Qualcomm announces Snapdragon W5 Gen 1 for smartwatches: 50% more efficient and twice the performance

Qualcomm has announced two new processors for the wearables category, which we’ll find starting next month in smartwatches with WearOS. They’re called the Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1 and W5 Gen 1, bringing these platforms to the same branding as smartphones. The new processors promise lower power consumption, better performance and smaller size, and can be integrated into smaller devices.

Snapdragon W5 Gen 1 and “Plus” variant debuting very soon

The new Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1 will be built on 4nm architecture and will integrate four Cortex-A53 cores, an M55 core at 250 Mhz for sensors and an Adreno 702 GPU at 1 GHz, plus another 2.5D GPU. It’s also making the switch from LPDDR3 to LPDDR4 with the new wearables processors. All of this promises twice the performance with half the power consumption of the Snapdragon Wear 4100+ of the past.

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Other new features would be the integration of the new Bluetooth 5.3 standard that comes with enhanced low power capabilities, low power LTE standby functions, the ability to operate in hibernate and deep sleep modes, as well as low power GPS and Wi-Fi.

The new chips are reduced in size from 100mm square to 90mm square and a height of only 0.48mm. So devices equipped with the Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1 and W5 Gen 1 could be significantly thinner. Those that keep the previous generations’ dimensions, however, could power the devices for longer with similarly sized batteries.

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Qualcomm says there are already 25 devices in production with the new processors. The first models will be an Oppo Watch 3, which will integrate the Snapdragon W5 Gen 1 in August, followed by the Mobvoi TicWatch, which will get the higher-end W5+ Gen 1 variant. Both are expected to feature Google’s WearOS software.

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