There are a few widgets in Qt that have been treated a bit like a stepchild to other widgets. One of these widgets is the QDial. To a certain extent this has been intentional. A normal flat slider is almost always a better choice usability wise and most platforms do not have a native equivalent so it has been left looking a bit out of place everywhere. In fact the only face lift it has received since Qt 3 days is a bit of anti-aliasing. In case you haven't seen it, here it is in all it's glory:
However lately there has been an increased interest in touch screen devices where QDial seems to make a bit more sense usability wise. Combined with the fact that it has always been an eye-sore in our styles example I decided to finally do something about it for 4.6. So here is the new and improved QDial:
As you see it's a bit more shiny. It replaces the ugly focus rect with a subtle glow and it's designed to look more like something more out of this century. Old styles like motif and windows classic will still get the old looks because that's what they are... old, but on all our modern styles we will use the new one. I hope you like the change.
Edit: Added a new screenshot in a few different styles also showing the increased contrast.