It’s very clear at this point that Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear 3100 chipset wasn’t the savior that Wear OS needed in the hardware department. However, we’re now learning more about Qualcomm’s next chipset for Wear OS, and the “Snapdragon Wear 3300” could be a pretty big improvement.

Rewinding to this summer, evidence was discovered that Qualcomm was working behind the scenes on its new Wear OS chipset, but at the time we didn’t know much about it aside from that it would be based on newer hardware.

Today, XDA-Developers has published a few more details based on a code commit. A new chipset – apparently called the Snapdragon Wear 3300 – is in the works and based on the Snapdragon 429 processor which debuted in 2018. While a chip debuting in 2020 based on a chip from 2018 doesn’t sound promising, it’s a huge step up from what’s available today.

The current Snapdragon Wear 3100 is still based on the same platform as the Snapdragon Wear 2100. That 2016 chipset was based on the Snapdragon 400 processor designed for mobile phones which was actively used in 2013. Qualcomm clearly refuses to try using something brand new in its wearable processors, but a 5-year jump would be a welcome upgrade.

Undoubtedly the biggest improvement this would make is to performance, but it would also help efficiency. The Snapdragon Wear 3100 is still based on ARM Cortex-A7 cores on a 28nm process while the Snapdragon 429 uses ARM Cortex-A53 cores on a 12nm process.

Of course, we’re still going to be waiting a while until this new chip arrives. Most likely, it won’t be used in any new Wear OS smartwatches until later in 2020.

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Ben Schoon

Ben is a writer and video producer for 9to5Google.

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