For a fair while now, smartwatches have been just a little bit disappointing. A lot of this was because Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 2100 platform – upon which almost all Android Wear smartwatches were based – was getting quite old, and frankly, slow.

Android Wear became Wear OS, and the demands for resources hardly went backwards, and all the while, the same chipset was expected to keep things running smoothly. Well, it didn’t, and it led to a swathe of fairly poor user experiences in Android smart watches.

Wear 3100 hasn’t saved us yet

Fortunately, Qualcomm has released the Snapdragon Wear 3100 chipset which should be far more capable. The only issue? There’s been nary a watch released that actually has it inside. The timing wasn’t great, and manufacturers just weren’t ready to release new ones. Not yet.

Because of this, Wear OS watches have slipped behind the likes of Apple’s Watch, Fitbit’s platform and even Samsung’s Galaxy Watch.

With only two smartwatches released on the new platform, we don’t have a good feel for what Wear 3100 can do. The consensus in reviews elsewhere is that the Montblanc Summit 2 and Fossil Sport are barely optimised for the new platform, leading to a disappointing experience.

Will Wear 3100 save us in 2019?

One can only hope that we see some more Wear 3100 smartwatches this coming year, and we’re likely to see at least a couple make their debut in coming months – either at CES 2019 which kicks off next week, or MWC 2019 which is at the back end of February.

What we want to see is watches built on the new platform, optimised to take advantage of the Wear 3100 chipset. This should deliver a couple of days’ battery life without issues, and a faster, less laggy, less janky experience.

Who will make these watches? I suspect Huawei is gearing up for the next installment of its Huawei Watch line, and there’s every chance that LG will release some new Wear devices too. We’d also put money on Fossil doing a better job in the not too distant future with Wear 3100, and we might see some new premium brands releasing watches in the next couple of months too.

 

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Gadgety
Gadgety
1 year ago

I believe Huawei has left the Wear OS platform, since they launched their own Lite OS Huawei Watch GT.

Will
Will
1 year ago

My LG Urbane finally died so I’m holding out for the gen 5 Fossil Q Explorist hopefully having the 3100. Hopefully they have the OS running smoothly by then too

Jeff
Jeff
1 year ago

I have the Summit 2. Battery life is easily covers the day. I usually have about 25% power left by 11pm. Performance is great, No lag, jitter etc. Only problem with the summit 2 is it is crazy expensive but the finish is high-end

Sam
Sam
1 year ago

I have the Garmin vivo active 1st gen from a few years ago. Nothing on the current market comes close to the battery life. When new it was 21 days. Nowadays I get about 10 days. I love the look of the Samsung watches but having a watch last 2 -.3 days is a joke. I would love to update so pebble or Garmin will be the go to I think.

Philip Clark
Philip Clark
1 year ago

You know the 3100 is just the 2100 with some optimised power modes for ambient screens and workouts right? It does not have any actual processing speed improvements. It would be good to see a bit more investigation behind this article, or something we didn’t know already.

Les
Les
Reply to  Chris Rowland
1 year ago

Don’t forget that quiet little announcement about a year ago, that Google is assembling it’s own team to design processors. Google doesn’t want to be beholden to Qualcomm.

And the leaks that Google is in the process of creating a Pixel watch. It wasn’t ready for Google’s 2018 end-of-year announcements, but I’d put my bets in it appearing sometime in 2019.

Andy
Andy
Reply to  Chris Rowland
1 year ago

I have both the new Fossil Sport Watch and Galaxy Watch and I definitely prefer the Galaxy atm. Fossil Watch suffers too much lag and battery life is terrible 😭

Paul
Paul
Reply to  Andy
1 year ago

Where did you order the Fossil Sport from? I tried ordering from the Fossil US site for delivery to a MyUS.com suite during the recent sales, but the Fossil US site wouldn’t accept my Australian Mastercard or Amex 🙁

Philip Clark
Philip Clark
Reply to  Chris Rowland
1 year ago

“This is why I said in my story that I want to see some smartwatches released that are optimised for the SDW3100 chipset.”

Fair enough, but if the chipset is identical in its processing architecture, why would manufacturers suddenly find optimisation gains on the 3100 after failing to do so for 3 years with the same architecture on the 2100? I’d be hoping for an o/s redesign by Google or another chip being launched – without either of those 2 things, new watches will just feel slower.

Alexander Macafee
Alexander Macafee
1 year ago

If we see a moto 360 gen 2, yes else everything else will just get ignored tbh

BrainBeat
BrainBeat
1 year ago

As a still current Pebble watch user, I have still yet to find something that can rival what it was doing before Google and Apple ever decided to create their current smart watch offerings. Even Fitbit who took over Pebble has yet to create something as good and they had all of the tech to start with. I do hope that someone can create a smartwatch that lasts a week with ease between charges, shows your notifications in a way that is useful so you know when you need to take your phone out of your pocket, and can offer… Read more »

Raymond
Raymond
Reply to  BrainBeat
1 year ago

I have an Amazfit Bip, a pebble replacement and more, only need to recharge once or twice a month, check it out ..

BrainBeat
BrainBeat
Reply to  Raymond
1 year ago

Does it have the apps that Pebble offers? Does it do notifications right?
I do agree in terms of battery life it looks great but the software needs to be as good if not better to get my interest. I am also using a mi band 3 alongside my pebble for fitness tracking.