Best deal for your brand new Galaxy Z Flip5, Z Fold5, Tab S9 or Watch6. Other amazing offers at Samsung!

SamMobile has affiliate and sponsored partnerships. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn a commission.

Samsung smartwatches could use some fresh Material You customization features


Last updated: May 1st, 2023 at 16:27 UTC+02:00

The color palette feature in One UI has been around since version 4.0, i.e., Android 12. After its debut, Samsung upgraded the color palette tool a couple more times through One UI 5.0 and One UI 5.1. And now, Android 14 might prompt another big update for the Material You color palette in One UI 6.0.

But while Galaxy phone and tablet users who like to customize their UIs have embraced these color palette additions over the years, Galaxy smartwatch users are getting left behind. And maybe it's time for a change.

Samsung Galaxy smartwatches that run Wear OS 3.5 and One UI Watch 4.5 have highly customizable watch faces, but that's where it stops. There are no custom options for app icons in the app drawer, the One UI Watch settings menu, or the quick toggle panel. In fact, beyond the watch faces themselves, Galaxy smartwatches don't offer any options to customize the UI color scheme.

And considering how much care and attention the color palette feature is getting in One UI for phones and tablets, it's beginning to feel like Google and Samsung aren't paying enough attention to Wear OS and One UI Watch. But Samsung is working on the Galaxy Watch 6 series for release later this year, and I'm thinking that the next-gen hardware could benefit from a few next-gen UI customization features.

Galaxy smartwatches are in dire need of Material You colors

I've been using my Galaxy Watch 5 for a few good weeks now. And although I love the flexibility of the watch faces, One UI Watch personalization options don't come close to what you find in regular One UI for smartphones and tablets. The Watch UI utterly lacks that distinctive Material You flair from One UI. And I wish it wasn't so, even though it can be argued that smartwatch UIs shouldn't be as complex as smartphones — to maintain ease of use and performance optimization.

Nevertheless, the feeling that I'm using a sub-par UI that hasn't received the same level of care and attention becomes even more prominent after a while. And it's even more difficult to ignore when Samsung seemingly knows how good of an avenue for self-expression smartwatches can be. After all, we're talking about the company that created the Bespoke Studio for wearables.

So, what's the solution? Well, I personally would've loved the option to change the color tone of the settings menu and quick-toggle area on my Galaxy Watch 5. And even though I'm not a huge fan of matching app icon colors in One UI for smartphones and tablets, having that option would've at least been a start to expanding the customization options for smartwatches.

A new version of Wear OS is on its way, and I'm hoping that Google or Samsung will consider adding these Material You color palette upgrades to Wear OS 4 / One UI Watch 5. Android 14 may represent another big step forward for the color palette feature for phones and tablets because, as Google puts it, “color is personal.” In my opinion, that should be just as true for Wear OS and smartwatches. But even if Google disagrees, I'm hoping that Samsung can add these features through its custom One UI Watch software.

OpinionWatch Galaxy Watch 5Galaxy Watch 5 ProGalaxy Watch 6Galaxy Watch 6 ClassicOne UI Watch

You might also like

Galaxy Watch 6 Classic Astro Edition goes official with astrolabe-inspired bezel design

Galaxy Watch 6 Classic Astro Edition goes official with astrolabe-inspired bezel design

Samsung has unveiled the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic Astro Edition, a limited edition of the recently launched smartwatch. The Astro Edition smartwatch features an astrolabe-inspired design on the bezel. An astrolabe is an ancient tool that helped scientists and travelers know time and find their way while traveling. The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic Astro Edition […]

  • By Asif Iqbal Shaik
  • 3 hours ago
Galaxy Watch 6 Classic review: Samsung ‘rotates’ back to form!

Galaxy Watch 6 Classic review: Samsung ‘rotates’ back to form!

Another year, another Galaxy Watch. Samsung has made it a habit of taking the most popular feature of its smartwatches away one year and then bringing it back the next. That's also the story with the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic, which brings back the much-loved physical rotating bezel. There's a lot more to this smartwatch […]

  • By Adnan Farooqui
  • 20 hours ago
When people see Sam, they want to buy more Galaxy devices

When people see Sam, they want to buy more Galaxy devices

Do you remember Sam? Samsung's virtual influencer whose purpose was unknown until she launched her own blog earlier this year? Only for said blog to lack any content updates post-launch? Well, after a few months of falling off the radar, Sam stepped back into the spotlight. And according to Samsung, the virtual influencer was instrumental […]

  • By Mihai Matei
  • 22 hours ago
Video review: Galaxy Watch 6 Classic

Video review: Galaxy Watch 6 Classic

2022's Galaxy Watch 5 Pro may hold some advantages over Samsung's Galaxy Watch 6 lineup, but the Watch 5 series lacked the physical rotating bezel that has set Galaxy smartwatches apart from the competition for so many years. Samsung has brought that rotating bezel back with the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic, and after using the […]

  • By Abhijeet Mishra
  • 2 days ago
Galaxy Wearable Week: A window into smartwatch customization

Galaxy Wearable Week: A window into smartwatch customization

You just got your first Samsung smartwatch, or you're considering buying one, and you're wondering what the next step might be for you to take full advantage of the new wearable's capabilities. Wonder no more. The next step is the Galaxy Wearable mobile app. As part of our weekly series, today, we're exploring the smartwatch […]

  • By Mihai Matei
  • 3 days ago
You could soon unlock Galaxy phone using your Galaxy smartwatch

You could soon unlock Galaxy phone using your Galaxy smartwatch

At CES 2023, Google unveiled the Watch Unlock feature, which is basically another way of unlocking your Android smartphone apart from fingerprint or face unlock. The Watch Unlock feature is based on an already existing Active Unlock API on Android 13. According to AssembleDebug, Google may launch the Watch Unlock feature soon. AssembleDebug tweaked a bunch […]

  • By Sagar Naresh
  • 1 week ago