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Dramatically improved Snapdragon W5 Gen 1 chip makes us excited for non-Samsung Android watches

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Qualcomm started teasing her next portable chips, which previous rumors had said would be known as the Snapdragon 5100 and 5100+, a few days ago, and now what looks like press material has leaked.

Qualcomm has improved every aspect of the Snapdragon W5 Gen 1 and W5+ Gen 1

Seasoned leaker Evan Blass has shared official-looking infographics that seem to reveal all about Qualcomm’s next smartwatch chips, which will be called the Snapdragon W5 Gen 1 and W5+ Gen 1. The change in naming scheme comes as no surprise as the company has also rebranded its smartphone chips.
Anyway, based on the new leak, the upcoming chips look like a major upgrade over their predecessor, the Wear 4100 series, which was introduced about two years ago. While it offered improved specs over the Wear 3100, it’s not seen in many watches.
The Snapdragon W5 Gen 1 and W5+ Gen 1 chips will apparently be based on 4nm manufacturing technology, a huge leap from the Wear 4100 which was manufactured using the 12nm technology. In comparison, Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4 duo is powered by the internal Exynos W920 chip which is based on the slightly older 5nm technology and rumors indicate that the upcoming The Galaxy Watch 5 series stays with the same chip.
The chips will apparently feature the same ARM Cortex-A53 cores as their predecessors. They will likely boast the newer LPDDR4 RAM technology for smoother performance. Unlike the previous chips, the new ones feature an NPU (U55) for machine learning. They are also expected to show off the more advanced Bluetooth 5.3 standard.

The Snapdragon W5 Gen 1 duo, or at least the Plus version, will also reportedly be equipped with a new co-processor to handle background processes more effectively, as well as a new modem for “best-in-class LTE standby”. and VoLTE support.

Snapdragon W5 Gen 1 may be more advanced than chips in the next watches from Apple, Google and Samsung

Apple’s latest smartwatch, the Watch Series 7, is powered by the proprietary S7 chip that was apparently based on the S6 chip that powered the previous generation. The S6 had cores based on Apple’s A13 processor, indicating that it was based on the 7nm process. The next-gen S8 chip that will reportedly power the Series 8 wouldn’t be much different from the S7 either, suggesting it won’t be manufactured using the latest technology.

That seems to imply that Snapdragon W5 Gen 1-powered wearables will have an edge over watches powered by other chips. According to today’s leak, the new Snapdragon W5 chips are “built specifically for next-generation wearables” and every aspect has been reinvented. We can expect twice the performance of the 4100 and a 50 percent longer battery life. These changes could help the next batch of Snapdragon-powered wearables become the best smartwatches of 2022.
The Snapdragon W5 Gen 1 is rumored to be equipped with the Adreno 702 GPU, which would be a significant improvement over the Adreno 504 in the 4100. This will make way for interactive watch faces, according to today’s rumor. The leak also points to a richer ambient mode.

Thanks to the new process technology, the chip will also likely be 30 percent smaller than its predecessor, which should help suppliers make thinner and leaner arm candy.

Also on the cards are new low-power deep sleep and hibernation modes, which will presumably give you more battery life. On the front of the sensors we can expect ECG, motion detection, PPG Biosensing (for heart rate measurement) and optical detection.

Today’s rumor also confirms previous reports that had said Qualcomm’s next smartwatch chips could have an integrated image processor with support for up to two cameras. Apparently the W5 Gen 1 has dual ISPs (16MP +16MP).

Overall, the W5 Gen 1 series sounds like a solid upgrade over the past generations, which many believe held back Android smartwatches and helped Apple maintain its massive lead. The lack of confidence in Qualcomm’s chips could also be the reason why the Google Pixel Watch is seemingly a Samsung processor instead of a Snapdragon processor.

Qualcomm may have neglected its watch chips, but as today’s leak shows, the chipmaker has been awakened by the partnership between Samsung and Google Watch OS, which has revived Android smartwatches without Qualcomm’s intervention.

Oppo and Mobvoi could be the first vendors to introduce W5 Gen 1 watches. A recent rumor had said that the Oppo Watch 3 would come with new equipment, so it is possible that it will be one of the first watches with Qualcomm’s new chip.

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