Qualcomm launches Snapdragon W5 and W5 Plus for next-gen wearables

A Qualcomm illustrative image depicts an expanded smartwatch implementing the W5 platform.

TL;DR

  • Qualcomm has announced the Snapdragon W5 Plus Gen 1 and Snapdragon W5 Gen 1, two new wearables platforms.
  • Platform highlights include faster performance and power-saving features such as ultra-low power Bluetooth 5.3 architecture, low power islands, and low power states.
  • An Oppo Watch 3 series will launch in August featuring the new W5 platform, as will a new generation TicWatch in the fall, featuring the W5 Plus platform.

Today, Qualcomm launched Snapdragon W5 Plus Gen 1 and Snapdragon W5 Gen 1. With new branding and a new naming structure, the new wearable platform has been redesigned from the ground up. Qualcomm has been developing this pair of platforms for three years and the results are impressive.

A provided chart describes Snapdragon W5 generational improvements.

First and foremost, Qualcomm claims these platforms will deliver significantly improved performance and extended battery life. The company not only promises a dramatically better user experience but also delivers game-changing innovation in power consumption.

Headlining upgrades include ultra-low power Bluetooth and low power islands for Wi-Fi, GNSS, and audio. The hybrid architecture also facilitates low-power states such as Deep Sleep and Hibernate. The SoC is brand new, leaping from 12nm to 4nm, as is the new 22nm co-processor. The modem, RFFE, and Bluetooth are also newly imagined.

A provide illustration depicts Snapdragon W5 ecosystem.

For customers, these platforms allow manufacturers to develop products more quickly and with more specialization. In fact, Qualcomm’s focus seems to be on the increasingly fracturing wearables ecosystem. In addition to mainstream smartwatches, the company identified segments focused on kids, seniors, health, and enterprise wearables.

According to Qualcomm, the company is already working with a variety of partners to implement the SoCs into each one. Along with the launch, Qualcomm announced that there are currently 25 designs in production based on the new platforms.

Two companies with an exclusive imminent claim to the new platforms are Oppo and Mobvoi. In August, Oppo will launch the first smartwatch powered by the Snapdragon W5 platform, the Oppo Watch 3 series.

Meanwhile, Mobvoi will be the first to debut the Snapdragon W5 Plus platform. The platform will feature on a new TicWatch scheduled to launch this fall. With Mobvoi wearables in particular eligible for Wear OS 3, it will be very interesting to see what the new technology can offer alongside Google’s operating system.

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