Qualcomm is reportedly working on a new Wear OS chip that could deliver smartphone-esque power to the wrist.
According to a report from WinFuture, the chipmaker is looking to follow up the sparsely used Snapdragon Wear 3100 with a chip called the Snapdragon Wear 429.
According to the report, the new chip offers 64-bit support, 12nm node, Cortex A53 CPU cores. That’s compared to the Wear 3100 that has a 32-bit design with 28nm node and A7 CPU cores (via Android Police).
So, if the report is correct, it would be a significant upgrade on a chip that has not yet been widely adopted by any of the major Wear OS device manufacturers, of which there are few.
If that model number sounds familiar, it’s because Qualcomm already makes a Snapdragon 429 Mobile Platform for mid-range smartphones like the Nokia 3.2.
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This suggests Qualcomm might be working on a stripped down version of the 429 platform for Google-powered smartwatches. Although WinFuture does point out the name Snapdragon 2700 is bering considered.
Should it come to fruition it’s not clear whether this alone will be enough to save Google’s Wear OS.
Fossil is the most active manufacturer on the platform at the moment, along with the excellent and affordable options from TicWatch. Huawei also has a couple of smartwatches, but who knows how long the company will have access to Android, and by extension, the full Wear OS?
It seems it would take more than a souped-up processor to get people excited about the platform, but it would certainly be a start.
The Apple Watch continues to march into the distance, while Fitbit OS is doing a fine job for those graduating from a wearable fitness tracker. For Android purists there are still too few smartwatch options, and Google doesn’t appear to be doing much about it.