Could Galaxy Really Be About to Return to Square-Shaped Watches?

Published on March 12, 2024

The forthcoming Samsung Galaxy Watch 7 series may not be the highlight of the company’s wearable lineup this year, as all eyes are on the Galaxy Ring. Speculation suggests Samsung is contemplating a departure from its current watch design, aiming to revisit a square-shaped aesthetic reminiscent of the original Galaxy Gear, as reported by SamMobile.

(Image: Samsung)

This potential shift brings to mind the buzz surrounding Samsung’s plans back in early 2022. At that time, there were whispers about the abandonment of the beloved physical rotating bezel—a move that, in my view, seemed utterly nonsensical. The physical rotating bezel had become synonymous with Samsung’s smartwatches, distinguishing them in a crowded market. It was perplexing to consider why Samsung would willingly discard such an iconic feature. Yet, the rumor proved true, and the Galaxy Watch 5 series arrived with only a digital touch bezel.

Fast forward to last year, Samsung faced a barrage of feedback and eventually reintroduced the rotating bezel with the Galaxy Watch 6 series, responding to customer demand. One would think Samsung had learned from the debacle of altering the bezel, but now, it appears poised to revamp the watch’s shape. Considering the enduring popularity of the physical bezel, one might question the feasibility of implementing it on a square display. Are we destined to repeat this cycle once more?

It’s worth noting that while Samsung initially embraced a square display with the Galaxy Gear, it transitioned to a circular design, starting with the Gear S2. This shift solidified the circular display and rotating bezel as hallmarks of Samsung smartwatches, setting them apart in the market. Personally, as someone who recently organized their smartwatch collection, Samsung’s circular watches have always stood out amidst a sea of Android options.

Circular displays evoke a sense of tradition and aesthetic appeal, as most people envision a round face when picturing a wristwatch. This sentiment is evident in the preference for circular smartwatches over their rectangular counterparts. Despite the benefits of a square display, such as improved notification readability and developer familiarity, the emotional connection forged by the circular design cannot be understated.

While there are practical reasons for Samsung’s potential switch, wearable design transcends mere business logic. The emotional bond between consumers and iconic features like the circular face and physical rotating bezel cannot be ignored. While some may embrace a square Galaxy Watch, there’s a possibility of backlash from loyal fans.

Although SamMobile’s report lacks specifics and relies on unnamed internal sources, it hints at a significant shift “very much in the cards.” Perhaps Samsung is considering this change not for the Galaxy 7 series but for future iterations.

Regardless, any departure from the iconic circular design must be carefully considered to avoid diluting the Galaxy Watch’s identity. As someone who has occasionally criticized the uniformity of Samsung’s designs, I recognize the importance of preserving what makes each Galaxy Watch unique. Switching to a squarish display risks sacrificing a core aspect of its identity without clear justification.

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