Hands-on with Motorola's shockingly sturdy Droid Turbo 2

Motorola's new Droid Turbo is here, and its arrival might be a tough pill to swallow for Verizon customers who just shelled out cash for a new Moto X. After a bit of hands-on time, though, it's clear that the Droid Turbo 2 has plenty of compromises of its own.

For one, I find it a little lacking in the charm department. This is all a matter of taste obviously, but I still strongly prefer the curvier, almost friendlier aesthetic we got with the Pure edition. Still, this sleek (if squarish) look is an improvement over the chunkiness of last year's Turbo, and it means the phone should be pretty tough to kill. In fact, I've already been accidentally testing the Turbo 2's shatterproof screen and uber-durable body. While climbing into a cab back to the office, the Turbo slipped out of my back pocket, thunked off the curb and skittered for a bit on the hard asphalt. I've shattered a Note 5's screen with a lesser drop, so I heaved a hefty sigh of relief when I saw the Turbo was more-or-less unscathed. Don't expect to toss this thing off a building and see it survive, though -- for all Motorola's bluster, the Turbo is only really meant to shrug off those everyday tumbles. Still, it's nice to see company focus less on the ceaseless march of device thinness and do something that might actually improve the smartphone experience for people.

Droid Turbo 2 & Maxx 2 Hands-On

If you're the sort of person who liked the cool, even tones of the Pure edition's 5.7-inch screen, well, you might hate the Turbo. Its 2560x1440 display has really punchy colors by dint of being an AMOLED panel, but seeing the two side-by-side is honestly sort of shocking — the yellow of Chrome's logo came out goldenrod and all of the reds of Verizon's bloatware are liable to sear some retinas. Then again, some people are in to that sort of thing, so who am I to judge? Oh, and those barely-there bezels seen on the new Moto X? The Turbo 2 wasn't as lucky, so there's lots of empty space running around the display's edges.

Since this is a Droid, expect bloatware all over the place -- there are nine Verizon apps preloaded on the device, not to mention four games most people will never play and a smattering of Amazon apps to fulfill some contractual obligations. The rest of the software experience is a mostly clean version of Android 5.1.1, albeit with the occasional Motorola widget. Thankfully, it looks like most of the thoughtful software tricks we got on the Pure edition are intact here, and I've been waving my hand over the infrared-sensing Moto Display since I got the phone. Motorola says a Marshmallow update should be coming soon too; the development team apparently wrapped up the on the Turbo 2's software just as Marshmallow was being announced. The rest of the particulars are hard to test in the field. Swiping through apps and scrolling through websites was no problem for the Turbo 2, and the few test photos I snapped with the 21-megapixel rear camera were surprisingly good given the low light in Verizon's demo space. After playing with this thing for a bit, the Droid Turbo 2 certainly seems like a good phone, but is it capable of achieving greatness? You'll have to stick around for our full review to find out.