It’s been almost two years since Qualcomm announced the Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor, and in that time there haven’t been many exciting developments in smartwatches, Google bought Fitbit, though that union is yet to be complete. Companies continued to iterate on their products, like Wear OS, Samsung’s Galaxy Watch series and Fitbit’s Versas, while Apple unveiled the newest version of watchOS last week. Despite the lack of excitement, Qualcomm is continuing to invest in the smartwatch industry, unveiling today a pair of processors for wrist-worn devices. The Snapdragon Wear 4100 and 4100+ promise to be much faster than their predecessor and offer longer battery lives, alongside improved support for some smartwatch experiences.
Compared to the Snapdragon Wear 3100, Qualcomm’s global business head for smart wearables and shareables Pankaj Kedia said the 4100+ will bring about 85 percent higher performance. Though it uses similar big.LITTLE architecture to its predecessor, the 4100+ uses a new 12 nanometer process compared to the 28 nanometer before. It also uses Cortex-A53 cores as opposed to the older A-7 on the previous generation, and runs at a faster 1.7GHz. There’s a new Adreno A504 graphics engine, faster memory and two digital signal processors (DSP) instead of just one like before. 4G LTE mode now gets a dedicated DSP. All that is to say the Wear 4100+ should make your smartwatch run noticeably faster than existing devices.