Future Galaxy Watches may borrow the Apple Watch squircle look — and I'm on board

2013 Samsung Galaxy Gear
The original Samsung Galaxy Gear from 2013 (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • A report claims that Samsung is "bringing back the squarish design for its Galaxy Watch."
  • Although it's still being considered internally and probably won't apply until the Galaxy Watch 8 or later, the site's source claims it's already a certainty.
  • Samsung first made square AMOLED displays for its Gear watches before switching to circular designs with the Gear S2 in 2015. 
  • Apple also released its first smartwatch in 2015, which adopted the squircle design.

Eight years after Samsung abandoned square-shaped smartwatches for circular models with rotating bezels, the popular Android watch brand allegedly has serious plans to switch back to a square- or squircle-shaped design for future Galaxy Watches. 

SamMobile claims to have insider information that Samsung "is looking to bring back the squarish design for its smartwatches," something it hasn't done since launching the Samsung Gear S in November 2014. 

"We hear that the idea is enthusiastically being considered internally, and it's very much on the cards that the switch is going to happen," SamMobile writer Adnan Farooqui claims. 

We can't be certain that a square Galaxy Watch is a sure thing if it's still being "considered," but the source appears quite confident. Android Central has reached out to Samsung about the rumor but has not received a response in time for publication. We will update this article when we do. 

So far, we've heard Galaxy Watch 7 rumors about a new Exynos chip and revamped software, but nothing about the design. SamMobile's newser hints that the Watch 7 may or may not get the square redesign, but given its likely August 2024 release date, we doubt that Samsung has time for a drastic redesign at this stage.

If Samsung goes this route, the 2025 Galaxy Watch 8 would be a more likely candidate for the first square Galaxy Watch.

Gear S

The 2-inch, curved Samsung Gear S with AMOLED display. (Image credit: Alex Dobie / Android Central)

Samsung's smartwatch history began with square-shaped watches like the Galaxy Gear and Gear S. It quickly moved on to its trademark circular design with the Gear S2 in 2015, and our reviewer praised Samsung at the time for "finally" designing a smartwatch that "looked like a watch." 

That same year, Apple released the first Apple Watch. Since then, most Android watches have shied away from squircle designs entirely, aside from budget fitness brands like Fitbit or Amazfit, which also work on iPhones. Even though Samsung did square watches first, many people will see this move as copying Apple's design.

Samsung can have it both ways

The Android Central Slack page morphed into a battleground over this news, some saying that square designs "objectively make more sense" while others shouted "HELL NO" and bashed Samsung for returning to a design area Apple has claimed for itself.

In my case, I've been testing the Apple Watch Ultra 2 long-term over the past few months, and even though it doesn't have a stylish design, the square display layout does make it a lot easier to read notifications or type on a mini keyboard, while the UI can make full use of the display space instead of being hemmed in at the top and bottom.

On the flip side, whenever people talk about Android watches, they'll note that smaller models like the Pixel Watch 2 make Android apps too cramped but are much more comfortable to wear than larger watches like the OnePlus Watch 2. It's always a compromise, one way or the other.

Ultimately, the square vs. circular watch debate comes down to useability vs. style. And in Samsung's case, I believe it doesn't have to choose. Instead, consumers like you should have the choice.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 and Galaxy Watch 6 Classic, each showing their QWERTY keyboards

QWERTY keyboards would be less hemmed in on a square display (Image credit: Michael Hicks / Android Central)

Over the past few years, Samsung has sold a basic Galaxy Watch with a digital bezel and a pricier alternative, like the Galaxy Watch 6 and 6 Classic. You choose between a cheaper, lighter option that looks very techy and mechanically cut and a more traditional design with its trademark rotating bezel — or a Watch 5 Pro with a better battery.

There's no reason why Samsung couldn't give the base Galaxy Watch 8 a squircle design that's not as stylish but more user-friendly, while die-hard fans of Samsung's typical look can upgrade to a Watch 8 Classic or Watch 8 Pro, depending on which Samsung offers. 

We've also heard rumors about a Galaxy Watch Fan Edition that'll be cheaper with older specs, and Samsung could probably hit a lower price point with an aluminum squircle watch. 

If Samsung can find a squircle Galaxy Watch compromise that's pleasantly light but leaves more app display space, I think it'll prove popular with plenty of Android fans. And for the Android fans who hate the squircle look on principle, they'll still have a circular option. 

Michael L Hicks
Senior Editor, Wearables & AR/VR

Michael is Android Central's resident expert on wearables and fitness. Before joining Android Central, he freelanced for years at Techradar, Wareable, Windows Central, and Digital Trends. Channeling his love of running, he established himself as an expert on fitness watches, testing and reviewing models from Garmin, Fitbit, Samsung, Apple, COROS, Polar, Amazfit, Suunto, and more.

  • tony bag o donuts
    People hated the look when Pebble released their watch. Apple does it and it becomes acceptable?
  • gwinegarden
    If they make both, fine, but if they go only square, I am done.