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Qualcomm announces Snapdragon Wear 4100, first Wear OS watch shipping this year

In other wearable computing news this morning, Qualcomm just announced its next chip for Wear OS. The Snapdragon Wear 4100 and 4100+ look to deliver a meaningful performance boost for smartwatches.

Powering all current devices, 2018’s Snapdragon Wear 3100 was essentially the same chip as the 2100 from two years prior in that it featured the same CPU but included another component that made possible power-efficient always-on displays.

Today’s Snapdragon Wear 4100 starts with a major process size shrink from 28nm to 12nm. Qualcomm says this makes for a “significantly faster new processor,” as well as 25% better battery life and faster LPDDR3 memory. There are quad-core A53 processors at 1.7GHz for 85% faster performance, while the Adreno 504 GPU is 2.5x faster. There is support for up to 16-megapixel cameras, while a lower-power 4G LTE modem is touted.

The Snapdragon Wear 4100+ features an updated QCC1110 co-processor that can handle more tasks. This includes offloading sleep tracking and heart-rate tracking to this resource-efficient chip instead of the main CPU.

Meanwhile, “watch mode” now supports up to 64,000 colors, battery indicators, alarms, reminders, and haptics, while Qualcomm touts “faster tilt-to-wake responsiveness.” The regular 4100 lacks the co-processor for manufacturers that don’t need an ambient display.

In addition to Wear OS, the Snapdragon Wear 4100 supports Android Open Source Platform (AOSP). Devices running the Snapdragon Wear 4100 will be shipping soon. Mobvoi says it has a “next-generation TicWatch Pro” coming with the new chip later this year, while kid smartwatch brand imoo is planning to launch a device within the next month.

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: