The next-generation Pixel Watch may say goodbye to Samsung’s chips.
Previously, the only mission of Google’s first watch, the Pixel Watch, was not to do too badly. However, its successor is rumored to launch this fall and is called the Pixel Watch 2. And “don’t be too bad” can no longer satisfy its users, especially in terms of endurance performance must be higher than the first generation, so it is currently rumored that it may bid farewell to Samsung’s processor.
According to a report by 9to5Google, the Pixel Watch 2 will abandon the original Samsung chip and use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1 chip. Released last summer, the 4nm processor doubles the performance and enables multi-day battery life.
The current Pixel Watch uses Samsung’s last-generation wearable chip Exynos 9110, which uses a 10nm process, and its battery life is very poor compared to competitors. If the always-on display is turned on, the battery life is only 12 to 15 hours. If it’s off, the watch can barely last about 24 hours — provided you make a careful, conscious effort to conserve power.
Last year, most flagship watches didn’t last long. Not to mention, Wear OS has historically been limited by extremely poor performance.
But 2023 is a different story. The Apple Watch Ultra can be used for multiple days on a single charge, and this is without turning on the low power setting; the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro can also last for multiple days. Of course, maybe Samsung would agree with Google that it’s using the soon-to-be-dated Exynos W920, but the Galaxy Watch 5’s battery life wasn’t great when it first launched. (It was later improved with a software update.) The Galaxy Watch 6 is rumored to have a new chip, but it would make sense if Samsung didn’t want to share it with Google.
Does the Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1 chip really have that long battery life?
Under this, Qualcomm Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1 chip claims that it can bring better performance and battery life to Wear OS watches, which may really make Google very excited. The problem is, it’s unclear how reliable Qualcomm’s battery life claims are for the W5+ Gen 1, since only one smartwatch currently has it: Mobvoi’s TicWatch Pro 5.
The TicWatch Pro 5 does last many days on a single charge, but it has an ultra-low-power secondary display that is used to display the main screen most of the time, and a massive 628mAh battery housed in a massive 50mm in the chassis. Therefore, it is difficult to say how much credit the W5+ Gen 1 chip has for this ultra-long battery life.
Additionally, according to 9to5Google, the Pixel Watch 2 will feature sensors similar to the Fitbit Sense 2, including a continuous electrodermal activity (cEDA) sensor for measuring pressure and a skin temperature sensor. As long as it is continuous health tracking, it will undoubtedly consume battery. The more and more advanced features you add to your watch, the greater the battery drain.
Still, it’s clear that Google has taken to heart complaints about the Pixel Watch’s poor battery life. At the previous Google I/O conference, it announced that Wear OS 4 will be launched this fall, and better battery life (and cloud backup) will follow.
All of these factors add up to one can expect the Pixel Watch 2 to last longer than its predecessor. Just not sure how much longer it will be.