Hands-On With Samsung’s Galaxy Ring: Is Oura in Trouble?

Samsung’s first smart ring feels solid for a first-gen product.

Samsung's Galaxy Ring smart ring comes in three titanium colors and launches on July 24 for $399.99.
Photograph by Raymond Wong

When Samsung surprise-announced the Galaxy Ring at the end of its Unpacked event in January for the launch of the Galaxy S24 series phones, it left everyone with tons of unanswered questions. Now, we know all of the official details.

At its Unpacked event in Paris, alongside new foldables (Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Z Flip 6), smartwatches (Galaxy Watch Ultra and Watch 7), and wireless earbuds (Galaxy Buds 3 and Buds 3 Pro), Samsung finally formally took the wraps off the Galaxy Ring — its first smart ring — in full, and shared features, release date information, and pricing.

Like the rest of Samsung’s new products, I got to try out the Galaxy Ring for a few minutes while in Paris. As a long-time smart ring user (I rotate between an old Motiv and Oura 3), I’m the right guy to tell you how the Galaxy Ring compares. I, obviously, wasn’t able to get any personalized health and fitness tracking information from briefly wearing the smart ring but I can share my experience trying it out and what to expect from its features.

Galaxy Ring Price and Release Date

The Galaxy Ring is Samsung’s first smart ring.

Photograph by Raymond Wong

The Galaxy Ring launches on July 24 for $399.99. Pre-orders start today, July 10.

At first glance, you may be thinking that the Galaxy Ring costs more than an Oura smart ring, which starts at $299 for the Heritage model (the one with the flat side) and $349 for the Horizon model (the one with the continuous circular design), but Ouras also need a $6 monthly subscription (or $70 annually) to get comprehensive health and fitness tracking. You can still use an Oura smart ring for basic tracking without a subscription, but you lose a lot of data insights, which is the whole reason for choosing to get a smart ring. The Galaxy Ring doesn’t need any subscription (at least for now, though that could change in the future).

How the Galaxy Smart Ring Feels On My Finger

Don’t do this... or you might find the Galaxy Rings stuck on your finger like I did.

Photograph by Raymond Wong

Available in three colors (black, silver, and gold), the Galaxy Ring is maybe the nicest smart ring I’ve ever worn. All three colors look good; my favorite is the matte silver and black, gold is just too flashy for me. Similar to an Oura or other smart rings, the Galaxy Ring is made of titanium (grade 5 to be specific) and has three little bumps on the inside (these are where the sensors are for tracking your heart rate and other health vitals). Unlike an Oura, the Galaxy Ring has a concave design, which I wasn’t sure would be comfortable at first, but does fit nicely between your fingers.

More noticeable is that the Galaxy Ring is narrower than an Oura. Together with the concave design, Samsung’s smart ring is lighter at about 2 to 3 grams (depending on size) and looks less like a gadget and more like a discrete piece of jewelry. Samsung says the Galaxy Ring is 10ATM and IP68 water resistant so there’s no need to take it off when you’re getting your hands wet.

The Samsung Galaxy Ring sizing kit.

Photograph by Raymond Wong

I’m told ordering a Galaxy Ring is very much like getting an Oura. You’ll get a sizing kit with nine different Galaxy Ring sizes (5 to 13). Choose the one that fits the finger you’ll be wearing the smart ring on, and Samsung will send the actual unit to you. Even if you already know your ring size, you really have to use the sizing kit. Because of the way the sensor bumps are situated on the inside, you might need to go down a ring size for it to make proper contact for tracking. You want the Galaxy Ring to fit snugly: not too tight or too loose.

On display was also the Galaxy Ring’s charging case. Its transparent and clamshell design opens up to reveal a place to drop in the Galaxy Ring as well as LEDs to check battery levels. It’s very Nothing-esque with the see-through aesthetic. I like it a lot.

What the Galaxy Ring Can Actually Do

The Galaxy Ring is made of grade 5 titanium.

Photograph by Raymond Wong

Tech specs for smart rings really don’t matter because you don’t need to engage with them the way you do a smartwatch, a fitness tracker, or a phone. You wear the Galaxy Ring and just let its sensors collect data passively. Then, you look at that information on a connected device to see if you can make any improvements or changes to live a healthier lifestyle. But if you want the Galaxy Ring tech specs, here they are:

  • Battery: 18mAh — good for up to 7 days on a single charge. A 30-minute charge in the charging case brings the Galaxy Ring to 40 percent.
  • Battery for charging case: 361mAh
  • RAM: 8MB
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, PPG, skin temperature
  • Wireless: Bluetooth LE 5.4
  • Durability: 10ATM, IP68 water resistance

First things first: The Galaxy Ring requires an Android smartphone. It does not work with iPhone. And the Android phone needs to be running Android 11 or newer. That is either great or a non-starter.

Now, onto what the Galaxy Ring can do. It works very much like an Oura or other brand of smart ring (there are tons now) with Samsung focusing on a few key areas that it thinks users care about most. Namely: heart health, sleep tracking, menstrual cycle tracking, and automatic walking and running tracking.

Samsung tells me it’s incorporated various forms of Galaxy AI to help make better sense of the data that is tracked, which is then presented in the Samsung Health app. For example, there’s an AI sleep algorithm that creates a “sleep score” based on information from your sleep movement, latency, and heart and respiratory rate. AI is also used to generate an “energy score” that’s calculated from your sleep, activity, sleeping heart rate, and sleeping heart rate variability, which includes personalized insights on how to improve your health.

Samsung Galaxy Rings in their transparent charging cases.

Photograph by Raymond Wong

The thing about smart rings is that they collect a lot of health and fitness data, but it can be overwhelming figuring out what to do with all of it. Samsung is hoping Large Language Models (LLMs) and AI can help look at your data and then give you an actual personal report, as opposed to broad health tips or suggestions that are easy to ignore.

I wasn’t able to see any data shared on an Android smartphone from any Galaxy Ring so I can’t say how well it all works. But the use of AI to summarize health data sounds practical, at the very least.

The feature that will probably surprise people the most is that you can use the Galaxy Ring as a remote of sorts for controlling a connected Samsung Galaxy phone. Samsung says you can double pinch the Galaxy Ring to take a photo with the camera app as if you had a remote shutter, or dismiss an alarm. Those are the only two remote control features that have been announced for the Galaxy Ring, but it gives me hope that there could be more added in the future. It could even be used to control a mixed-reality headset. Considering the Galaxy Ring has a long 7-day battery life, it’s interesting that Samsung included wireless controls for both of these functions that likely drain battery life faster if you use them often.

Should Oura Be Worried?

The Samsung Galaxy Ring in gold.

Photograph by Raymond Wong

Oura CEO Tom Hale told CNET the company isn’t worried about Samsung introducing its own smart ring. Hale says he welcomes the tech giant as it validates smart rings as a product category and brings more awareness to the various options available.

Notably, Hale says Oura serves a large base of iPhone users, which the Galaxy Ring will not support. “Are they going to be a good solution for the installed base of iOS users? No, and that's the majority of our business today.”

Even if Hale is not concerned about Samsung hopping on its turf, I think people are very fatigued by subscriptions. Many of the data insights that Oura sells as part of its monthly subscription will be offered for free to Galaxy Rings users, packaged together thanks to AI. Six dollars a month may not seem like a lot, but when you add that on to the many streaming, music, and other subscriptions we all pay for, it totals up to a number nobody is thrilled to look at.

Of course, whether or not the AI-generated insights for the Galaxy Ring will be any good is a question we won’t have an answer to until we live with the smart ring and compare it to an Oura. But based on first impressions, and for a first-generation smart ring, Samsung appears to have nailed down all the basics. I’m stoked to try out the Galaxy Ring.

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