Qualcomm's new Snapdragon Wear 3100 smartwatch chipset is all about battery life

Qualcomm's new Snapdragon Wear 3100 smartwatch chipset is all about battery life
In sync with its latest teaser, Qualcomm just unveiled a brand new chip, tailor-made for smartwatches, promising to land the next era for Wear OS devices. You guessed it, the long-awaited sequel for the Snapdragon Wear 2100 platform is here, dubbed Wear 3100. 

Qualcomm's first shot at wearable chippery came in the form of a repackaged Snapdragon 400 which had neither the performance nor the battery life needed for the task. Then came Snapdragon Wear 2100. It was 30% smaller than the Snapdragon 400, enabling thinner designs, and used less power, too, plus it brought about 4G LTE connectivity support.

Wear 3100 specs

The newest kid on the smartwatch chipsets block from Qualcomm, Snapdragon Wear 3100, is building on the 2100 legacy, vastly improving it in a few key areas, chief of which is battery life. This much-needed boost to the endurance future Wear OS timepieces will come courtesy of ultra-low-power system architecture with the more powerful A7 processor cores joined by Qualcomm's newest QCC1110 chip. 

That one is incredibly small and tasked with co-processing the display and sensory input, offloading the work from the main cores. In addition, the 4G modem uses lifehacks like "Gallium Arsenide power amplifiers" to keep battery draw while maintaining LTE network connection at a minimum.

Battery life

The aggregate improvement from all these enhanced chips inside Snapdragon Wear 3100 is the whopping 4-12 hours of extra smartwatch-ing daily when compared to 2100 with the same battery size. Moreover, there is a new Traditional Watch Mode which basically exits the Wear OS system, swapping it with basic timepiece functionality only, and can deliver up to a week of battery life in that regime.

The Snapdragon Wear 3100 platform has three versions - with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, for GPS-based tethered smartwatches, and one targeted towards 4G LTE models. High-end customers like Fossil Group, Louis Vuitton, and Montblanc will be the first out of the gate to launch products based on Snapdragon Wear 3100.

Invalid image meta



1. prokshit

Posts: 16; Member since: Sep 20, 2012

All I can say is this processor is disappointing. Mainly because of A7s was released in 2011, I was hoping to see something like A55s in there. That is just lazy on Qualcomm's part.

7. Atechguy0

Posts: 918; Member since: Aug 03, 2018

First of all it's a watch. Are you expecting it to be a 64 bit quad core processor, with a really high performance GPU? Look the SD Wear 2100 was definitely fast enough for a watch, and could play emulators like Gameboy, SNES, and more. There was Doom, and other taxing games for Android Wear as well. Speed is not the issue if your display only has a resolution of 400x400. Plus the SD 2100 could use just one core or all 4 cores if need be. Now from the looks of this new SoC, it looks like it has different states or modes to really increase battery life. Especially when the vast majority of the watches life is only displaying the time, and a few other pieces of information that can be updated either every few minutes to every minute. I welcome these new updates more. Look at Apples watch which has its watch face off most of it's like, and it still sucks battery life. Plus there is no way to leave the watch face on all the time. Like Android Wear smart watches. If I left my watch face off, then I could go serveral days with one charge using the current SD Wear 2100. Can't do that with any Apple watch.

9. strategic_developer

Posts: 1627; Member since: Jul 17, 2018

How much frikkin SoC power do you need in a watch? A55 just to tell time? Apps on watches are small an limited. Why have battery power being wasted on an SOC that isnt doing anything?

2. maherk

Posts: 6960; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

They should've announced this a bit earlier, as now many of upcoming Android Wear watches that were announced at IFA will come equipped with an outdated processor.

5. cmdacos

Posts: 4264; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

It was hinted at I/O so OEMs knew it was coming and decided to use the 2100 instead.


Posts: 234; Member since: Sep 24, 2015

Is it same 28nm chipset like 2100?

4. surethom

Posts: 1719; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

Unfortunately yes still 28nm if they only went a few nm smaller it would have given better battery life.

6. cmdacos

Posts: 4264; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Not that anyone uses watch only mode but how are they only getting a week out of watch only mode when Samsung gets over a month

8. Cat97

Posts: 1933; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

I can't see how a 28nm chip can be all about battery life. Just lame excuses from Qualcomm.

10. Skizzo

Posts: 403; Member since: Jul 14, 2013

How much of an improvement over the 2100 it is we'll have to wait and see, but it seems like a bit of a lazy upgrade. Before anyone jumps in with "it's only a watch", I would like to remind everyone that phones used to be very under powered by todays standards, but at the time it seemed like "what more can we ask of a phone?" yet here we are. I'm not saying we need the latest chip tech in a product still in its infancy, but imagine if they were able to put in a 14nm chip, that is smaller, more power efficient, and more powerful. What would we need it for?? Well, a 720p screen resolution, which would seem as clear as a 4k at that size. Significantly longer battery life in a slimmer watch. More power means more room to play with for app developers, meaning a bigger and more diverse app ecosystem for the Wear OS. So many examples...

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.