. They still share the same curved backplate and customization only the new MotoX has a few more premium options to customize with. The Motorola medallion on the back is twice as large now, growing in size along with the camera assembly. Beyond that the new MotoX really is just a larger version of the old model aesthetically.

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Side by Side

While both phones have their own flare, you can still see some of the simularitys, especially with the Motorola badge on the back of both phones. When you put them next to each other you can see that the Droid Turbo is clearly a larger phone even though they both have the same size display. When you are packing double the battery inside you fit it anywhere you can!

sidebyside 1

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Performance

For a lot of people, including me a good portion of what makes a phone great you can’t see in any photo. What is on the inside is important. In the case of these two phones they both have Snapdragon processors but the MotoX has an 801 running at 2.5GHz where the Turbo has an 805 running at 2.7 GHz. In addition the MotoX has a Adreno 330 @ 578 MHz GPU where the Turbo has an Andreno 420 running at 600MHz. The biggest difference between the two other than the obvious speed increase is the Snapdragon 805 was designed with 4k processing in mind. The Droid Turbo isn’t running at 4k, but at 1440p it is running at a higher resolution than the MotoX, so I’m sure it will help it keep up. To put both processors to the test I ran both phones (and the original MotoX) through our benchmark suite. Lets check out how well they performed.

To start things off I ran the phones through a few CPU specific benchmarks to see how well the slight bump in clock speed would help out. In two out of the three the Turbo pulled ahead but I was a little surprised with the Browsermark 2.1 results. Looking back I suspect that our MotoX running the new 5.0 Lollipop could account for a little better efficiency when testing the browser.

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Next I ran through our 3D testing to test the gaming performance. Here the Droid Turbo pulled ahead by a large margin, past both the MotoX and everything else we have tested in the past. The 3DMark results show a smaller improvement than the individual tests, but in all of them there is no doubt that the  Andreno 420 is much faster than the Andreno 330.

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For this test I ran both phones through the new PCMark Work benchmark. I was so surprised by these results that I ran them multiple times to be completely sure. I’m not sure if the Turbo is throttling back during this test as it is a longer test or if 5.0 made this noticeable of a difference.

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My last test is the PCMark battery benchmark. It runs through the PCMark Work Benchmark along with other tests over and over to test the overall battery life when under load. This is important because lots of phones can last a long time when they are under a light load, putting a heavier load pushes past some of the tricks that manufactures use like throttling CPUs down to save power. In this case I was seriously blow away by the results from both phones. For reference the MotoX 2014 has a 2300mAh battery where the Droid Turbo has a 3900mAh battery. Going off those numbers alone you would expect to see the MotoX fall in line with standard phones where the Turbo will perform in line with past MAXX phones. Well that didn’t happen. As it turns out, the upgrade to 5.0 on the MotoX swayed these results by a large margin. After researching things more, the MotoX 2014 averages a little over a 4 hour benchmark typically but when running 5.0 it has jumped up to almost 7 hours, 10 minutes short of what the Turbo did. This might look like a bad thing for the Droid Turbo, but lets remember that the Droid Turbo will be getting 5.0 just after the first of the year, imagine what kind of results it will see then! SO for the next month the MotoX will be on par with the Turbo in battery performance but after that its much larger battery will pull ahead when they are on an equal ground.

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Software

When it comes to software testing the MotoX and the Droid Turbo, frankly the differences were very small when I started my testing. I was originally only going to cover a few features that are exclusive to each device but when the MotoX dropped the 5.0 update I went ahead and got more photos to just show some of the small changes. So let’s hit those first. Starting off here are the home pages for each of the phones. The Turbo uses an interesting circle gadget that shows your battery life, time, and weather/temperature when you have the location set (and I did not).

MotoX

home motox

Turbo

home turbo

The new 5.0 app screen is a lot brighter as it is set on a white background where before it was transparent.

MotoX

apps motox

Turbo

apps turbo

While the phone screens have similarities, the floating phone icon on 5.0 was new. They also worked on the speed dial page a little, but I don’t think the people whose numbers are in my speed dial would appreciate me posting them up for everyone lol.

MotoX

phone motox

Turbo

phone turbo

5.0 brought in new settings pages as well, especially the initial quick settings page that you get with the button up in the top right corner on both phones. I like that the brightness control is easier to get too and you will also notice that 5.0 has a built in flashlight on this page. The main settings page is now much brighter just like the app screen. The quick on the off switches are gone but you can turn all of those on and off quickly on the quick settings page. Other than that the menu options are basically the same.

MotoX

settings1 motox

settings2 motox

Turbo

settings1 turbo

settings2 turbo

One of the interesting features I found on 5.0 was the option to be able to set priority to notification sounds. From there you can manual set this, set times or even locations to prompt different notification settings to kick in or you can let the phone automatically figure it out on its own. Why is this important? Well if you are like me you might get emails through the night, I can set it to turn those off at night but still let me know if family reaches out. You could also use this to try to keep you from checking your phone all of the time when you get home or if you can’t use your phone at work you can automatically turn off sounds when you at work.

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Speaking of notifications, the lock screen now shows your notifications more clearly. You can double click to open them or swipe them away without unlocking your phone.

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The running apps screen is a lot more fluid with larger images that you scroll through.

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Both phones included full office software with Quickoffice but the MotoX also has one called Sheets and one called Slides. It’s nice to be able to open and edit files that are emailed to me without having to install third party apps.

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For the turbo I have just one main feature I wanted to touch on the Droid Zaps app that you get. Once set you can transfer files to people within wireless range. The second screenshot I have is just my initial battery life experience, during normal use the phone ended up on the charger only after two and a ¼ days of use and as you can see I spent a lot of time on Reddit in that time.

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Camera

Testing the camera performance on phones can be sometimes subjective. To cut that down as much as possible I try to take the same exact pictures when possible to compare both phones in different potential situations. To start things off I went outside and took a holiday photo from nearby. Because I was outside I made sure to hold the cameras and take the picture at the exact same time because lighting can change quickly. Sadly when I did this I didn’t get the pictures spot on, but close enough. Both cameras automatically went to HDR mode. Both photos look great, the only issue I saw at all was a slight yellow tint to the Turbo’s photo in both the beard and on the white house in the background.

Outside MotoX

camera inside motox

Outside Turbo

camera outside turbo

Next I went inside and because I couldn’t catch a cat to get a photo of I took a picture of two mice on my desk. Both pictures came out clear with good color, the MotoX did pick up on the texture of the mouse pad a little better so I would give this test to the MotoX again.

Inside MotoX

camera inside motox

Inside Turbo

camera inside turbo

Next I took a picture of a miniature quad copter sitting in our normal photo area with two studio lights on. With both I was a little surprised at how grey the white background looked compared to the photos our full sized camera is capable, but this is to be expected with a smaller sized sensor like what you get on a camera phone. The Turbo’s focus is a touch off giving the MotoX the edge here.

With Lighting MotoX

camera wlight motox

With Lighting Turbo

camera wlight turbo

Next I took the same picture but with the lighting turned off. This was actually taken at about 5:30 during the day so it was still light out but slightly overcast but the pictures look like it is dark out. The Turbo took a better photo here, its blacks are more black where the MotoX looks great and the Turbo’s photo looks crisper.

Without Lighting MotoX

camera wolight motox

Without Lighting Turbo

camera wolight turbo

At the end of the day it really depends on your intended use but overall the MotoX took better photos. When it came to video they both performed well and are capable of recording in 4k and 720p slow motion, both are awesome features. 

 


Overall and Final Verdict

The worst part about putting two phones like the MotoX 2014 and the Droid Turbo against each other is they really are both great phones. Both phones share a LOT but the biggest thing to remember is both phones give you as close to a pure Android experience that you will get without buying a Nexus device. What does that mean? Well both phones skip out on skins and software that make upgrading in the future harder. It isn’t a pure experience because you still do get all of the software that the Verizon installs and the Turbo also has a few Droid brand specific things as well.

So in the end it is nearly all about the hardware. While the MotoX performed extremely well, in most of our benchmarks the Droid Turbo did pull away with its faster CPU and GPU. Ironically, the biggest hardware difference between the two phones was the Turbo’s high capacity battery but the MotoX’s last minute upgrade to Android 5.0 managed to give enough of a boost in battery performance to put up numbers very close to the Turbo. That said, next month with the Turbo gets 5.0 it should perform even better in battery life. Where the MotoX did perform better was in most of the camera testing, the Turbo’s higher megapixel camera didn’t translate to better photographs in 3 out of our 4 tests.

Aesthetically they are both great looking phones. The Droid Turbo does have a little more beef to it with its larger battery though. The MotoX also has the advantage of allowing full customization. I mean how many other phones will let you order any trim color, back panel, and even etch your name or a quote onto the back.

So to figure out what phone I prefer I had to ask myself two questions. What phone would I buy if I were shopping for a new phone right now? Also what phone did I use more when I had both on me while testing. If I were buying a new phone right now I would go with the Droid Turbo without a question. I love its performance and the large battery capacity is extremely important to me. What phone did I use the most? LOL Well that was the MotoX, beyond wanting to toy with 5.0 more I also found it a little easier to hold in hand. But picking the MotoX was easy to do when I knew I had the Turbo right there with its rock solid battery life. In the end the Droid Turbo > the MotoX 2014 by a small margin.

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Author Bio
garfi3ld
Author: garfi3ldWebsite: https://lanoc.org
Editor-in-chief
You might call him obsessed or just a hardcore geek. Wes's obsession with gaming hardware and gadgets isn't anything new, he could be found taking things apart even as a child. When not poking around in PC's he can be found playing League of Legends, Awesomenauts, or Civilization 5 or watching a wide variety of TV shows and Movies. A car guy at heart, the same things that draw him into tweaking cars apply when building good looking fast computers. If you are interested in writing for Wes here at LanOC you can reach out to him directly using our contact form.

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garfi3ld's Avatar
garfi3ld replied the topic: #35973 12 Dec 2014 18:45
Well its Friday again, we all made it another week. Today I take a look at two of the latest and greatest Android phones to see how they compare to each other. Enjoy the review and have a great weekend!
Deb0's Avatar
Deb0 replied the topic: #35975 13 Dec 2014 12:55
The biggest drawback for me on the Turbo was no SD card expansion. I ended up getting the 64gb version and have curbed my music hoarding. I'll put some photos of mine up in a later post.

One thing of note that I think you went over quickly was the larger charger the Turbo comes with. This is actually a power supply in addition to being a USB-AC adapter (which make it larger) This, of course increases its amp output substantially and charges things even faster than a 3.0 SuperSpeed port would (0-full charge on my tablet in about 20mins, 0-full charge on the turbo in about 40mins.) Sure it may not consolidate on size but it is an amazing addition to the retail package as the charger sold separately retails for $35.
Deb0's Avatar
Deb0 replied the topic: #35976 15 Dec 2014 02:18
As promised: imgur.com/a/XxO68

The weave looks very nice in my opinion and, as you can see, unlike the 32gb version there is a lack of the obnoxious Verizon V branding on the back giving the phone an overall sleeker appearance.

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