Up until now, Qualcomm has only had one dedicated smartwatch chip in the Snapdragon 2100. However at MWC Shanghai, the chip manufacturer has announced the Snapdragon 2500. It's not intended to be the 2100's successor though for Wear OS watches, but rather for a new segment dedicated to kids.
While Qualcomm hasn't confirmed, the 2500 will likely be less powerful than the new dedicated smartwatch chip it announces later this year. It does however still support 4G connectivity, has 14 per cent longer battery life compared to prior generations, can support up to 5-megapixel cameras and has location tracking.
It isn't designed to be used with Wear OS though, but rather a child-friendly version of Android based on Android Oreo. This version of Android doesn't support notifications or an app store, but instead comes with a series of pre-installed apps and games that are age appropriate. The 2500 chip and the optimised version of Android support AI voice assistants, so kids can ask their watch various questions to get answers and help with their learning.
Anthony Murray, a senior executive at Qualcomm said: "With this next generation Snapdragon Wear 2500 platform, we are supporting new performance and features that customers will be able to use to create even more fun features and compelling use cases for these connected 4G kid watches and with our dedicated kid watch platform we aim to deliver a robust foundation that supports a rich and engaging experience for children."
Huawei has been announced as the first partner to use the Snapdragon 2500 chip, with Rico Zhang, Smart Wearable and Health Product Line President, Huawei saying: "At Huawei, we are proud to be the first company expected to commercialize a 4G Kids watch based on the new Snapdragon Wear 2500 platform,"
"Built on the outstanding power-efficiency, 4G connectivity, smart sensing, and location capabilities that the new platform is designed to deliver, we are pleased to extend our long-time collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. in the wearables segment and bring our next generation kid watches to the industry."
Huawei's first devices to use Snapdragon 2500 chip should be out later this year.