Google provided more details about its upcoming Wear OS upgrade plan. As we reported, Google and Samsung are teaming up to revive the troubled Wear OS. Samsung is abandoning Tizen watches and bringing its Exynos SoC to the Wear OS platform, and Google will start Wear OS development again after basically ignoring the operating system in the past few years. The post on the official Wear OS forum is titled “What does Wear OS 3 mean to you” and describes the difficult transition to the new operating system. First of all, it is important to note that the publication officially referred to the improved Wear OS as “Wear OS 3”. This is a detail that Google has missed from all official statements so far. It has chosen “unified platform” and uses OS.”
Or some other cumbersome descriptor. This is version 3! This is in line with our count; this is the first major update of Wear OS since Wear OS 2 in 2018. The following are devices updated from Wear OS 2 to 3 List. Not many: Wear OS devices eligible for the update include TicWatch Pro 3 GPS, TicWatch Pro 3 Cellular / LTE, TicWatch E3 and TicWatch devices, and the upcoming new generation of Fossil Group devices. These are all devices using Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear 4100 SoC. The list is actually all Snapdragon Wear 4100 devices, including a Fossil name check to learn about Wear 4100 devices that may be released in the future. This is a clear sign that Google will not support the old version of Snapdragon Wear 3100 with Wear OS 3. Wear 3100 constitutes almost all current Wear OS devices, but it is also very slow.
Qualcomm has always been the only viable SoC supplier available to Wear OS manufacturers, but it also doesn’t care much about wearable devices, and it has recently spent six years without improving the performance of its smartphone SoC. From 2014 to 2020, the company shipped 28-nanometer quad-core Cortex A7 CPUs with a variety of different models. The result is that as battery life and performance issues increase, Wear OS is almost dead, and competing devices from Apple and Samsung are getting faster every year. With the release of the Snapdragon Wear 4100 released in mid-2020, Qualcomm finally broke the 2014 chip technology record. It is only a low-end 12nm Cortex A53 SoC, which is completely uncompetitive with Samsung or Apple, but this is a huge improvement.
However, the only remaining Wear OS supplier is a fashion brand, and they don’t care about delivering the latest technology, so the adoption of Wear 4100 is almost non-existent. In fact, we saw the release of the Wear 3100 device last week: the $2,150 TAG Heuer Super Mario Watch. Abandoning Wear 3100 is an understandable decision. The chip is very slow, admitting that it limits many things that Wear OS can do. After the end of the Qualcomm era, Wear OS can expect Samsung to improve its reliability at the forefront of hardware.
According to rumors, the new flagship Wear OS device Galaxy Watch 4 (expected to be released at the Samsung event on August 11) is equipped with a high-end 5nm Samsung Exynos SoC, which may be many times faster than the 3100. Samsung also did not update any of its watches, because switching from Tizen to Wear OS would be too dramatic.