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Samsung Galaxy Ring vs. Oura Ring: How They Compare

Oura has some new competition in the smart ring space. At its Unpacked event on July 10, Samsung announced more details about its Galaxy Ring: the tiny, finger-worn health tracker the company teased back in January. 

The Galaxy Ring and Oura Ring have a lot in common. They're meant to be a discreet alternative to smartwatches, and they can measure activity, sleep and bodily markers throughout the day and night. Samsung's Health app and Oura's app also each compile those readings into scores to communicate your current state and how you're progressing towards goals. 

But there are some notable differences between the two, the biggest being that Oura's ring is compatible with both iPhone and Android, while the Galaxy Ring is Android-only. Oura's ring is cheaper but requires a $6 monthly subscription to access most features, while Samsung's ring requires a one-time $400 payment to buy the device. Each ring also comes with specific extras, such as the Galaxy Ring's ability to control an accompanying compatible phone with gestures, and the Oura Ring's new experimental features, which include Symptom Radar and Oura Advisor.

It's impossible to know which smart ring is the better choice without spending extended time with the Galaxy Ring. That answer will mostly come down to the quality of health data each device gathers, and how that information is presented in each ring's accompanying app. Based on what we know about the Galaxy Ring so far, here are the biggest differences between the two.

Read more: Smart Rings Are Picking Up Where Fitness Trackers Left Off

Health tracking

Oura 3 ring, with green LEDs lit on inside

The Oura Ring (pictured) is the Galaxy Ring's biggest competitor. 

Scott Stein/CNET

The Galaxy Ring and Oura Ring each measure metrics related to sleep, activity and general wellness. Both devices also have their own scoring systems for translating those metrics into takeaways. 

Oura's Readiness Score has been a signature feature of its wellness ring for years. The Readiness Score takes into account factors such as activity, sleep, resting heart rate, heart rate variability and body temperature. It then issues a rating ranging from zero to 100. The higher your score, the more equipped you are for a busy day or a vigorous workout. 

Samsung, meanwhile, provides an Energy Score, which similarly ranges from zero to 100 and measures physical conditions against factors such as activity, sleep, sleeping heart rate and sleeping heart-rate variability, according to the company. 

You'll also get tidbits of information in both Samsung and Oura's apps providing insight and advice. Samsung says these so-called Wellness Tips will examine your progress over time and may make recommendations based on your sleep and activity. For example, it might tell you whether you should move more during the day or recommend meditation before bed if you're having a hard time falling asleep.  

Samsung's Wellness Tips in the Samsung Health app.

Samsung's Wellness Tips deliver insights about your health data. 

Samsung

Oura's app similarly notices trends and patterns and will surface those insights in the app. The Readiness section in the app's home tab, for example, includes advice that lines up with your score. A low score might be accompanied by advice such as "don't push it" while encouraging you to get some extra rest. 

Oura can also automatically adjust your daily activity goal based on your Readiness Score and has a Rest mode for disabling those goals when you need extra time to recharge, such as when recovering from an illness. It's unclear if Samsung's ring will have similar features. 

Sleep is also a big area of focus for both the Oura Ring and Galaxy Ring. Based on what we know about the Galaxy Ring, it sounds like they will support similar types of readings such as sleep stages, movement during sleep, how long it takes to fall asleep each night, temperature and blood oxygen saturation. Samsung's app, however, also measures snoring hours. 

Both rings also include wellness features geared towards heart health and cycle tracking. Samsung says the Galaxy Ring can monitor for high and low heart rates, while Oura allows you to check your heart rate data within the app. Oura also recently added a couple of new heart-oriented features, such as Cardiovascular Age for telling whether your estimated cardiological age matches up to your real age. 

Oura's experimental Labs platform also allows members to try certain upcoming features like Symptom Radar, which examines biometric data to detect potential respiratory symptoms early, and Oura Advisor, an AI-powered health coach. 

Both rings feature automatic workout detection, but Samsung's ring is limited to automatically detecting walking and running, while Oura's can sense over 40 activities. 

Pricing, compatibility and battery life

Samsung Galaxy Ring

The Galaxy Ring comes with a charging case. 

Lexy Savvides/CNET

The Galaxy Ring costs $400, which is $100 more expensive than the $300 Heritage version of the Oura Ring and $50 pricier than the $350 Horizon Oura Ring. But there's a catch: You need a $6 monthly subscription to use most of the Oura Ring's features, while Samsung's ring is subscription-free. 

Being a Samsung product, the Galaxy Ring is only compatible with Android devices, while the Oura ring works with both Android and iOS. In fact, Oura CEO Tom Hale said most of Oura's user base consists of iPhone owners. 

Samsung's product ecosystem and history of making other types of consumer tech wearables clearly had an influence on its approach with the Galaxy Ring. Unlike the Oura Ring, Samsung's ring can be used to control certain aspects of your phone. While wearing the Galaxy Ring, you can double pinch to control the camera or snooze an alarm from your phone. It also works with Samsung Find in case you happen to misplace it. 

Samsung's Galaxy Ring includes a portable charging cradle with LED lighting that feels reminiscent of a wireless earbuds case. That means you can charge your ring on-the-go rather than having to plug the charger into a power adapter like with the Oura Ring. 

Both rings offer similar battery life. Oura says its ring offers up to seven days of battery life while Samsung estimates up to six days for sizes five through 11, and seven days for sizes 12 and 13. 

The bottom line 

We'll know more about how the Galaxy Ring compares to the Oura Ring once we've had time to test Samsung's new ring. But so far, it seems like the Galaxy Ring's lack of a subscription and close integration with other Samsung products can help it stand out. Oura, meanwhile, is a veteran of the smart ring space and already has plenty of interesting and helpful features to build on, such as Rest Mode. It popularized the idea of issuing scores to more easily communicate health metrics long before Samsung and Google's Fitbit began doing so. 

Check out the chart below to learn more about how the Galaxy Ring and Oura Ring compare. 


Oura RingGalaxy Ring
PriceHeritage ($299 with plateau design) and Horizon ($349 completely round design) with $5.99 monthly subscription$400 no subscription required
Health scores and adviceReadiness Score, Sleep Score, Activity Score with insights in the appEnergy Score, Sleep Score, Wellness Tips
CompatibilityiPhone, AndroidAndroid only
Battery lifeUp to 7 daysUp to 6 days for sizes 5-11, Up to 7 days for sizes 12 and 13
ChargingCharging dock with wall adapterPortable charging cradle
Phone connectivity featuresNoneWorks with Samsung Find, Double pinch to control camera or snooze alarm on phone
Sleep trackingSleep Score, total sleep time, sleep efficiency, resting heart rate, sleep stages, blood oxygen, breathing regularitySleep Score, movement, time it takes to fall asleep, sleeping heart rate and respiratory rate, snoring hours, blood oxygen and skin temperature
Heart health and wellness featuresHeart rate, sleeping heart rate and average heart rate variability, cycle tracking, Cardiovasclar Age, Cardio CapacityHeart rate, high and low heart rate, inactive alerts, cycle tracking
Auto workout detection40+ activitiesRunning and walking
DurabilityWater resistant up to about 330 ftWater resistant up to about 330 ft
Dimensions and weightThickness: 2.5mm; Width: 7.9mm; Weight: 4-6 gramsThickness: 2.6mm; Width: 7mm; Weight: 3 grams or less depending on size
Colors and finishesHeritage: silver, black, stealth and gold; Horizon: silver, black, stealth, gold, rose gold and brushed titaniumTitanium Black, Titanium Silver, Titanium Gold

Source: cnet.com

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