Smartphone Market Heats Up

Motorola raises the curtain on the Moto X and its so-called "wearable," while Apple unveils two larger-sized iPhones and an upcoming watch. John Pletz, technology writer for Crain's Chicago Business, and Jacqui Cheng, editor in chief of the Wirecutter,  give us their reviews of the latest smart gadgets hitting the market.

Apple and Motorola go head-to-head this year as both companies are set to release similar products. The prime gadget is this year's latest smartphone. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus were announced Tuesday, and the specs rivaled that of Motorola's latest Moto X. Read a comparison of the products below and view a graphic on each phone's utilities.

Design

Apple iPhone6: Features rounded edges and arcs to the aluminum cover on the back. The phone comes in two sizes. The iPhone 6 measures 5.4 inches by 2.64 inches and is about 0.27 inches thick. It weighs 4.55 ounces. The iPhone 6 Plus measures 6.22 inches by 3.06 inches and is about 0.28 inches thick. It weighs 6.07 ounces. The phones are available in gold, silver, and space gray.

Motorola Moto X: Features a curved metal body. The phone measures 5.54 inches by 2.89 inches and is curved at 0.14 inches to 0.38 inches thick. The phone’s back can be customized with 25 different finishes that range in patterns and hues.

Internal

Apple iPhone6: Runs iOS 8. It has a 1.4GHz dual-core Apple A8 chip with 64-bit architecture and M8 motion detector. The iPhone has 1 GB of memory and different models can be purchased for 16, 64, and 128 GB of internal storage.

Motorola Moto X: Runs Android 4.4. It has a 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 CPU. The Moto X has 2 GB of memory and models that hold 16 and 32 GB of storage can be purchased.

Battery

Apple iPhone6: Has a built-in 1810 mAh Li-Po battery that is not removable. Charge via USB to computer or power adapter. iPhone 6 talk time is up to 14 hours, while the iPhone 6 Plus’s talk time is 24 hours on 3G.

Motorola Moto X:  Has a built-in 2300 mAh battery that is not removable. Charge via USB to computer or power adapter. Mixed usage up to 24 hours.


After years of rumors, Apple also unveiled its newest smart product. The Apple Watch would mark the company's first wearable smart device, but it comes on the heels of Motorola's Moto 360 smart watch annoucement. Read a comparison of the products below and view a graphic on each watches' utilities.

Design

Apple Watch: Features a rounded box design. The watch comes in two face cases. The largest measures 1.65 inches by approximately 1.45 inches. The smallest measures 1.49 inches by approximately 1.29 inches. The watch will be released in three builds: stainless steel, anodized aluminum, and 18-karat gold.

Moto 360: Features a round design. The watch comes in 1.65 inches by approximately 1.45 inches. The smallest measures 1.81 inches by 1.81 inches. The build will be released in stainless steel.

Internal

Apple Watch: Runs software based on iOS. Apple is calling it “Watch OS.”

Moto 360: Runs software on Android Wear. The platform centers around Google Now cards and voice control.

Battery

Apple Watch: While the battery hasn’t been announced, the charging method is through magnetic induction. It’s similar to the MagSafe chargers used for MacBooks.

Moto 360: Uses a 320mAh battery. The Moto 360 uses wireless charging through Qi. It ships with a charging pad.

--Graphics by Taurean Small