Galaxy S5 vs DROID Turbo: What Buyers Need to Know

When it comes to choosing a smartphone this holiday season, there are a lot of options. However, with the new Motorola DROID Turbo now available, those on Verizon have a few excellent phones to choose from. Here we’ll compare the new DROID Turbo to the popular Samsung Galaxy S5.

The Galaxy S5 was released back in April and has a good lead on the DROID Turbo, but Moto releasing it later in the year enabled them to deliver some stunning features that takes out the competition. That said, many buyers didn’t want to wait. If you’re looking for a new phone to replace the DROID RAZR HD or Ultra from last year, these are two great choices.


Read: Nexus 6 vs DROID Turbo: What to Expect

Here we take a look at how the flagship Samsung Galaxy S5 compares to Motorola’s latest DROID for Verizon Wireless, what they both have to offer, how they differ, and explain everything buyers will need to know before forking out hard-earned money or signing a 2-year contract for either smartphone.



Lately all the attention has been on the upcoming Galaxy Note 4, the iPhone 6, or the new Nexus 6, but for those wanting to stay on Android, or don’t want a massive 5.7-inch device like the Galaxy Note 4, you have other options. Not to mention if you need a phone today, the devices we’re comparing are both available.


When it comes to which smartphone is actually “better” between the Samsung Galaxy S5 or the DROID Turbo there are a lot of things that come into play. User preference, software or hardware needs, and of course the size of the device. While we don’t have all the answers, nor know what every user needs or wants, below are a five or so key features or differences that separate the two and may help consumers make the right choice.


Many buyers these days are choosing a smartphone based on screen size. One example of that being is shown by Apple finally moving the iPhone like to a bigger 4.7-inch display with the new iPhone 6. With that being said, both the Turbo and Galaxy S5 have much bigger screens, but you’ll want to see them both in action before making a choice.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 has a 5.1-inch 1920 x 1080p HD AMOLED display. To be honest, I feel it’s the best display of any smartphone this year. The colors, saturation, clarity, viewing angles, and natural whites just makes it a stunning device. But then we got the DROID Turbo. It has a similar but slightly bigger 5.2-inch Quad-HD (or 2k) display with a 2560 x 1440 resolution. It blows almost everything out of the water. Including the quad-hd screen on the LG G3.



With both of these phones images are sharp and crisp, videos are big and vibrant, and it’s an excellent experience. Both have somewhat big bezels but one has more space for the dedicated home button, while the DROID Turbo has capacitive buttons and needed room up top for the front facing speaker.

Read: Galaxy S5 Review

We haven’t had tons of time to enjoy the DROID Turbo as it was only released today, but the colors are vibrant, text is crisp, and the viewing angles are better than a few other 2k screens we’ve used as of late. We’re talking about the LG G3.

You can’t go wrong with either choice here. If you want 2k display and the latest and greatest, but not a huge Note 4 or Nexus 6, the DROID Turbo is a good choice over the aging Galaxy S5.


If you’ve ever owned a DROID from the past few years, you know what you’re getting. A rather industrial looking phone with a Kevlar coating and design on the rear. Then of course with Samsung the phone is entirely made of plastic, and is very lightweight. The biggest difference between these two phones is the weight and build quality, but we’ll get into the weight below.


In terms of design and build quality they’re pretty much on par, but the Metallic Black or Red Kevlar on the Turbo is scratch resistant, comfortable, and feels slightly better than the Samsung plastics. It isn’t as pretty, but still feels nice.


However, there’s a few major differences between both these phones. One being the DROID Turbo has a front facing speaker, and the second being Samsung’s Galaxy S5 is IP67 dust and water-resistant. Something Moto can’t claim, even if the Turbo has a “splash guard” coating that should help from small water contact.

The Galaxy S5 can be dropped in water for hours and hours (they suggest only 30 minutes max) and come out working just fine. We’ve seen this from various tests online and from YouTube videos. It’s extremely durable and rugged. The DROID Turbo is very durable too, and we’ll need to test it more before we say anything further.


Galaxy S5 Review - 6

It’s hard to say which looks better or is designed better, but the DROID Turbo certainly has that robot industrial vibe to it, so the choice is yours. It isn’t as much about the looks though, as it is about software, features, and most importantly, battery life.


While specs aren’t as important as having a device that’s fast, fluid, and will work for years to come, it’s still something many consider while making a purchase. Below are the hard numbers for those interested, but it all boils down to these devices being similar under the hood with a few small changes in Motorola’s favor, then software will play the biggest role in how each device performs.

Galaxy S5 Specs

  • 5.1-inch 1920 x 1080p HD AMOLED display
  • 2.5 GHz Quad-core Snapdragon 801 with 2GB of RAM
  • 16GB internal storage (Micro-SD expansion)
  • 16 Megapixel camera and 2MP front shooter
  • Android 4.4.2 KitKat with a new TouchWiz
  • USB 3.0, infrared port for remote
  • IP67 dust and water resistant
  • Fingerprint and heart rate sensors
  • 2.800 mAh battery

DROID Turbo Specs

  • 5.2-inch 2560 x 1440 Quad-HD display
  • 2.7 GHz Snapdragon 805 Quad-core processor with 3GB of RAM
  • 32GB storage, 64GB option for $249
  • Android 4.4.4 KitKat (Android 5.0 coming soon)
  • 21 Megapixel Rear and 2.1 front camera setup
  • 4k video recording
  • Front facing speaker
  • 3,900 mAh battery (wireless charging)
  • Turbo Charger Support
  • Water repellent (coating guards against everyday spills and up to 20 minutes in a downpour), scratch resistant

Motorola’s DROID Turbo has a slightly bigger display with a higher resolution, a tad faster processor with more RAM for multitasking and improved performance, a camera which could be better coming in at 21 megapixels, and a front facing speaker. Although Samsung has better security with a fingerprint scanner, a micro-SD slot for storage expansion, and even an IR port for remote control functions.

They both are powerhouse flagship smartphones each with a few unique features that will push buyers one way or the other.


Another big difference is the software. Moto runs the latest Android 4.4.4 KitKat with minor changes, while Samsung runs Android Android 4.4.2 KitKat and should see 4.4.4 eventually. Whether you’ve used a Galaxy device or an Moto phone in the past, they’ve both been completely redesigned. Samsung’s TouchWiz is much different than years past, but also getting slower and slower as they continue to pile more features, gimmicks, and options inside.

However, there’s plenty to love from the Galaxy S5 software. It offers multi-window mode, one-handed operation controls, kids mode, and even an Ultra battery saver option for when you truly need to expend battery life. There’s tons  it can do, and read about it all in our series of Galaxy S5 how to coverage. You won’t need battery saver with the Turbo’s big battery though, so consider that.

Here’s a quick rundown of the Galaxy S5 new software right from the Samsung launch event, for those wanting to see it in action a bit more.

Deep down both of these phones are extremely powerful, fast, fluid, and run the newish Android 4.4 KitKat software from Google. One big difference is Motorola keeps 99% of it stock Android, and most of the changes are apps through the Play Store. This promises a more stock experience as Google designs it, and faster, easier updates. The Moto X was the first device to Android 4.4 KitKat, and we’re betting the Turbo will beat the Galaxy S5 to Android 5.0 Lollipop too.


Of course last but certainly not least is the price. Sadly there’s no winner here either and you’ll have a tough choice to make. Verizon has both the DROID Turbo and the Galaxy S5 for $199 with a new 2-year contract. The Galaxy S5 is 16GB though, while the Turbo is 32GB, but Samsung has a micro-SD slot. Then of course all carriers offer monthly payment plans if you’d like to get the phone free, and pay it off month by month. Starting at $24 or $25 per month for the Turbo.

Both phones are also $599 outright, so the choice is pretty simple when it comes to the price. They’re about the same. Tough choice right here.


Both the Samsung Galaxy S5 and new DROID Turbo will likely be two of the best smartphones of 2014, so you really can’t go wrong with either option. That aside, read everything mentioned above and try them both out yourself before making a decision.