Qualcomm finally updated its wearable chipset line-up, but the Snapdragon Wear 2500 chip raises a few eyebrows. The press release makes it very clear that this targets kid-oriented watches and it doesn’t really seem like something designed for premium watches (maybe that’s coming later?).
The processor is still based on ancient Cortex-A7 cores – four of them – so not much has changed on this front. Qualcomm claims that the new chipset is 14% more power efficient, which is nice until you consider that it replaces the Wear 2100 (introduced in 2016), which was based on the Snapdragon 210 (from 2014).
The Wear 2500 does have a new modem – a 5th gen LTE modem, but no connectivity speeds were quoted. The chip also supports cameras of up to 5 MP resolution intended for video calling. Voice assistants are enabled by the low-power Voice Activation feature and there’s an ultra-low power sensor hub for activity and fitness tracking.
Qualcomm even developed a special “for kids” version of Android Wear based on Oreo, which “fits in a 512 MB memory footprint”. “Memory” probably means RAM here, which is nothing to brag about — most Android Wear watches already have 512 MB of RAM. We doubt it's storage since even Android Go Edition’s system partition is about 1 GB.
The company is working with Huawei, the biggest customer for the Snapdragon Wear platform, to develop next generation watches. Qualcomm also partnered with InvenSense to develop algorithms for gesture recognition.
Snapdragon Wear 2500 development kits will be available in Q3 this year and the first watches with it should be out shortly after that.
Which leaves one question – the Qualcomm kept an ace up its sleeve? Any new Android Wear watches, even ones for adults, would switch to the 2500 for the power savings (cost too, it’s a smaller chip), unless the company trots out a premium Wear chipset.
Will the SIM card of any active phone work in a smart watch once inserted?
This is for smart watches not for phones so it will do the job.