Motorola DROID Turbo vs Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Oh, Motorola, what have you done with us, releasing such a decked-out smartphone, and leaving it as a Verizon exclusive? The DROID Turbo justifies its title by offering the best that component makers currently have on the market – Quad HD panel, Snapdragon 805 chipset, and a 20 MP camera, all backed up with a giant for the category 3900 mAh battery, promising a two-day endurance, something unheard of for a QHD phone.
Actually, there is no other match for the DROID Turbo in the market, but Samsung's freshly-brewed Note 4 mega-monster, which in its turn sports a larger, 5.7” QHD screen, also an 805 chipset, and an optically-stabilized 16 MP shooter. That is why are pitting the two current Android champions in the cage, and making sure there are no under-the-belt punches...
Smaller and chubbier, the DROID Turbo weighs as much as the larger Note 4, but feels more ergonomic in the palm.
The two phones are fatties for today's demanding standards of sub-8mm flagships, yet the Note 4 clocks in at 0.33” (8.5mm), while the Turbo has the whopping up to 11.2mm girth, depending on whether you get the thinner Metallic, or the just slightly thicker Ballistic Nylon model. Hey, that gigantic battery has to fit somewhere, right? Given the much smaller display, the Turbo is way more comfortable to operate with one hand than the largish Note 4. The phones weigh the same, though, which doesn't bode very well for the thuggish Turbo, which is much smaller.
Samsung offers a removable back cover, which lets you swap the battery, or add more storage, while the Turbo doesn't. The Samsung phablet also comes with the S Pen stylus and its fingerprint scanner, ushering in one more input method, and one more security layer, in case you are inclined to use those.
Motorola does have a few tricks up its sleeve in terms of design against the Note 4 as well, since it offers a few versions of the Turbo with innovative materials like ballistic nylon and metalized fiber for the chassis, and there is even an eye-catchy red version, too. Samsung made the Note 4 look more premium than its predecessors, however, with a metal side rim, so we'd call it a draw in the design department.
The Turbo might sport record pixel density, but Note 4 nails it in every aspect that matters, like color accuracy and peak brightness.
The 5.2” 1440x2560 resolution panel of the Turbo holds the pixel density record with the breathtaking 565ppi. Galaxy Note 4 is not far behind, though, as it boasts the same resolution, but on a 5.7” display diagonal, returning 515ppi. Both are some of the best numbers in the industry, so no matter what pixel matrix is used to achieve those crazily crammed dots, you'd be hard pressed to find any jaggies in small text, icons, and throughout the interface.
Both panels are of the AMOLED variety, but they are pretty different. We measured the Note 4 to offer great 6700K color temperature and to be very, very color-accurate in its Basic screen mode. The Droid Turbo has an even better white point (6600K), very near to the reference 6500K, but its colors are not accurate. The Turbo exhibits very oversaturated greens, which goes somewhat for the reds and blues as well, and the color points are off the standard marks for the most part, while the Note 4 fits very nicely in the sRGB gamut reference. Keep in mind that previous Samsung phones, like the S5, S4 and Note 3, have proven that many people like these oversaturated but inaccurate colors, and the Droid Turbo isn't worse than them.
Another DROID Turbo display downside is that it is pretty dim, at 248nits measures, against the 468 nits of the Note 4, so you will have trouble telling what's on the screen of the Turbo on a bright sunny day outdoors.
Thus, we'd have to give the display round to the Note 4.
Display measurements and quality
|Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better||Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better||Contrast Higher is better||Color temperature (Kelvins)||Gamma||Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better||Delta E grayscale Lower is better|
|Samsung Galaxy Note 4||468
|Motorola DROID Turbo||248
The numbers below represent the amount of deviation in the respective property, observed when a display is viewed from a 45-degree angle as opposed to direct viewing.
|Maximum brightness Lower is better||Minimum brightness Lower is better||Contrast Lower is better||Color temperature Lower is better||Gamma Lower is better||Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better||Delta E grayscale Lower is better|
|Motorola DROID Turbo||50.8%
|Samsung Galaxy Note 4||68.8%
The CIE 1931 xy color gamut chart represents the set (area) of colors that a display can reproduce, with the sRGB colorspace (the highlighted triangle) serving as reference. The chart also provides a visual representation of a display's color accuracy. The small squares across the boundaries of the triangle are the reference points for the various colors, while the small dots are the actual measurements. Ideally, each dot should be positioned on top of its respective square. The 'x: CIE31' and 'y: CIE31' values in the table below the chart indicate the position of each measurement on the chart. 'Y' shows the luminance (in nits) of each measured color, while 'Target Y' is the desired luminance level for that color. Finally, 'ΔE 2000' is the Delta E value of the measured color. Delta E values of below 2 are ideal.
This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.
The Color accuracy chart gives an idea of how close a display's measured colors are to their referential values. The first line holds the measured (actual) colors, while the second line holds the reference (target) colors. The closer the actual colors are to the target ones, the better.
This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.
The Grayscale accuracy chart shows whether a display has a correct white balance (balance between red, green and blue) across different levels of grey (from dark to bright). The closer the Actual colors are to the Target ones, the better.
This measurements are made using SpectraCal's CalMAN calibration software.
1. Zylam (Posts: 764; Member since: 20 Oct 2010)
The Turbo/Maxx destroys the note 4. Note 4 in't even in the same league when compared to the real Android flagship.
2. ebubekir26 (Posts: 318; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)
review shows otherwise...
you OVER-exaggerated with the "DESTROYS THE NOTE 4" bs
they are currently the best smartphones you can get, I would personally choose the Note 4, the Turbo won't be available everywhere.
Imagine how fast the Note 4 would be with a little bit of tweaking like a custom rom...
20. bigmaster (Posts: 198; Member since: 05 Sep 2014)
The Note 4 scored 55000 on antutu running a custom rom !!!
36. LionStone (Posts: 743; Member since: 10 Dec 2010)
Imagine having a phone so fast that there isn't a need for a custom rom...that's the Turbo.
4. wilsong17 (unregistered)
Is that why it has poor maximum brightness
21. VZWuser76 (Posts: 4212; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)
They had an update already that fixed that.
28. cheetah2k (Posts: 1579; Member since: 16 Jan 2011)
Would be nice if iPhone4rena would update their screen tests based on the latest update..... But of course they wouldn't do that bcuz iPhone bias
29. g2a5b0e (Posts: 3724; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)
I'm sorry, but this is one of the most ridiculous accusatory posts I've seen yet. What would updating a brightness test for the Turbo have to do with the iPhone?! Are you that stupid? The phone already scored higher than the iPhones did this year! In fact, many Android phones did, but to you, Phone Arena is still biased. What else do you want? You fanboys will scream bloody murder over anything!
5. g2a5b0e (Posts: 3724; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)
Your comment is a joke. You might think it's better, but no one with a sane mind believes that the Turbo "destroys" the Note 4. Get real & tuck your bias back in. No one wants to see that.
16. JayFiveAlive (Posts: 67; Member since: 30 May 2014)
Can't tell if serious, but I'm thinking you're being sarcastic :)
19. McLTE (Posts: 824; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)
Have you even handled the Turbo or Note 4??
I played with both at the Verizon store. While the Turbo is pretty cool, it has a few things against it for what I (ME ME ME) want in a phone.
1. I don't want to go backwards to a 5.2" phone. That's just me.
2. There is no LED notification light. That's huge for me.
3. No removable battery. HUGE. With the idea of keeping a phone for 2 years, the batteries do NOT last that long. Can the Turbo have it's battery replaced??
4. No IR blaster. Not a game breaker, but it's great to have.
5. No SD card slot. I have taken advantage of this too many times to not have it.
6. The reviews show the brightness of the Turbo display is lacking.
What I DO like about the Turbo is the chassis and how it handles. People talk about how fat it is.. but it feels great in the hand. I don't want a 5mm phone. I also like the carbon fiber back.
Overall, the Note 4 is better in my opinion for what I want in a phone.
23. VZWuser76 (Posts: 4212; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)
Just a quick little thing about phone batteries. We're waiting for my brother's replacement phone for his Droid Incredible, the original. Up until a month ago, he still had the original battery in there. So it made it roughly 4 years. Not saying they all will, but the capability is there.
35. LionStone (Posts: 743; Member since: 10 Dec 2010)
Ya people like to use the old "I have to have a removable battery because they go bad" excuse, but really I just hear how Samsung batteries overheat and go bad? So I guess that's why they are removable so they can buy more batteries lol!
39. g2a5b0e (Posts: 3724; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)
Better than buying a whole new phone when your battery goes bad.
30. SupermanayrB (Posts: 571; Member since: 20 Mar 2012)
Haven't read all of the comments yet, but this is the most sensible comment by far.
My Note 4 pros:
Easier one hand operation
Have to test the 2 for myself to know which one is really want.
26. T.Law (Posts: 414; Member since: 10 May 2014)
The only things that the Droid has got over the Note 4 is the battery life and arguably better build material. The Note 4 takes the cake.
33. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 10115; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)
What? Its the same phone with a smaller display, no pen, no multi-window and more. 20MP camera means nothing if it doesn't take better pictures.
The Turbo is newer and slightly better but it certainly doesn't destroy the Note 4.
38. blackfury (Posts: 1; Member since: 05 Nov 2014)
Yeah,you're right,Note 4 is a class over Motorola Droid!
With the last version of AnTuTu 5,Note 4 scored 50500 with original TouchWiz!
With custom rom he will destroy Droid Turbo!
3. Busyboy (unregistered)
Really tough one. But I think the Note 4 is advantaged here.
6. RocKO03 (Posts: 10; Member since: 18 Apr 2014)
Hey, John V did you update the Droid Turbo to the latest system update from Motorola? I think it fixes the brightness issue many websites mention that..
7. scarface21173 (Posts: 156; Member since: 17 Aug 2014)
I like both, my preference would be the Motorola just because your guaranteed regular updates and I don't like unwanted bloatware.
8. Martin_Cooper (Posts: 1431; Member since: 30 Jul 2013)
Considering Note 4 is a phablet which is not something majority of people will choose the droid turbo is an overall winner since more people would be comfortable with its size.
10. Scarambay (Posts: 88; Member since: 18 Jan 2013)
Moto's cameras are usually meh, but I'll wait for the Turbo's samples before I come to a conclusion. Note 4 for me as of now.
12. Taters (banned) (Posts: 6474; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)
The GS5 LTE A holds the pixel density record, not the Droid turbo. Although I am not sure if it's as good as the Note 4 display.
24. VZWuser76 (Posts: 4212; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)
With the Samsung using a 5.1" at 577 ppi and Motorola using a 5.2" at 565 ppi, I doubt the difference is noticeable.
34. hurrycanger (Posts: 1563; Member since: 01 Dec 2013)
I don't think the main point was bragging about how much better the S5 LTE A is. The point was to correct the article where it says "the Turbo holds the pixel density record".
Anyway, I agree with you.
41. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5711; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
they're pixel density record breakers in their respective markets anyway...
13. Taters (banned) (Posts: 6474; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)
I wouldn't get either one because of their massive footprints but if I had to pick one I would pick the screen over the battery life.
14. Rich123 (Posts: 44; Member since: 30 Oct 2014)
I got my Turbo 64GB on the 30th and installed the firmware update. I didn't notice a major icrease in brightness. The Turbo is brighter than my older Razr M but both can be a little difficult to see with sunlight shining directly on the screen. I found that by turning around 180 deg the screen is in your shadow.
I haven't seen any mention of the fact that Motorola didn' include a file explorer app with the phone. I called their tech support, they said to nstall the ES File Explorer app from the Play Store.
17. Sakeem (Posts: 476; Member since: 05 Sep 2012)
I was wondering about this. I installed the firmware as well and i don't have trouble viewing the screen in direct sunlight. I never tested it pre firmware update though so i have nothing to compare it to.
15. DaveElliott (Posts: 115; Member since: 20 Sep 2012)
who cares which is better? I have a Note 4 and want every phone released after to be better or at least have a few advatages over it. Even if i was on Verizon and did not have the Note 4, i would probably not get the Motorola and would wait for something else. Just a personal preference. Still have to acknowledge their offering is pretty good. All this just means my next phone will be that much better.
22. McLTE (Posts: 824; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)
I also have the Note 4. I'm glad to see Moto continue to push the battery life. I hope they get strong sales from the Turbo and manufacturers see this as a wake-up call to start making the batteries bigger and last longer.
For ME, the Turbo is just lacking too many things to choose it over the Note 4 - No SD slot, No removable Batt, No LED, smaller screen. Those are all important to ME.
25. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
Neither phone destroys the other. They are nearly identical but built for different purposes.
27. Rich123 (Posts: 44; Member since: 30 Oct 2014)
I stopped in at a Verizon authorized retailer two hours ago and compared my Turbo 64GB with the Samsung Note 4 and S5 on display. They don't have the Turbo. I opened the phoneArena webpage using Chrome and compared the pages side-by-side, with all 3 set to maximum brightness. The Note 4 and S5 displays are "brighter" than the Turbo. The white background of the phoneArena web page is "grayish" on the Turbo and bright white on the two Samsungs. There isn't much difference in the sharpness of the text, all are excellent.
The screen of the Turbo is hard to see outdoors with sunlight directly on it but if you can rotate your body 180 deg then the screen will be in your shadow, provided you cast one.
Also no one has mentioned that there is no native file explorer App provided with the Turbo. I called Motorola tech support yesterday and asked them about this and they said "Yep". They recommended the free ES File Explorer from the Play Store which I installed. You can customize it to look almost the same as the stock one I have on my Droid Razr M.
31. SupermanayrB (Posts: 571; Member since: 20 Mar 2012)
So after your observation are you still cool with the Turbo? Does the grayish white bother you or are more content with the reasons why you bought it?
32. uzimafioso (Posts: 318; Member since: 15 Jul 2014)
No file explorer is a given on stock android devices. It's greyish cause of the lighting. The turbo has accurate white balance. The Note is brighter but in the native mode its bluish.
37. LionStone (Posts: 743; Member since: 10 Dec 2010)
Calling the design a "draw" is laughable! The Note 4 has hard corners, flat body, crappy plastic back, hideous texture, square camera lens!? "Note" to Sammy, camera lenses are "round", you know circular! Also light phones gives a cheap impression...so more of the same ol from Sammy, cheap removable back, no solid build quality, same ol iButton...Touchwiz... tsk...
40. Bourne12 (Posts: 1; Member since: 05 Nov 2014)
Back when I had the original Motorola Droid and my wife had the Samsung phone at the time I was jealous of her camera and the resolution it put out! I am always a fan of better battery life as I use my phone a lot. And the feel a phone in hand is big for me too but Samsung does have better camera by far. So I might get the S5 for camera and feel and sacrifice the better battery and bulky size from the note 4
42. yankohurta (Posts: 1; Member since: 23 Jan 2015)
A happy Moto Maxx 64GB (XT1225, Brazilian's Droid Turbo LTE version) here. After 6 years on Samsung platform (Galaxy S, S2, S3, S4 and Note 3) I went to my carrier store yesterday for a contract renew. They offered me a Note 4 or a Moto Maxx for the renew. Then I spent 2 entire hours playing and testing both, but the cluttered TW interface and battery consumption (I did the same tests on both phones - Note 4 consumed 32% more battery than Droid Turbo!) reminded me why I've beign flashing NON Sammy firmwares in all my Samsung phones all these years. :) I wanted a clean, flawless, uncluttered experience so the weights led me to Moto Maxx and couldn't be happier.
BTW, latest firmware loaded and max brightness is perfect even on the heavy sunlight I faced today (38º C at 1:00PM). Color temperature on max brightness is about 6550K and couldn't notice the "grayish" someone mentioned in Chrome or setting LCD to full white (R255, G255, B255) in a test tool. Only my 0.02 cents.
PS: Can someone tell me what is the clock/weather/battery widget they installed on the Droid Turbo for this review?