Of the myriad explanation why Google’s Put on OS platform has struggled through the years, Qualcomm’s sluggish smartwatch chips are largely guilty. The chipmaker’s present Snapdragon Put on 4100+ platform is over a 12 months previous, operating outdated course of tech, and certain received’t run the upcoming Put on OS 3 practically in addition to Samsung’s latest watch chip. When Qualcomm introduced a renewed curiosity in wearables, the corporate appeared to have gotten the memo. However new studies point out that its next-gen smartwatch chip, the 5100, could also be not be any quicker than the present one.
To be truthful, Qualcomm is within the early levels of creating a brand new Snapdragon Put on platform and issues would possibly change. Nonetheless, German tech web site WinFuture (by way of Android Authority) says that preliminary Snapdragon Put on 5100 samples use quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPUs—not the considerably beefier A73s as initially reported by XDA Developers. The A53s are additionally used within the present 4100 platform, which once more, could not supply the most effective Put on OS 3 expertise based mostly on the smartwatches Google says will probably be eligible for upgrades in 2022.
It does, nevertheless, seem that Qualcomm is futzing with 1 or 2GB of LPDDR4X RAM and eight or 16GB of flash storage. That will be a bump up from the present 4100 platform. WinFuture additionally notes that, as soon as once more, Qualcomm is sticking with a low-power co-processor—which was launched with the 3100 chip—and may theoretically supply higher battery life. Thus far, this sounds very Qualcomm. The odd factor is WinFuture additionally says some pattern variants experiment with two cameras with 5MP and 16MP sensors, doubtlessly hinting at a smartwatch with twin cameras.
The one smartwatch that’s been rumored to have twin cameras is no matter monstrosity Fb’s constructing over in Menlo Park. And this Fb smartwatch doesn’t even exist but. Essentially the most superior smartwatches available on the market, just like the Apple Watch, Fitbit Sense, and Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, don’t even hassle with cameras proper now. Samsung had a camera on its Galaxy Gear smartwatches ages in the past, and properly, is it any marvel that function disappeared? In the meantime, Put on OS customers have been begging for watches that don’t stutter and lag for ages.
Reader, inform me: Who is asking for one smartwatch digital camera, not to mention two? It’s not that it’s inconceivable. I lately tried out the Wristcam for the Apple Watch, a watch band with a digital camera constructed in for video messaging and taking footage on the fly. (You’ll be able to see it within the picture above.) It really works as marketed. However it’s additionally cumbersome, costly, and charging the factor is a problem. Maybe in the future we’d wish to add Face ID to our watches, however proper now it could come on the expense of battery life—and most of the people suppose the present battery life on flagship smartwatches is already too quick. Bumping up the RAM and flash storage is good, nevertheless it’s unlikely the 5100 will supply an enormous enchancment in battery life over the 4100 based mostly on the leaked specs we’ve seen. Fossil simply introduced its Gen 6 Put on OS watch, which is powered by the 4100 chip. It has an estimated battery lifetime of 24 hours. Please, I don’t even wish to suppose what that will dwindle right down to for those who added twin cameras.
Qualcomm can’t afford to proceed dropping the ball. Google simply confirmed it’s ditched Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chips in favor of its personal in-house silicon for the Pixel 6. It’s additionally rumored that Google’s working by itself chips for Chromebooks and tablets. Samsung is Google’s Put on OS buddy now. It’s not a stretch to suppose Google may also quit ready on an honest Snapdragon Put on chip in favor of constructing its personal for no matter premium Fitbit smartwatch is on the best way. (Or maybe, a Pixel watch?)
Once more, it’s early days. Qualcomm may very properly simply be capturing the shit and tinkering round to see what’s potential. However severely, Qualcomm, the dicking round can come later. Apple iterates on its wearable SoC yearly. Samsung is already out right here with a 5nm wearable chip that runs the brand new unified Put on OS fairly properly. It’s enabled Android customers to lastly have a full-featured smartwatch choice that may rival the Apple Watch. All anybody out right here desires is an effective Snapdragon Put on chip in order that actually any firm aside from Fossil and Samsung could make Android smartwatch. Qualcomm, can you retain your eye on the prize right here? Is that actually a lot to ask for?