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Qualcomm claims that its Snapdragon Wear 3100, Wear 4100 and Wear 4100+ platforms are Wear OS 3.0-capable

Not even Wear OS OEMs know if Wear OS 3.0 will be backwards compatible with Wear OS 2.xx smartwatches. (Image source: Google)
Not even Wear OS OEMs know if Wear OS 3.0 will be backwards compatible with Wear OS 2.xx smartwatches. (Image source: Google)
Qualcomm has asserted that some of its Snapdragon Wear SoCs are compatible with Wear OS 3.0, despite Google's continued silence on the matter. Apparently, the Snapdragon Wear 3100, Wear 4100 and Wear 4100+ 'are capable' of running Wear OS 3.0, whatever capable means in this context.
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Support for existing Wear OS smartwatches remains up in there, and there are no signs that Google plans to tell people of its plans. As it stands, even Mobvoi insists that Google has kept it in the dark regarding Wear OS 3.0, too. Just over a week ago, Mobvoi customer service reported that Wear OS 3.0 would be coming to the TicWatch Pro 3. Subsequently, a Mobvoi spokesperson denied this, insisting instead that 'there hasn’t been any official confirmation on any update timings from Google as of yet'.

Now, Qualcomm has weighed in on the matter. According to XDA Developers, a Qualcomm spokesperson has informed it the following:

We are working with Google on bringing Wear OS 3.0 to Snapdragon Wear 4100+ and 4100 platforms. Snapdragon Wear 3100, 4100+ and 4100 platforms are capable of supporting Wear OS 3.0, but we are not discussing any specifics at this time.

Being capable of running Wear OS and doing so well are different things though, as many Snapdragon Wear 3100 smartwatches have shown. Currently, Wear OS 2.xx drags on anything with less than 1 GB of RAM, regardless of its SoC. Wear OS 2.xx poses no problem for the Snapdragon Wear 4100 mind you, although we have only seen it in the TicWatch Pro 3 so far and, as of yesterday, the TicWatch E3.

Ultimately, it seems that Qualcomm is positioning itself as the good guy when Google and its OEMs drop all smartwatches with Snapdragon Wear SoCs later this year. At any rate, Wear OS 3.0 is unlikely to be a lighter OS than Wear OS 2.xx, so running it on a smartwatch with 512 MB of RAM seems counterproductive.

Perhaps, some smartwatches with 1 GB of RAM will receive Wear OS 3.0 at some stage, albeit just those with a Snapdragon Wear 3100 or a Snapdragon Wear 4100 chipset. Even then, that would only include a handful of smartwatches that are greater than a year old.

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Alex Alderson
Alex Alderson - Senior Tech Writer - 4167 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2018
Prior to writing and translating for Notebookcheck, I worked for various companies including Apple and Neowin. I have a BA in International History and Politics from the University of Leeds, which I have since converted to a Law Degree. Happy to chat on Twitter or Notebookchat.
contact me via: @aldersonaj
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 06 > Qualcomm claims that its Snapdragon Wear 3100, Wear 4100 and Wear 4100+ platforms are Wear OS 3.0-capable
Alex Alderson, 2021-06-17 (Update: 2021-06-17)