We’ve said it before, but hardware is hard, and nothing shows that better than Qualcomm’s struggle to release a decent wearable SOC. Today however we bring you renewed hope with rumours circulating about Qualcomm’s next wearable focused chip – the Snapdragon Wear 3300.
While we’re a little over the future promise of silicon that takes Wear OS devices to where they need to be for performance and battery life, I’m genuinely a fan of the Wear OS platform and UI so I want to believe.
So what’s the rumour? According to XDA it seems the next Snapdragon Wear chip will be getting a substantial upgrade.
The original Wear 2100 and the follow up Wear 3100 chips were both based on a 2013 chip design for the Snapdragon 400, a processor that was never well regarded for performance. The SD 400 did however launch Qualcomm into a future where their mid-range processors were more than adequate. The Wear 3300 chipset is rumoured to be based on the Snapdragon 429, which brings along with it several improvements.
Firstly the SD 429 is based on a 12nm fab not a 28nm fab like the SD 400, this should yield better battery life along with improved performance. Secondly the 429 has moved to the newer and faster Cortex A53 cores again an upgrade from the original Cortex-A7 cores in the SD400. Finally starting using a remotely modern chip, with a newer instruction set with all of the embedded advances and advantages that that brings should hopefully deliver an enhanced experience.
Now, we’re still not fans of Qualcomm recycling their old chips in this manner, and would dearly love to see a modern chip built from the ground up for wearables, but it seems Qualcomm has little interest in doing that and Google has abdicated its responsibilities to Wear OS to either do that themselves or partner with someone else to get it done.
In the light of this situation, at least Qualcomm hasn’t abandoned us to 5 year old technology, and with the improvements that the Snapdragon Wear 2100 and 1GB of RAM made to the Fossil Gen 5 platform perhaps the Wear 3300 could breath the much needed life in to Wear OS hardware that we’ve been waiting for.
You never know. If the Wear 3300 is a big improvement, Google might even think its own wearable platform is worthy of some first party hardware!