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How powerful is the S1 SoC driving the Apple Watch?

Today is Apple Watch launch day, of course, and there has been an avalanche of news about Cupertino’s smart new piece of wrist-wear – most of it concerning the fact that you can’t actually buy the thing just yet, not unless you were one of the lucky few to get down to Dover Street Market in London today, or pre-order early enough.

We’re also hearing technical details about the Apple Watch as well, and a snippet regarding the power of the gadget’s processor has emerged courtesy of an iOS developer, Steve Troughton-Smith.

Stuff spotted Troughton-Smith’s observation on Twitter, with the dev contending that the S1 SoC in the Apple Watch is about as powerful as the A5 chip which first powered the iPhone 4S – based on its graphics shifting power. Essentially, the SoC can run iOS 8.2 but with a custom interface (Carousel).

The tweet read: “Nothing surprising – it’s running most of iOS 8.2 with Carousel instead of Springboard. Has a PowerVR SGX543 driver, so it’s A5-equivalent?”

As to what the CPU might be clocked at, as Stuff notes, that remains a mystery – but it’s likely to be downclocked from the A5, unsurprisingly as the Apple Watch doesn’t require the same sort of processing muscle as a phone with a comparatively massive screen. And it needs to be as frugal as possible with the battery, too.

Troughton-Smith also makes an interesting observation about the quality of apps for Apple’s smartwatch, and how few developers have managed to get their software running slickly on the gadget yet. He tweeted: “I imagine the next couple months for any dev will involve figuring out how to reduce latency with their Watch apps. Few doing it right, now.”

Earlier today, we also found out more technical details of the Apple Watch in terms of the size of the battery – which is a surprisingly modest 205mAh power pack. That’s half the power of the battery in the LG G Watch R, and considerably behind other rivals too, like the Moto 360 which has a 320mAh battery.

That said, this is the battery inside the smaller 38mm Apple Watch, but while the 42mm model will doubtless have room for a bigger juice box, it’s unlikely to be that much bigger.