Moto X phone’s Open Mic can make calls, open webpages even when the screen is off

by: Kyle WiggersJuly 14, 2013


The Moto X phone is Motorola’s worst-kept secret. Innumerable photos, videos, and benchmarks have been revealed months before the smartphone’s rumored late August launch, and show no sign of stopping. Today, the leaks continue with a particularly juicy video detailing a compelling aspect of the Moto X: voice commands from the lock screen.

Called Open Mic, the feature works in tandem with Google Now to perform voice-initiated tasks. Activated either by a custom phrase or the default “ok moto magic,” Open Mic listens for spoken phrases when the Moto X phone’s screen is off. When a command is recognized, the phone is unlocked (unless you have a password or pin) and the content of the command is sent to Google Now, from which point it works as usual. As far as we can tell, phone calls and webpage navigation are compatible, but it’s likely that most built-in search commands work. x-phone-voice

In addition to the video, the Moto X phone’s specs were once again confirmed. The poster of the Open Mic footage, who purports to have the AT&T GSM variation of the phone, says a CPU app identified the smartphone as containing a Qualcomm Snapdragon dual-core CPU, 2GB of RAM, an Adreno 320 GPU, and sporting a 720p screen.

What do you think of this feature and these specs? Is Open Mic game-changing? Personally, I think it’s pretty cool, but we’ll have to see how it performs in the real world.

  • Mystery Man

    Seems like it would drain a lot of battery having an open mic?

    • lil bit

      That’s why moto equipped this one with a whopping 2000mah battery lol.

      Have to admit though, if it worked well it would save some battery by reducing active screen time. I just don’t see a lot of people talking to their pockets because “so I was biking and suddenly wanted to search this stuff and thanx God I had the Moto X, and yes I had to stop and manually correct the search term with the keyboard but of course I had to stop to check the results in any case, and… It’s so cool that I can do that still, right? I said, RIGHT..? Anyone, please be impressed with what I did?”

      • N3D

        its rumored that there is a dedicated language processing chip.
        The low-power language chip will focus on audio sensors, noise cancellation and speech recognition. This will allow the Moto X to use an always-on listening mode, but still retain sufficient battery life.
        According to Androidandme

      • Tamadrummer94

        Where did you see 2000 mah for the battery?

    • Simon Belmont

      It might be using a Wolfson DSP chip (WM5110) that can do the whole listening for a keyword in a low power state: .

      I guess we’ll find out eventually. The only Snapdragon chip that can accomplish the same thing is a Snapdragon 800, but it’s quad core and uses an Adreno 330, which isn’t what the specifications for this handset seem to be.

  • bungadudu

    It’s cool that this doesn’t need the s800 for this voice commands from standby.

    So it could work on most phones… (how would it go to sleep after this I don’t know but maybe.. 4.3 is the answer)

  • drvadlamudi

    Ok moto magic? Really?

    • LiquidxDIAMONDZ

      It has to be a phrase that you won’t say in a conversation so it doesn’t activate randomly.

  • fwafesaf

    What’s on the top right of the phone?

    • needa

      i think its an identifier for who has that particular phone. this is the third leak i have seen with it blurred or covered. remember the leak from a couple weeks ago that had the cloth covering it up?

  • Drizzle

    I wonder how well this phone will do…

  • needa

    its pretty darn fast for a little dual core.

    • TY

      Remember the two processors talk? “We have some of the best engineers, and they’ve created a system where there are two processors that are more aware.” We shall wait and see.

      • needa

        yes i remember. is that why you keep saying it might have intel in it? a qualcomm and an intel?
        i suspect though… that the second processor is an extremely weak battery sipping processor for the sensors/standby updating only.

        • Cocopuff239

          Qualcomm doesn’t use companion cores ur thinking of nvidea.qual. use asynchronous cores instead.

          • needa

            im not thinking of anything other than the confirmed leaks of a qualcomm and this guy is running around saying it might have intel in it. thanks for the added info though. didnt know and will read up on it.

    • Fantastico

      Should be Octa and I’d buy it.

  • najiy91

    my instinct tells me its a dual core by intel. and fast.

  • Anonymous

    its a identifying code on the topright corner

    • bjoern

      The indentifiying Code is on the topleft corner

      compare the Motorola Logo with other leaks

  • lil bit

    Such a useless feature.

    The only interesting thing about this phone is that there is a small chance of it being powered by Intel.

    As for doing things from the lock screen, for this to work you have to enter the pattern or pin after the command is recognized, so it kinda falls flat on its face for those with pattern/pin security enabled. And once again the homescreen domain is invaded by useless lockscreen features.

    The history of modern voice searches. Siri, what was it used for? Not much, except posting on Facebook “so I told siri blah blah and omfg she thought I said blahhh ahah, then I said fukk u siri and she thought I said duck pao and I was like roflmao and…”. It’s not even funny, but that’s pretty much how useful a feature it is, and it’s still better than S-voice. Better but not useful.

    Let’s wait for the Ok Moto Magic posts on Facebook, same story but this time done from the lockscreen, that is so game changing….

    • needa

      just because you dont make use of voice does not mean everyone else does not. much easier to ask when home depot closes than to type it out.

    • Ruben

      It should recognise your voice after using it for some time and then it shouldn’t have to ask for a pin or pattern after your command…

    • Alex Murphy

      I use voice commands on a daily basis for many tasks. Everyone will soon enough, when you can have a legit conversation with your computer and get it to do more complicated tasks for you.

  • Tom Pajak

    all I can say is they better keep this under $99 because there are better phones at a slightly higher price

  • needa

    so with the video showing chrome. we can get a better idea of the screen size. the chrome addy bar is 5/16″. using that measurment… the screen is 4-7/8″ diagonal. thats a rough estimae seeing that the camera elongates a bit as the top of the phone is pointed away from the camera. setting chrome to 33% zoom gives you a near accurate size of the actual phone.

    so it looks like this phone is going to be 4.7″ all day.

    • Steve

      That’s like super genius logic. LOL

  • Salty Pickle

    I guess the Moto X might have an older S4 Pro (MSM8960T) since the S400 doesn’t have an Adreno 320 and the S600 is quad core, unless the CPU isn’t a Qualcomm. Probably runs fast like the Nexus 4 since it has stock (or near-stock) jellybean…

    • JorgeE

      Intel Atom

  • Tohe

    Open Mic? Yay more data for the NSA. I hope the guys from Cyanogenmod will strip it out. Other than that, the Moto X is the perfect phone.

    • Abderrahmane Alamrani

      I thought the same thing at first, but it’s most likely that there will be an off switch to turn the feature off. Oh by the way, I think the “Open Mic” feature will be available with the gapps package along side Google search, and not in cyanogenmod builds, which as you know, comes without gapps.

      • Tohe

        It would be nice if Google could guarantee the always on part of the algorithm to only work locally in the device, which is likely the case.

    • sggodsell

      Think about it. It would have to send data all the time on a data plan. Not going to happen. Also even if the voice data was saved on the flash storage continuously, then it would kill the flash after a short period of time.

  • AndroidShiz

    I’ll be getting the Austin Powers edition. You simply have to say: “Lay that “Mojo” magic on me baby! Yeah!

    • andron

      made my day… shagalicious :-) yeah baby yeah !!!

    • Great idea.

    • Frnsyskw Rodriguez

      hello motoooshagger!!!! yeah baby yeah !!!

  • Rayan

    Am i the only one Who’s wondering why the top-right corner of the device is blurred or covered in every leak ? :/

    • akshay7394

      Probably a device identifier (it could identify the person leaking it, which would be a problem for them I’d guess.)

  • Rayan

    $500 million on marketing ?
    Bitch Please , The leaks are doing a better job !

  • Fantastico

    Ok moto magic, can you stop eavesdropping on my conversations and sending the data back to Google, please?

  • kpkp

    So many people had hands on already, but no comments on the screen type and quality seems odd…

  • Bas

    Question is if this will be moto specific or a stock android feature? The moto magic name seems randomly chosen.

  • Luka Mlinar

    Ok moto magic is to long. It should be just “Ok moto”.

    • dNj

      Or how about something more real world and average user friendly like ‘OK phone’

      • Neill

        or maybe, we can program what to caLL on the phone. :)

        • Tohe

          Agreed, that would certainly go with the Moto X’s customization theme.

          • Luka Mlinar

            Not sure they will let you do that. The point is to have one thing so users will be familiar with any Motorola device.
            “Ok phone” sounded stupid at first but when i think how stupid “Ok moto” (like a transformers ad) sounds, it kind of makes sense. I guess we’ll see but one thing is for sure: they definitely need to change the current one.

          • Anonymous

            Read the post, it says you can choose a custom phrase

    • Cao Meo

      still too long, just moto is enough

      “moto call lisa”

  • Awesome

  • dave

    Is this going to be priced to buy with no contract?

  • Isn’t this “always listening” feature the same thing the Xbox One got dinged for? Not that I mind it, just saying.

    • bozzykid

      Xbox only listens for “Xbox on” when powered down. Just like the Moto X, it will never send data until it is woken up by that specific command. The only people who got upset are internet freakout artists.

      • @bozzykid:disqus Yep, exactly

  • Micah

    The NSA will love the open mic feature!

  • JohnnyPunchClock

    Curious about how this affects battery life. The phone will constantly be on alert for the phrase. Hopefully that won’t be a big drain.

  • Alex Murphy

    Seems like a missed opportunity to not be able to say “Hello Moto” to wake it up.

  • lollicup04

    always on mic = NSA intel gathering D;
    Moto X= the perfect NSA moly
    might as well have a always on camera and call it the xbox one

  • sggodsell

    I am sure when its released, you will be able to change the attention voice command to almost anything you want. If you like ironman then use “OK Jarvis call Potts”. If you want to be a pimp then “OK beeotch text my boyz”. If you are a sailor “OK mermaid search for fishing times”. Its android change any and everything.