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Motorola guarantees 'shatterproof' Droid Turbo 2 for four years

The built-to-last smartphone is one of two new, exclusive additions to Verizon's long-running Droid family of mobile devices.

Motorola President Rick Osterloh shows off the Droid Turbo 2.
Sarah Tew/CNET

NEW YORK -- Amid the chaotic and ever-shifting smartphone world, Verizon Wireless' Droid franchise persists.

It's fitting, then, that Verizon and Motorola are stressing durability with the Droid Turbo 2 smartphone, which boasts a supposedly shatterproof display and a battery that can last two days, along with reaching a 13-hour charge in 15 minutes. They also announced a lower-priced Maxx 2 that similarly features a two-day charge.

The smartphones are the latest entries into the storied Droid line, which for many consumers may represent a bit of a throwback.

The original Droid, which launched in 2009, was backed by a massive campaign from Verizon, Motorola and Google and catapulted Google's Android software into the mainstream. Verizon, was even willing to pay Lucasfilm for the rights to use the Droid name for its smartphone lineup. But the relevance of the Droid franchise waned. Pride of place went to other flagship devices such as Samsung's Galaxy S and Note smartphones, Google's Nexus family and the HTC One line.

This buddy-system teaming of Motorola and Verizon has become a rare exclusive partnership at a time when other smartphone vendors have opted to broaden their distribution to multiple carriers.

The two companies are banking on the fact that the shatterproof screen will get consumers to notice the phone. They're confident enough in the construction that Motorola is including a four-year warranty against shattering and cracking for the display and embedded lens.

"The drop you hear is usually followed by the sound of tears," Motorola President Rick Osterloh said at a press event here, shortly after dropping the phone on a concrete brick.

While the Droid franchise is a long way from its peak half a decade ago, analysts believe the Turbo 2's durability will help it stand out.

"The shatterproof screen addresses a real consumer pain point," said Avi Greengart, an analyst at Current Analysis.

Turbo 2 will sell for $26 a month for the 32-gigabyte version and $30 for the 64GB version. The latter comes with the option to customize the exterior and do so a second time within two years. The Maxx 2 will sell for $16 a month. The original Turbo will remain on the shelves and sell for $20 a month. The new phones launch Thursday.

Creating the "Moto Shattershield" technology was not an easy accomplishment, Osterloh said. The Turbo 2 uses a unique chemical construction, along with a flexible display and a rigid aluminum core to improve its durability.

Turbo 2 will also have access to Motorola's Moto Maker service, which allows consumers to tweak the look and materials of the device. Customers have access to materials like ballistic nylon and leather. Verizon said that buyers of the 64GB version can change the look of their phone after two years.

Turbo 2 features a 5.4 inch display, a 3,760mAh battery for a longer charge, 32GB or 64GB of storage, a microSD slot for up to a 2TB card of expandable storage, a 21-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera.

The Droid Maxx 2, meanwhile, has a 5.5-inch display, a 3,630mAh battery, 16GB of storage, a microSD slot for up to a 128GB card and the same megapixel setup for its cameras.

Correction, 11:15 a.m. PT: The price of the Turbo 2 has been fixed.