Motorola Droid Turbo 2 vs Moto X Pure Edition comparison: Is unbreakable unbeatable?

© NextPit

The two top phones in Motorola's stable are the Moto X Pure Edition and the Droid Turbo 2. The X series has come a long way since its humble beginnings, and the Pure Edition is a worthy flagship. The Droid Turbo 2 expands its features, most notably with an "unbreakable" screen. Which should you buy? Find out in our Moto X Pure Edition vs Motorola Droid Turbo 2 comparison.

Note: the Moto X Pure Edition and Droid Turbo 2 are known as the Moto X Style and Moto X Force outside the US.

Droid Turbo 2 vs Moto X Pure Edition: Design

These are pretty similar looking phones, as you'll see in the photo below.There are some pretty important design distinctions, however.

The most obvious of these is the material used on the back of the device. The components that help make the Droid Turbo 2 screen "unbreakable" (more on that later), including the Ballistic Nylon finish, also make the phone considerably heavier and also less pleasing to the eye. In contrast, the Moto X Pure Edition has a silicone finish that makes it ergonomic, easy to handle and a lot lighter.

Spot the difference: the Moto X Pure Edition (left) and Droid Turbo 2 (right). / © ANDROIDPIT

Both have a microSD and SIM card slot at the top next to the headphone jack, but the aluminum strip that surrounds the rear camera is slimmer and more elegant on the Moto X Pure Edition.

Flip the phones over and there are a few more differences, predominantly in the speaker department. The Moto X Pure Edition has a speaker at the top and bottom of the frame, providing stereo sound, not dissimilar to the Moto G 2014. In contrast, the Droid Turbo 2 has two small speaker bars at the bottom of the front of the phone, which gives a less rounded mono sound. 

The Droid Turbo 2 also has slightly higher edges along its sides and is a little wider than the Pure Edition. While the Droid Turbo 2 can look great, especially with the vintage leather cover, there's little doubt the Moto X Pure Edition takes the design prize.

Droid Turbo 2 vs Moto X Pure Edition: Display

Both of these phones have 2K resolution (2,560 x 1,440 pixels) but that's pretty much where the display similarities end. The most noticeable difference is screen size; the Moto X Pure Edition's is 5.7 inches and the Droid Turbo 2's is 5.4 inches. 

The Droid Turbo 2 uses P-OLED, an AMOLED panel made from a flexible plastic, while the Moto X Pure Edition has an LCD TFT screen with IPS technology that enhances the viewing angles. As a result, the colors and contrast are more intense in the Droid Turbo 2, while the brightness is better in the Moto X Pure Edition.

The Moto X Pure Edition (left) has stereo speakers. The Droid Turbo 2 has an unbreakable screen. © ANDROIDPIT

The biggest difference between the two is how their screens are protected. The Droid Turbo 2 layers different materials to make what Motorola claims is an unbreakable screen. It is offering a four-year warranty to back up this claim. It's a godsend for the clumsy among us.

The Moto X Pure Edition is protected by Gorilla Glass 3 which makes it a little softer to the touch but also means your fingers are more likely to slip a little as you press the screen. But it is a little easier to keep clean than the Droid Turbo 2's display.

Droid Turbo 2 vs. Moto X Pure Edition: Software

The Moto X Pure Edition has recently received the Marshmallow update, bringing a host of internal improvements but not a huge amount of visual change to the pre-installed Lollipop 5.1, which is what the Droid Turbo 2 runs. When that phone will get Marshmallow is yet to be announced.

The main difference the upgrade has offered to the Moto X Pure Edition is that the system font is slightly thinner and the system menus are a little more intuitive, while Google Now is also improved. Both devices run on Google and the Google App Launcher so the wallpapers and icons are the same.

Droid Turbo 2 vs. Moto X Pure Edition: Performance

The Moto X Pure Edition has an 808 Snapdragon processor (MSM8992), with six cores at 1.8 GHz and 3GB of RAM LPDDR 3. The model of the GPU is the Adreno 418 (600 MHz), which is able to run games including Vainglory, Asphalt Nitro and Need for Speed No Limits without lagging or dropping frames.

Both phones handle gaming well./ © ANDROIDPIT

In contrast, the Droid Turbo 2 has an 810 Snapdragon (MSM8994) processor with eight cores at a frequency of 2.0 GHz. Four of the cores are Cortex-A53 1.5 GHz and four are Cortex-A57 2.0 GHz. The GPU Manning device is the Adreno 430, which is capable of playing videos in 4K and running high-level games such as Implosion and Vainglory. However, it can get a little hot during charging and when using 4G for long periods.

Despite the differences in processing specifications, the speed of the two devices is actually quite similar, as you can see from the results of our test in AnTuTu. 

androidpit antutu test english force style 2
Benchmark results for the Droid Turbo 2 (left) and the Moto X Pure Edition (right). / © ANDROIDPIT

Droid Turbo 2 vs. Moto X Pure Edition: Camera

Both devices feature a 21 MP rear camera with f / 2.0 aperture and offer dual-tone LED CCT color balancing technology. The Motorola camera software is the same on both devices and includes Rapid Focus (fast focus), HDR, panorama, geolocation and an integrated QR Code reader.

At the front, both have a 5MP camera with a large aperture that's ideal for selfies. They also have HDR, touch exposure control and a front LED flash, complete with warning light. Perhaps the best way to get a sense of the two cameras is by taking a look at the photos below.

IMG 20151121 174038702 HDR
Moto X Pure Edition in automatic mode. / © NextPit
IMG 20151121 174035787
Droid Turbo 2 in automatic mode. / © NextPit
IMG 20151120 021217301 HDR
Moto X Pure Edition in night mode. / © NextPit
IMG 20151120 021135233
Droid Turbo 2 in night mode. / © NextPit
IMG 20151121 181122660
Moto X Pure Edition in HDR mode. / © NextPit
IMG 20151121 181141931
Droid Turbo 2 in HRD mode. / © NextPit

As you can see, it's fairly safe to say that the Droid Turbo 2 has a higher sensitivity to light, especially when there's not much of it. Its sensor can also deliver better night-time shots with less blur and exposure burst.

In contrast, the Moto X Pure Edition is not quick to autofocus, meaning images often end up looking different from how they looked on your screen before you took the shot.

Droid Turbo 2 vs. Moto X Pure Edition: Battery

Along with the unbreakable screen, the enormous 3,760 mAh battery is one of the Droid Turbo 2's strongest features. It can last for up to 36 hours with moderate use, almost unheard of these days, up to 16 hours of moderate 4G use and up to 22 hours of Wi-Fi use.  

The Moto X Pure Edition has a more typical 3,000mAh battery and you'd expect it to just about last the day under moderate use and last about 11 hours when you're using Wi-Fi. Since the addition of Marshmallow, the Moto X Pure Edition does get a little warmer, especially when you're hammering the 4G, although Marshmallow has made charging a little faster too.

The turbo charger can deliver power quickly./ © ANDROIDPIT

Both come with a 25W Turbo Charger, which is able to deliver about 40 percent charge in 25 minutes and the Droid Turbo 2 is also compatible with wireless turbo charging.

Droid Turbo 2 vs. Moto X Pure Edition: Technical Specifications

Motorola Moto X Force vs. Motorola Moto X Style technical specifications

  Motorola Moto X Force Motorola Moto X Style

Droid Turbo 2 vs. Moto X Pure Edition: Conclusion

Despite their relatively similar looks, these are two pretty distinct phones and each should appeal to different people. 

The Droid Turbo 2 has a significantly better camera and battery life, but it's the shatterproof screen and general robustness that really sets it apart. If you're forever worried about dropping the newer, sleeker phones available, this could be the one for you - although it's worth remembering it's just the screen that's unbreakable not the whole phone. But its major minus point is the price – the Droid Turbo 2 retails at about US$624.

The Moto X Pure Edition is a better choice for those who like a more aesthetically pleasing phone and are confident in their handling abilities. It also has better overall specifications, Marshmallow, and good storage capacity and can be picked up for about US$399.

What do you think? Do you prefer the Moto X Pure Edition or the Droid Turbo 2? Let us know in the comments. 

Matt Pearson

Matt Pearson

Matt Pearson's love for all things tech was sparked in late-80s England by the humble Commodore 64 and has yet to fade. Although his career has mostly seen him work as a news journalist, he's always been a keen observer of the mobile world and has the evangelical certainty of the late-life convert to Android.

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  • Martha Paxson Aug 21, 2016 Link to comment

    I bought the Turbo 2 last November - mostly because I'm the kind of person who wants the newest phone that is out, AND Motorola allowed me to create my own unit and pay over time with their credit. I have had two of the Moto X phones before - Gen 1 and Gen 2. I like my Turbo 2, even though it does get a little hot sometimes. I've updated it to the Marshmallow system, although I'm not sure I even notice what the difference actually is.

    The battery life (and previous experience with Motorola) is what really drew me to the phone, as well as the great 21 MP camera. No matter what battery life is promised, however, I live on the "edge of the world," so to speak, related to the 4G network. This means that my battery gets through the day - barely. When I go to work (a small rural high school in the middle of the cornfields), my signal is nonexistent. Sometimes I don't get texts or phone calls until a day or two later, if at all. Verizon has the most reliable service in the northeast part of Indiana where we live, so I will stick with them for now, even from the edge of nowhere.

    I've considered the Pure Edition since I loved my first two X's, but just can't give up the slightly better battery in the Turbo 2. I also LIKE the heavier, sturdier feel to the Turbo 2, and although I am very careful with the technology I purchase, having a shatterproof screen is great. (I still always use the screen protectors as well as a case of some kind - Cruzerlite has some of the most affordable, effective protection for a variety of phones.)

  • Bruce Garlock Jun 19, 2016 Link to comment

    Had the Moto X 2015 Pure, dropped it on concrete, and the screen shattered. I'm now on a Turbo 2, and both the speed and battery life is measurably better. Not to mention, I don't need to worry about a shattered screen anymore. The battery is phenomenal. While I could have the Pure lag slightly from time to time, the Turbo 2 is instant everything. It does get a little warm, but there's 8 flipping cores!!

  • Chris Wood Dec 21, 2015 Link to comment

    Pure Edition. Got it Friday and it looks better then Droid (bloatware) 2. It already has Marshmallow and will probably have Android N before Verizon allows Marshmallow on the Droid 2

  • William K. Dec 15, 2015 Link to comment

    Droid turbo 2. better battery life and unbreakable. but the price difference makes it a tough decision.

  • john harold Dec 10, 2015 Link to comment

    Until yesterday I thought I might go with the Pure Edition vs Turbo 2 . I have owned Droid Turbo 2 for almost a month . I went with the 64 gb custom leather , very nice but I liked the larger size and front stereo on the 5.7" Pure Edition better . That is until yesterday while in a conversation with a friend as I talked with my hands as I usually do my phone flew out of my hand hit a parked car and landed flat on face of phone on old asphalt parking lot . Originally I freaked thinking I just broke it as I have had similarly dropped old phones in the past , but when I picked it up there wasn't even a scratch . Although I wish the Turbo 2 had same size and stereo as the Pure Edition I am happy with everything else especially the Unbreakable part Lol .

  •   31
    Deactivated Account Dec 10, 2015 Link to comment

    I'm a fan of moto, these are great device's, but not great enough for me to change my 2nd gen Moto X, for me it's physical size with 5.2" screen is perfect compromise, compact easy to use 1 handed, and easy on my pocket.

  • storm Dec 9, 2015 Link to comment

    Pure Edition

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