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Grow Your Business Technology

Motorola Droid Turbo 2 Review: Is It Good for Business?

Motorola Droid Turbo 2 Review: Is It Good for Business?

A durable work phone is a dependable work phone, and you can't get much more durable than the Motorola Droid Turbo 2. This Android smartphone sports five layers of protection over the display and a rigid aluminum core, making the device practically impervious to drops and dings. 

It also offers long battery life and fast performance, two features that business users will adore. On the other hand, the Droid Turbo 2 — which starts at $624, or $26 per month — is a bit on the bulky side, and it lacks the security features you'd expect from such a pricey smartphone.

[For more information on how we test mobile devices, visit our testing methodology page.]

A cracked screen on your personal smartphone can be a real nuisance. But those same cracks on your work phone are a much bigger issue, since they can actually keep you from doing your job. Motorola claims that the Droid Turbo 2's sports a "shatterproof" display that will make cracked screens a thing of the past — and we believe it.

So just how tough is the Droid Turbo 2? Tough enough to survive being spiked onto the ground like a football, as we discovered during a hands-on demo. The display actually consists of five layers, including a clear, protective layer and a unique hard coat on top of the touch panel.

With that knowledge, we put the Turbo 2 to the test by dropping it face down onto concrete, tile and wood from about head height. As promised, the screen remained clear and scratch-free every time. We also watched as a Verizon representative literally threw the phone against the ground from above his head, and the screen remained fully intact.

Of course, it's worth pointing out that while we couldn't crack the screen, the rest of the phone remains vulnerable to dings. After our drop test, we did see some dents and divots in the aluminum frame, as well as the white plastic around the outside of the display.

Regardless, the Droid Turbo 2's superior toughness might be its best asset for business users who can't afford to lose their work phones to untimely tumbles. 

Regardless, I doubt you'll drop the Turbo 2 very often. It comes with a textured back that stops the phone from slipping out of your hand. Our review unit came with a soft-grip back, but you can also order the Droid Turbo 2 with a leather or ballistic-nylon back.

If there's one trade-off to all that toughness, it's that the Droid Turbo 2 is a bit on the hefty side. Weighing in at 6 ounces, it's noticeably heavier than the LG G4 (5.47 ounces) and Samsung Galaxy S6 (4.9 ounces). It's far from the heaviest phone in its category, though; the iPhone 6s Plustakes that title, tipping the scales as 6.8 ounces.

In addition to being nearly indestructible, the Droid Turbo 2's 5.4-inch display is pretty nice to look at. The quad-HD AMOLED display sports a superhigh resolution of 2,560 x 1,450 pixels, giving you plenty of virtual real estate for screen-intensive tasks like viewing large documents and editing spreadsheets on the go.

The display also offers vibrant colors and wide viewing angles, though its brightness is only average, topping out at 300 nits. That's a bit dimmer than the Nexus 6P (337 nits), iPhones 6s Plus (498 nits) and Galaxy Note 5 (510 nits). Accordingly, all three of those phones have displays that are easier to view outdoors or in direct sunlight.

The most disappointing thing about the Droid Turbo 2 might be its total lack of advanced security features. You won't find a fingerprint scanner here, for example, even though that feature is included on most competing phones, including Samsung's Galaxy S6 and Galaxy Note 5, Apple's iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, and Google's Nexus 6p. A fingerprint scanner is handy for keeping your work phone locked down without needing to fuss with a cumbersome password screen every time you turn your display on.

On Samsung's phones, you'll also find extra security software in the form of the Knox suite, which keeps your work files and data separated from your personal apps. You won't find anything like that on the Turbo 2.

Of course, you do get the basic security features that come with all Android smartphones, including the ability to lock your phone with a password or pattern. 

The Droid Turbo 2 runs on Android 5.0 Lollipop, the latest version of the Android mobile operating system. If you're coming from an older version of Android, you'll find a handful of productivity-boosting new features in the updated software.

My favorite addition is called Google Now on Tap, a feature that lets you quickly call up extra information about whatever's currently on your screen just by holding down the home button for a few seconds. So, for example, if a client emails you about meeting for lunch at a particular restaurant, you can hold down the home button to instantly find additional information, like the restaurant's location and hours of business.

I'm also a fan of the updated app drawer in Lollipop, which has a special shelf at the top of the standard app grid. Apps are automatically shuffled onto and off the shelf based on the time of day, your current location, past usage and other factors. In other words, it can give you quick access to your work-related apps at the office, and entertainment and social media apps at home.

The Droid Turbo 2 is a seriously speedy smartphone, equipped with a 2-GHz Snapdragon 810 processor with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. Apps opened and closely very quickly, and heavy multitasking felt really smooth during my testing period.

On the Geekbench 3 test, which measures overall performance, the Turbo 2 racked up an impressive score of 4,261. That beats the Google 6P, and is almost on par with Apple's iPhone 6s Plus (4,405). The Galaxy Note 5 performed better though, with a score of 5,053.

The Droid Turbo 2 has a big, 3,760-mAh battery, and it provided about 8 hours and 52 minutes of run time in our battery test, which simulates continuous Web browsing over Verizon's LTE network. That beats the iPhone 6s Plus (8:16), though it falls short of the Galaxy Note 5 (9:35) and Google Nexus 6P (12:25). Regardless, the Turbo 2 should have no trouble lasting through the end of the average workday.

And if you do need to top off your battery before leaving the office, the Droid Turbo 2 is the fastest-charging smartphone we've ever tested, thanks to its Turbo Charging functionality. After we drained the battery, the phone was able to achieve a 32 percent charge in 15 minutes, a 53 percent charge in half an hour, and a full charge in 1 hour and 17 minutes. 

Buyers can choose between models with either 32GB or 64GB of internal storage, which can be expanded by up to 2TB via the phone's microSD card slot. 

The Droid Turbo 2 ($624) would be a reasonably enticing work phone with just its long battery life, roomy display and fast performance. But it's the phone's unbeatable durability that really makes it worth considering over the competition. No other smartphone we've tested is quite as tough as this one, which automatically makes the Droid Turbo 2 one of the most dependable work phones on the market.

But it faces some stiff competition. The Galaxy Note 5 ($699) offers a built-in stylus, while the Nexus 6P ($499) offers much longer battery life and the most reliable fingerprint scanner I've tested, and Apple's iPhone 6s Plus ($749) is a great pick for Apple fans. But if you're prone to dropping your smartphone, the Droid Turbo 2 might be your best bet.

[For more information on how we test mobile devices, visit our testing methodology page.]

Brett Nuckles
Brett Nuckles

Brett Nuckles has been a working journalist since 2009. He got his start in local newspapers covering community news, local government, education and more before he joined the Business News Daily staff in 2013. He graduated from Ohio University, where he studied Journalism and English. Follow him on Twitter @BrettNuckles.