Snapdragon Wear 5100 could be in works to power new Wear OS smartwatches

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Qualcomm could be working on a new wearable platform that perhaps unsurprisingly may end up being called Snapdragon Wear 5100.

That’s according to code uploaded by the chipset maker to the Code Aurora Forum, which the folks at XDA dug into. It found mentions of an ID named LAW.UM.2.0-00700-SW5100.0 along with the codename Monaco.

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That LAW in the ID apparently stands for Linux Android Wear and the SW5100 may well reveal this is related to Snapdragon Wear 5100. XDA also speculates that this next generation platform could be based on existing Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 and 460 platforms.

It wouldn’t be all that surprising if something new is in the works given the big changes that are afoot with Google’s Wear OS, which has long relied on Qualcomm to power its smartwatch operating system.

Google has so far revealed the current Wear OS watches that will be upgradeable to the new Wear being built with Samsung. The TicWatch Pro 3 and TicWatch E3 are on that list so far thanks to the fact they’re both powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 4100 system on chip (SoC) processors.

The upcoming Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 will be capable of running new Wear too, though the latest speculation suggests Samsung will be using its own Exynos W920 processor to power it instead of Qualcomm’s tech. With Google and Samsung promising big new features for Wear, it’s clear more capable architecture to power it all is going to be needed.

Qualcomm announced its latest Snapdragon 4100+ platform back in June 2020 promising an 85% increase in performance over the Snapdragon Wear 3100 platform in terms of usability, and a 25% boost in battery life. It also promised support for high resolution cameras on the wrist too. The Wear 3100 still features in the large proportion of Wear smartwatches currently available, which seem likely to miss out on those new Wear OS 3 features.

Qualcomm recently reiterated its commitment to wearables by announcing an as yet unnamed new platform that’s being built from the ground up and will be designed for kids smartwatches, wearables for seniors, pet trackers and hands-free wearables for enterprise. The platform will be designed to demand less power and deliver longer battery life.

As both Google and Samsung continue to play catch up with Apple, getting the right kind of internals onboard will play a big part in how they take the fight to Cupertino. So news that Qualcomm looks to be working on something new and is committed to making that smartwatch experience better can only be a good thing.

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