Qualcomm‘s last release of Snapdragon Wear 2100 smartwatch chip has been two and a half years, and since then Android smartwatches have been sluggish. The good news is that Qualcomm today officially launched the next-generation Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor, designed to extend the life of smartwatches, enhance the watch’s display capabilities, and provide more sports and fitness sensors.
A key feature of the new chip is the addition of a second-level, low-power processor that can handle most of the work without using a smartwatch. According to Qualcomm, the coprocessor will provide power for the sensors and constant display of the watch, using 20 times less power than the main processor.
This addition of the coprocessor is basically the main upgrade of this chip, so do not expect anything in terms of speed. Many improvements are related to batteries, and Qualcomm estimates that for a typical Wear OS smartwatch, battery life is more than a day, or about 5 hours longer than current fashion models. Vendors now have the option of using smaller batteries and reducing the size of their watches. Sports watches will also be upgraded. The new chip is designed to make the watch run continuously for about 15 hours by optimizing GPS. Of course, Qualcomm assumes that these watches will have larger batteries first.
A smartwatch with the Wear 3100 processor will receive another new feature: if the watch’s battery is low, the watch’s main function will be turned off, allowing the battery to power only a simple dial that lasts for several days. Qualcomm said that from the perspective of 20% of battery power, you can use it for an additional week in this mode. However, the downside is that Wear OS will be turned off, so you won’t be able to get notifications and more.
The last interesting update is how the chip handles the sensor. In the past, vendors had to rely on algorithms built by Qualcomm to read heart rate or other collected data. But now, Qualcomm said that hardware companies will be able to write their own code, which may give some companies an edge in the competition, Qualcomm believes that this is particularly valuable for companies that create sports watches.
Qualcomm revealed that the Snapdragon 3100 will start shipping today and offer three SKUs. The difference lies mainly in the support of wireless connectivity. The first is Bluetooth/Wi-Fi only, the second is GPS, and the third is 4G. LTE (1Gbps download).
Qualcomm said that the first watches equipped with the Wear 3100 chip will be available before the end of this year. The first products will come from Fossil, Louis Vuitton and Montblanc, and Google will be absent this year.