Google and Samsung announced months ago that they were teaming up to merge Wear OS and Tizen. Very positive, because two tech greats know more than one. Moreover, this would provide many wearables with new software. That was the thinking, because now it turns out that Google’s Wear OS 3 update plans skip a lot of wearables.
Snapdragon Wear 3100
Many smartwatches use Snapdragon Wear 3100. Multiple Fossil Gen 5 watches, Skagen Falster 3 and Moto 360 third generation. However, that chip is so slow that it probably cannot handle the Wear OS update. The renewed Wear OS, which will be called Wear OS 3, is the first major update since 2018. So a lot of time has passed and that includes the necessary innovations, which old tech cannot keep up with.
If you would like to use a Fossil smartwatch with Wear OS 3, that means you have to wait a while. Fossil plans to release new smartwatches later this year that include Snapdragon Wear 4100, the system on a chip that was made to handle the major update. The update will not mean that the devices that do not use the chip will become completely worthless. They are just not provided with a major update, so they quickly become obsolete.
The trailer of the announcement of Android Wear (now Wear OS) in 2014.
Besides Fossil, Skagen and Motorola, there are also many designer brands that use Wear OS, such as Louis Vuitton. Now such designer items are often valuable anyway, because they do not or hardly lose their value due to the design and brand, but a smartwatch such as the Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon second generation and Montblanc Summit 2 will soon miss that important update. As a result, these devices become more like a collector’s item that is no longer necessarily worn as a smartwatch, but rather as a piece of jewelry. So if you’re one of the lucky ones with that Tag Heuer Super Mario watch that recently appeared, you should keep in mind that it won’t be included in the Wear OS 3 update.
While it will put a damper on many people who have consciously opted for the Android-based Wear OS, it’s not entirely unreasonable on Google’s part. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear 3100 is already three years old and most devices are no longer fully updated after about two years. Fortunately, many smartphone makers are working to do just that. Certainly after pressure from consumer organizations, for example, OnePlus and Samsung have indicated that they will provide smartphones with three Android updates. It is hoped that Wear OS will come back to life after many years of standstill, but consumers would also benefit from these kinds of update promises with wearables.
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