Do we have a good one for you today – the tried and true Motorola DROID Turbo goes up against the new HTC One M9. The One M9 will certainly grab the win in the looks department with a sculptured all-metal frame and exterior versus the plastic with Kevlar body of the DROID Turbo, complete with that unmistakable Motorola 'chin' on the lower edge. However, the Droid Turbo is built tough and with a new model adorned in Ballistic Nylon on the back, it adds a nice look and a great grip to the device.
Many think that HTC did not go far enough in making the One M9 a top-dog in the spec department to do battle against the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge or the new LG G4 that will be coming out. Does the DROID Turbo have what it takes to beat out the new HTC One M9? These devices do not have much in common, although the display size is close enough to call it a wash, but what about pixels-per-inch (PPI), processor, memory, camera, etc.
They both have 3GB of RAM and both have a 32GB option for internal storage. They both use Qualcomm processors, but different models. They both have the usual suspects – Wi-Fi, Bluetooth (4.0 in the DROID Turbo and 4.1 in the One M9), both have GPS, are NFC capable, a built-in IR Blaster, active noise cancellation with a dedicated mic, Quick Charge 2.0 and a microUSB 2.0 port for charging and data transfer.
Please take a deliberate look at the detailed Specifications Comparison chart below and here you will see just how these two great devices stack up against one another – click on the "View Full Comparison" link at the end of the chart to expand the details. After that, we will look at each individual device in greater detail and point out some of its pros and cons. From all of this information, we will try to determine the winner based on specs and execution of design and functions.
Motorola DROID Turbo
The Motorola DROID Turbo is from Verizon's DROID collection and you will never mistake the new DROID Turbo's design for anything but a DROID device – it has the familiar 'chin' at the bottom front and the shiny plastic and Kevlar backing. Solidly built and a good feel in your hand are all Motorola trademarks.
Verizon really had Motorola up the specs for the new DROID Turbo, making it a true flagship styled device. It comes with a 5.2-inch Quad HD (QHD) AMOLED display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 and a tremendous 565 (PPI) compared to the 441 PPI on the One M9. Moto used the best processor that Qualcomm currently had out – the quad-core 805 clocked at 2.7GHz…the same processor found in the new Nexus 6, Galaxy Note 4 and Note Edge…but it cannot quite stand up to the 64-bit Snapdragon 810 octa-core in the One M9. The DROID Turbo comes with 3GB of RAM, like the One M9, and it comes with either 32GB or 64GB (online purchase only) of internal storage with no room for expansion. The HTC One M9 has only a 32GB option, but allows for internal expansion of up to an additional 128GB.
When people think of Motorola, quality cameras are not the first thing that pops into your mind, but they really upped the main camera for the DROID Turbo with a 21MP Sony Sensor and then threw in auto-focus and a dual LED flash – still no OIS, but it is also painfully absent from the One M9. The DROID Turbo has the usual 2MP front-facing camera (FFC) whereas the HTC One M9 uses a 4MP UltraPixel for better low-light shots. The 3900mAh, non-removable battery in the DROID Turbo is awesome and much larger than the non-removable 2840mAh battery in the One M9 – both devices, because of their Qualcomm processors have Quick Charge 2.0 can take advantage of the 'turbo charging' capabilities, but the DROID Turbo includes the charger in the box.
As far as additional features go – the DROID Turbo does have a front-facing speaker that certainly cannot compete with the BoomSound on the One M9, a nano-coating for water resistance, it comes with the Turbo Charger in the box, has built-in wireless (Qi) charging and some great software. It has been updated to Android 5.0 Lollipop, is only available on Verizon for a very attractive $150 on a two-year contract and $550 off-contract for the 32GB model…add $50 for the 64GB model.
HTC One M9
There is no mistaking the new HTC One M9 as part of the 'One' family – it looks very similar to the One M7 and One M8, but there are a few subtle changes. The beautiful all-metal body still looks the same…it has a great solid feel about it and is certainly a beauty to look at and a joy to hold. HTC has slightly redesigned the body of the One M9 on the sides, where there is a small lip to help grip it better. There were complaints that the older models could become slippery.
It sports a 5-inch FHD Super LCD3 display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 441 PPI – not as good as the 565 PPI on the QHD display on the DROID Turbo. HTC did choose the most advanced Snapdragon processor on the market by using the 64-bit octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 with four cores clocked at 1.5GHZ and four cores clocked at 2.0GHz – one generation ahead of the 32-bit Snapdragon 805 in the DROID Turbo. It is packing 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, although it also has a microSD card for additional storage up to 128GB while the DROID Turbo uses 3GB of RAM, 32GB or 64GB of internal storage with no expansion.
It was nice to see HTC revamp their camera area by getting rid of the 4MP UltraPixel main camera and Duo Camera and replacing it with a Sony 20.7MP sensor with autofocus, dual-tone LED flash, still no OIS, but stacks up quite nicely with the camera on DROID Turbo. HTC moved the 4MP UltraPixel camera to the front, which should give you great selfies or video chatting, compared to the 2MP FFC in the DROID Turbo. It uses a non-removable 2840mAh battery…much smaller than the monster 3900mAh in the DROID Turbo. It also supports Quick Charge 2.0 thanks to the Qualcomm processor.
The HTC One M9 includes a built-in IR Blaster, like the DROID Turbo, a stereo FM radio and dual stereo front-facing speakers with BoomSound. It comes in Gunmetal Gray, Amber Gold, Silver/Rose Gold and Gold/Pink. It should be available in April running Android 5.0 Lollipop and pricing is around $649 off contract and $199 on a two-year contract.
…And The Winner Is…
This was really a tough decision for me – I know that the HTC One M9 is newer, but other than the 64-bit Snapdragon 810 and BoomSound speakers, I find very little else in its specs to justify it as the winner of this comparison. As much as I hate to do it, I am going to call this a tie – if you really love the all-metal body, Snapdragon 810 and BoomSound speakers, then the HTC One M9 is a great choice for you.
However, the Motorola DROID Turbo is a force to be reckoned with – it packs that beautiful QHD AMOLED display with 565 PPI, a terrific processor, the same 3GB of RAM and basically the same main camera. It also has front facing speakers, but adds water resistance, has a huge battery and they throw in the Turbo Charger all for $150 on a two year contract or $550 off-contract. It is hard to turn all of that down for a newer processor that may or may not have overheating issues.
Choose your poison – do you want metal, a newer processor and BoomSound or a better display, larger battery, built-in wireless charging, Motorola radios and technology all for less money. Only you can decide.