Manufacturers of Wear OS watches have a concern: the main chip supplier, Qualcomm, has allowed this market to languish for too long. The Snapdragon 2100 system-on-chip, launched in February 2016, has had its day and it was high time to launch a successor. It's done, as promised, with the Snapdragon Wear 3100.
The new chip is faster thanks to the presence of four cores (instead of one on the 2100), and especially more economical with the integration of a low-power coprocessor. The job of this tiny little chip, nicely named QCC1110, is to manage the basic tasks (time display and fitness measurements, among others).
Basically, the Wear 3100 should be able to hold a day and a half to two and a half days in "regular" operation (4 to 12 hours longer than with the 2100 chip). A "Traditional Watch" mode then takes over with basic operation (displaying the time and date) for one week. It will even be possible to push up to 30 days by being content with a display really limited to not much.
Qualcomm therefore offers several display modes, always with the aim of saving the battery, but also to adapt to the needs of the user. There is a "Dedicated Sports Experiences" mode that can work for 15 hours with the GPS and the heart rate monitor.
This frugality is found at all stages of the chip, Qualcomm promising reduced consumption of 49% for the use of GPS, 34% for MP3 playback, 13% for voice requests in Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Overall, the consumption of the Wear 3100 can be up to 67% less than its predecessor.
The new SoC also supports two screens (which is reminiscent of the TicWatch Pro), the 4G, smaller NFC antennas provided by NXP.
The chip will be at the heart of several watches that will come out in the coming weeks. The Fossil group, Louis Vuitton and Montblanc are among the first watchmakers to climb the train, with the Summit 2 unveiled during the presentation of the chip (the watch will be available in October).