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DROID Turbo Root Method Now Available for $20

Posted by Kellex March - 25 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

The DROID Turbo root method that was first teased a couple of weeks ago is now available for purchase. Yes, I said “available for purchase.” The root game is difficult these days and it takes an awful lot of time to find exploits, so if you feel like rooting, you need to pay for the opportunity. “MOFOROOT” is the name of the Turbo’s root method and it runs $20 per device. 

You can find out all of the details (including purchase info) about MOFOROOT at this dedicated page. The official XDA thread for it can be found here. Instructions are provided at the MOFOROOT page, but if it makes little sense, a lengthy video of the root method in action has been included above.

It sounds like hell. Enjoy!

Cheers Nate!

DROID Turbo Root Method Now Available for $20 is a post from: Droid Life

DROID Turbo Drops to $149 at Verizon, $549 Off Contract

Posted by Kellex March - 13 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

You didn’t buy the DROID Turbo yesterday when the new Sapphire Blue ballistic nylon version dropped, did you? If so, you may want to ask Big Red for a price adjustment, because the price was cut this afternoon by $50 to $149 on-contract. The off-contract price dropped as well, from $599 to $549.

As a recap, the DROID Turbo is the first DROID in years that hasn’t brought shame to the brand. Motorola did everything they could to maxx out this phone by tossing in high-end specs like a 5.2-inch QHD display, Snapdragon 805 processor, 20MP camera, massive 3,900mAh battery, and then covered it in Ballistic Nylon, which is awesome, by the way. Be sure to read our DROID Turbo review if this phone is on your list.

At $149 with a 2-year contract or $549 without one, you are looking at a deal worth considering even with the Galaxy S6 on the way.

Verizon Link 

Cheers Aaron!

DROID Turbo Drops to $149 at Verizon, $549 Off Contract is a post from: Droid Life

DROID Turbo in Sapphire Blue Ballistic Nylon Now Available From Verizon

Posted by Kellex March - 12 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off

The DROID Turbo, a device that cracked our top 5 phones of 2014, is now available from Verizon in a shiny new Sapphire Blue color. Better yet, that blue is atop the Ballistic Nylon version of the Turbo, which is our personal favorite. Like the black Ballistic Nylon version, you can grab the new color for $199 on-contract, $24.99 per month on Edge, or for $599 without a contract.

As a recap, the DROID Turbo is the first DROID in years that lives up to the name. It features a QHD display, Snapdragon 805 processor, 20MP camera, and a massive 3,900mAh battery. It also runs stock Android with Motorola’s suite of Moto software add-ons and should get Lollipop any day. Right, Verizon and Motorola?

Be sure to read our DROID Turbo review if you haven’t already.

Verizon Link 

Via:  Verizon

DROID Turbo in Sapphire Blue Ballistic Nylon Now Available From Verizon is a post from: Droid Life

Minor DROID Turbo 21.44.12 Update Fixes a Couple of Bugs, Here is the Changelog

Posted by Kellex February - 23 - 2015 - Monday Comments Off

Over the weekend, owners of the DROID Turbo who were participating in a soak test of new software told us that the update was nothing more than a VoLTE fixer, instead of being Android 5.0 “Lollipop.” This morning, Verizon confirmed as much with a changelog posted to the Turbo’s support page.

The update is indeed software version 21.44.12 and it fixes three bugs. Those three bugs involve call volumes, the email application, and the DROID Command Center Widget. Verizon’s list of changes doesn’t even mention VoLTE or Advanced Calling 1.0.

You can see the list below. 

droid turbo update

Via: Verizon

Minor DROID Turbo 21.44.12 Update Fixes a Couple of Bugs, Here is the Changelog is a post from: Droid Life

Latest DROID Turbo Update Isn’t Lollipop After All, Just a VoLTE Fixer

Posted by Kellex February - 22 - 2015 - Sunday Comments Off

Back in late January, Motorola issued soak test invites to DROID Turbo owners who were interested in testing out a new software update. At the time, we just assumed that it would be Android 5.0 “Lollipop,” because well, the phone feels long overdue for its update to the newest version of Android. Then weeks went by and our readers still hadn’t received the update. That seemed like good news, because Lollipop is buggy and maybe pointed toward Motorola still polishing things up. And then yesterday, the update started rolling out. To say that folks are a little disappointed, is probably an understatement. 

The update is arriving as system version 21.44.12. It’s a VoLTE bug fixer. Or, Advanced Calling 1.0, according to Verizon. That’s it. No Lollipop.

I don’t know what else to say other than, maybe Lollipop is right around the corner, but it first needed a VoLTE fix? If it helps any, Lollipop is still kind of a buggy hot mess on most phones that have received it. My Moto X (2nd gen) “Pure Edition” is certainly not 100% in love, neither is the Galaxy S5 on Verizon.

I know that isn’t what you all want to hear because you are ready for Android 5.0, but this update feels like one that manufacturers need more time with. Or that Google needs more time with. It’s a huge update. Google released it with all sorts of bugs. After all, it was released in November and we have already gone from 5.0 to 5.0.1 to 5.0.2 to 5.1.

Try to stay patient.

Cheers droid, A, P, J, J, L, A, and M!

Latest DROID Turbo Update Isn’t Lollipop After All, Just a VoLTE Fixer is a post from: Droid Life

Deal: Just $12.99 for This Quick Charge 2.0 Adapter

Posted by Kellex February - 18 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

Back in January, I expressed my love for Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 2.0 technology that allows you to charge your phone at pretty insane speeds when compared to your typical USB charger. The technology has been made famous by Motorola within the last year, thanks to their use of it as a selling feature in the new Moto X, DROID Turbo, and Nexus 6. They are also selling a $35 Turbo Charger that can give your phone hours of use in just a few minutes time. But Quick Charge 2.0 is in more than Motorola devices. In fact, the HTC One (M8) from early last year has it, as does the Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact, and Galaxy Note 4. That’s right, most of the popular phones released within the last year have the technology built in.

Unfortunately, most official OEM Quick Charge 2.0 chargers aren’t cheap, so many of you have avoided buying any. Like I mentioned, Motorola sells their Turbo Charger for a whopping $35, but HTC also has a quick charge adapter that runs $35 too.

If you want a lower cost charger, you currently have to turn to places like Amazon. There are a handful of third party accessory makers now making Quick Charge 2.0 adapters, one of which is Tenergy, who just so happens to be hosting a Lightning deal over at Amazon at the moment. For just $12.99, you can grab yourself a Quick/Turbo charger and realize why I think it’s the future of charging.

As of right now, the deal is 41% claimed, so you may want to hurry.

Deal Link

Deal: Just $12.99 for This Quick Charge 2.0 Adapter is a post from: Droid Life

DROID Turbo Soak Test Incoming, is It Lollipop Time?

Posted by Kellex January - 28 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

Invites to a soak test of “an early preview of a new software release” for members of Motorola’s Feedback Network who own the DROID Turbo arrived this morning. Is it Lollipop time for Turbo owners? It might be, though the details in the invite aren’t specific enough for us to know for sure just yet. 

The invite, again, mentions that this soak test is for DROID Turbo owners to preview a “new software release.” If you jump through to the attached survey that tries to decide if these forum members would be a good fit for the test, questions about current software (21.44.8 specifically) and if the person has VoLTE/Advanced Calling 1.0 on their account are asked. No mention of Lollipop or Android 5.0 is there from what I have been told.

We should point out that the update to 21.44.8 that is referenced in the questionnaire rolled out back in December, giving the Turbo VoLTE and Advanced Calling 1.0. With references to both of those things appearing again in this survey, I’m wondering if this isn’t a VoLTE bug fixer, rather than Lollipop. Or maybe Motorola needs to confirm that the potential tester has both of those in order to test the new Lollipop build.

Hopefully we know for sure within the next day.

droid turbo soak

Cheers D, D, J, S and M!

DROID Turbo Soak Test Incoming, is It Lollipop Time? is a post from: Droid Life

5 Things Android Enthusiasts Care About Today

Posted by wicked January - 9 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

Last week I had the chance to hang out with Kellen and Tim while I was visiting family in Portland. One of the things that we talked about was what it was like to be an Android enthusiast back in 2009 and on. Back then, Android was about rooting, installing custom ROMs and kernels, customizing your device, and pushing the limits of the hardware.

It was also about not using an iPhone; at the time the iPhone was considered the state of the art device, and it would arguably continue to be a superior overall package for several years. While the iPhone had more apps and a more established ecosystem, the Motorola Droid boasted both a physical and software keyboard, real multitasking (it’s hard to remember now, but the iPhone didn’t get real multitasking until iOS 4), a higher resolution camera with a flash, customizable home screens with widgets, expandable storage, and a user-replaceable battery. It was the antithesis of the iPhone in so many ways, and those of us that used it were proud to say we didn’t use iPhones.

As I was reflecting on this, I began to wonder what it means to be an Android enthusiast today. How much has changed and how much has stayed the same? Read on for my top five things Android enthusiasts care about in 2015.


android 5.0 lollipop

Software Updates

If you are an Android enthusiast in 2015, you definitely still care about software updates. Google maintains a relatively aggressive update schedule for Android, but almost every release has goodies that every Android enthusiast wants to try out. Sure, most new applications today have support for Android 4.0+, so you probably don’t need Android 5.0, but since when has the wall that separates need and want been a barrier to you?

This means Android enthusiasts tend to still favor Nexus devices over others unless an OEM offers something that a certain user wants more than updates (I know, I’m having a hard time thinking of what that would be, too).

one m8 gpe lollipop


Customization

Customization used to be about what app icons you keep on your home screen. Remember when the dock wasn’t customizable without a third party launcher like Launcher Pro? How about whatever widgets you wanted to use? It also used to be about installing custom ROMs with specific themes.

Today, widgets are still very much a part of customization (I still find people who haven’t heard of UCCW) and some users still use ROMs, but I think most diehard Android users focus more on aesthetics than anything. I love that I can set up Nova with custom gestures and use SwiftKey with a Material theme, even though the 2013 Moto X is still on Kit Kat. Things like new wallpapers, gorgeous custom icon packs (Audax is still my favorite), custom home screen gestures, and custom hardware with devices like the Moto X are central to what Android enthusiasts care about today.

Nova Launcher


Google Apps and Services

While non-Google Android apps and services are important in China and other markets, most people want to use Android with Google services. It’s not just that the Play Store has most of the apps users want, either. If you are an Android enthusiast, then you are excited by products like Hangouts, YouTube, Gmail, Calendar, Drive, etc. These are not just products that you like to use, either; you want everyone to use them because they are clearly better than most of the alternatives out there, especially on Android.

Wanting to have the latest and greatest versions of these products keeps you on Android and thankful for updates via Google Play services.

google apps-1


SD Cards and Fast Charging or Replaceable Batteries

At this point in my list, I know we will have plenty of people on either side, but I think a lot of us still care about expandable storage and big, if not replaceable batteries. While I tend to feel neutral about the issue since I’ve been using iOS for the past four years, I have to admit that I like the idea of being able to throw an SD card plus an extra battery in my pocket when I know I might need it, just in case I will be taking a lot of pictures or I will be away from an outlet for a while. With replaceable batteries seemingly becoming more rare these days, I think Android enthusiasts are also excited about turbo charging. Being able to plug your phone in for a short period of time to gain several more hours of usage is an incredibly useful feature that Apple will surely “invent” in the coming years.

samsung galaxy s4 battery


Android Wear

Again, this point might be contentious, but I think it has merit. The only people who are using Android Wear right now are Android enthusiasts. Smart watches might eventually become more regular (with or without Apple’s help), but without the right story surrounding the product, smart watches will continue to be for enthusiasts only. Android enthusiasts might be on the fence about whether or not Wear is a viable product (like me), but that doesn’t mean we don’t want to see it succeed. Others love it for what it is and more importantly, what it could be. Wear is still very young and needs more work, but like the Motorola Droid, it does more than the competition and it has the potential to change the way we live.

Those are my top five things that I think Android enthusiasts care about in 2015. I’d love to see what other things you think define the Droid Life in the comments below.

moto 360 review-11

5 Things Android Enthusiasts Care About Today is a post from: Droid Life

Top 5 Android Phones of 2014

Posted by Kellex December - 29 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

2014 is over, in a day or so. That means we are reflecting on the year that was, the phones that took up a major portion of our lives, which apps were the best out of the hundreds of new ones, and which storylines dominated these airwaves. But in the end, this site’s coverage really revolves around two things – what comes out of Google (Android, services, Google Play, etc.) and which phones are the best in the world. The Google stuff will be discussed in varying ways over the next day, so for now, it’s time to focus on the best phones of the year. 

I think it’s safe to say that we spent an exhausting amount of time in 2014 with new phones, trying to help you decide if one (or all) should be your next. That’s not to say we didn’t enjoy every single minute of it, but even as companies have tidied up their release schedules, releasing fewer phones than ever, we found time to review even more phones this year than any other year before it. That’s due in part because there were more good, all-around phones than ever, but also because you asked for them to be reviewed and because you needed them to be reviewed.

Now that every major phone manufacturer (and some new comers) is creating excellent phones, the battle for the top has become closer than ever. It has become tougher and tougher to choose one phone over the next, to help you decide which is the best for you. Still, we went ahead and did it because well, the best of the best deserve the recognition.

These are the top 5 Android phones of 2014.


motox

1.  Moto X (2nd Gen) – Review

Shortly after reviewing this year’s Moto X, I told myself that Motorola would not be repeating as the maker of the top Android phone in 2014 (they topped our list in 2013). While I enjoyed the phone at the time of review, something seemed missing that was keeping it off the top of the chart. And then I reviewed both the DROID Turbo and Nexus 6, two additional Motorola phones that are very similar to the Moto X, though very much different at the same time. While I enjoyed each, after reviewing them, I immediately found myself back on the Moto X. I missed it. That leather. That in-hand feel. That performance. That Lollipop. “No,” I told myself after a day back with it, “this isn’t it.” Back on the Nexus 6 I went. For one day. The Moto X returned to my pocket (again). And then the HTC One (M8) Google Play Edition got Lollipop! On to it I went, hoping it would take me through the end of the year. Two days went by and I couldn’t take it. This year’s Moto X, is the phone of the year and it is in my pocket for the foreseeable future.

In a year where everyone has oversized all-the-things, Motorola has done so on the Moto X without being offensive (the same can’t be said for their Nexus 6). The Moto X grew, but it still fits perfectly in your hand and doesn’t have wasted space or length or girth. This phone was meant to be held, but also talked at without the need for your hand. Then again, with options like real Horween leather on its backside, you will want to hold it – a lot.

Does it have the best camera? No. Best battery life? Nope. Are both of those things good enough? Yes and yes. The camera improved this year over last year’s model and is no longer the worst on the market. Battery life isn’t great, but a Turbo Charger can erase those worries. Outside of those two things, you have the best performing Android phone on the market, one that gets updates to new versions of Android before even Nexus devices, can be customized to your liking (for free), is sold affordably as an unlocked model, and includes a set of Moto features that you won’t be able to live without once they enter your life.

The Moto X may not outsell any of the other phones on this list, but it’s still better than all of them.

note 4

2.  Samsung Galaxy Note 4 – Review

I killed the term “phablet” back in May. It’s an obnoxious word that causes instant headaches when spoken or heard. (Almost) No one should ever say it aloud. Well, there is one company that has the right to say it – Samsung. They do the tablet-phone hybrid like no one else. Sure, everyone tried to oversize all-the-things this year to compete with their Note line, but no one came close to executing a vision like the Note 4.

The Galaxy Note 4 sports a gorgeous metal frame, doesn’t waste any space even though it has a 5.7-inch QHD display, and still features more “phablet” specific features that are useful than all of its competitors combined. From it’s insane battery life to its improved S Pen and beautiful AMOLED panel to a best-in-class camera, I don’t know that you will find a better overall phone from top to bottom.

The only reason the Note 4 isn’t topping the Moto X is because of Samsung’s TouchWiz software and slow update rollouts. If Samsung was ready to give Lollipop to its Note 4 owners quickly or could find a way to ditch TouchWiz altogether, this would have been the phone of the year. It really is that close.

turbo

3.  DROID Turbo – Review

In my opinion, there is a large gap between the Moto X and Galaxy Note at the top of the list before you get into the rest. Those two phones, without a doubt are the best of 2014. After that, you could really start subbing in phones at the 3, 4 and 5 slots depending on your particular needs or wants. Because the DROID Turbo tends to check off almost all of the boxes of “needs” and “wants,” it lands at number 3 for me.

The DROID Turbo is without a doubt the first DROID phone that has mattered in years. In 2011, 2012, and 2013, Motorola and Verizon teamed up to offer DROID phones that were mostly behind the times in terms of specs and/or design or that tried to cheat customers out of $100 by offering up regular and MAXX editions. This year, however, that just isn’t the case. The Turbo has a QHD display, next-gen Snapdragon 805 processor, 3GB RAM, a 20.7MP camera, “pure” Android experience, and some really cool material choices for its backside. Oh, it also has a massive (I feel like I have to say it again – MASSIVE) 3,900mAh battery tucked inside its mostly-slim body.

Sure, it has capacitive touch buttons that we could do without. We also wish it wasn’t stuck on Verizon. But there are almost no compromises here, which is saying something for a brand of phones that up until this phone, hadn’t had a hit in at least three years.

z3 compact

4.  Sony Xperia Z3 Compact – Review

Small phones (smaller than 5-inch display) that are actually worth using are a thing of the past, outside of Sony’s Xperia Compact line. With the Xperia Z3 Compact, you get a phone that packs all of the goodies you would hope to get from today’s flagships, but in a body made for those of us who hate the bigger-is-better trend. Sony won’t call it a “mini,” because “mini” tends to mean cheaper version of a company’s best phone. This phone, by no means, is a cheaper or lesser version of the Xperia Z3.

The Sony Xperia Z3 Compact sports a Snapdragon 801 processor, 2GB RAM, 20.7MP camera, supports micro SD cards up to 128GB, and comes in a few fun color choices. It also happens to stand as one of the few battery champions in an Android world filled with battery hogs. Its camera takes really nice pictures, it is as waterproof as any phone on the market, and outside of a performance hiccup or two is a joy to use. But more important than anything, this phone fits perfectly in your hand. This is not a “phablet” or an oversized anything. This is a phone for people who want phones that are still phones.

Outside of limited availability, the Xperia Z3 Compact is a phone with few faults. It’s also a phone I wish everyone had a chance to use for an extended period of time to realize how important it is to still have options like this around.

oneplus

5.  OnePlus One – Review

I can’t tell you how painful it is to include this phone in the top 5 phones of 2014, but it is mostly because OnePlus is a company that is tough to like or cheer for. They do everything wrong. They offend people on a weekly basis. They are constantly putting at least one foot in their mouths. But in the end, this list is about the best phones of the year, not who makes the fewest PR mistakes. To me, company drama aside, the OnePlus One is a really great phone that has the best value of any phone in the industry.

I reviewed the One back in July, during a time where there weren’t many other phones to review. I took my time with it because the summer tends to be slow while we wait for the fall season of phones to arrive. So I know the OnePlus One. I traveled with it. I took pictures with it. I lived and breathed OnePlus One. And you know what? There are still times where I wish it was back in my pocket.

The battery life on this phone is out-of-this-world good. I have never tested a phone that lasts this long on a single charge. It also has great specs, a solid camera, excellent software that can be customized more than you know, an awesome textured back (at least on the black model), and can be had for as little as $299, which is without a contract.

As of right now, my short list of most anticipated phones of 2015 includes whatever OnePlus is up to, even if that means months and months of PR nightmares. These guys can build a phone worth buying.


If you were looking for a full top 10, here is how mine would play out:

6.  LG G3
7.  Nexus 6
8.  HTC One (M8) Google Play Edition
9a.  Samsung Galaxy S5
9b.  HTC One (M8)

And now, it’s time for you to give us your top 5. Who you got?

Top 5 Android Phones of 2014 is a post from: Droid Life

Deal: DROID Turbo for $1 at Best Buy, Plus New Customers Get $150 Gift Card With Purchase

Posted by Kellex December - 22 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

The DROID Turbo, which is easily one of the better phones of 2014, has been slashed to just $1 at Best Buy with a new 2-year contract. To sweeten the deal, Best Buy will also toss in a $150 gift card if you are a new Verizon customer and buy this phone. Minus the whole locking-yourself-in-for-2-years part of the deal, they are, in a way, paying you to buy the DROID Turbo. Not bad, right? 

The deal includes all of the colors of the Turbo, including Best Buy’s exclusive blue color.

As a recap, in our DROID Turbo review, we said that this is a phone which should be on all Verizon customers’ short list. It’s that good. It has the best specs a phone can currently have in this business, performs great thanks to Motorola’s “pure” Android experience, and has a battery life that should power you through almost two days.

Best Buy Link

droid turbo best buy deal

Cheers Dan and Dustin!

Deal: DROID Turbo for $1 at Best Buy, Plus New Customers Get $150 Gift Card With Purchase is a post from: Droid Life