Skip to main content

Samsung may be working on an incredible new smartwatch design

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 and Galaxy Watch 6 Classic next to each other.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic (left) and Galaxy Watch 6 Andrew Martonik / Digital Trends

Right when Apple is reportedly prepping a major design overhaul for the Apple Watch ahead of the upcoming 10th anniversary edition, we are hearing rumors that Samsung is also chasing a similar goal. A SamMobile report claims Samsung is finally going back to its smartwatch roots, eschewing the round display on its current-gen Galaxy smartwatches in favor of a rectangular dial.

“The idea is enthusiastically being considered internally and it’s very much on the cards that the switch is going to happen,” says the report. We don’t know whether the design shift is going to happen this year or the next. However, if the design project is a fresh endeavor, that leaves a very tight window for the upcoming Galaxy Watch 7 series, which is scheduled to arrive in the next few months.

Samsung Galaxy Gear Hands On watch
Could this be a peek at the future? Digital Trends

It’s plausible that the redesign has been saved for the next iteration or maybe even later. Product design isn’t exactly an easy job, and something as dramatic as changing the entire form factor will take both hardware and deep software-level optimization.

Where Apple has remained loyal to the rectangular display format for nine smartwatch generations, Samsung has gone in both directions. In the early days of the smartwatch hype, Samsung arrived on the scene with the Galaxy Gear in 2013. In fact, it was even more ambitious than current-generation smartwatches.

Priced at $299, the Galaxy Gear served a rectangular 1.63-inch Super AMOLED display with a respectable 320 x 320 pixels of resolution. It was a beautiful timepiece, blending a metallic frame with straps offered in a bevy of styles. Samsung also armed the watch with a 1.9-megapixel camera that could shoot HD videos. It had a handful of other cool features, too.

Samsung Galaxy Gear 2

Back then, a paltry selection of apps and a rough user interface were its biggest shortcomings. Fast-forward to 2024, when Samsung has had a decade’s worth of experience serving Tizen OS (and more recently, Wear OS) on smartwatches, and the time seems ripe for the company to experiment.

Now, I am not saying Samsung should put a camera on its rumored Galaxy Watch refresh. But a rectangular display has its own share of benefits, even though it doesn’t ascribe to the holy aesthetic rule of a wrist-worn timepiece. But hey, not too long ago, Apple was selling gold-heavy $17,000 editions of the Apple Watch, and they didn’t look half bad.

A rectangular screen makes it easier to interact with notification cards, especially on a platform that is already struggling to make the best of every pixel available. Round smartwatches leave comparatively little space for scrolling past notifications or any other UI element, allowing only the centerpiece to unfold in full, while content at the top and bottom is sacrificed to the round edges.

Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 main
I would totally wear this orange. The world can judge me all it wants! Digital Trends

The Apple Watch’s rectangular screen allows it to avoid that problem to a large extent. Plus, I’ve already experienced the beauty of Wear OS on the Oppo Watch, and I survived the experience without losing my patience and writing long Reddit rants about the fallacies of a rectangular screen on smartwatches.

I am just hoping Samsung manages to somehow address the battery concerns, especially on the smaller trims, assuming it decides to go with the rectangular makeover. But at the same time, I am also ready to write a glowing obituary to the beautiful times of a rotating dial on the Galaxy Watch Classic series.

Editors' Recommendations

Nadeem Sarwar
Nadeem is a tech journalist who started reading about cool smartphone tech out of curiosity and soon started writing…
Samsung Galaxy Watch 7: news, rumored price, release date, and more
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 and Galaxy Watch 6 Classic next to each other.

Galaxy Watch 6 Classic (left) and Galaxy Watch 6 (right) Andrew Martonik / Digital Trends

Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 6 is one of the best smartwatches that you can buy right now, especially if you’re using a Galaxy smartphone. But as good as it is, there's also no denying how much of an iterative update it was over the Galaxy Watch 5. It's about time we see some bigger changes to Samsung's smartwatch family.

Read more
The OnePlus Watch 2 is the Wear OS smartwatch I’ve been waiting for
Person wearing OnePlus Watch 2 with a green strap on their left wrist.

The OnePlus Watch 2 -- the company's first Wear OS watch -- has entered a market that Samsung dominates. However, OnePlus' popularity as a smartphone brand can be expected to bring small, yet meaningful changes that benefit not only OnePlus users, but all of the Wear OS segment in general.

For almost a decade, Samsung and Apple have predominantly been the default options if you want a smartwatch that is actually useful and goes beyond flashy features. With Samsung shifting gears and migrating from its own Tizen OS to the (relatively) more universal Wear OS platform and Google releasing its own Pixel Watch after struggling with an identity crisis in the smartwatch world, the platform has much more traction than it did a few years ago. As OnePlus carves its way into the segment, it has the opportunity to entice people who don't wish to live within Samsung's limitations when using a Galaxy Watch with another brand's phone.

Read more
Galaxy AI is now available for these other Samsung phones
A white Samsung Galaxy S23 next to a pink Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus.

In January, Samsung introduced its Galaxy AI features alongside its Galaxy S24 series of smartphones. Since then, if you've wanted to use Galaxy AI, you've needed a Galaxy S24, Galaxy S24 Plus, or Galaxy S24 Ultra. That's about to change.

Samsung just announced that it's about to bring those Galaxy AI features to a lot more devices, meaning you'll soon be able to use Galaxy AI even if you don't have a Galaxy S24.

Read more