Do you prefer a round or square smartwatch?

By Adam Zeis on 31 May 2014 10:07 am
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Seeing so many new smartwatches on the horizon with so many different designs, it really got me thining about the faces. Most of the smartwatches I own — the ones that I wear often at least — have square or rectangular faces. I do have some with round faces, but sadly they don't work well so I rarely ever wear them. Nearly all of today's popular smartwatches are square-faced — Pebble, Gear 2, Qualcomm Toq, Sony Smartwatch 2 — so it's safe to say that it's a popular design choice. But what about watches like the Moto 360 that will feature a round face? I'm wondering if people will opt for a round face over square, or if square is where it's at.

If you think about mechanical watches it's quite the opposite too — more often than not they have round faces. I think as we move ahead we'll start to see more smartwatch offerings with round faces, something that isn't yet the norm in smartwatch land. I'm still undecided if I would prefer a round-face smartwatch the square ones that I'm used to. I think that with the arrival of the Moto 360 we'll start to see if that's the way things will go, or if device manufacturers will stick to what's been working so far.

So I'm curious to know just how many of you prefer round watches, and how many prefer square/rectangular ones? Let us know in the poll below, then drop a comment with your thoughts!

Related: Smartwatches Polls

Reader comments

Do you prefer a round or square smartwatch?

41 Comments

I own the Original Galaxy Gear, but really cannot wait until more info is released on the Moto360. I think the round face makes it look more like a traditional watch.

The square faces remind me of the calculator watches that were popular 20 years ago.

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The square watches remind me of the old Dick Tracy watch. I might get one for the sake of childhood memories. Though I think I have already been won over by the Moto 360.

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I have mechanical watches in both shapes and it depends on the day or event that I am wearing it to. The same goes for smartwatches

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I don't own a smartwatch (yet), but I think a square face is more "natural" for a smartwatch, with notifications etc appearing in a similar form factor as we are used to on our phones. Similarly an analog watch lends itself naturally to be round, with the hands rotating around a fixed point creating a circle. That being said, there are some great looking square/rectangle analog watches too (I own 2). I am interested to see how things are implemented on the 360, and will keep an open mind, but with text and similar on a smartwatch, in my opinion rectangle is better. But as I said I don't own one yet and would like to see how things are handled on round faces. Bottom line both round and rectangle can be stylish, but implementation is very important.

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Sqaure with rounded edges to make things easier on the eyes.
It also depends on what kind of display you mostly prefer, and what strap goes along with it. While some straps can be universal, the feeling (both physically and aesthetically) also play a large role in the time piece. Furthermore, one also has to think that phones, computer screens, etc. all come in a four-cornered default display. It's what we're visually accustomed to. In the respect, it may make it slightly easier for an OS to adapt to a smaller square display.

I have mechanical watches with round faces. I just don't care for rectangular watches, so that it one reason I haven't gotten a smartwatch yet.

Square smart watches always look like dorky calculator watches to me. I wear my Pebble every day, but I'm keenly aware of the sartorial compromise.

I could do either. I like to keep an open mind. If I like something... round or square I'll buy it. The moto 360 is looking good

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Not married to either shape,but square seems much more pragmatic logistically speaking.

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I like the both.  Functionality wise the square might be the better choice and that may be why many vendor are going in that direction.  I don't mind and I do like the look of a square face watch.  That being said I like the look of a round face better.  I am looking forward to the Moto 360 and the Agent watches and will consider other round watches also.  But I can go either way.

I want to see how these round faces turn out. I've always preferred round (my Stuhrling is round), but I also love my Pebble.

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Agreed, at least in the sense that I don't want to see blank glass around the display. Bezel that looks and/or functions like that of a traditional watch is fine by me.

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Although practicality of text/ information on the display will most likely suffer due to formatting, I much prefer the looks of a round face.

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I have always had round face watches. Than I got the pebble. Thought I would just put up with the square face because the pebble offers so much. After wearing is for a while I love the square face. Like they always say...change is good. Lol

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I'm a classics guy, so I prefer a round face. I'm also a guy of subtlety, so I don't want a square face that announces to the world that I have a smart watch. I would prefer to enjoy my tech with modesty.

I own a number of round watches, but after the Pebble and a running watch (Nike+ SportWatch), I'd like to get more square watchfaces.

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I'd want to see a round one to see how it looks. I've never really been a fan of analog watches, though it's not because of the shape.

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Round is the way to go. I guarantee that once Android Wear hits the scene we'll quickly see that the models that sell the best will be round.

I definitely prefer the square/rectangular shaped face. Most of my non-smart watches have been rectangular, I just prefer that style.

I prefer round watches. But for a smartwatch, the biggest choice factor will be what it can do. Close to that is the looks of it. Meaning i could end up with a square smartwatch 0_o

Square. I don't wear a watch most of the time, but when I see one I like, it's always square. I agree with the person who said that the bezels should be slim to none though. This is easy enough with normal watches, but seem to be a little bit of a challenge with digital watches or even smartphones and tablets. My guess is that in 5 or 10 years, the perfect smartwatch exists or something even better and more innovative has come up.

Rectangular watch faces are fine for digital only devices and were sort of clever way-back-when for mechanical analog watches. But for any analog, mechanical or otherwise, rotating hand presentation, a nice round face is what I am holding out for. And preferably one with numbers or numerals that the hands do not cover up. Actually, with electronic analog, bolding or brightening the current hour and minute figures on the face would make a neat analog+digital presentation for those of us who prefer to read the time without pressing buttons and what-not, such as times running late to meetings carrying an arm-load of junk.

Personally, I like the look of the round faces on smartwatches, though the norm is square. But I prefer rectangular on mechanical watches, even though round is standard.

I dunno. Maybe I'm just contrary...