Qualcomm appears to be preparing a Snapdragon Wear 5100 chip to power the next generation of Wear OS watches.

A lot of changes are coming to the Wear OS ecosystem in the next year, between the upgrade to Wear OS 3, the upcoming introduction of Samsung’s watches, and Samsung’s “Exynos W920” chip with major performance upgrades. Meanwhile, Qualcomm is taking some heat for the majority of Snapdragon-powered smartwatches being left behind by the update to Wear OS 3, while the small handful of compatible devices won’t see the update until the middle of next year.

Looking ahead, though, Qualcomm is far from finished with the wearables space. According to findings from XDA Developers, Qualcomm has uploaded code that references a “SW5100” platform — presumably short for “Snapdragon Wear 5100” — running on Android 11, which is the basis of the Wear OS 3 update.

Qualcomm page referencing "SW5100" which should be short for Snapdragon Wear 5100
Tag / Build ID "LAW.UM.2.0-00700-SW5100.0"
Chipset "monaco_go"
Android Version "11.00.00"

More directly, there is a mention of “LAW,” which reportedly stands for “Linux Android Wear.” Elsewhere on the page, this same “LAW” acronym is attached to builds for known Wear OS chips like the Snapdragon Wear 2100 and Wear 4100 chips.

Per XDA’s findings, this likely Snapdragon Wear 5100 chip, codenamed “Monaco,” is related to the Snapdragon 662 and 460 chips, but will reportedly use a quad-core design with ARM Cortex-A73 cores, which should offer a modest upgrade over the Snapdragon Wear 4100. More importantly, until another build pops up that proves otherwise, it seems highly likely that future devices running this Wear 5100 chip will launch with Android 11, and therefore the new Wear OS 3 platform.

Beyond that, details about the new chip are quite slim. Considering it’s only been just over a year since the Wear 4100 was announced, it will likely be quite a while still before we get our hands on any smartwatches powered by this newer chip.

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Kyle Bradshaw

Kyle is an author and researcher for 9to5Google, with special interests in Made by Google products, Fuchsia, and Stadia.

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