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The best smart rings that are actually reliable

Smartwatches have a little-known contender: Smart rings. They can collect data from large blood vessels in your finger -- and the information is accurate.
Written by Sherin Shibu, Contributor on
Reviewed by Emery Wright

Rings aren't just fashion accessories anymore. The best smart rings provide accurate health measurements to help you live your best life.

Wearable tech can be highly functional but still discreet. While bulky watches are often removed at the end of the day for charging, smart rings stay on at night to track your sleep. You can even pay for items at checkout without reaching for your wallet using touch-free pay technology.

Smart rings have emerged in a promising market among smartwatch fan favorites. If you want your technology to do the most work for you, consider putting a smart ring on. ZDNET experts have rounded up the best smart rings with capabilities nothing short of spectacular.

Pros & Cons
  • Titanium
  • Lightweight
  • Size of a wedding band
  • Full charge in 20 to 80 minutes
  • Automatic firmware updates
  • Allows airplane mode
  • Pricey
  • Recurring $5.99/month membership fee with the Gen3
  • Ring sizing is particular to the brand and they don't carry half sizes
More Details

Tech specs:

  • Material: lightweight titanium with non-allergenic, non-metallic inner molding
  • Battery life: four to seven days
  • Weight: four to six grams 
  • Compatible with iOS and Android
  • Water-resistant up to 328 ft
  • Free sizing kit with purchase on their site

The Oura smart ring measures heart rate and body temperature using research-grade sensors. The focus here is data collection: Tracking your heart rate, physical and mental recovery, workouts, and even menstrual periods if that applies to you. A new feature is the guided audio component, which has over 50 sessions for meditation, sleep, and other focus areas.

This comprehensive smart ring has integrated with Apple Health, Google Fit, and iOS and Android apps. This compatibility means that you can see daily, weekly, and monthly views of your activity and other metrics.

A new feature of the third generation model is blood oxygen level tracking -- the Oura Ring measures your levels while you sleep and follows your heart rate 24/7 for good measure.

Read the review: Oura Ring 3 review

The downside is that there's a membership structure in place to unlock the features that make this ring worth it. It will cost you $5.99 per month to unlock a morning in-depth sleep analysis, blood oxygen monitoring, personalized insights, live heart rate monitoring, and temperature trend monitoring that could predict the early stages of illness. The Oura ring can also detect when you might be stressed and automatically go into Rest Mode by adjusting your daily goals for you. 

Non-paying members have access to only three insights: Sleep, Readiness, and Activity.

Pros & Cons
  • Use to pay, unlock devices, and share information
  • No charging required
  • Material: high-quality hypoallergenic ceramic
  • RingPay app tracks spending
  • Crowdfunded
  • Releasing in the UK first
More Details

Tech Specs:

  • Material: Hypoallergenic ceramic
  • Compatible with iOS and Android
  • No charging required
  • Earn cashback with RingPay Rewards
  • Donate to charity with RingPay Giving
  • Free size exchanges

The minimalistic, polished RingPay is the world's first smart ring with contactless payment technology. You can securely pay for items by connecting your debit or credit card and earn cashback when you use it. The ring is faster to use than contactless alternatives, like unlocking your phone wallet or using a credit card. You can wash your hands while wearing it, because the smart ring is water resistant, scratch-resistant, and stress-tested. It's made of hypoallergenic ceramic, so no glues or plastics involved, either.

The RingPay comes from McLear, the company that built the first NFC (near-field communication or wireless data transfer) ring to unlock doors digitally. The company configured the same technology for phones and information sharing, and secured funding from WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg, eventually launching this ring.  

The ring can unlock your NFC-enabled Android phones and tablets with just a touch from ring to device. You can store and securely share information, including Wi-Fi information, website links, and contact information to your friends' devices.

The best part? No charging required.

Pros & Cons
  • Waterproof
  • Four interchangeable finishes: Gold, rose gold, black, and silver
  • Monitors blood oxygen and heart rate
  • Future firmware updates included in purchase
  • Only available for preorder, December 2022 delivery
More Details

Tech specs:

  • Hypoallergenic material
  • Interchangeable outer shells 
  • Battery life: Four days
  • Charge time: 60 minutes
  • 10 days of built-in data storage without Bluetooth connection 
  • Compatible with iOS and Android
  • Sizing kit available for purchase

The Circular Ring launched recently, with expected delivery in December 2022. That said, the company markets the ring as "the most advanced wearable tracking device."

The ring focuses on three main components: Sleep, activity, and health. The device tracks precise heart rate, breathing rate, blood oxygen levels, temperature, and motion during sleep with emphasis on quality, duration, and circadian rhythm. You'll even get notifications about irregular heart rates and blood oxygen levels. 

For fitness, you'll get an energy score that tells you how much energy you've exerted throughout the day, and the ring automatically tracks your workouts. The technology organizes data in an easy-to-read app so you can better understand your habits and make better health decisions.

Pros & Cons
  • Customizable tracking
  • Includes a ring box
  • Can be used as an NFC business card
  • No half sizes
  • Only one color option
  • May be confusing to use
More Details

Tech specs:

  • Material: Zirconia ceramic and epoxy resin 
  • Chip: NFC 215
  • Contactless card reading
  • Compatible with Android and iOS
  • Waterproof

The Hecere NFC ring is best smart ring for a tech-savvy person: It's delivered blank with a built-in rewritable chip. You can download an NFC app for free and program the ring to function however you want, whether you want the ring to turn on Wi-Fi, make a call, or share a contact.

The sensing technology in this ring is more advanced than that in comparable products. If you want a fun, customizable project, this could be the ring for you.

Pros & Cons
  • Sleep tracking focus
  • Fast shipping within 2-3 business days
  • Supports airplane mode
  • Continuous upgrades
  • One-year warranty
  • Ring removal required for report generation
More Details

Tech specs:

  • Material: Acrylic/PC+ABS plastics
  • Battery life: three days
  • Charge time: two hours
  • Weight: six grams
  • Waterproof
  • Magnetic charging
  • Compatible with iOS and Android

The Go2sleep ring is dedicated to one function: Tracking your sleep based on heart rate, blood oxygen levels, and heart rate variability. If you or anyone in your family lives with a sleep condition, this ring could be a useful tool. You can share data with family members on the app to learn more about their sleep habits, and even download your sleep reports as Excel files to show your medical provider. 

The advanced technology can wake you up in your lightest sleep phase, so you won't feel disoriented in the morning. The Go2sleep ring auto-syncs with the Health app on iOS devices, and it features a ring-finding function so you can locate the device if it's misplaced.

What is the best smart ring?

ZDNET experts recommend the Oura Ring 3 as the best smart ring based on its extensive capabilities.

Smart ring


Battery life


Oura Ring 3


Four to seven days

Titanium with non-allergenic interior 

McLear RingPay


No charging required

Hypoallergenic ceramic

Circular Ring


Up to four days

Hypoallergenic inner material with interchangeable external shells

Hecere NFC Ring


No charging required

Zirconia ceramic material and epoxy resin 

Go2sleep Ring


Up to four days

Acrylic /PC+ABS plastics

Which is the right smart ring for you?

Each smart ring is unique and one could be the best ring for you. 

Choose this smart ring…

If you want…

Oura Ring 3

The best smart ring overall

McLear RingPay

A smart ring for payments 

Circular Ring

To track your fitness levels

Hecere NFC Ring

A customizable smart ring

Go2sleep Ring

To track your sleep habits

How did we choose these smart rings?

ZDNET experts analyzed the overall quality and functionality of smart rings on the market right now. There are many smart wearables available, but these smart rings are the most high-quality options based on a variety of categories. From contactless payment to advanced sleep tracking, these smart rings bring advanced technology right to your finger.

Which is the best fitness ring?

ZDNET expert Lena Borrelli assessed the Oura Ring 3 as the best overall smart ring in the fitness wearable market. If your goal is to specifically track exercise and workout recovery, the Oura Ring 3 is your best option. TIME also named Oura one of the best inventions of 2020.

Oura even partnered with the NBA to help players train during the pandemic. The NBA purchased 2,000 Oura rings to track signs of COVID-19 symptoms using body temperature data. Plus, the smart rings gave players personalized insights into their health.  

Are smart rings reliable?

Smart rings can provide more accurate readings than smartwatches because they are worn close to large blood vessels located in the fingers. In contrast, smartwatch sensors utilize small capillaries for readings. You wear smart rings flush against your skin, and as a result the data can be more accurate than smart watches.

What is a smart ring good for?

Smart rings can be useful for a variety of functions. A ring like the McLear RingPay is ideal if contactless payments are your top priority. If you want 24/7 monitoring of your blood oxygen and heart rate, go with the Circular Ring. Smart rings can go as far as you need, and you can even program your own with the Hecere NFC Ring.

Smart rings also tend to have long battery lives, while some don't require charging at all.

Are there alternative smart rings worth considering?

There are various smart rings on the market that didn't make the cut for ZDNET's top five. However, we've included a few other smart rings that receive honorable mention:

Read a full review: Prevention Circul Plus review: Oura Ring alternative offers more extensive health insights

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