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Qualcomm Snapdragon XR1 could mean longer battery life for VR, AR headsets

The new chip's not official, but Bloomberg reports it'll be revealed next week.

Sean Hollister Senior Editor / Reviews
When his parents denied him a Super NES, he got mad. When they traded a prize Sega Genesis for a 2400 baud modem, he got even. Years of Internet shareware, eBay'd possessions and video game testing jobs after that, he joined Engadget. He helped found The Verge, and later served as Gizmodo's reviews editor. When he's not madly testing laptops, apps, virtual reality experiences, and whatever new gadget will supposedly change the world, he likes to kick back with some games, a good Nerf blaster, and a bottle of Tejava.
Sean Hollister
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"The bad: Two-hour battery life." That's from our review of the $199 Oculus Go, one of the first compelling VR headsets cheap enough to throw in a bag and carry around. But short battery life may not plague portable headsets for long: Bloomberg reports that a new, unannounced Qualcomm Snapdragon XR1 processor will make it easier to build cheap VR and AR headsets that are thriftier when it comes to battery power.

That doesn't mean every new headset will use those chips, of course. Apple and Samsung tend to favor their own processors for their phones, and reports suggest that Apple and Samsung's upcoming hybrid VR/AR headsets will use home-baked processors as well. Magic Leap also claims to have designed its own chip for the Magic Leap One.

Qualcomm declined to comment.

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