Circular or square: which smartwatch design do you prefer?

Circular or square: which smartwatch design do you prefer?

Smartwatches have been selling for a while now and, as you have probably noticed, square-shaped ones seem to be a bit more widely-spread. Actually, back when they first came out, smartwatches were exclusively square-shaped — manufacturers still had a tough time with making a round display and designing a software that looks right on it and makes use of the circular shape. The very first round smartwatch was the Moto 360, released in 2014, and it still had a “flat tire” look, due to the bottom of the display being covered by a black band, which held the display drivers.

But technology has evolved and it's probably Samsung that is currently “leading the charge” with circular-shaped smartwatches — the Gear S2 and Gear S3 both have round designs, a cool rotating bezel that interacts with the software on board, and a user interface, which lends itself great to the round display.

So, apparently, it can be done, but some manufacturers still prefer to stick to the rectangular design. The Apple Watch comes to mind — 2 generations of the device kept the same look. There have been some faint rumors about an Apple Watch 3, which would, allegedly, be round-shaped, but we aren't holding our breath for that.

We thought we'd ask you, our readers, what shape you prefer for a smartwatch? Or is it all the same to you, as long as the timepiece is actually designed well?

What shape do you prefer your smartwatch to be in?

Circular
74.12%
Rectangular
11.48%
I don't care, as long as design and software are on point
14.4%

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35 Comments

2. TerryD

Posts: 540; Member since: May 09, 2017

Aesthetically, circular. Practically, rectangular. Rectangular look crap, circular are rubbish to use.

6. cmdacos

Posts: 3872; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

How so? I have no issues with my circular watch and in fact the rotating dial is much more versatile and functional.

10. Panzer

Posts: 279; Member since: May 13, 2016

Just picked a Gear S3 Classic and it makes my Huawei watch on Wear 2.0 seem pretty clunky in operation. That dial makes a huge difference in navigation.

13. TerryD

Posts: 540; Member since: May 09, 2017

Conventional watches have hands that move in a circular motion, hence it made sense for the watch to be round. Smart watches show more information than just time, such as messages, etc which are much more easily viewed on a rectangular screen. Rotating dial is pretty cool though, beats some fiddly rotating button.

20. cmdacos

Posts: 3872; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

The information displayed for me makes no difference at all. I can still read what I want and just as in a square watch I have to scroll to read more. No problem here.

30. Xilam unregistered

TerryD, I thumbed up your comment, but practicality really does depend on the underlying UI. You can make any information easy to read, understand, and navigate on a circular display as well as square, heck, even triangle. It's the same argument I'll have for the rumored iPhone 8, the irregular display shape will (under apple's guidelines) most likely be coherently used by even 3rd party developers. Maybe not at first, but a year down the line - the two extra tab spaces on top will be utilized for either extra info, extra controls in a game, or external notification without interfering with app in use. Videos, I believe will be centered and will look exactly like it does on Samsung s7/+ as if there's actually a bottom bezel. What I'm leading to is that a circular display effortlessly can be just as practical as a square display on a smart watch.

5. jellmoo

Posts: 2531; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

Circular by far. I find that rectangular watches tend to look like toys.

9. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

There are also toy circular watches... Just saying.

15. jellmoo

Posts: 2531; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

Oh for sure, it's largely just a generalization. For example, the Apple Watch looks like a kids toy to me, whereas something like the Huawei Watch or Gear S3 look a lot more grown up to my eye.

31. Xilam unregistered

I would prefer a real watch looking smartwatch, a la Samsung gear s3, but in my opinion the most kiddish toy looking Watch was the Moto360. That was littleeally a pancake on a strap. Looked a lot like what u see illustrated in many cartoons thru the ages. But we all have our opinions.

7. Furkan

Posts: 552; Member since: Feb 25, 2017

Circular looks like old tech watches

8. irossdrummer

Posts: 365; Member since: Jan 17, 2015

Circular, as long as it's a FULL circle like the Gear S3, not that cut off s**t some brands do

14. TerryD

Posts: 540; Member since: May 09, 2017

Gotta hate the flat tyre. Not sure why all the screenshots of them highlight it by having a white background. If you had a black background you might get away with it.

11. cnour

Posts: 2305; Member since: Sep 11, 2014

I prefer what Apple is doing.

18. gigicoaste

Posts: 435; Member since: Feb 21, 2016

is that a shape? rhetorical question.. don't bother!

24. tedkord

Posts: 17131; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Following and copying?

12. avishekmukherjee

Posts: 362; Member since: Apr 09, 2015

Don't care. I love both circular and rectangle design.

16. Nine1Sickness

Posts: 896; Member since: Jan 30, 2011

Apple decided to go square because of innovation, or lack of it.

19. hagba

Posts: 9; Member since: Mar 16, 2016

I like square since iwatch is square!!, but personally I prefer round watches because I own a beautiful Huawei Watch with Android wear 2.0 which I will trade it with no other watch in the world.

21. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

No pole needed! Sales have already answered this question!

26. tedkord

Posts: 17131; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

You're right. Just like sales have answered the iOS VS Android debate. Thanks!

22. sissy246

Posts: 7000; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Just look at the two up top. That square thing looks so cheap.

23. tedkord

Posts: 17131; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Silly question. Circular, every time.

25. dmakun

Posts: 382; Member since: Jun 06, 2011

Apple clearly went rectangular for the Apple watch so as to distinguish their watches much like the way they design the iPhone just so everyone can tell its an iPhone. However I'm very happy with my Gear S3 Frontier even though most of the time people hardly can tell that I'm wearing a smart watch.

27. tedkord

Posts: 17131; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

They went with square because it was easier, and at the time they entered the game, most were square.

34. apple-rulz

Posts: 1896; Member since: Dec 27, 2016

Please give evidence to support your claim.

35. tedkord

Posts: 17131; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

1983—present

29. Xilam unregistered

Dmakun, I belaive you're right. And I think that's the point - smartwatch should still be like jewelry.

28. Xilam unregistered

Apple needs to abandon the rectangle for the watch. Samsung and LG are absolutely what a smartwatch should look like.

32. PhoneInQuestion

Posts: 496; Member since: Aug 20, 2017

This. Also circles are more ergonomic for small displays fixed to your wrist, not just a categorically accurate design.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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