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

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One such example is transferring Bluetooth (5.3) to the coprocessor, which no longer needs to wake up the main processor when you only receive a notification alert from your smartphone. Qualcomm says this translates into 57 percent lower power consumption for notifications compared to the latest-generation Wear 4100+ chip. Some always-on health features may also depend on the coprocessor’s machine learning core, such as activity recognition, sleep tracking, and fall detection, which means that these features may not cost you as much time. the battery as before.

Only the W5 + Gen 1 has a coprocessor; the W5 Gen 1 omits this and is mainly intended to be used in watches for the elderly and children, where you want some of the main features, such as GPS, to be on all the time so you can check if your loved one is did. at home on time.

These chips also have a modem that has all the radio frequency bands needed to operate anywhere in the world. Most smartwatches with LTE (or 5G) connection today will not be universally connected in all countries, as the modem has limited bandwidth support, but this will not be the case here.

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The big question is how the W5 + Gen 1 will work with Google’s Wear OS operating system. Many Wear OS watches use Qualcomm processors, and devices with the Wear 4100 chip have not yet received the latest version of Google’s Wear operating system. Here is some good news. Qualcomm says it has been working with Google to optimize Wear OS for its latest family of chips, and Google confirmed that smartwatches with W5 + Gen 1 will only be released with the latest version of its software.

The first smartwatch to use the W5 Gen 1 will be from Chinese phone maker Oppo, which will launch the Oppo Watch 3 in August. Device maker Mobvoi will launch a new TicWatch with Google’s Wear operating system powered by the W5 + Gen 1 later this year. Qualcomm says there are more than 25 more designs in the process that use these chips from different manufacturers.

Jitesh Ubrani, an analyst at International Data Corporation, says all eyes are on Qualcomm for this portable chip launch. “When the 4100 was released, Qualcomm faced a tough battle and there were things working against it because Wear OS wasn’t ready. The latest version of Wear OS came out late last year … and some vendors were slow to adopt the latest processor because they couldn’t get the latest version of the operating system to work on that chip. But Wear OS is already ready for peak audience time. ”

Apple, however, still holds a significant advantage in the space of smart watches. In the first quarter of 2022, it shipped more than 8.5 million units, with Samsung second with 3.2 million and Google fifth with 607,000. But competition is increasing. Not only are new smart watches on the way with Qualcomm chips, but Google is set to launch a Pixel Watch later this year, mostly powered by a Samsung processor, and Samsung is expected to announce a new Galaxy Watch with Wear OS in August.

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