Photo Credit: Qualcomm
Qualcomm has announced its latest Snapdragon Wear 4100 wearables platform for next-gen smartwatches based on Google's Wear OS and Android Open Source Platform (AOSP). The new generation comprises of the Snapdragon Wear 4100 and Snapdragon Wear 4100+ models, with the latter having an always-on co-processor (QCC1110). According to Qualcomm, the new wearables platform boasts of up to 85 percent faster performance and up to 25 percent lesser power consumption, compared to the Snapdragon Wear 3100 platform. Qualcomm also announced that the imoo Z6 Ultra and Mobvoi Tic Watch Pro will be the first two smartwatches based on the Snapdragon Wear 4100 platform to launch later this year.
The platform features four ARM Cortex-A53 cores, based on 12nm manufacturing processor, running up to 1.7GHz. It also has an Adreno 504 graphics processor, support for LPDDR3 memory, and 4G LTE. The always-on co-processor in the Snapdragon Wear 4100+ model now supports up to 64K colours for ambient mode and can help offload tasks such as continuous heart rate tracking, faster tilt-to-wake responsiveness, etc, from the CPU. The SoC also includes companion chips for the modem, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, integrated location and dual Qualcomm Hexagon DSPs.
Despite the ongoing pandemic, the wearables market saw strong growth in Q1 2020, according to a report by IDC. Apple continues to dominate here, with a global market share of 29.3 percent. It is followed by Xiaomi at a distant 14 percent market share. Qualcomm's Snapdragon Wear 3100 wasn't a big improvement over its predecessor in our experience. The Fossil Sport smartwatch that we reviewed still had a laggy feel and poor battery life, compared to older smartwatches based on the Snapdragon Wear 2100 platform. However, the by shifting to a much smaller fabrication and with faster CPU cores, the new Snapdragon Wear 4100 might just help make things a lot better for Wear OS smartwatches.
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