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Qualcomm's upcoming chip might help Wear OS battery life not suck

Rumors of a new wearable SoC from Qualcomm are starting up again.

Published onOctober 28, 2019

fossil gen 5 smartwatch review display watch face 8
Fossil Gen 5 Smartwatch

You don’t need to be a smartwatch expert to know that Wear OS battery life is bad. Even on the latest and greatest hardware, you can really only expect Wear OS watches to last a day or two on a single charge — a far cry from the 5+ days of battery life that Fitbit and Garmin can offer. Luckily, Qualcomm’s next wearable SoC might do something about that.

According to XDA Developers, Qualcomm is preparing a wearable chipset based on the mid-2018 Snapdragon 429 SoC. It will presumably be called the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3300.

XDA noticed a code commit that mentions a device tree for an “SDW3300 device.” The source file that was uploaded is titled “sdw3300-bg-1gb-wtp.dts,” and indicates the new chip is based on the Snapdragon 429. We first heard news of this chipset back in July 2019, when WinFuture reported on the existence of two upcoming Qualcomm chips.

Separately, Android Authority has also heard rumblings of the Snapdragon Wear 3300 chipset name, though we do not have any details on specific features aside from speculation.

Don’t miss: Qualcomm Snapdragon SoC guide

The Snapdragon 429 chipset is meant for smartphones and can be found in devices like the Nokia 3.2. It may be getting a little long in the tooth for smartphones, but smartwatches could absolutely benefit from the 429’s features. The Snapdragon 429 features four Cortex-A53 cores at 1.95GHz, which means the Wear 3300 chip will also likely use these cores. And considering the current Snapdragon Wear 3100 is still based on the same platform as the older Snapdragon Wear 2100 with Cortex-A7 cores, the 3300 chip should offer plenty of improvements in terms of processing and battery life.

It will likely be some time before we see any new Wear OS watches launch with the new chipset, so we’ll have to wait for better performing smartwatches running Wear OS. If you just can’t wait and happen to be in the market for a good Wear OS watch, we’d recommend the Fossil Gen 5 Smartwatch.