standard “Hey Cortana” Not Coming to All Lumias? Only >1GB SensorCore Enabled? (1520, 930/Icon)

Cortana gogAs I was catching up on the official press releases for today’s #MoreLumia event I noticed that in the post detailing the upcoming changes in Lumia Denim, my favorite feature (besides the 4K video of course) is the new always on Cortana. Something a lot of us asked for a while back but were told wasn’t possible with the current chipset in devices; however according to the official Nokia conversations post this feature will only be available for some devices.

The wording in the post is a bit tricky, as one article suggests that only the Lumia 1520 and  930/Icon will get this feature (besides the newly announced Lumias of course):

The new “Hey Cortana” feature available will also come to the Lumia 1520, Lumia 930 and Lumia Icon, allowing you hands-free access to Cortana, waking up your most helpful digital assistant with just the sound of your voice calling out “Hey Cortana”.

However in the detailed post about Lumia Denim it’s mentioned that the “Hey Cortana” feature is possible thanks to SensorCore, a feature that Nokia implemented in their WP 8.1 devices, as well as the Lumia 1520 and the Lumia Icon:

“Hey Cortana” Voice Activation – Gone are the days of pressing the microphone button to wake-up Cortana. Simply say “Hey Cortana” while the phone is idle and Cortana will activate.This is possible thanks to theSensorCore technology.

Should the latter prove true, and Sensorcore is indeed a requirement (and the only requirement) for the new feature to work, then we can expect it to be available on all sensorcore enabled devices which include the following:

  • Lumia 1520
  • Lumia 930/Icon
  • Lumia 630
  • Lumia 635

However since Nokia opted out of mentioning the Lumia 630 and 635 in the official announcement, it’s possible that this new feature also requires 1GB of ram as a minimum, something the Lumia 630/635 does not have (512 MBs only). This is of course a bummer, especially for people who opted for the imaging flagship the Lumia 1020, or are still rocking the 920 or other devices; but hopefully with time Nokia and Microsoft can bring this feature to all devices.


About the Author

Ali is a dental school graduate currently living in Amman, Jordan; born and raised in the US, a tech lover with a serious addiction to all things sweet. He is the co-founder of GeekOnGadgets, and a senior editor at our Sister site

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  • jjkj

    Even Lumia Camera will be available only for Lumia 1520/930/Icon

    • CyberAngel

      Lumia 830 has Lumia Camera

      • Guest

        but no UHD recording

      • jjkj

        I mean the older phones

        • CyberAngel

          ONLY Snapdragon 800 has UHD rec support.
          Lumia Camera first to 1520, Icon/930, 830.
          Limited to version older? Possibly…
          ONLY Snapdragon 800/600/400/200 have the DSP for Hey Cortana
          It’s up to Microsoft to bring it to the x30 phones (&1520,Icon)
          Is < 1 GB RAM a limitation on any of this? We'll see.
          You should get the Denim in 14Q4…??

          • Kristine Park-Gross

            So my Microsoft Lumia 640XL Denim phone (which isn’t mentioned at all anywhere in anything I read regarding hey Cortana) IS or IS NOT able to support this feature? So confusing because sometimes she talks to me and sometimes she doesn’t?!? Very aggravating when 1/2 way through my commute to work she’s suddenly not speaking to me >8•(

          • Veli Pekka Nousiainen

            Anyone can speak to Cortana “manually”, but the active listening mode is enabled via an ultra low power special circuitry which isn’t available in your device’s CPU.
            Therefore it doesn’t reply to “Hey Cortana!” Instead you need to press a button first.

          • Kristine Park-Gross

            Thanks for the info (& sorry for the inexcusably long delay in sending my gratitude. I’ve been going through a major readjustment of life priorities & didn’t realize I never hit send) I’m part of Microsoft’s “insider program” and they tend to install upgrades overnight and an email later that day detailing the upgrade & it’s properties, they sometimes forget that I’m using Windows 10 Mobile and I’ll get the details for a PC so there’s a little frustration at times but it’s worth it to get a sneak peek at their latest technical improvements & to have a little say about the practicality and ease(or not, lol) of upgrades so they can tweek them before going public is very cool! Again thanks and I promise to be more vigilant when I ask for help. 8•7

          • Veli Pekka Nousiainen

            You mean that you did register as an Insider, but never read the Microsoft’s Insider Blog.
            Maybe you show follow n Twitter: Dona Sarkar, Windows Insider, Nawzil Najeeb

          • Kristine Park-Gross

            Will add him to twitter peeps but the microsoft insider (&Windows 10 Mobile) seems to get confused with what device I use…I got one of the first W10upgrades for Mobil but it was the PC format & it took me almost mailing my phone to NY office to get it fixed, now the only time I seem to get any insider notifications is on my PC or when I actually go to the site and yeah I’m always signed in…again its being looked into for the WHY?!?” I’ve been a Microsoft devotee since the early 80’s and totally enjoy their products. It sometimes seems like I’m their problem sounding board, lol it’s all good, I don’t mind writing…period, so I keep them informed but thanks for the twitter info, I like Nawizil’s brain, lol. Have a great day 8•7

          • CyberAngel

            “Hey Cortana!” wakes up a phone with a suitable hardware. You, on the other hand, are required to press the “magnifying glass” button first.
            Lumia 640 XL has the best non-OIS camera software. Not a bad choice.

          • Kristine Park-Gross

            Sorry for the very long delay in replying to you(I just realized it never got sent?!?) and thanks for the info it helped alot and I think you are one of only a few people that don’t think my Lumia isn’t worth the trouble but I love my mini-computer, lol NOW, if I could get Microsoft to send text notifications when they upgrade something in Windows 10 Mobile…I’m in their “insider program”…instead of trying to figure out what changed overnight, it’d be nice to not freak out only to get the email later that day lol. Cool & thanks again for your help. 8•7

  • CyberAngel

    The feature without the new Snapdragon series hardware would eat the batteries.
    It’s NOT coming to the older Snapdragon S4 devices!

  • TenementFunster

    WPCentral is saying the 730/830 don’t get it either, wrong Snapdragon in those sadly.

    All this handset diversity is starting to lead to some fragmentation. No Glance on some, now no Hey Cortana on others.

    • Victor

      Well using the “fragmentation” word here is a bit too much, as all of these devices get the latest OS iteration so o fragmentation here, the features enabled by firmwares and available HW is just another way of differentiating handsets at different price points, as you can’t expect to buy a budget handset that will do everything a flagship device can.

  • gigi

    830 has the sensorcore, take a look at specification on nokia Conversations:

    And for fitness fanatics, the low-power motion-sensing technology, SensorCore, will track your movements and location even while your Lumia 830 is fast ‘asleep’ when paired with apps like Bing Health and Fitness, and Adidas miCoach.

  • tamil

    When will Lumia 630 will recive denim update

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  • ariman

    It’s. Not fair for 1020 users. :(

  • anujgoyal

    1020 is the only option for people who want more than 1GB ram but not 6 inch screen! this is unfair on Nokia’s part, they should support there users as we are the only folks supporting there ecosystem

    • Luis Alberto Caro Marchesi

      Not true the 930/icon is just like the 1520 with a 5″ screen

  • Martin Edwards

    I don’t understand this. My family have got it on their 520, 820 and 920. We do have the “Preview for Developers” app installed, but it works a treat.

    • John McIlhinney

      I think that you are confusing Cortana itself with the new “Hey Cortana” always-listening feature. Cortana is available for all phone models and is dependent on region only but “Hey Cortana”, which lets you talk to Cortana without having to press any buttons, requires specific hardware support and therefore only works on specific devices.

  • William Vanderpuije

    Not fair on lumia 625 users:(

  • will

    1020 have been abandoned! it sucks!

    • Paul

      Yes, I just figured it out, on 1020 it sucks

  • John McIlhinney

    For those people claiming that “it’s not fair” or “the 1020 has been abandoned”, I suggest that you stop being babies and start living in the real world. The “Hey Cortana” feature requires specific hardware support. If your phone doesn’t include the required hardware then how can the feature possibly be provided? If they did provide an always-listening feature that did work on older hardware and it drained your battery in a couple of hours then you’d be complaining about that. Phones are not magic. They have to obey the laws of physics so stop assuming that you deserve whatever you want just because you want it.

  • vikram

    M hving Lumia 1320..cortana doesn’t waking up by voice cmnd ‘hey cortana’

  • Fakhrul Abidi

    I don’t have “hey cortana” option on my Lumia 930, How to have that option?