Amid the chaotic and ever-shifting smartphone world, Verizon Wireless’s Droid franchise persists.
It’s fitting, then, that Verizon and Motorola stressed durability with its Droid Turbo 2, which boasts a supposedly shatterproof display, a battery that can last two days, and can get a 13-hour charge in just 15 minutes. They also announced a lower priced Maxx 2 that similarly has a two-day charge.
The smartphones are the latest entries into the storied Droid franchise, which represent a bit of a throwback for many consumers. The original Droid, backed by a massive campaign from Verizon, Motorola and Google, catapulted the Android software into the mainstream when it launched in 2009.
But the relevancy of the Droid franchise waned, giving way to other flagship devices such as Samsung’s Galaxy S and Note smartphones, Google’s Nexus family and the HTC One line.
It’s also a rare exclusive at a time when other smartphone vendors have opted to broaden their distribution to multiple carriers. Verizon paid Lucasfilm for the rights to use the Droid name for its smartphone lineup.
Motorola and Verizon are banking on the fact that the shatterproof screen will get consumers to notice.
“The drop you hear is usually followed by the sound of tears,” Motorola President Rick Osterloh said at the press event shortly after dropping the phone on a concrete brick.
While the Droid franchise is a long way from its peak in 2009, analysts believe its durability will help it stand out.
“The shatterproof screen addresses a real consumer pain point,” said Avi Greengart, an analyst at Current Analysis.
The Turbo 2 will sell for $25 a month for the 32 gigabyte version and $40 for the 64 GB version, while the Maxx 2 will sell for $16 a month. The original Turbo will sell for $20 a month. The phones launch on Thursday.
The creation of the “Moto Shattershield” technology was not an easy challenge, Osterloh said. The Turbo 2 uses a unique chemical construction, including a flexible display and a rigid aluminum core to improve its durability.
The Droid Turbo 2 will also have access to Motorola’s Moto Maker feature, which allows consumers to tweak the look and materials of the device. Customers have access to materials like ballistic nylon and leather. Verizon said 64GB Droid Turbo 2 customers can change the look of their phone after two years.
The Droid Turbo 2 features a 3,760 mAh battery for a longer charge, a 21 megapixel rear camera and a 5 megapixel front-facing camera.
The Droid Maxx 2, meanwhile, features a 5.5-inch display and a microSD slot for 128 GB of expandable storage.