A Qualcomm has just won a strong competitor in the chip segment to smartwatches. Samsung announced this Tuesday (10) the launch of the Exynos W920, a chip that will be used in the Galaxy Watch 4 line, which will be announced at the event Samsung Unpacked this Wednesday (11).

The new chip is the successor to the Exynos W9110 chip used in the first Galaxy Watch, released in August 2018. Equipped with two ARM Cortex-A55 CPU cores and But by the full GPU acceleration tech ARM Mali-G68 GPU, it has 20% higher computing performance than its predecessor, but 10 times better graphics performance, according to Samsung.

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All this power, the company says, allows apps to open faster and interfaces to display more attractive 3D effects on screens up to 960 x 540 pixels, or qHD. More important is the fact that the chip is produced in a 5 nm process, which allows the component to be smaller, produce less heat and consume less energy.

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The Exynos W920 also has a 4G LTE Cat. 4 modem for wireless communication, and a GPS receiver (described as “GNSS L1”) for navigation. The chip is designed for use with a "new unified platform for wearables" co-developed with Google, Wear OS 3, and will be available "in an upcoming model of the Galaxy Watch". 

New WearOS is causing controversy

A new generation of Wear OS has been controversial. The operating system is a fusion of the original Wear OS, developed by Google, with Tizen, developed by Samsung and used in almost every company smartwatches. Initially, Google did not commit to offering devices currently on the market a path to an operating system upgrade.

In a statement to the XDA Developers website, a company spokesperson stated that “the user experience is a priority for us. We have not confirmed the eligibility or schedule for upgrading the Wear OS smartwatches to the new unified platform. There are many technical requirements to run the platform, which ensure that all components of the user experience are optimized.”

Galaxy Watch 4 will have new chip and new operating system. Image: Amazon Canada

In other words, Google does not promise an update for current devices, citing the old reason for the “usage experience”. The company hints that a current smartwatch running the new platform would not perform satisfactorily for users, something anyone who has ever tried to upgrade a very old smartphone to a recent version of its operating system can understand.

But Qualcomm, which develops the chipsets used in WearOS-based devices, disagrees. Also in a statement to XDA Developers, a company spokesperson stated that its newer chipsets, and even older ones, are capable of running the new system. But that everything “depends on Google”.

"We are working with Google to bring Wear OS 3.0 to the Snapdragon Wear 4100+ and 4100 platforms. The Snapdragon Wear 3100, 4100+ and 4100 platforms are capable of running Wear OS 3.0, but we are not discussing details at this time." said.

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