Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 aims to give Apple Watch competitors longer battery life

in General Discussion
Qualcomm has launched a new chipset for wearable devices, the Snapdragon Wear 3100, one which hopes to enable Wear OS-based smartwatches to compete against the Apple Watch by offering an extended battery life.

Launched on Monday, Snapdragon Wear 3100 is the follow-up to 2016's Snapdragon Wear 2100 already in use by smartwatches running Google's Wear OS, formerly Android Wear. The new chipset offers a number of changes compared to the previous generation, relating to performance as well as power consumption.

The main processor is a quad-core A7 chip, which is meant to drive the main usage experience of the device, along with an efficient integrated DSP, and an "ultra-low power co-processor." The latter is said to perform the bulk of the processing when the smartwatch isn't actively being used, allowing it to use far less power while still managing the display, audio and sensors.

The co-processor also integrates "deep learning engine for custom workloads," such as for keyword detection for digital assistants, and can be extended in utility over time.

According to Qualcomm, the chip enables an assortment of "personalized experiences," including an Enhanced Ambient mode that can offer a smooth second hand, up to 16 colors, live complications, and improved brightness, while a Traditional Watch mode will allow users to use their devices for extended periods of time. The "Dedicated Sports Experience" is designed to allow wearers to participate in ultra-marathons, swim long distances, or hike mountains, with the GPS and heart rate monitor enabled for the entire duration.

A Qualcomm render of a Watch OS smartwatch
A Qualcomm render of a Watch OS smartwatch

For battery life, the use of a co-processor will in theory help reduce power usage in GPS and location batching, clock updates, sensor processing, MP3 playback, and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth voice queries. Compared to the Wear 2100, the Wear 3100 is touted to offer between 4 and 12 hours of battery life improvements, depending on watch specifications, and under the sports experience, up to 15 hours of battery life based on a typical 450mAh battery.

The first products using Snapdragon Wear 3100 will ship from Fossil Group, Louis Vuitton, and Montblanc, with the initial devices expected to be made up of "high-end luxury smart timepieces." it is unknown when the first wave of Snapdragon Wear 3100 devices will ship, but it is expected to take place within the next few months.

The Apple Watch continues to be the most popular smartwatch on the market, with it said to own a 41-percent market share according to research released at the end of August. While Fitbit is the second most popular brand, taking to 21 percent of the market, every other smartwatch producer makes up less than 5 percent of the market.


  • Reply 1 of 12
    roakeroake Posts: 650member
  • Reply 2 of 12
    If I could detach the face and watch the chip glow, I'd probably procure one.
  • Reply 3 of 12
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,680member
    GoogleWear isn't even a blip or rounding-error compared to the Apple Watch.  I haven't seen one person for the past couple years wearing any kind of GoogleWear watch.
  • Reply 4 of 12
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,806member
    Using the low power processor only (with I assume always on watch face) QC is claiming up to a week on one charge.
    Interesting. Apple has already been producing a chip with high and low power processors for the iPhone and ipad.  It would be interesting to see if Apple Watch 4 does similar.

    If you’re the one who forgets your charger every once in a while, you can adopt the Traditional Watch Mode which is designed to allow you to continue to use your beautiful watch for up to a week
    Promises promises.
    edited September 2018 watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 12
    nunzynunzy Posts: 662member
    Qualcomm is a traitor. Apple should grind them under its heel for this.
  • Reply 6 of 12
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,680member
    roake said:
    If Qualcomm charges it's licensing fee based on the retail price like it does with Apple, then bankruptcy is coming soon. There's no money to be made in anything Android. :)
    edited September 2018 jbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 12
    After almost 2 years I typically get 1.25 to 1.5 days on my Apple Watch so I don't think battery life is a problem unless its less than a day.
  • Reply 8 of 12
    tipootipoo Posts: 1,057member
    The MIPS Newton 2 did something like that, all spins on the big.LITTLE concept. I wonder if WearOS watches could have used MIPS if the only available Qualcomm chip was so outdated? The Amazfit pace does, but it's actaully just skinned Android rather than WearOS proper. 

  • Reply 9 of 12
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,767member
    I’m expecting the new watch will be made with TSMC ‘s 7nm process.   Apple will be kicking @55 with this and the new iPhones.
  • Reply 10 of 12
    This is a good step to making SmartWatches more practical. Qualcomm would do far better if they were to concentrate more on this kind of advance and less on defending their ersatz monopoly.
  • Reply 11 of 12
     28 nm process in 2018  :D
  • Reply 12 of 12
    sflocal said:
    GoogleWear isn't even a blip or rounding-error compared to the Apple Watch.  I haven't seen one person for the past couple years wearing any kind of GoogleWear watch.

    One can argue it's because they are not as easy to recognize/ emblematic as the apple Watch.
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