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Square or round: What shape do you prefer for your smartwatches?

Samsung could be moving from a circular shape to a round shape for an upcoming Galaxy Watch.

Published onMarch 12, 2024

Most Smartwatches come in two popular shapes: Square and round. Square smartwatches existed before the Apple Watch, but the Apple Watch made the shape ubiquitous and mainstream, so much so that there are entire lineups of knock-off “smart” watches built to the exact shape. Round smartwatches are easier to imagine as they build off the conventional wristwatch shape, and it’s significantly easier to style them for different occasions. However, which shape you prefer comes down to personal choice and even the presence of options in the first place.

We have two clear camps when it comes to the shape of popular smartwatches. The first is the Apple camp, thanks to Apple sticking with the same square shape for its smartwatches since the original Apple Watch. A decade later, a square-shaped smartwatch is instantly recognizable as an Apple smartwatch. Apple even launched the Apple Watch Ultra in a similar shape, doubling down on the squared-off aesthetics for an even sharper design.

There’s good reason to prefer a square smartwatch. For one, it looks unmistakably like an Apple Watch, and some people prefer Apple Watch clones for this exact reason. Secondly, a squarish display gives you more usable display area for content such as text and images without requiring a scroll in any direction.

A user accesses the App Store on their Apple Watch Series 9.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

On the other end, we have Wear OS and other Android-compatible smartwatches like Garmin, which primarily adopt a round shape. Many Wear OS smartwatches are round, passing off as a conventional wristwatch in many cases. Some Wear OS smartwatches are square, but recent trends for the global market lean heavily towards a circular smartwatch.

There’s good reason to prefer a circular smartwatch too. Personally, I think they look better and look more watch-like, and I find them to complement my outfits much better. This isn’t strictly related to the shape, but these circular smartwatches often use standard connectors (unlike the proprietary connectors on the Apple Watch), so I can swap into various third-party bands that I have collected over the years. However, for usability, a circular display does not showcase as much information as a square display, so there is a hit on utility in favor of more fashion sense.

A Galaxy Watch 5 Pro rests alongside a Galaxy Watch 6 Classic.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Samsung could be looking to jump ship from the circular smartwatch camp into the square smartwatch camp for an upcoming Galaxy Watch. The company has had square smartwatches like the Galaxy Gear, so it’s not exactly copying Apple per se. However, it would also be correct to recognize the insane popularity of the squared smartwatch shape, thanks to the Apple Watch, and Samsung could be attempting to lure some square-lovers into making the switch. Such a move would also come at the cost of losing the circular identity of the Galaxy Watch series. The move is still some time away, so we’ll have to see how Samsung executes such a transition.

So, my question to you is, what shape do you prefer for your smartwatches? Do you prefer round smartwatches, or do you prefer square smartwatches? If your favorite smartwatch was available in both shapes, which would you choose?

What shape do you prefer for your smartwatch?

756 votes

Let us know in the comments below if you have a vision for your favorite smartwatch and what shape it could take!

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