Battery life only depends on stacking batteries? The OPPO Watch team made the impossible possible

There is an "impossible triangle" in smart watches: intelligence, battery life, and thinness. Most products can only choose one, and at most three can only choose two. There are almost no products on the market that can be selected.

The most typical example is the light and smart sports watch with sports health as the core, which is longer than the battery life, but not intelligent enough, and often not thin enough.

In this "impossible triangle", OPPO Watch 3 Pro is a "triangle warrior" that tries to push the product to three vertices. Among them, the story of extending battery life is most like Kuafu's day-to-day life. There is no end to battery life, but there is no end to battery life progress…

Why does the OPPO Watch team insist on battery life?

Before talking about the battery life of smartwatches, there is actually a fundamental question that needs to be understood:

Why are people used to charging mobile phones once a day, and even some smart watches can accept charging once a day, but why do you insist on the battery life of the watch?

Perhaps it has been discussed many times internally. In addition to the fact that watch users may continue to use bracelets and health monitoring equipment needs to accompany users for a long time, OPPO product manager Lu Bolin has a more unique observation on user behavior . Say:

Why are smartwatch users more sensitive to battery power?

Actually there are two points. First, for example, if my mobile phone is out of power, it can be used with the charging cable plugged in. But if the watch is out of power, I can't plug it in, so this wearing attribute means that its charging cost will be much higher than other products.

The second point is that my tablet, mobile phone, and computer can be charged as long as it is plugged in, but my watch has a process of taking it off. Compared with other devices, the operating cost to the user is also higher.

If the user needs to take off the watch frequently, they will gradually stop wearing it.

When we do battery life, in essence, we still do user stickiness, hoping that users will wear more watches.

This is actually one of the main product lines of OPPO's smartwatches from the beginning: as a smart health exercise monitoring device, it can prolong the battery life as much as possible, speed up the charging speed, and allow users to wear more and take less.

In fact, it is simple and simple to do battery life. It can be done by stacking large batteries without brains and reducing intelligent functions.

However, as mentioned earlier, user demand is an "impossible triangle", and OPPO IoT's product declaration is "Smart Life", which poses a big problem for the product technical team: OPPO's watches, on the premise of ensuring battery life, smart It has more functions, and it is also thin and beautiful.

Once you get involved in this "impossible triangle", the difficulty of R&D and design will increase sharply. After all, nothing is difficult in the world, as long as you are willing to give up.

Schematic diagram of the internal design of OPPO Watch 3 Pro

But the cruelty of this market is that if you give up product features, users will give up on you.

Therefore, on the three generations of OPPO Watch, we can see OPPO's thinking about the battery life of smart watches; the first generation OPPO Watch used two chips and two systems, namely smart mode and light smart mode, allowing users to choose between intelligence and battery life. Pick one.

OPPO Watch 2 creatively developed the "UDDE dual-engine hybrid" technology, which allows the large and small core chips and the two systems driven by them to be online at the same time, and run at the right time . At times, small -core chips and light intelligent systems are used, and finally a balance is achieved between intelligence and battery life, and no longer technically lazy in the name of giving users choices.

If you compare it with a car, it is said that the focus of the second generation is to change the engine, then in the OPPO Watch 3 generation, the engine is upgraded, the fuel tank is enlarged, and the wind resistance is reduced.

So, we can see from the OPPO Watch 3 Pro how the OPPO Watch team systematically and long-term thinks about battery life.

How do they keep going?

Among the sizes of 45mm and above, OPPO Watch 3 Pro is almost the lightest when compared horizontally, with a weight of 37.5g (without strap), and a curved screen body that fits better on the arm , in fact, it is also the product concept mentioned at the beginning of the coincidence: let users wear more and less pick, then not only the battery life should be long, but also the wearing comfort and no feeling.

Since it is impossible to violently build a silly, black and thick battery version of the OPPO Watch 3 Pro, battery life becomes a delicate task.

OPPO product managers describe the work done by their team in two words: open source and reduce expenditure, and gather sand into a tower.

This time, the OPPO Watch 3 series launched two chips: Qualcomm Snapdragon W5 wearable platform (hereinafter referred to as: Snapdragon W5) , and Apollo 4 Plus, these two chips, one large and one small, are critical compared to the previous generation. improvement.

Unlike mobile phone chips, which focus on absolute performance, the primary focus of smart watch chips is power consumption.

This point, OPPO Watch team engineer Tang Haiyun deeply felt:

This new generation of W5 products should be said to be Qualcomm's real determination to seriously engage in the field of wear.

Specifically, the Snapdragon W5 uses the most advanced 4nm process technology, which is inherently more power-efficient than the old process chips. More importantly, this is a chip specially designed for wearable devices. balance. At the same time, the chip area of ​​the Snapdragon W5 is also smaller, which supports a larger battery capacity or a thinner and lighter design, which provides higher flexibility for watches that are expensive.

To put it simply, the progress of the Snapdragon W5 is like a fat man becoming a devil muscle man after exercising. It looks smaller, but in fact it has stronger strength and longer endurance.

The progress of the Snapdragon W5 is all-round, and the Apollo 4 Plus has made a lot of progress compared to the previous Apollo 4S. The resulting small-core system memory is larger. The real key improvement is that the drive screen bandwidth is stronger. . This key change alone can affect the whole body.

As a result, the dual-core Duxi has improved, and the battery is also nearly 10% larger, as well as a more power-saving OLED screen, which provides the conditions for “open source and cost-saving” for the overall battery life improvement of the OPPO Watch 3 Pro.

However, even if the family is wealthy, it is not worth the extravagance, and the hardware is a little richer. If you gather less, you will become more.

The job of gathering sand is not easy, because you have to find that grain of fine sand.

OPPO Watch Product Manager Ma Huishan said:

There are hundreds of scenes in the smart watch. Based on scene observation and data analysis, we found more than 200 core scenes, and then optimized them one by one.

Let me give a specific example. For example, if you have activated the eSIM, when your mobile phone is connected to the watch, you can use the network of the mobile phone instead of the network of the watch, which can save the battery life of the eSIM of the watch. We also have For many large and small scenarios, such as WiFi connection, heart rate monitoring, running records, etc., we have optimized more than 200 scenarios one by one.

Although watching a single scene may not save so much power, after we add up more than 200 scenes one by one, we will actually get a good result in the end.

We are doing the first-generation dual-engine hybrid, but the launch of the Snapdragon W5 chip means that we are the first company to do targeted R&D and optimization. To match and optimize with the new chip, the workload is also very large. of.

In the early days of the PC industry, there was an "Andy-Bill's Law". Andy was Andy Grove, the legendary CEO of Intel; and Bill was Bill Gates, the former CEO of Microsoft. This law means that Andy Grove's Intel is responsible for upgrading chip performance, while Bill Gates' Microsoft will eat up this part of the performance of the chip upgrade with an updated Windows system.

Similarly, there is a similar phenomenon in the field of smart phones and even smart watches.

The improvement of chip performance does not only exist in theoretical data or running points, but must serve specific scenarios. For example, the performance and energy consumption ratio of mobile phones, as well as the improvement of battery energy density, are often eaten up by larger software and more exquisite games.

If you compare the earlier watches, you will find that the OPPO Watch 3 Pro is as smooth as Dove when sliding on the App List page. The animation rendering requires computing power, which depends on the new chip.

This silky feeling is what Ma Huishan, product manager of OPPO Watch, said : expressiveness. This word corresponds to the "beauty" in "Chimei Life".

The new feature that makes OPPO Watch 3 Pro dare to say "expressiveness" must be the always-on display that contrasts with the LTPO OLED screen.

Since then, OPPO's smart watch has dared to say that it is a piece of jewelry. After all, the black screen after the screen is turned off has the cold feeling of electronic products, and the always bright dial is the canvas on the wrist.

Just as good-looking, delicious, and fun things are always expensive, all the smoother and more gorgeous functions consume more power.

As mentioned above, should the electricity saved by "opening sources and reducing expenditure" and "gathering sand into a tower" be consumed here?

Yes and no.

Shortly after the watch enters the always-on display, the screen refresh rate will be reduced to 1Hz to reduce power consumption as much as possible, but even so, the screen is still a big power-hook. Under the always-on display, the OPPO Watch 3 Pro is in full smart mode. The typical usage time is 3.5 days, which is half a day less than the previous generation OPPO Watch 2 without always-on display. This is also the longest battery life among smartwatches that support always-on display.

But if the always-on display is turned off, its typical battery life will come to 5 days, supporting a week of working days.

In other words, the battery life of OPPO Watch 3 Pro is actually an extra day. It said: I can do this all day.

Dual-engine hybrid, the OPPO Watch team does the main task of battery life

Tang Haiyun said:

The fact that the battery life can be improved again this time is the result of many efforts, but the most important contribution is actually the dual-engine hybrid technology.

If improving battery life is the main product line of OPPO Watch, then dual-engine hybrid is the main technical line for improving battery life. At the same time, this is also the technical barrier established by the OPPO Watch team.

In the past two or three years, the exclusive technology that the OPPO Watch team has been honing at night is still unique to this day.

It is not difficult for dual engines, but it is difficult for hybrid vehicles. It is still difficult to go further on the basis of the original.

The description of "put 2 chips and 2 systems on standby at the same time, choose the opportunity, and connect seamlessly" is not complicated. The dual-engine hybrid is like a puzzle, and its correct pattern is attached to the box, but If you want to really complete it, you have to piece together the fragmented scene optimization and technical research.

As mentioned earlier, the OPPO Watch team needs to optimize up to 200 scenes, and one of the scenes can be subdivided again. For example, OPPO Watch 3 Pro reduces Bluetooth power consumption, and improves compatibility and Bluetooth listening quality. During the suboptimization process, they tested over 100 phones and over 100 headsets over several months.

Last year, in "The OPPO Watch Team Changed a "1+1=1 Magic ", we recorded how they ensured seamless switching between large and small cores, which is the most difficult scene experience problem to overcome.

Because of the large performance gap between large and small cores, switching from a large core to a small core, switching from a lightweight RTOS system to an Android watch system, it is easy for the screen to freeze and the response to slow down.

To this end, the OPPO Watch team used a technical method of "hiding the sky and crossing the sea". By optimizing the bottom layer of Android, it can predict the switching behavior and preload the screen to ensure the insensitivity of the switching process.

Because two chips were released for the first time, this means that the dual engine is theoretically stronger, but it also means that the OPPO Watch team needs to pay more debugging costs than others.

Although the fierce horse is fast, if it is not tamed well, it may be a wild horse, not to mention that they have to tame two fierce horses.

The biggest improvement of this generation of dual-engine hybrid 2.0 is that the small core is more capable of doing more heavy work, while the large core is more durable, that is, the small core is stronger, the large core lasts longer, and the communication between them is more sensitive. , the data exchange is faster.

In martial arts novels, if a sect is challenged by foreign enemies and always asks the ancestors to come out, it probably means that this sect is not very good; but if the young and middle-aged disciples in the sect can be independent, then the sect must be strong.

The small core can stand on its own, which means that fewer scenes need to be switched, and the stability and battery life of the watch will be better.

In order to improve the experience of light smart mode, OPPO Watch has added a streaming media system to the small core. The small core can now perform audio decoding, voice recognition, realize Bluetooth calls and voice wake-up, and drive dynamic dials.

Tang Haiyun said that before the voice wake-up runs on the large core, if it is enabled, the power consumption will increase sharply. Now the small core can also drive this function, but the power consumption is very small.

Similar functions that need to be resident are the place where the small core is used. The same is true for the always-on display mentioned above. Although we look at the dial and it is always on, in fact, shortly after we stop the operation, the chip that drives the screen changes from large to large. The nucleus has changed to a small nucleus, and the whole process is completely insensitive.

The improvement of the small core capability is actually due to the improvement of the bandwidth of the drive screen and the improvement of the audio decoding capability as mentioned above.

Ma Huishan , product manager of OPPO Watch , is very satisfied with the exclusive technology of dual-engine hybrid . She said that this technical barrier makes competing products in the existing market to achieve similar battery life in smart mode. The battery is bigger. Want to imitate a dual-engine hybrid? I'm sorry, how to communicate, switch between large and small cores, and how to divide labor are all difficult problems.

OPPO Watch 3 Pro is the latest product on the product line (battery) and technology line (dual-engine hybrid). In order to make that "impossible triangle" possible, its thinking on the product is comprehensive and long-term.

From a longer time line, from the dual-engine separation of the original OPPO Watch, to the dual-engine hybrid of OPPO Watch 2, and then to the dual-engine hybrid 2.0 of the OPPO Watch 3 series, we can actually see this The team's perception of battery life is long-term persistence and long-term progress.

In the plastic greenhouse of fate, every cabbage that has been sprayed with too much pesticide once had a dream of becoming a pollution-free organic vegetable.

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