Qualcomm has just announced the new generation of processors dedicated to smart watches. It has two models: the Snapdragon W5 and W5 Plus, which have 4nm lithography to ensure greater performance and energy efficiency, just like the Snapdragon 8 chips for smartphones.
Among the changes, Pankaj Kedia, Qualcomm’s global head of smart wearables, says the new processors are made specifically for wearables rather than just modified versions of cellphone chips.
As such, the Snapdragon W5 Plus is dedicated to premium smartwatches, while the Snapdragon W5 is dedicated to more basic watches, fitness trackers and corporate devices, but both have 4nm lithography. For comparison purposes, the Exynos W920 of Samsung Watch 4 has 5nm and the Apple Watch Series 7 has a 7nm chip.
The architecture has been changed from 12nm to 4nm on the main chip and from 28nm to 22nm on the coprocessor which is always on for power saving. The co-processor will be responsible for detecting keywords for voice assistants and transmitting information via Bluetooth 5.3 LE, in addition to sleep tracking and heart rate monitoring.
On the other hand, the main processor will be responsible for managing voice calls, 3D and animated watch faces, GPS navigation and other advanced features with 50% longer battery life, twice the performance and 30% smaller size compared to the Snapdragon Wear 4100.
To better exemplify, Pankaj Kedia said that a watch with a 300mAh battery should have 15 more hours of autonomy with the new chip. This translates to smaller, sleeker devices and batteries that can last for days, which is currently a rare thing to see on Wear OS.
The first smartwatch with the Snapdragon W5 will be the Oppo Watch 3, which is scheduled for release in August this year. The second smartwatch to have the new Snapdragon W5 Plus will be from Mobvoi and will arrive this spring.