Last Updated on August 9, 2020 by Jude Simeone
Qualcomm has announced the release of Snapdragon 4100/4100+ chips, the new successor to the 3100 chip released in 2018. The 4100+ as I’ll be calling it henceforth comes with significant improvements that I consider a great leap forward for Wear OS smartwatches. This is a repository page for Snapdragon 4100+ smartwatches just like that of Snapdragon 3100 smartwatches. Here I’ll be adding Smartwatches powered by the 4100+ chip as they drop.
Difference Between Snapdragon 4100 vs 4100+
The 4100 and 4100+ chips are basically the same, except that the 4100+ comes with an always-on QCC1110 co-processor that handles support for a range of sensors as well as support for sport mode as utilized by Suunto 7 and support for the dual-display architecture. This is also the difference between the 3100 and 2100 chip. But now, both the chip and co-processor have seen significant upgrades as discussed below.
The co-processor is a standalone chip, so manufacturers can actually design applications specifically for the chip. The 4100 chip without the co-processor will power many smartwatches for kids with fewer features where always-on display or activity tracking is not so important.
What’s New With Snapdragon 4100/4100+?
- Improved CPU – 85% Increase in Performance
- Dual DSP – reduced Workload
- Dual ISP
- Improved Memory
- Improved GPU
- Improved Bluetooth
- Improved Battery Life
Instead of a 32bit Arm Cortex-A7 with a 28nm process node and 1.2GHz processor, the 4100+ chip is built on a 64bit 12nm process with 1.7GHz speed. This, according to Qualcomm represents an 85% increase in performance. Hopefully, the lags experienced on many Wear OS smartwatches become a thing of the past.
Secondly, Qualcomm doubled the DSPs on the 4100+ chip from one QDSP V56 to two of the same QDSP V56. One is an MDSP for Modem and GPS, while the second is an ADSP for Open Sensor Execution Environment (SEE) and audio. This partitions and reduces the workload which contributes to the claimed 25% increase in battery life.
Qualcomm also doubled the ISPs to support up to 16MP camera sensor. I don’t think this is actually necessary, but going by the high demand for smartwatches for kids most of which are equipped with a camera, it could be worth it. Moreover, smartwatches from Kospet, Zeblaze, Lemfo, and KingWear make some of the best smartwatches with cameras. So manufacturers would probably want to improve the camera quality.
Another improvement that’s coming with the 4100/4100+ is a faster memory processor. The memory had been boosted from 400MHz to 750MHz, but still same LPDDR3 technology. LPDDR4 which is faster and low-power consuming would have been a more worthwhile upgrade. Hopefully, it gets included in the next upgrade.
The next generation of Wear OS smartwatches powered by the 4100+ will have better graphics displays, thanks to the increased graphics processor. Display resolution has increased from 640 x 480 @ 60fps to 1920 x 1080 @ 30fps as a result of moving from Adreno 304 @ 400MHz to Adreno 504 @ 750MHz. This is a big move forward which Qualcomm claims represent 2.5x improvement in GPU performance. This is good news for Wear OS smartwatches as it will enable better detailed graphic display and also reduce the workload on battery and by extension longer battery life.
Another improvement that comes with the 4100+ chip is the improved Bluetooth performance. While the 3100 chip supported Bluetooth v4.2, the 4100 chip now includes Bluetooth v5.0. This will mean better security and improved performance which by extension means longer battery.
With the improvement in CPU, GPU and the always-on QCC1110 co-processor means extended battery life. Although, only time will tell how much improvement in battery life comes with the chip on 4100+ powered smartwatches.
What’s New For The Co-processor?
The difference between the Snapdragon 2100 vs 3100 chip is the presence of a low-power always-on QCC1110 co-processor. This is also the difference between the 4100 vs 4100+. The 4100+ comes with a QCC1110 co-processor which the 4100 lacks.
But the always-on QCC1110 co-processor has been redesigned to support 64k colors and also extends offload experiences to include sleep tracking, continuous heart rate monitoring, faster tilt-to-wake responsiveness, steps, alarms, timers, and haptics.
Compare Snapdragon 2100 vs 3100 vs 4100 vs 4100+
|SNAPDRAGON 2100||SNAPDRAGON 3100||SNAPDRAGON 4100||SNAPDRAGON 4100+|
|Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ X5 LTE modem||Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ X5 LTE modem||Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ Integrated X5 LTE Global Mode modem||Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ Integrated X5 LTE Global Mode modem|
|2016||September, 2018||June, 2020||June, 2020|
|CPU Clock Speed||Up to 1.2 GHz||Up to 1.2 GHz||Up to 1.7 GHz||Up to 1.7 GHz|
|CPU Cores||Quad-core CPU|
4x ARM Cortex A7
4x ARM Cortex A7
ARM Cortex A53
ARM Cortex A53
|Process Technology||28 nm||28 nm||12 nm||12 nm|
|DSP Technology||Modem DSP||Modem DSP||Qualcomm® Hexagon™ QDSP6 V56|
(dual; MDSP & ADSP)
|Qualcomm® Hexagon™ QDSP6 V56
(dual; MDSP & ADSP)
|Co-processor||Not present||Always-on QCC1110 chip||No||Always-on QCC1110 chip
(Improved and supports 64K colors)
|GPU Name||Qualcomm® Adreno™ 304 GPU||Qualcomm® Adreno™ 304 GPU||Qualcomm® Adreno™ 504 GPU||Qualcomm® Adreno™ 504 GPU|
|GPU API Support||OpenGL ES 3.0||OpenGL ES 3.0||OpenGL ES 3.1||OpenGL ES 3.1|
|LTE technology||LTE FDD||LTE FDD||LTE TDD, LTE FDD||LTE TDD, LTE FDD|
|Cellular Technology||WCDMA (DC-HSDPA, DC-HSUPA), TD-SCDMA, CDMA 1x, GSM/EDGE||WCDMA (DC-HSDPA, DC-HSUPA), TD-SCDMA, CDMA 1x, GSM/EDGE||TD-SCDMA, EV-DO, GSM/EDGE||TD-SCDMA, EV-DO, GSM/EDGE|
|Bluetooth Version||Bluetooth 4.1||Bluetooth 4.2||Bluetooth 4.2 & 5.0||Bluetooth 4.2 & 5.0|
|Bluetooth Technology||Bluetooth Low Energy||Bluetooth Low Energy||Bluetooth Low Energy||Bluetooth Low Energy|
|Location Support||Qualcomm® Location||Qualcomm® Location||Qualcomm® Location||Qualcomm® Location|
|Satellite System Support||GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo||GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo||GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo||GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo|
|Terrestrial System Support||Wi-Fi, Cellular||Wi-Fi, Cellular||Wi-Fi, Cellular||Wi-Fi, Cellular|
|RFFE||-||Qualcomm® RF Front-End solution||Qualcomm® RF Front-End solution||Qualcomm® RF Front-End solution|
|USB version||USB 2.0||USB 2.0||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|Camera||-||-||Video Capture (30 FPS): 1080p video capture|
Support for up to 16 Megapixel cameras
|Video Capture (30 FPS): 1080p video capture
Support for up to 16 Megapixel cameras
|Maximum On-device Display Support||640x480, VGA||640x480, VGA||1920 x 1080||1920 x 1080|
|Display Input/Output||MIPI, SPI||MIPI, SPI||MIPI, SPI||MIPI, SPI|
|Display UI FPS||Up to 60 FPS||Up to 60 FPS||Up to 30 FPS||Up to 30 FPS|
|Audio Technology||Qualcomm® Fluence™ noise cancellation technology, Qualcomm® Voice Activation, Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ Voice+||Qualcomm Aqstic™ audio technology, Qualcomm® Voice Activation||Qualcomm® Voice Suite, Qualcomm® Noise and Echo Cancellation technology, Qualcomm® Voice Activation||Qualcomm® Voice Suite, Qualcomm® Noise and Echo Cancellation technology, Qualcomm® Voice Activation|
|Storage eMMC||eMMC 4.5||eMMC 4.5||eMMC 4.5||eMMC 4.5|
|Operating System||Supports Wear OS by Google||Supports Wear OS by Google, Event-Drive RTOS||Supports Wear OS by Google||Supports Wear OS by Google, Event-Drive RTOS|
Upcoming Snapdragon 4100+ Smartwatches
Qualcomm had announced the Ticwatch Pro 3, Suunto 7 successor, and Imoo Z6 Ultra as the first set of upcoming smartwatches that will be powered by the 4100+ chip.
Kedia Pankaj, global business head at Qualcomm had said “We applaud the ingenuity and innovation from our first of many customers, Imoo and Mobvoi,” continued Kedia, “We are pleased that these industry-leading companies are announcing smartwatches based on our Snapdragon Wear 4100 platform today and will be shipping their products later this year.”
- Imoo Z6 Ultra
- Ticwatch Pro 3
- Suunto 7 Successor
Shanshan Shi, director of product watch phone, Imoo also commented “We are pleased to announce our latest offering, the Z6 Ultra watch phone, and be the first Android smartwatch based on the Snapdragon Wear 4100 platform.
We are thrilled and honored to be the first brand to announce our next-generation smartwatches based on the Snapdragon Wear 4100 and Wear OS by Google platforms,” said Zhifei Li, founder, and CEO, Mobvoi, Inc.
According to Heikki Norta, President, Suunto, “Suunto and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. have had a history of collaboration and launched the Suunto 7 smartwatch to a strong reception earlier this year,” He continued that “The Suunto 7, based on Snapdragon Wear 3100 and Wear OS by Google, combines our sports expertise and heritage with the performance and capabilities of Qualcomm Technologies’ innovative hybrid architectural approach. Our teams worked together to take full advantage of the platform and bring up to 12 hours of continuous GPS tracking with heart rate across multiple sports activities. We look forward to learning more about the new Snapdragon Wear 4100 platforms and expanding our collaboration.”