Is Motorola's Shatterproof Display the Next Big Thing in Phones?
Jan Dawson, chief analyst of Jackdaw Research, told eWEEK in an email that "no single feature has ever sold a significant number of devices by itself," such as great cameras in Lumia phones or waterproof features on some Android phones. Instead, "people buy brands and people buy a complete package rather than a single feature," he wrote. "That's not to say Motorola shouldn't try to differentiate itself in this way, but it has to be part of a complete package of features that will be compelling, and it has to get carriers in the U.S. and at least some other markets to sell their devices if they're to be successful." Avi Greengart, a consumer platforms and devices analyst with Current Analysis, told eWEEK that the shatterproof screen in the new Droid Turbo 2 could ultimately make other phone makers take notice if customers react well to it. "This is definitely something Motorola's competitors should be working on," he said. "However, for now, this is a compelling feature of a single product, and in the U.S., it is limited to a single carrier." After hearing the thoughts of the analysts, I wonder if they are perhaps being too cautious about their expectations for the new shatterproof display. Broken displays are one of the most aggravating things I hear about from users, and the large number of brick-and-mortar and online stores where consumers can have their displays replaced attests to how prevalent a problem this continues to be. When a display cracks or shatters from a simple fall, that is a flaw, and if it can be prevented by an innovative screen design, I believe that users will take a very close look at a device that offers one. If Motorola piled this phone with enough other good features, this ShatterShield innovation could be just what consumers clamor for as they buy new devices. We'll have to see what happens with Motorola's sales figures in the future to get clear results.The Droid Turbo 2 is now available through Verizon, starting at $624 ($26 per month for 24 months) for a 32GB version, or for $720 ($30 per month for 24 months), which lets owners send their phones back to Motorola for a full design do-over within two years that includes a bump-up to 64GB of internal storage. A leather device covering, if chosen, is an additional $24. The phones also can be purchased through Motorola. The Droid Turbo 2 is a 4G LTE phone that features a 2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor; 3GB of LPDDR4 memory; a 21-megapixel rear camera with dual LED CCT flash, zero shutter lag and rapid focus; a 5MP front camera with flash and a wide-angle lens; and a water-repellent nano-coating to protect the device from moisture and spills. It also includes a microSD card slot that supports SC cards up to 2TB, a 3,760mAh battery that provides power for up to 48 hours on a charge and Turbo Power fast charging that can provide up to 13 hours of battery life in just 15 minutes, according to Motorola. The phone runs on the Android 5.1 Lollipop operating system, but will be upgraded in the future to Android 6.0 Marshmallow. With the Moto X design service, users can pick the colors and materials used to build their personal smartphones, choosing from more than 1,000 different combinations of colors and materials. Verizon customers can design and order their Droid Turbo 2 devices online or in Verizon stores.
So what is the ShatterShield? It starts on the outside with an exterior protective lens that includes a proprietary hard coating designed to guard against dents and abrasion. Below that layer is an interior lens, which is a highly transparent layer that provides a clear protective shield that won't crack or shatter. Under the interior lens is a dual touch layer that takes over touch-screen performance if the primary touch-sensitive layer is damaged due to an impact. The fourth layer is made up of a flexible 5.4-inch AMOLED quad HD display that also absorbs shock while providing excellent picture quality. The fifth layer of the smartphone's display is a rigid aluminum chassis that provides structural integrity and durability, serving as a base for the ShatterShield technology.