6 things to love about DROID Turbo 2 (and 5 to hate)

Verizon's latest flagship DROID smartphone, the Turbo 2 from Motorola, hits store shelves this week, and though there's a lot to like, the handset also has a handful of shortcomings.

What you will NOT love about the Motorola DROID 2 Turbo

1) DROID Turbo 2 is a Verizon Wireless exclusive

If you're not a Verizon Wireless subscriber, and you're not willing to become one or pay full retail price for an unlocked DROID Turbo 2, you can stop reading this post now. The Turbo 2, like all DROID phones, is a Verizon Wireless exclusive. If you're on the edge and considering a switch, however, Verizon offers a trade-in plan for new customers that will give you up to $300 back for you old phone when you buy the DROID Turbo 2 — even if it has a cracked screen.

2) DROID Turbo lacks a fingerprint reader

The Turbo 2's conspicuously absent fingerprint scanner is a deal-breaker for me. I've been using iPhones and Galaxys with finger readers for years, and the idea of typing in a password every time I want to use my phone seems downright outlandish to me. I probably use Touch ID on my iPhone, and the Samsung scanner on my Note5, more than any other single feature.

iphone 6 touch id Brian Sacco

And it's not just about device access. I use fingerprint authentication to authorize mobile payments, access sensitive apps and data on my phone and make secure purchases. The DROID Turbo 2's lack of a finger scanner is unfortunate, to say the least.

3) DROID Turbo 2 doesn't ship with Android 6.0 'Marshmallow'

New Android phones should come with the latest software from Google, right? Well, that's not the case with the DROID Turbo 2, which ships with Android v5.1.1, "Lollipop," instead of Android v6.0, "Marshmallow."

I asked Verizon yesterday when the new DROIDs will get the Android Marshmallow update and got a noncommittal answer along the lines of "as soon as possible." Motorola was a bit more specific, saying that the DROID Turbo 2 and DROID Maxx 2 should get Android 6.0 in "a matter of weeks." However, history suggests that Android updates consistently take long than carriers and manufacturers want them to, so I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if the new DROIDs don't see the Marshmallow update until December, or maybe even January.

4) Light color DROID Turbo display is NOT good looking

Before Verizon gave me my DROID Turbo 2 review unit, which is black, I manhandled a white version at the media event. The back, "soft grip" cover in red was kind of cool looking, though not really my style. When I turned the device over to examine the display, however, I had to stifle a giggle-gasp. The top of the white display has five dark shapes on the sides of the ear speaker, for the "selfie cam" and other sensors, along with two more to the sides of the dual microphones on the bottom of the screen.

droid turbo2 ugly 2 Droid Life via Twitter

The display is by far the most "busy" screen I've seen on a smartphone, and frankly is distracting and kind of ugly. (None of the marketing materials I've seen for the Turbo 2 show the device with a white display, which could suggest Verizon feels the same way.) This is mostly a non-issue if you choose a dark colored display that hides all of the sensors, but it's definitely something to keep in mind if you're considering a light color display on the Turbo 2.

5) The catch in DROID Turbo 2 'design refresh'

As mentioned in the previous section, people who buy a 64GB DROID Turbo 2 can swap their phones out for a new color combination once during the two years following the purchase. You don't have to send in your phone, so Motorola can strip it down and refit it with the new colors. You simply initiate the process, choose your colors, wait for the new phone to arrive, then send back the old one, as long as it's in good working order.

Sounds great, right? Sure, but don't forget to read the fine print: "The design refresh phone may be a like new/refurbished phone." In other words, you might send in your New-York-Mets themed, orange-and-blue phone with a leather back cover, for a New-York-Rangers colored Turbo 2, and simply receive a used phone from somebody else who ditched their Rangers-themed device for a Turbo 2 in Jets' green and white.

You might not have any problem with your refurbed phone … but to me, the "r word" is akin to a curse, and I'd just as soon steer clear.

The Motorola DROID Turbo 2 goes on sale tomorrow, and prices start at $624 (32GB) off contract, or $26 (32GB) or $30 (64GB) a month on Verizon's installment plans.

You can learn more about the DROID Turbo 2 on both Motorola's and Verizon's websites.

AS

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Al Sacco

CIO (US)
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