Qualcomm Snapdragon 4100 brings new features to Wear OS wearables


The new Snapdragon 4100 chipset from Qualcomm is bringing some much-needed upgrades to Wear OS smartwatches.

Qualcomm is also releasing an upgraded Plus variant of the Snapdragon 4100. This is the first major update to the smartwatch platform for at least three years. Qualcomm claims that the two new processors have upgraded GPU, camera, memory, and battery efficiency.

The two new chipsets are a welcome update to the Wear OS platform. This is a welcome upgrade for a platform that has been neglected by many in the tech community. The smart wearable platform did not really reach the hype that once promised.

Too late in the game

Despite the new release from Qualcomm, many regards these upgrades as way too late for the platform. Google’s Wear OS smart wearable platform is way behind compared to that of Apple’s. Moreover, the platform did not catch the attention of many mainstream developers.

In terms of hardware releases, Qualcomm last updated its lineup in 2018 when it released the Snapdragon Wear 3100. The chipset is a slightly upgraded version of the Snapdragon 2100 which hit the market in 2016. It is a relatively small update since both chipsets still use the same main processor

This makes the new Snapdragon 4100 the company’s biggest release in nearly four years. This simply goes to show how much the smart wearable industry has been neglected.

Notable upgrades

The new chipsets are using the new 12nm process. This is a significant upgrade from the Wear 3100 that used the outdated 28nm process. By using this new process, Qualcomm can cram four Cortex-A53 processors into the chipset.

All four cores of the Snapdragon 4100+ has a clock speed of 1.7GHz. Qualcomm claims that the new chipset is more than 85% faster than its predecessor. The new Adreno A504 is also more than twice as fast as its predecessor.

Qualcomm said that it is in the process of shipping these new processors to its hardware partners. The first smartwatches to use these chipsets should arrive within the coming months.

Many believe that the new hardware should be able to help lift the Wear OS back into the mainstream consciousness. It is important to note that a majority of smart wearable devices that run on Wear OS uses Qualcomm chipsets.

With the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 4100, new smartwatches running on Wear OS should be interesting. Only time will tell whether they can challenge the current leader that is Apple.

Image courtesy Alberto Garcia Guillen/Shutterstock

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