Phone Comparisons: Motorola DROID Turbo vs ASUS ZenFone 2 (ZE551ML)

DROID Turbo vs ZenFone 2 cam AH


Boy do we have a good one for you today – the new ASUS ZenFone 2 takes on the Motorola DROID Turbo in this comparison of specifications…which one deserves the win?  While it is true that the DROID Turbo came out in the late Fall, with its beautiful QHD AMOLED display, improved camera and huge battery, it deserves a chance to defend itself against this new addition from China.  We picked the ZE551ML model with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal memory – the best that ASUS can offer – to represent itself in this matchup.

First, we will look at these two devices to see if we can find any common grounds between the two of them.  Both, the ZenFone 2 and DROID Turbo are very similar in size and both have a similar size display – the ZenFone 2 comes in a little larger at 5.5-inches, while the DROID Turbo is 5.2-inches.  The DROID Turbo also offers a 64GB memory option, that is standard in the ZE551ML model, with the ZenFone 2 offering a microSD card slot to add an additional 64GB and the DROID Turbo not offering an expansion option.  They both have the usual suspects – Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, NFC and a microUSB port for charging and data transfer.  Both have a non-removable battery and both offer a form of quick charging the battery.

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 their pros and cons.  From all of this information, we will try to determine the winner based on specs and execution of design and functions.


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Motorola DROID Turbo

Droid-Turbo-AH-6The Motorola DROID Turbo is from Verizon’s infamous DROID collection and you will never mistake the 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, although they did throw in a ballistic nylon model this year as well.  The DROID Turbo is a solid build and while slightly bulky, is a good feel in your hand.

In the past, Verizon’s DROID lineup was nice, but they would never win any performance races.  However, with the DROID Turbo, Verizon really had Motorola up the specs, 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 565 pixels-per-inch (PPI) compared to the 403 PPI on the Full HD (FHD) ZenFone 2.  Moto even used the best processor that Qualcomm currently had out – the 32-bit quad-core 805 clocked at 2.7GHz…the same processor found in numerous flagships…but it cannot quite stand up to the 64-bit Intel Atom quad core in the ZenFone 2.  The DROID Turbo comes with 3GB of RAM, versus 4GB used in the ZenFone 2, and it comes with 32GB of internal storage with no room for expansion.  Motorola did offer a 64GB version by online order only, but 32GB seems to be the largest they are now offering.  The ZenFone 2 comes with 64GB but allows for internal expansion of up to an additional 64GB.

Camera quality is certainly not a thing that pops in the mind talking about Motorola devices, but they really upped the main camera for the DROID Turbo with a 21-megapixel Sony Sensor and then threw in auto-focus and a dual LED flash – still no OIS, but that feature is also absent from the ZenFone 2.  The DROID Turbo has a rather anemic 2-megapixel front-facing camera (FFC) whereas the ZenFone 2 uses a large 5-megapixel FFC.  The 3,900mAh, non-removable battery in the DROID Turbo is awesome and much larger than the non-removable 3,000mAh battery in the ZenFone 2 – both devices, have Quick Charge option and the DROID Turbo even includes the Motorola Turbo Charger in the box.

As far as additional features go – the DROID Turbo does have a front-facing speaker, 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 is only available on Verizon for a very attractive $100 on a two-year contract and $500 off-contract for the 32GB model…the 64GB model is no longer listed as an option.

ASUS ZenFone 2 (ZE551ML)

AH Zenfone 2 Red May 3rd Batch 1-17The ASUS ZenFone 2 is definitely a sharp looking device and they stole a few tricks from the LG G3 and G4 by using a plastic body with a brushed metallic-like finish.  When you first pick it up, you immediately notice it is not the metal you thought you were initially grabbing.  The ZenFone 2 also stole the placement of rocker switch for the volume control on the back of the device, however, the on/off button is somewhat awkwardly place on the top of the device – it is not the great feel of the LG series.  You immediately feel a little cheated, but the ZenFone 2 does not feel cheap…simply different from what you first expected.  The nicely rounded sides make the ZenFone 2 easy to hold and help to explain its 10.9 mm thickness.

The ASUS ZenFone 2 sports a 5.5-inch IPS LCD FHD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 403 PPI, but it cannot touch the 565 PPI of the QHD AMOLED display of the DROID Turbo.  This model of ZenFone 2 is the top-of-the-line with a 64-bit Intel Atom Z3580 quad-core processor clocked at 2.3GHz and coupled to 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal memory as well as an available 64GB of expansion by way of a microSD card.  This compares to the DROID Turbo’s 32-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 quad-core processor, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of onboard storage and no means to expand.

ASUS has a decent camera area on the ZenFone 2 with a 13-megapixel sensor for the main camera and included autofocus and a dual-tone LED flash, but no OIS.  This compares to the 21-megapixel sensor on the DROID Turbo, also with no OIS. The ZenFone 2 comes with a large 5-megapixel FFC for social selfies and video chatting – the DROID Turbo has a rather small 2-megapixel FFC.  Both will take good photos in everyday light, but the ZenFone 2 should excel in the selfies area.  The back easily comes off the ZenFone 2, but it still uses a non-removable 3,000mAh battery, while the DROID Turbo has a huge 3,900 non-removable battery.  Both should easily get you through a day of heavy use, with the DROID Turbo winning the battle in the end.

This Dual-SIM ZenFone 2 is running Android 5.0 Lollipop along with its ZenUI Skin overlay that has followed the Google Material Design look and sports a FM radio not found in the DROID Turbo.  You can also find the ASUS ZenFone 2 (ZE551ML) with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of memory on Amazon for only $299 and comes in black, silver, gold, or red.

…And The Winner Is…

AH Zenfone 2 Red May 3rd Batch 1-12


This was a very tough decision – on one hand, you have the DROID Turbo with a QHD display, water resistance, huge battery and a couple extra features such as a front-facing speaker, a built-in IR Blaster and wireless Qi charging.  All great features, but when it comes to others specifications, the ASUS ZenFone 2 just is too much for the older DROID Turbo to handle, so I am giving the win to the ZenFone 2.

The ZenFone 2 may only have a FHD display, but it is packing a 64-bit processor compared to the 32-bit found in the DROID Turbo.  It also has 4GB of RAM versus the 3GB in the DROID Turbo as well as 64GB of base memory that is expandable.  Both devices take good pictures and the fact that the ZenFone 2 has a 5-megapixel FFC versus only a 2-megapixel is a winner considering the importance of social media selfies keeps growing.  The ZenFone 2 does not have an IR Blaster, but it does offer a built-in FM Radio.  While the DROID Turbo does offer a huge 3,900mAh battery, the ZenFone 2 is no slouch in the battery department providing 3,000mAh of power that will easily see you through a full day.  Then we get down to the price – while Verizon is only selling the DROID Turbo 32GB model, they have lowered the DROID Turbo’s two-year pricing down to only $100, but its off-contract price is still $500 or $200 more than the ZenFone 2’s model that includes more RAM and 64GB of memory.

If you feel the need to purchase the DROID Turbo, do not be afraid, as it is a great device and a lot of phone for the money.  The ZenFone 2, while not as well-known is going to make a name for itself, especially with those specs at such a reasonable price.