Apple watch

Android smartwatches could finally compete with the Apple Watch

Source: Pocketnow

Qualcomm announced the brand new Snapdragon W5 Gen 1 and W5 Plus Gen 1 chipsets yesterday, for use in future Android smartwatches. The new chips are made on the new 4nm architecture and are much more efficient and powerful than the previous generation Snapdragon 4100.

According to the press release, the new W5 Gen 1 promises up to 50% less power consumption and twice the performance of the Snapdragon 4100 platform. It also supports the latest technologies, which makes it one of the best chips for Android smartwatch makers.

The problem with Android smartwatches

Snapdragon W5 Plus Gen 1 Features Source: Qualcomm

The new chip means Android smartwatches aren’t dead after all, and we can finally hope manufacturers will take the world of smartwatches more seriously. OEMs introduced smartwatches many years ago but failed to catch on because they were slow, buggy and could barely last a day on a single charge.

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I used to wear the LG Watch Style which was announced around the same time as the LG G6 in February 2017. It looked gorgeous and it was powered by the Snapdragon Wear 2100 chip. Unfortunately the old software Wear OS was anything but impressive and the watch often died after an 8 hour shift. It also didn’t display the time often, as it would shut down and freeze for 5-10 minutes before restarting. Android smartwatches have always looked better than Apple’s offerings – which is subjective – but they lacked performance, durability and, most importantly, software.

Now that Google and Samsung have developed the Wear OS 3.0 platform together, we’re getting to see some awesome new smartwatches. The new Snapdragon chip also brings back the hope that many of us have been waiting for. We Android users finally get to see smartwatches that can last more than a day, and the new SoC also brings new features that can finally rival the Apple Watch, at least on paper.

New chips finally mean better performance

Snapdragon W5 Gen 1 vs. Wear 4100 Plus Source: Qualcomm

While the Snapdragon 4100 and 4100+ were a welcome upgrade over the previous generation, they were hardly innovative and they struggled to deliver massive improvements to the user experience. However, the new W5 Gen 1 platform delivers everything we’ve been asking for for many years, and OEMs finally have a chance to show that Android’s Wear OS is so much more than that.

On paper, the new W5 Gen 1 chips offer up to 50% better power consumption, and they’re also twice as fast. They have more features and support new technologies such as Bluetooth 5.3 and built-in speakers. They are also smaller, giving OEMs more room to fit slightly larger batteries. Smartwatches that switch to the Wear OS 3.X platform will also benefit from the new enhancements, features, and software enhancements. They will hopefully deliver smooth performance and more than a day’s worth of battery life.

Snapdragon W5 Gen 1 smartwatches are coming

Smartwatch Snapdragon W5 Plus Gen 1 Source: Qualcomm

Qualcomm has announced that OPPO and Mobvoi will be among the first manufacturers to launch smartwatches with the new SoCs. OPPO is expected to announce the Watch 3 next month, while Mobvoi is expected to launch a next-generation flagship TicWatch smartwatch in the fall.

If you’re waiting for the next Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 series, the Google Pixel Watch, it might be a good idea to wait a few more months before settling on your next smartwatch. The new devices will almost certainly offer the performance improvements we expected, but we’ll have to try all of these devices before we can recommend them.

Which of the new connected watches are you looking forward to the most? Let us know in the comments below!