In the July 2016 Technology Q&A item "Smartphones: Breaking News!!!", I recommended that readers consider the Motorola Turbo 2 smartphone because it's virtually unbreakable. Here's an update. I dropped my Turbo 2 phone through a couch, and when I tilted the couch to retrieve the phone, I rocked the couch's metal frame atop the phone and completely shattered the screen; or at least so I thought.
I was disappointed for two days until I looked closer and discovered that it was the third-party screen protector I had installed that shattered. The phone itself was not damaged. Had I not upgraded to an indestructible phone, I would have been (yet again) facing the disheartening task of repairing or replacing my phone. Based on this experience, I stand by my recommendation—indestructibility is still my top feature to look for when buying a new smartphone. However, I do have a few minor complaints about the Turbo 2, as follows:
- Prone to scratches. While the screen doesn't break, I discovered it is susceptible to scratches when the keys in my pocket rubbed against it, which is why I have installed an additional screen protector to prevent scratches.
- Scant memory. As mentioned in my July article, the Turbo 2's memory is fixed at 32 gigabytes, which is too little in my opinion, as I've had to uninstall apps and delete photos multiple times to install new apps or take additional photos. I would prefer 64 GBs of memory, at a minimum.
- Autofill. My Samsung Galaxy S6 was good about autofilling my email address after typing two or three letters, but my Turbo 2 requires me to type in my entire email address nearly every time an app requests this information.
- No "close all apps" option. Many smartphones provide an option to close all open apps, but the Turbo 2 requires you to close each open app individually.
- Battery life. Motorola reports a standby battery life of 14.85 days, or 48 hours of regular use. Perhaps the standby claim is true, but I've never left my phone alone for 14.85 days to find out. However, I have found that after brightening the screen well above the factory setting, and running numerous apps that make heavy use of the phone's battery power (such as GPS-based apps), my Turbo 2 must be recharged almost every day. Only occasionally can I squeeze two full days of moderate use out of the battery.
If you are pleased with your smartphone (or a particular smartphone feature), I'd like to hear about it; please send me a quick email at email@example.com telling me which phone you have and why you like it. Thank you.
About the author
J. Carlton Collins (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a technology consultant, a CPE instructor, and a JofA contributing editor.
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