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Samsung’s Smartwatch Chip Could Be a Game-Changer for Wear OS

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The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 next to a book

Photo: Victoria Song/Gizmodo

Good news for those of you who are excitedly waiting to see what’s brand-new for Android smartwatches. According to a brand-new SamMobile report, Samsung’s next-gen Wear OS gadgets will be powered by a husky brand-new chip called the Exynos W920—and a minimum of on paper, the gains are appealing.

Let’s get to the nitty-gritty. The Exynos W920 will supposedly be 1.25 times much faster, with 1.5GB of RAM and 8.8 times the graphic efficiency compared to the Exynos 9110, the chip that’s powered every Samsung smartwatch considering that the Galaxy Watch. SamMobile likewise states Samsung particularly developed this chip for the brand-new Wear, a unified platform that mashes together the very best littles Tizen OS and the old Wear OS. Just taking a look at the numbers, this is enormous. No Wear OS watch presently on the marketplace has more than 1GB of RAM, and the frustrating bulk are still working on last-gen processors.

These specifications dovetail with a report we heard in May from leaker Ice Universe, who declared the brand-new Samsung watches would sport a 5nm processor. But hasn’t Wear OS’s issues been mainly about ignored software application and incremental updates? Well, to a degree, yes. However, another enormous issue has actually been that, previously, almost all Wear OS watches have actually been powered by Qualcomm’s lackluster Snapdragon Wear platform. The Snapdragon Wear chips have actually constantly utilized exceptionally out-of-date processor tech, putting it far behind Samsung’s Exynos and Apple’s S-series processors. That in turn caused a chicken-and-egg circumstance. No matter what software application updates Google would press out, they would constantly be rather hamstrung by the Snapdragon Wear chips.

For years Wear OS suffered on the Snapdragon Wear 2100 chip, which was developed on 28nm procedure tech. This was procedure node tech that was superseded by 22nm in 2012. That’s 2 years prior to the very first Wear OS—then Android Wear—smartwatches ever appeared. The Snapdragon Wear platform didn’t get a significant upgrade up until 2018, when Qualcomm revealed the Snapdragon Wear 3100 platform. While it included a co-processor, this chip was likewise based upon 28nm tech. In 2018, both Apple and Samsung had actually carried on to 7nm and 10nm procedure tech, respectively. Last June, Qualcomm revealed its Snapdragon Wear 4100 platform, which guaranteed to improve processing power from 28nm… to 12nm. While that’s a considerable increase, it’s still tech that’s a number of generations behind. In 2021, there are still only two Wear OS smartwatches that utilize Qualcomm’s 4100 platform: Mobvoi’s TicWatch Pro 3 and the TicWatch Pro 3 LTE.

This is a huge reason that Wear OS smartwatches frequently felt laggy in contrast to Samsung’s Tizen OS watches, Apple Watches, and less power-extensive Fitbits. It’s likewise why marquee functions like LTE connection and sleep-tracking took so long to make their method to Wear OS hardware.

So the reality that the initially smartwatches to include the brand-new merged platform will be powered by chips utilizing present procedure tech? That’s worth keeping in mind. It’s never a warranty that the brand-new platform will be exceptional, or that it won’t have growing discomforts to get rid of. However, it’s at least providing this fledging platform a possibility to start on the very best foot possible.

When Samsung and Google formally revealed their cooperation, Gizmodo asked if it was possible that Samsung may certify its processor tech to other business in the area. At the time, Samsung decreased to comment. It’s really possible that it won’t which this sturdy processor will just deal with Samsung watches. However, if it does make its method to other smartwatches, that would be big. And even if it doesn’t, showing that the brand-new Wear OS might be excellent on present hardware may offer Qualcomm a start the butt to stop dragging its feet on upgrading its Snapdragon Wear platform. Or, who understands? Perhaps it may motivate other suppliers to explore their own SoC and bypass Qualcomm totally.

Whatever winds up occurring, a capable processor that can display Wear OS’s real capacity is long past due—and it’s factor to hope that Google and Samsung are major about this brand-new endeavor prospering.


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