Image source: Montblanc

Montblanc Summit 3 with Wear OS 3.0 is official, which watches are next?

Montblanc has announced today the €1,250 Summit 3 watch. The big news here is that the timepiece will come with Wear OS 3.0 pre-installed. This makes it the next watch outside of Samsung Galaxy 4 to run the latest iteration of Google’s operating system.

The luxury timepiece is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 4100+ processor. So it should be able to support Wear OS 3 with ease.

The watch is not expected to launch until July 15th. Which gives us a good idea as to when Wear OS 3 might be available for other watches. Up to now, there were few clues as to when this might happen.

Montblanc Summit 3
Image source: Montblanc

Montblanc says their latest timepiece can track steps, sleep, blood oxygen, heart rate and more. An improvement over its predecessor is that you can now follow workouts from the watch itself. Other than that the battery life is said to be longer. Hopefully this will go beyond a day between charges.

Other than that, there’s little other info. Apart from three titanium case colour and various band options. Which include: a grey case coupled with black calf and blue rubber straps; black paired with black calf leather and black rubber straps; and a black/silver case with green leather and black rubber straps.


Confusion around Wear OS 3.0

There was a bit of confusion last year as to which devices will be able to run Wear OS 3.0. As the months have passed since the original announcement, Google and the individual manufacturers have made the situation clearer.

In June 2021, Qualcomm said that watches packing Snapdragon Wear 3100 or Snapdragon Wear 4100/4100+ will be capable of running the upgraded platform. A spokesperson from Qualcomm had this to say.

“We are working with Google on bringing Wear OS 3.0 to Snapdragon Wear 4100+ and 4100 platforms. Snapdragon Wear 3100, 4100+, and 4100 are capable of supporting Wear OS 3.0, but we are not discussing any specifics at this time.”

The nuance in the wording was interesting. The statement said the duo is “working” on bringing the operating system to 4100 platforms. But it only added that 3100s are “capable of supporting” it.

In July 2021 a Google blog post listed the watches that may run the platform by name. To be more precise it listed devices “eligible for upgrade”.


Google Wear OS 3.0 – what is it?

Unless you have been living under a rock since a while, you would have heard of Google’s plans for its operating system. It teamed up with Samsung and Fitbit on a new and improved Wear OS 3.0.

The software is expected to fix some of the common issues with watches running the platform. Sluggish performance, short battery life and health and fitness tracking that leaves a lot to be desired should be top of this list.

Essential reading: Best fitness trackers and health gadgets

The hope is that Wear OS 3.0 will be a worthy opponent to the arch enemy – the Apple WatchOS! It is considered to be the biggest update to Wear OS in a long time.


Which watches will be compatible with Wear OS 3.0?

What was not clear following the original Wear OS 3.0 announcement was which devices would be compatible. Qualcomm had clarified things a bit with its statement so at least we know which watches could theoretically run the operating system.

But this doesn’t mean all watch with Snapdragon Wear 3100, 4100+, nd 4100 will. For example, Fossil has said that its Gen 6 watches will benefit from the new Wear OS, but older devices won’t. Qualcomm’s statement at least confirms that new hardware is not necessary to run the system.

Google has helped clear the confusion. Or has it?

Google says installing WearOS 3.0 will require you to “upgrade and reset your smartwatch to the way it was when you first got it”, i.e. to factory settings”. Then it adds that because of this, some users may not wish to upgrade. For that reason it will offer the new operating system on an opt-in basis.

The search giant also said that those that have eligible devices but choose not to upgrade will get software and security updates for a minimum of two years (from device launch). The same applies for those that do not have eligible devices.

As far as when this will happen, the search giant says it expects brands to start rolling out the update to eligible devices in “mid to second half of 2022”. That was a bit of a surprise as it was expected this would be earlier. With the Montblanc launch, we at least know that Wear OS 3 is ready to be rolled out. Or will be from mid-July.

Up to now, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 was the only one running the software. More precisely, it runs on a fused platform. There’s a One UI Watch skin that overlays the Wear OS 3.0. The idea is to get the best of both worlds – the familiar Samsung software look and feel, along with benefits that are to be had from Google Play Store.

But what about other brands? Which of their devices will be able to run the platform in 2022? This is the confirmed list as it currently stands:

  • Fossil Gen 6 watches – Fossil has confirmed than anything below Gen 6 will not be eligible for the upgrade so owners of these devices are well out of luck. But all Gen 6 watches will, including those from sub-brands. This includes Razer x Fossil and the Skagen Falster Gen 6 which were announced at CES 2022 in January.
  • Michael Kors Gen 6 Bradshaw
  • Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 GPS
  • TicWatch Pro 3 Cellular/LTE
  • TicWatch E3 and follow on TicWatch devices.
  • Tag Heuer Calibre E4 (both models)
  • Google Pixel watch (slated for Fall 2022 launch)

Tag Heuer Connected Calibre E4.

What’s clearly missing from this list are Suunto, Montblanc and other brands. There’s been no word from them yet. We will update this list when we hear more.

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