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Samsung Galaxy Ring hands-on: Why I'd ditch my Oura for this competing wearable

I've tested five smart rings in seven months, and Samsung's approach feels like the one to beat in 2024.
Written by Prakhar Khanna, Contributing Writer
Samsung Galaxy Ring colors
Kerry Wan/ZDNET

I have tested five smart rings over the past seven months and realized that the form factor lacks various features that could make my day-to-day life easier. I wrote recently about how adding these features to the Galaxy Ring could make it an instant buy for me, and it seems like Samsung listened.

Also: What you missed at Samsung Unpacked July 2024: Galaxy Z Fold 6, Watch Ultra, Ring, AI, more

I haven't tested Samsung's smart ring sensors yet, but the Galaxy Ring adds two features I've missed on the other rings while also offering a lighter form factor. Here's the rundown of the best new things.

1. Find My support is very handy

Prakhar Khanna/ZDNET

There have been several instances when I misplaced my smart ring, and it took me at least 10 minutes each time to find it -- either in my bathroom, on my lunch table, or in the trash (because I cleared one along with my pizza boxes). I've wanted a form of Find My on all the smart rings I've worn, and Samsung has added just such a service. 

The Galaxy Ring features Find My Ring on Samsung Find, which means you can connect your Samsung smart ring to your Galaxy smartphone and find it on your phone if you misplace it.

Also: Samsung unveils Galaxy Ring: Key features, price, and everything you need to know

While Track My Ring is not supported, you will be able to track the Galaxy Ring based on the last connected location with your Galaxy phone. This means if your phone's Bluetooth is off, and you misplace your Ring, you won't be able to track it live. The Galaxy Ring is capable of flashing green and red lights, but there is no vibration motor or audible sound.

Moreover, Samsung Find is only available on Galaxy smartphones. While the Galaxy Ring works with all Android smartphones through the Samsung SmartThings app, it won't support location tracking on all phones. I would have preferred it to work with any Android smartphone, but I expect the presence of the Samsung Find feature on the Galaxy Ring will push other manufacturers to add Google Find My support to their next-gen smart rings, too.

2. The whole package is impressive

Prakhar Khanna/ZDNET

The Samsung Galaxy Ring is thinner and lighter than the competition. For context, it weighs 2.3 grams for the smallest size, which is less than the Oura Ring (4 grams), the RingConn Smart Ring (3 grams), and the Ultrahuman Ring Air (2.4 grams). Additionally, Amazfit specifies 3.75 grams for its size 10 Helio Ring, which is heavier than the 2.8 grams for the same size Galaxy Ring. 

I had a brief hands-on with the Galaxy Ring and I liked the fit and comfort of the device. It was better than the Amazfit Helio Ring that I'm currently wearing.

Also: The best smart rings of 2024: Expert tested and reviewed

Like RingConn, Samsung also provides a charging case instead of a puck. I've argued before that a case is more useful than a puck because it's not as easy to misplace. Plus, I can charge my smart ring while on the go, meaning I don't need to look for an outlet to plug the Galaxy Ring into. 

The Galaxy Ring Case seems well-built and has a battery indicator alongside the rails of the charging puck inside. When you place the Galaxy Ring on it, the light indicates how much battery life is left. It's a nice touch missing from the RingConn Smart Ring, whose charging solution is second only to Samsung's ring. Other smart rings -- including from Oura, Amazfit, and Ultrahuman -- have a puck that's arguably worse than a charging case.

Samsung has done an excellent job designing the Galaxy Ring and its case. It exudes premium.

3. Owning the Galaxy Ring is a one-time payment (for now)

Samsung Galaxy Ring (left) vs Oura Ring (right)

Samsung Galaxy Ring (left) and Oura Ring (right)

Kerry Wan/ZDNET

The Samsung Galaxy Ring costs $400, $100 more than the Oura Ring, which also has a $6/month subscription fee. If you don't pay the subscription fee, your data will be reduced to viewing the Sleep Score, Readiness, and Activity features in the app. Unlike the Oura Ring, the Galaxy Ring has no such subscription fee and all of its data is viewable in the Galaxy Health app.

Also: How to preorder the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6, Flip 6, Watch Ultra, Ring, and find the best deals

That said, the new Samsung ring seems expensive when compared to non-subscription competitors like from Ultrahuman ($349), RingConn ($279), and Amazfit ($300).

The Galaxy Ring is expensive, but I'd pay the price to get a presumably better app experience. So far, smart ring apps have been an underwhelming part of my ring testing experience. I have high hopes for the Galaxy Health app pushing out timely notifications.

4. What else should you know about the Galaxy Ring? 

Prakhar Khanna/ZDNET

The Samsung Galaxy Ring will sell in three color options: Titanium Black (matte), Titanium Silver (matte), and Gold (glossy). It comes in nine sizes ranging from 5 to 13, with a battery life that is supposed to last up to seven days. The device is made from Titanium Grade 5 material, so it should be robust enough to last awhile. 

The Galaxy Ring packs an accelerometer, a PPG sensor, and a skin temperature sensor. It can help you track your heart rate, sleep, and more. The sleep tracking includes data like time in bed, sleep latency, nighttime movement, heart rate, and respiratory rate.

The Galaxy Health app also offers an AI-powered Energy Score, and recommendations based on your physical state and well-being across four factors -- Sleep, Activity, Sleeping Heart Rate, and Sleeping Heart Rate Variability (HRV). 

Also: Samsung Galaxy Ring vs. Oura Ring: Which wearable should you buy?

The Galaxy Ring can track your menstrual cycle by taking measurements of overnight skin temperature. It also features automatic workout detection for walking and running. Samsung says that if you wear the Galaxy Ring with your Galaxy Watch, the Ring's battery will last 30% longer.

The Galaxy Ring also supports a new feature called Gestures; you can take photos or dismiss your alarm on compatible Samsung smartphones with a double pinch.

The Galaxy Ring won't work with an iPhone. It will go on sale starting July 24 alongside the Galaxy Watch 7 series.

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