Published: Wed, July 10, 2019
IT | By Lester Massey

Qualcomm's next chip may finally make Wear OS smartwatches worth getting

Qualcomm's next chip may finally make Wear OS smartwatches worth getting

YOUR NEXT WEAR OS smartwatch could be as powerful as your smartphone, if the rumours that Qualcomm is working on a more powerful Snapdragon Wear chip come to fruition.

This new product family has been expanded to include a new chipset, the Qualcomm 215, a platform for low-end entry-level terminals that is easy to verify from the datasheet.

If that's the case, the most exciting element may be that the Snapdragon 429 has 64-bit support, which is something we haven't seen on Wear OS devices in the past.

The Snapdragon 215 chipset is a major advancement since Qualcomm has finally moved away from the ancient Cortex-A7 cores to the more modern Cortex-A53 cores, offering up to 50% improvement in CPU performance. The Snapdragon 215 is a significant upgrade over the Snapdragon 212 as it now has a 64-bit CPU, a faster GPU and support for dual cameras. Additionally, there is support for Full HD+ video recording. Apart from that, expect Quick Charge 1.0 included in budget smartphones which will boost charging speeds up to 70%.

Recently, we were informed that Qualcomm is about to launch a new chip developed for smartwatches. The new chip is also reduced in size, which allows Qualcomm to put more transistors into the Wear 429 / Wear 2700. Since it comes with Adreno 308 GPU, Qualcomm 215 has a boost of up to 28% increased gaming performance as compared to its predecessor.

Commercial devices based on Qualcomm 215 are expected to be available in second half 2019.

For superior cellular connectivity at home or on the go, the Qualcomm 215 featuring the integrated Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ X5 modem supports LTE Cat 4 with Carrier Aggregation for faster data rates and download speeds up to 150Mbps. The latest chipset supports 19.9:9 aspect ratio and HD+ display.

The Qualcomm 215 is undoubtedly a decent enough chip for low-end Android phones. When Qualcomm revealed the 3100 a year ago, it claimed the larger node used was an intentional power-saving decision, and that the chip would operate more efficiently in a low-power state for longer periods. There is a huge and rising market of ultra-affordable smartphones. Qualcomm could be hoping that its brand name and the strong association it has with making reliable smartphone CPUs should help capture market share. So we have to wait for news in this respect.

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