We've previously referred to Motorola as the underdog, but the brand's given us one hit after another at almost every price point (Moto E, G and X, we're looking at you), and things have changed drastically ever since.
Sliding into its spot on Flipkart, the Turbo is the kind of underdog that's all bite, no bark. Just like before, the brand has made little noise about a phone that's got a résumé impressive enough to send chills down the spines of more established labels. *Deep breath* Almost pure Android Lollipop, 5.2in 2560x1440 (565ppi) AMOLED screen, Snapdragon 805 processor, 21MP rear cam with dual-LED flash, 4K video recording, 3GB RAM, 64GB ROM, 3900mAh battery and all that for ₹42K.
Does it all add up to make this a dynamite new smartphone? We're happy to report that the answer is a colossal yes.
Moto Maker, Motorola's pre-order customisation service, is yet to make its debut here in India. But the brand's continued to experiment with unique materials on its smartphones and the Turbo is no different. Scratch that. It is, in fact, very different. Hold the device, and you're immediately welcomed by a soft, ballistic nylon finish that reduces weight while offering a premium feel and texture. Its reassuring ruggedness makes it the perfect mix of form and function, our favourite kind of feature.
Motorola's finally shown interest in joining the 2K smartphone club, and first in line is the Turbo. With a 5.2in 2K screen, it packs a whopping 565ppi. That makes it one of the most pixel-packed screens ever. Those massive numbers mean although the upgrade in sharpness is not life-altering, you will appreciate the razor-sharp images and ultra smooth text. As is the case with AMOLEDs, colours are on the punchier side of the spectrum and the blacks are deep enough for Adele to roll in. The kind that can put every other rival flagship smartphone out there to shame. On the flipside, the screen can appear yellowish at certain angles, but not enough for it to be a concern.
The Moto X really changed the game with the battery-saving Moto Display feature, and it's present and correct on the Turbo as well. Monochrome notifications appear on the lockscreen when your hand approaches it, triggering up to three notifications. Touching each app bubble shows a preview of the notification while swiping down unlocks the handset. It's a ridiculously addictive feature that just places Moto's flagship device in a league of its own.
You'll find the new 21MP sensor a big improvement on its predecessor. In good light, shots are clear and detailed, with a handy quick-access HDR mode and accurate colour reproduction. You even have the option to shoot videos in 4K and, given the phone's generous 64GB storage, it's a very realistic option.
Around the front, the same 2MP sensor takes 1080p videos and can be commanded by a voice to 'take a selfie', completing the setup. The wrist-twisting Quick Capture feature also returns from last year. It helps when you give it a second, and also allows you to keep your eyes on the screen.
Navigating Android on this phone is a bit like a hot lap in a 1000bhp+ sportscar. That Snapdragon 805 processor underneath combined with 3GB RAM gets things done in a blink. Existing powerhouses, in fact, don't feel in as much a hurry as the Turbo to get a move on. Jump around between apps, and you'll notice how it's that split second faster than its iOS rival. That said, it'll heat up faster than the Hulk's temper if you push it hard with some gaming. Something Motorola could certainly look at improving.
What makes it a joy to use is those sweet specs have been partnered with a UI that does very little to meddle with Android. It's not 100% Android, but Moto's clever additions only enhance the whole experience. Even after intense use, its 3900mAh battery easily lasts over a day and a half — a claim few other flagship smartphones can make. The Turbo is on an elite list of smartphones that can be relied on every single time.
motorola turbo verdict
Considering getting yourself a flagship smartphone? The Turbo should almost certainly be at the top of your shortlist. It's the most complete package out there. It's smart, it's fast, and it's a handset crafted so beautifully, you'll find yourself picking it up often for no reason whatsoever sometimes. It's priced rather competitively too. Yes, 42 grand is a considerable chunk of cash. But given those impressive specs, it is a reasonable asking price.
It's an offer that we just can't refuse.