With thelikely to make this debut this week, Qualcomm has launched an early counterwatch for smartwatches. The next-generation smartwatch chip platform from Qualcomm, Snapdragon Wear 3100, will start in Google WearOS watches from this holiday, the company said on Monday during an event in San Francisco.
The new chips were the firstat Google's developer conference in May. Together with , the updates are meant to improve the problems in the current smartwatches of Google WearOS … especially when it comes to the life of the battery.
Battery life on most high-end smartwatches is days at its best. The new chips from Qualcomm will not perform much better than those in standard mode. But they will add new supermomal modes and sports watch-focused improvements to get more battery life, in a next wave of watches expected between the end of this year and until 2019. Fossil Group, Louis Vuitton and Montblanc will be the first to put the chips on to take in new Google WearOS watches.
According to Pankaj Kedia, senior director for the Smart Wearables segment of Qualcomm, the new platform is mainly about ultra low power, to make smartwatches last longer. "Your phone is not very useful without a network," says Kedia. "Your watch is not very useful if you do not have time."
But the shelf life modes with a longer lifetime that promise the battery life are for the time being no more than standard viewing and fitness functions.
Always looking faces who do more
The WearOS watches from Google already have an ambient always-on watch mode, but that does not matter much. Watches with the newer Qualcomm chips now have always visible dials with smoothly running second hand and current information displayed through complications, with the possibility to look more stylish.
Improvements for tracking GPS batteries in 2019
Kedia says that next year a next wave of sports fitness watches will arrive that use low-power modes to track fitness, heart rate and GPS for a longer period of time, up to 15 hours. (By following GPS and heart rate in current smartwatches, the batteries are often shaken before the end of your average half marathon.) In those longer lifetime modes, other smartwatch functions are inactive.
Longer battery life can be up to one month in energy-saving mode
Snapdragon 3100 smartwatches must have a battery life of 1.5 to 2.5 days in normal smartwatch mode before switching to a standard watch mode that takes a week or longer to recharge. That low-power viewing mode will do nothing more than tell the time and date for now, but might do more in the future. Kedia says you can expect a 30-day battery life if you would use a Snapdragon Wear 3100 watch in a simple viewing mode.
Still no assistant
A promised feature of the next generation Google and Qualcomm WearOS watches on Google I / O was an always-on Google assistant that would always listen. But that is no longer on the table at the moment. "Always-on-assistant is not something that we are announcing at the moment," says Qedia & # 39; s Kedia.
Maybe that's something that would introduce a future WearOS watch with Google brand. It is a curious absence of the Snapdragon Wear 3100 offer, but Kedia also suggests that watches with this new processor will continue to see new features and performance upgrades via firmware updates in the future, including possibly adding more functions to the longer battery basic mode for the watch than time.
More big brands to come
The WearOS smartwatch platform from Google attractedlast year, including Fossil Group, Tag Heuer, Movado and Montblanc. The updated WearOS watches of this year have already been announced, including new offers from , and .
The Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon, Montblanc Summit 2 and an unnamed Fossil watch are the first WearOS watches to receive the new 3100 processor from Qualcomm. The Montblanc summit 2 arrives in October.
Google has already indicated onebut some of the updated third-party smart watches with the new processors from Qualcomm inside could start at the end of this year and the next. "New customers are jumping into the battle", Kedia promises.
It all sounds like a useful upgrade to WearOS smartwatches, but also essential if competitors hope to face the next generation Apple Watch.
CNET is at the announcement of Qualcomm in San Francisco – stay informed for practical impressions of the event.