After two years, Qualcomm has revealed the latest smartwatch platform, the Snapdragon Wear 3100. This new platform is designed for the wearables and has a new power management system that will reduce power consumption by nearly 20 times giving the smartwatch 4 to 12 hours more battery life.
The 3100 platform is a hybrid of the new and old technology. It has three personalized modes designed for different use cases. The Personalized Sports Experiences mode keeps the battery going for nearly 15 hours while tracking GPS and heart rate. Traditional Watch Mode keeps only basic functions going, but keeps the battery running for nearly a week. The Enhanced Ambient Mode designed for use with fashion watches supports up to 16 colors. It keeps the watch always on and offers improved brightness. It still remains to be seen how much functionality the user may have to sacrifice to get the desired battery performance.
A point of concern is the use of the older 28nm process while most companies are working with 10nm process technology, but we are reserving judgment for now. It looks like two years of improvement has only focused on the power efficiency and not the performance gain.
Qualcomm 3100 chip is available in three flavors that manufacturers can choose from. One for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi tethered smart watches, the second for 4G LTE devices and the third for GPS watches.
Fossil Group, Montblanc and Louis Vuitton are already using 3100 chip in their devices. Montblanc has released Montblanc Summit 2 unisex smartwatch powered by this latest watch OS platform. Though Fossil and Louis Vuitton haven’t announced anything, we can expect new models of wearables from them.