Verizon Wireless recently announced their exclusive launch of the Motorola Droid Turbo 2, a shatterproof phone that touts a long list of powerful capabilities. Among them: amazing battery life. With a huge 3740 mAh battery, Motorola and Verizon claim you’ll get up to 48-hours of juice… so we put their word to the test.
Spoiler: the battery only lasted 24-hours, but I was still impressed and would not hesitate to recommend the Droid Turbo 2 to shoppers seeking an Android phone with great battery life. Read on to find out why.
Out of the box
After the NYC launch event I walked away with review units of both new Droids: the Turbo 2 and the more affordable Motorola DROID MAXX 2.
Knowing that I’d be conducting a battery test of some sort, I made sure to do three important things:
Install a fresh system instead of restoring from a backup
Downloading a handful of apps/games to use for the plane ride
Charge to 100% only AFTER doing the above
I have a ridiculous number of apps and games on my personal phone so using it as a benchmark for battery life tests isn’t exactly fair. By installing a fresh system and not punishing the phone with data transfer PRIOR to starting the “test” it offers a real-world sample of expectations without so many variables polluting the data.
Crouched next to a row of electrical outlets at Gate L6, I plugged in the Turbo and charged it to 100% while downloading the following games during the flight: Loop, 99 Problems, Pixel Dungeon, PAC-MAN 256, Crossy Road, and Minecraft PE.
At around 9:15 PM they announced we would soon be boarding, so I unplugged, thus starting the timer on how long the Droid Turbo 2 battery would last (but 9 hours into my first 48 hours).
I tried all of the games I downloaded in quick succession, trying to decide which one I wanted to play for the bulk of the flight. Here are my quick take on each:
Loop – cool puzzle game, but frustrating and the airport drained all my patience.
99 Problems – like a vertical Flappy Bird, but more stupid.
Pixel Dungeon – Dragon Warrior-esque, but starts too slow.
Crossy Road – I love it… but forgot how much I already played it. Burned out.
Minecraft PE – I chased a pixelated chicken for 20 minutes and then seriously questioned what I was doing with my life. Decided it was too deep of a question.
I ended up playing PAC-MAN 256 almost the entire flight. Simple game, simple controls, quick gameplay, every restart is a different challenge… it has all the makings of a fun, addictive game to kill time.
When the plane landed, I realized my battery drained all the way down to 60% – holy crap! At this point, the bulk of my battery was drained by two things:
That seems about right… after all, that’s basically the only thing I did during the flight. Once back in Chicago the real fun happened.
Taxi Cab Confessions
Two terrible things happened during my cab ride from the airport to my apartment and I’m going to tell you about both because they each had a big impact on the outcome of this test.
The Lost Phone
As we pulled up to the curb, I asked the driver for a receipt so I could write off the transportation costs on my taxes. Walking up to the front door, I thought to myself: “I should always get a receipt, just in case I leave something in the cab.”
I whipped my head around like an owl, saw the taxi pulling away, and realized I left my brand new Nexus 5X in the cab. Too many phones to juggle! Thankfully I didn’t misplace either Droid and this actually presented an opportunity: with my phone missing, I was forced to use the Droid Turbo 2 in my every day routine.
For those wondering… yes, I was reunited with my Nexus 5X rather painlessly and I gave the taxi cab driver $20 bucks to thank him for his honesty.
The Case of the Missing Airplane Mode
Since we’re on the subject of confessions…
Wearing my Bose QuietComfort 25 headphones – which have amazing noise cancellation, perfect for travelers – I was able to pretty much tune out the entire world around me. Unfortunately, I also tuned out the stewardess and pilots announcements and completely forgot to switch the Turbo 2 into Airplane Mode.
Summarizing: I’m an idiot.
The impact this had on the battery cannot be understated. Looking at a detailed chart pulled directly from Android’s battery manager, you can see the 40% cliff overlaps with an alarmingly red section of “Cellular Network Signal” while the phone hopelessly and continually searched for a mobile network with which to connect while thousands of feet in the air.
You’ll also notice that Wi-Fi was engaged for the entire duration of the test. Clearly, I didn’t do a great job of managing my battery, but let’s face it: nobody is perfect.
Although I think the detriment of my Airplane Mode failure had a bigger impact on battery life than the lighter-than-normal stress on the device due to limiting the number of apps installed, I think that for the most part, it all balances out.
More on that later…
I quickly used the Droid Turbo 2 to call the taxi cab company in hopes of tracking down my lost phone and then went to bed. After that phone call and a night of sleep, the phone only drained 3% .
Time to start a new day.
I spent a decent chunk of the morning lightly using the Turbo 2 at random intervals.
I called my Mom. I took some photos. I took some video. And then I walked to the coffee shop and back – 30 minutes round trip – while listening to Spotify. For some reason, Spotify seemed to be among the biggest drains on my battery, despite mostly using it with the screen off.
Different people download different apps and games, each with different resource requirements. Even people with the same exact apps and games installed will use them differently, not to mention, each person uses their own phone differently on different days. It’s nearly impossible to standardize a battery test that tells people as a whole exactly what they can expect from their battery, but it is possible to generate an opinion on overall performance.
The battery chart shows some interesting dives that seem to be precipitated by specific activities in the afternoon and evening, but I can’t connect directly connect the dots. There aren’t really THAT many options.
The majority of this time was spent on one thing: browsing the Google. I did so while eating lunch (Uptown Pho), eating dinner (Hopleaf!)
Oddly enough, you couldn’t come to that conclusion by viewing the list of apps that burned the most battery.
I took one for the team… playing a bit more PAC-MAN 256 to grind the battery down to 1% so we could complete the test. You’re welcome. Now let’s take a look at exactly what Android’s Battery Manager says sucked the life out of the Droid Turbo 2.
For the record… I never even opened NFL Mobile and the app came pre-installed.
0% – What Gives?
I’d like to call into question the accuracy of Android’s Battery Manager:
40% of the battery was killed during my flight
3 reasons for this would be Cellular Signal, PAC-MAN, and Screen.
The combined total for these seem to be 23% over the entire test
The math doesn’t seem to add up. I hope they improve the Battery Manager, make the data more granular, and somehow account for what seem to be glaring inconsistencies.
I didn’t charge for more than 15-minutes because I wanted to see how long the Turbo 2 would last on it’s rejuvenated battery. When I woke up it still had over 30%.
It’s now got about 10% left as I publish this post.
The Bottom Line
It’s not likely that a single charge will get you 48 hours of battery life, but that’s somewhat irrelevant: the battery on the Motorola DROID Turbo 2 is downright impressive. You can expect a full day of battery… and more.
Mileage will vary, but if you keep an eye on your apps and games and follow some simple battery saving tips, nobody should have a problem clearing 24-hours of solid to heavy smartphone use with the Droid Turbo 2. Considering the lackluster battery performance of other smartphone flagships, big battery seeking Android lovers should gravitate to the Turbo 2 with good reason.
The real kicker here is that in addition to blowing most of the battery hungry competition out of the water, the Droid Turbo 2 charges ridiculously quickly… plug it in for 15 minutes and you’re practically set for the rest of the day.
Big, long-lasting batteries that charge in a flash: that’s something we can get behind.