A huge chunk of Android Wear Smartwatches out there are still based on the old Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor that was released towards the end of 2012.
This is an ARM-based SoC that can either be a dual or quad-core configuration and while there’s no doubt that this chipset is great, Qualcomm didn’t build it specifically with Smartwatches or rather wearables in mind. Instead, like many of its chipsets, it’s meant for smartphones.
Despite this fact, the Snapdragon 400 processor has realized immense success in the Android Wear world but with many companies now joining the Smartwatch craze, Qualcomm made a decision to come in with a processor that is specifically targeting wearables. As you’d expect, the American chip maker settled on the “Snapdragon Wear” as the name of these processors and the first SoC to be unveiled in this family, which came out early last year, is the Snapdragon Wear 2100.
While the company designed the Snapdragon Wear 2100 in a way that will ensure it fits well into tiny wearables while at the same time increasing power efficiency, there is something really disturbing about this chipset. Similar to several variants of the Snapdragon 400, you’ll come across four ARM-based Cortex-A7 cores in this next-gen Android Wear processor.
Just in case you didn’t know, this 32-bit ARM Cortex-A7 CPU uses the ARMv7-A architecture that was first released an astonishing six years ago. Yes, you read that right, the Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor that Qualcomm will very much want us to believe is a next-gen chipset uses technology that was announced in 2011. This is basically the same architecture you’ll find in a number of old chipsets, including the Samsung’s Exynos 5 that was last used in 2014 and a bunch of MediaTek and Broadcom processors from years ago.
So, why would Qualcomm label a processor that is based on a 2011 architecture next-gen? Well, to be honest, this simply tells you how less of a priority Android Wear is to the tech giant and if you have been thinking of grabbing some of the latest Smartwatches from LG and co., you better think twice. Instead, you’d be better off taking the back seat and wait for the successor to this processor which, hopefully, will implement some of the latest technologies.