Home News Qualcomm’s Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1 Smartwatch Chip Promises Big Battery Gains

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1 Smartwatch Chip Promises Big Battery Gains


One such example is moving bluetooth (5.3) into the co-processor so that the co-processor no longer needs to wake up the main processor when all you need to do is get a notification alert from your smartphone. Qualcomm says this means notifications consume 57 percent less power compared to the previous-generation Wear 4100+ chip. Some always-on health features can also rely on machine learning cores in the coprocessor, such as activity recognition, sleep tracking, and fall detection, meaning these features may not drain your battery life as much as they used to.

Only the W5+ Gen 1 has a co-processor; the W5 Gen 1 omits this, mostly for elderly and children’s watches, where you need some major features (like GPS) to be always on so you can check if your loved one does Arrived home on time.

The chips also have a modem that has all the radio frequency bands needed to work anywhere in the world. Most of today’s smartwatches with LTE (or 5G) connectivity won’t be universally connected in every country due to the modem’s limited band support, but that’s not the case here.

tick tock

The big question is how well the W5+ Gen 1 will work with Google’s Wear OS operating system. Many Wear OS watches use Qualcomm processors, and those with the Wear 4100 chip haven’t received the latest version of Google’s Wear OS. Here’s some good news. Qualcomm says it has been working with Google to optimize Wear OS for its latest chip lineup, and Google confirmed that smartwatches with the W5+ Gen 1 will only ship with the latest version of its software.

The first smartwatch to use the W5 Gen 1 will come from Chinese phone maker Oppo, which will launch the Oppo Watch 3 in August. Device maker Mobvoi will release a new TicWatch later this year running Google Wear OS powered by the W5+ Gen 1. More than 25 other designs are using these chips from various manufacturers, Qualcomm said.

All eyes are on the wearable chip announced by Qualcomm, said Jitesh Ubrani, an analyst at International Data Corporation. “Qualcomm faced an uphill battle when the 4100 came out, because Wear OS wasn’t ready, so something went against them. The latest version of Wear OS came out late last year… some vendors delayed adopting the latest processors, Because they couldn’t get the latest version of the OS to run on that chip. But Wear OS is now ready for prime time.”

However, Apple still maintains a sizable lead in the smartwatch space. In the first quarter of 2022, it shipped more than 8.5 million units, with Samsung in second with 3.2 million and Google in fifth with 607,000. But competition is intensifying. Not only are new smartwatches with Qualcomm chips on the way, but Google will also release a Pixel Watch later this year, specifically with a Samsung processor, while Samsung is expected to release a new Wear OS-based Galaxy Watch in August .

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