+ Friday October 18th, 2019

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.

 

Chris Rowland   Managing Editor

Chris Rowland

Chris has been at the forefront of smartphone reporting in Australia since smartphones were a thing, and has used mobile phones since they came with giant lead-acid batteries that were "transportable" and were carried in a shoulder bag.

Today, Chris publishes one of Australia's most popular technology websites, Ausdroid. His interests include mobile (of course), as well as connected technology and how it can make all our lives easier.

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Gadgety
Guest
Gadgety

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

Will
Ausdroid Reader

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
Guest
Jeff

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
Guest
Sam

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
Ausdroid Reader

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.

Alex Macafee
Ausdroid Reader

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

BrainBeat
Guest
BrainBeat

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
Guest
Raymond

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

BrainBeat
Guest
BrainBeat

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.

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