Notebookcheck Logo

Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1: 4 breakthrough ways it will define the future of Android wearables

Coming to an Android-based smartwatch soon. (Image Source: Qualcomm)
Coming to an Android-based smartwatch soon. (Image Source: Qualcomm)
Qualcomm recently issued a press release detailing its next-generation family of SoCs for wearable devices including the Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1. The new W5 Gen+ 1 chip unleashes mainstream power, incredible efficiency, and expanded functionality for the Android-based smartwatches of the future.
Article compiled by Brahm Shank
The choices and comments made on this list belong solely to the author.

1. Exemplary efficiency

The 4-nanometer hybrid architecture of the Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1 features a number of power-saving measures that are integrated directly onto the die, including a 22-nanometer AON co-processor that is ambient 95% of the time.

In addition to dedicated elements for the display and sensors, the new co-processor now drives audio and notifications, which helps to conserve power and lengthen battery life throughout the day. Other elements that have been offloaded to the co-processor to save power include health/fitness sensors such as the accelerometer, gyroscope, cardiac algorithms, and SpO2 monitoring.

Low-power islands have been integrated for Wi-Fi, audio, and GNSS connectivity. According to Qualcomm’s tests, the low-power design of the Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1 can “extend battery life by 50 percent compared to previous generations”. 

Smartwatch batteries are small, which means conserving power while also maximizing performance year-over-year is crucial. (Image source: Qualcomm)
Smartwatch batteries are small, which means conserving power while also maximizing performance year-over-year is crucial. (Image source: Qualcomm)

2. Power that is twice as nice

Qualcomm claims that the Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1 is up to twice as fast as its previous 12-nanometer Wear 4100+ chip, packing in four A53 CPU cores each clocked at 1.7 GHz and two A702 GPU cores each clocked at 1 GHz.

The Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1 also features memory that is three times faster than the previous platform design. While the Wear 4100+ platform provided 1 x 32 LPDDR3 memory at 750 MHz, the new Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1 offers 1 X 16 LPDDR4 memory at 2133 MHz.

With dramatic improvements to the silicon across the board, the Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1 will enable innovative smartwatch designs and new Wear OS experiences. (Image source: Qualcomm)
With dramatic improvements to the silicon across the board, the Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1 will enable innovative smartwatch designs and new Wear OS experiences. (Image source: Qualcomm)

3. Fundamentally feature-rich

A promotional video included in the press release for the Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1 highlights the idea that the wearable-focused nature of the next-generation SoC will enable a host of incredible features for future Wear OS smartwatches, including responsive scrolling, 3D watch faces, 2-way video calling, real-time image recognition, and image-signal-processor (ISP) support for dual 16-megapixel cameras.

Qualcomm additionally touted an ambitious software integration made possible by the Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1 that would allow developers to configure watch faces that feature real-time maps app navigation.

Support for 2-way video calling and high-quality cameras on an Android-based smartwatch could offer game-changing advantages over Apple's wearable offerings. (Image source: Qualcomm)
Support for 2-way video calling and high-quality cameras on an Android-based smartwatch could offer game-changing advantages over Apple's wearable offerings. (Image source: Qualcomm)

4. Stunningly small size

The Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1 enables smartphone manufacturers to adopt smartwatch designs that are thinner, sleeker, and all-around smaller. Using what Qualcomm calls “highly integrated and innovative packing technologies” the company's engineers were able to shrink the overall SoC by 30%, the chipset by 35%, and the core PCB by an impressive 40%.

These architecture advancements allow the Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1 chip to take up less physical space in a device chassis, offering more room for other components such as batteries or cameras. 

Read all 2 comments / answer
static version load dynamic
Loading Comments
Comment on this article
Please share our article, every link counts!
.170
> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2022 07 > Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1: 4 breakthrough ways it will define the future of Android wearables
Brahm Shank, 2022-07-26 (Update: 2022-07-26)