It looks like Qualcomm could (finally) be prepping a new wearable processor. These days, companies developing Wear OS watches have little choice but to use the Snapdragon Wear 2100, a chipset that was first unveiled in February 2016. Soon, however, that may change — Qualcomm has sent out save the dates for an event on September 10 with the phrase “It’s Time,” and telling recipients to “set their watches.”
There is really little debate about what the announcement could be, and it’s about time we get an upgrade to the Snapdragon Wear 2100. The chipset isn’t bad, by any means, but with growing interest in wearable technology, Android manufacturers have struggled to keep up with devices like the Apple Watch. So much so that companies like Fossil have been using the Snapdragon Wear 2100 for a few years on multiple generations of devices.
In fact, Fossil just announced a revamp of its smartwatch lineup, with devices now including modern features like heart rate monitors and NFC for contactless payments. We will have to wait and see how the devices perform with the aging chipset, and while it’s likely they will do just fine initially, they may not continue to perform well in the long run.
The concept of a Snapdragon Wear 2100 successor isn’t necessarily surprising. Earlier in the year, Google and Qualcomm confirmed that they were working on a new chipset for wearables that would allow for much more flexible designs.
Unfortunately, the press invitation does not go into detail about what to expect from the new chipset, but it will likely pave the way for a slew of new wearable devices in Google’s Wear OS ecosystem. Among the first of these new devices will likely be Google’s own rumored smartwatch, which many expect to launch alongside the new Google Pixel 3 phones in October. Other manufacturers will almost certainly adopt the new chipset too — we would not be surprised to see the likes of Fossil and Huawei launch new smartwatches with the new chipset in the near future.
We will have to wait and see what makes this new chipset, if indeed Qualcomm does reveal a new chipset, better than previous iterations.
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