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Quick Look: Motorola Skip Accessory for the Moto X

Today, along with our custom Moto X, we received one of the new Motorola Skip accessories that allow you to quickly unlock your phone with a single tap. To recap, the Skip is a wearable cloth accessory that can be clipped (using magnets) to your shirt, pants, or even a bag, and then programmed through NFC to unlock your device. The Skip is designed for those who use pattern or PIN unlocks, since this would allow you to quickly unlock your phone without having to type in a PIN or swipe a pattern, yet would leave that level of security on there should your phone fall into the wrong hands. 

The Skip will run $19.99 eventually, but is free to anyone who purchases a Moto X using MotoMaker. The launch color is the  grey/black combo pictured above, however, Motorola will push out additional colorways in the coming weeks. Also, you receive three Skip Dots with your Skip, which are NFC stickers that can be placed in frequently visited areas to allow for additional easy unlocking.

In the video below, we take it for spin, show how it works, how you can program new Dots or other NFC tags, and if there are any tricks to getting it to work correctly (there are).

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  • Cory_S

    Kellex: “I just tapped that”

  • Pedro

    I’m curious about the reception of the AT&T exclusive phone with a Verizon SIM in it.
    Voice? Data?

    Or was that the back door you didn’t want to mention?

  • Don Goncalves

    Any opportunity to use this on Moto X’s fraternal twins, the new Verizon Droids?

  • Dave S.

    If it came free with all Moto X phones…that would be neat. But $20 for this utterly pointless “device” is a bit ridiculous. Though, I do think the “dots” make more sense than the wearable Skip clip.

  • shecalledmejay

    So will any NFC tag work for this, because I want this phone on verizon and I not willing to pay the $20 for it but it’s a cool function

  • zachos

    Kellen in describing his experience with the Moto Skip: “I probably just need some practice with it.” Kellen in describing his experience with the quick capture camera: “It’s just going to take some practice.” Lol.

  • NIGHTSCOUT

    Does this mean that if you lose your phone AND this device, your phone security is compromised?

    • SparkysShocker

      Yes they have a disclaimer on their site about losing the Skip in general.

      • NIGHTSCOUT

        Ya, i’d rather use a password, and keep it in my head.

  • Bryan

    I would like to see a follow up to your review of the Moto X to talk about it’s battery life on Verizon.
    I currently have an OG Razr Maxx and would love to get the Moto X, but I need to know what kind of real world battery life I can expect on it.

  • elemeno

    Step 1: Acquire Motorola Skip.
    Step 2: Buy NFC tags in bulk.
    Step 3: Clone Skip into generic NFC tag.
    Step 4: Profit.

  • http://twitter.com/geoff5093 Geoff Johnson

    When will we be able to customize our own Moto X?

  • n900mixalot

    4:10 “Now to set one up … let me just unlock here …” The interesting thing is that you unlocked it using the lock pattern, instead of the skip tag, and it took just as long.

  • JT3

    My first question would be… can someone else’s skip tags unlock my phone? In other words, are all “master skips” the same, all “skip 1″ stickers the same, etc.?

    • Bryan

      I don’t believe so. I think all NFC RFID tags have a unique ID and that is what you are essentially paring with.

  • http://www.greenless.com Lex Lybrand

    Why doesn’t the X have the CRT-off animation?

    That’s so lame.

  • Captain_Doug

    I love that it turns on the display too. That makes it. If you just placed it by your pocket and as you pulled it out just paused for a sec, it doesn’t get any easier.

    • LionStone

      You have to turn on the display first in order for it to unlock. Just like other NFC tags…they don’t work until you turn on the display.

      • Flat_Stanley

        Watch the video. That’s not necessarily true.

        • Captain_Doug

          I saw that too. A couple times, it turned the display on and unlocked it. Without that, this device isn’t all that great.

        • LionStone

          Okay, missed that…the spot where he had it on his sleeve had some trouble to unlock the device so it’s only a matter of hitting the ‘sweet spot’.

  • Ian

    Why doesn’t the google play link to the skip app work? (from the earlier DL skip article)

  • fauxshizzl

    YouTube is blocked where I work so I can’t watch it, but how could this thing possibly necessitate a six minute video? Doesn’t it only serve one purpose?

    • Ian Smith

      Kellen just says “heh” a bunch of times

  • joejoe5709

    This built into a smartwatch would be more useful. Otherwise, it’s not that useful and at $20 it’s downright stupid.

    • n900mixalot

      Free with Moto Maker … okay, I tried, it still sounds like a “gimmick” to me, but all of the media seems to love it …

      … I’d love it too if I got it for free.

  • http://cheapseatsecon.wordpress.com/ Niklas Blanchard

    Motorola should have built the functionality into a ring, obviously.

    • decidedtochangename

      While a ring sounds convenient I would think a tiny BT microphone that is a “trusted device” clipped to your collar (again if tiny and can hold a charge) would be even more handy. Then you could talk to your phone at any time and use all those hands free commands and bypass the security.

    • Ian

      One ring? To rule them all?

  • Rodney Banner

    Have you tried to use it on the Droid Ultra?

  • panicswhenubered

    I wonder how many washing machine / dryer cycles this thing can survive…

  • dg36912

    What happens if you forget to remove it from say your jeans and you throw those jeans into the washer?

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      Says to try to keep it dry, but doesn’t say if water will kill it heh.

      • Ian Smith

        that “heh” was extremely necessary

  • michael bourgoin

    i actually like this a lot. I do something similar for my personal phone through tasker, but my work phone has to be locked down and not rooted etc… id buy one if it worked with phones other than the X

  • http://www.failuretodream.com/ lostboardmayhem

    I hope the new NFC Ring on Kickstarter works that well, I am very excited!

  • OrangeAttack

    How much is Motorola paying you?

    • MikeCiggy

      Who says Motorola is paying him. They send lend him free review devices for this reason. To gain publicity of the device and have ‘hopefully’ positive reviews of your device online before launch.

      • n900mixalot

        If you think about it, it’s the same as payment. It just isn’t cold, hard, cash.

        • blackjaguar25

          Not if Kellex doesn’t like it.

          • n900mixalot

            Of course it is. Droid Life gets the readership and hits needed to draw in advertisers. Whether he or anyone on the site likes it or not, all they need is for people to click on the links.

            I love Droid Life exactly *because* Kellex doesn’t like certain things.

          • paul_cus

            Like anything from the Sony Xperia line…

          • MikeCiggy

            exactly… he is not obligated to give it a good review.

            He always points out flaws.

        • MikeCiggy

          I said lend. Pretty sure he doesn’t keep all of his review devices. It is included in Motorola’s marketing budget to give out free review phones to more then just Droid-Life.

          • n900mixalot

            It’s called an exclusive … Kellex gets readers, he gets advertisers, advertisers pay cold, hard cash, manufacturers get the word out. No money has to exchange hands between Kellex and manufacturers.

            It’s called “in kind” and it is highly valuable.

  • bb

    Makes it not as cool if you have to turn phone on first.

    It would be alot cooler to have a low power bluetooth accessory you keep in your pocket and as long as the phone senses it near then it doesn’t require a pin and you don’t have to swipe it every time. You just power it on and have no pin, but when you leave the phone laying around and somebody tries to get in without you there it asks them for pin. Increased security and easy unlocking most of the time.

    • Thomas Paulsen

      I thought the same thing now that the low-power BT 4.0 appears in newer devices. The only draw-back I could think of might be due to a wider BT range, in other words the phone may not lock immediately if you walk away? For example at a bar or at your desk the phone would be vulnerable for some time until the sensor detects your absence. However, if this could be setup with a predefined radius I would prefer BT over NFC.

    • TestyTech

      it already has this type of capability actually from what i’ve read. It has trusted bluetooth devices that when paired to it will disable the pin feature. Your car, favorite BT headset, etc can all be setup as trused devices.

  • ToddAwesome

    I’m sorry, $20? GTFO.

  • Rob Delaney

    No. Just no. Anything to stop people from using “buckled to their pants” tech. DO people not realize we are still fighting the war against phone holsters!

    • chris420o

      i miss those days of rocking my nextel on my belt baggy shirt draping over it…oh…those were the days…

  • JNex

    Cool idea to get people thinking about how to use NFC tags. NFC should be bigger and this is innovative. Will probably lead to developers doing this with any NFC. Also, it is nice that Motorola is supporting its device out the gate, unlike any of my Nexus devices.

  • MasterEthan

    I thought NFC was off (for security) when the screen is off (maybe after X screen off time). Maybe that’s why it doesn’t work when the screen was off or when it’s just the active notification. I know with Google Wallet you had to at least have the screen on in order to use it from the lock screen.

    • LionStone

      That is correct…I just recently bought some NFC tags 5/$20. (could probably get cheaper but I was in the store and there they were and I’ve been wanting to get some) With the screen off, they do not work…screen on, it works. They are pretty handy, saves a few steps…the first one I put in my truck, hop in, tap, toggles Bluetooth and Auto Brightness and launches Vlingo.

      • mec

        how did you program them? i just went to Settings>security and there was no “nfc unlock” option :-

        • LionStone

          The ones I bought are ‘Samsung Tec Tiles’, turn on NFC in Settings, download the Samsung Tec Tile app, when you activate one of the tags with the back of your phone, it will prompt you to set it for whatever you want.

    • Flat_Stanley

      There may be something else going on to get the screen to turn on, like a magnet.

      • Ian

        But then the stickers wouldn’t work.

  • Ryan Gullett

    Not mind blowing, but if this comes standard in the Moto X maker package, that would be awesome. These are cool features. Good job Motorola!

    • D.B.Evans

      Yet another reason to hate the Moto-maker exclusive. On AT&T, you get Moto-maker plus free Skip accessory. For everyone else, for the exact same price – nada. Buyers on every other network get to subsidize the freebies and exclusive deal costs received by AT&T users.

      Since the article says “The Skip will run $19.99 eventually” … I’m guessing the free offer will expire about the same time as everyone else finally gets access to the Moto-Maker.

      • michael arazan

        You can buy a whole set of NFC tags and pin them to about anything for the same price. Put it in the car armrest, under a belt you frequently use, your dufflebag, etc, and if you lose one it won’t cost $20 for a replacement.

  • Kit Tihonovich

    Yay, NFC tags with a 300% markup.

    • n900mixalot

      And they aren’t even waterproof …

  • Dude

    Meh.

    • http://bjunity.org/ Bill B

      Yeah for $20 it’s extremely meh. I’d pay $5 for it, dots included.

      • Dude

        In order for this to work it needs to instantly unlock the screen. Which it doesn’t.