Tech for your connected self

Put a ring on it: The best smart rings

We round up the top connected rings out now and coming soon

Don't want a Fitbit or an Apple Watch on your wrist? No problem. You can wear those connected smarts in a more discreet manner with a smart ring.

Smart rings are small and slim and for that reason alone, they can be difficult to get right. And while there have been some casualties in the world of smart jewellery, there's still a host of talented startups that prove you can make great fashionable wearables that live on the finger for both women and men.

Essential reading: Best smartwatches for women

We've picked out the smart rings we've enjoyed using and the rings on the way that you should definitely keep a look out for.

Got any questions about what we've included? Let us know in the comments below.

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Best smart ring: Motiv ring

Smart rings: The good, the bad and the ugly in smart jewellery

Here's our fave. The iPhone (and now Android) compatible smart ring, Motiv, turned heads when it was announced in early 2017 and it's not hard to see why. It's sleek, just 8mm wide and comes in rose gold or slate grey finishes of titanium. Plus, there are seven sizes to fit both male and female fingers.

Inside, it's a fitness tracker that will monitor steps, distance, and active minutes, as well as heart rate thanks to an optical heart rate sensor. The battery will last five days and it's even waterproof to 50m. New Alexa support means you can check in on your stats as opposed to bark orders at your finger.

In our tests, we found it to be both stylish and easy to wear thanks to its light, comfortable form factor and it's rightfully the best option out there.

Wareable verdict: Motiv Ring review

$199.99, mymotiv.com | Amazon

Oura Ring

Smart rings: The good, the bad and the ugly in smart jewellery

This high end, sleep tracking and analysing smart ring raised a boatload of money on Kickstarter and became one of the few to actually ship to backers. The app uses data on how well you've slept and does something useful with it - Oura provides you with a simple, intuitive readiness score for the day.

Plus, it makes personalised suggestions and can show you trends over time - though in our testing we'd like to see more of this. Oura comes in three colours and ring sizes 6-13. In our review we noted that the design might divide opinion, but it feels luxury and the sleep tracking is really great.

Early backers are already taking advantage of the original Oura, but the new Oura Ring is starting to ship in April 2018. It looks suspiciously similar to the Motiv above, but those interested can pre-order the device in three different styles from a range of colours.

Read this: Oura Ring review

From €329, ouraring.com

NFC Ring

Second-gen NFC Ring now on Kickstarter

The second-gen NFC ring, crowdfunded on Kickstarter, can be used to unlock phones and doors, transfer information and link people.

The ring packs two NFC tag inlays - one for public information and one for more sensitive stuff. The private tag - for things such as your smart door lock and payment information - sits on the inner part of the ring closest to the palm, so that it requires a deliberate gesture to use. The public portion, for stuff you want to give out, like your email address, sits on the top side of your finger.

Waterproof to 50m, the ring comes in a range of subtle designs, including ceramic coated in gloss black. So there's something to suit both men and women. And the best news? It never needs charging, and it's by far the cheapest option on this list.

A new OPN NFC ring is now also available and while it lacks the payment support, it does have a smoother-look design and improved compatibility with host of devices and digital door locks.

£15, nfcring.com

Blinq

Smart rings: The good, the bad and the ugly in smart jewellery

Blinq is a luxury smart ring collection that wants to keep you fit and safe and just recently launched on Kickstarter. It's the work of a Montreal-based startup and offers sterling silver and 12-karat gold rings with 12 styles and seven different gemstones to choose from.

Features wise, there's an SOS Alert feature that works by tapping a custom sequence to send a text to friends, as well as notification filtering via a special backlight behind the stone and basic activity tracking. Blinq started to ship its rings in February 2018.

Read this: We talk to Blinq about its smart jewelry collection

From $119, kickstarter.com

Go2Sleep

Put a ring on it: The best smart rings to put on your finger

Startup Sleepon believes there's still room for innovation in the sleep monitoring realms and it's hoping it can offer something new with its Go2Sleep smart ring.

The iOS and Android-friendly ring features a 3-axis sensor to monitor sleep and also features blood oxygen and heart rate sensors that will record data including perfusion index (pulse strength), heart rate and blood oxygen saturation. As far as unique sleep metrics are concerned, it claims to be able to even track your tossing and turning during the night.

The AI-powered app will offer personalised recommendations and Sleepon also claims it can help detect whether users are suffering from sleep apnea. It successfully passed its $20,000 target goal on Indiegogo and is in the production stage with shipping expected in May 2018.

$178, indiegogo.com

ORII Smart Ring

Smart rings: The good, the bad and the ugly in smart jewellery

We've got high hopes for ORII, which raised over $400k on Kickstarter in 2017. Its particular secret agent trick is that it lets you take calls by holding your finger to your ear, something we've seen on smartwatch straps before but which makes even more sense as a smart ring form factor.

It's available in matte black, sandblasted silver, metallic dark grey and armor red finishes and other features including getting voice read-outs of text messages and notifications, hearable-style without the earbud permanently in your ear.

Hong Kong startup Origami Labs was looking to ship the ORII in February 2018, but recent updates on its crowdfunding page suggest that has been moved to June 2018.

In-depth: We talk to Origami Labs about ORII

$129, indiegogo.com

TAGGEDFashion

14 comments

  • seasideslut says:

    I think you'll find thumb rings are great. I've worn one for years and I fucking rock.

    I can't see the point of any of these products because why would I need an additional object to tell me I've got an email or a text message etc? My smartphone does that. 

    • Ellie says:

      I'm not crazy about thumb rings, but some women wear them and they look really cute.

      I agree with you, regarding the seeming pointlessness of most of these products. Other than the pulse ring, they don't offer any functionality beyond what a smartphone does. Well, some do other things that require a whole bunch of other connected devices or home appliances, which no one has yet (nor is especially interested in yet) anyway.

      The NFC ring could be great for work, instead of a badge to get entrance and exit from a secured building. I don't think there are many employers who would be willing to pay $54.99 to issue them to employees though!  Realistically, I would guess that employers could get them for a bulk discount rate, but they would still need to size them for men's and women's ring sizes. I hate wearing badges and constantly badge swiping, so I would love to have an NFC ring instead!

  • jomamama says:

    Well pinky rings mean you're in the mafia, and thumb rings mean you like it in the butt.

    • SimpleSean says:

      Your mom wears thumb rings. 

  • yogibimbi says:

    "it can convert your palm into an alphanumeric keyboard, just in case that's something you ever wanted to do" - pure gold, very well said.

  • pfon71361 says:

    I ordered the Smarty Ring on Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014. Still waiting for it. Last update at Indiegogo was 3 months ago which said shipment "planned" for October (but didn't say what year). Sigh.

  • Accountable says:

    bought the siren ring on preorder had nine mo before it would not charge, contacted owner,she said send it back for repair I did as suggested, I was told they couldn't get parts, and was working on getting a partial shipment of new rings, then was told they were working on a new design, and I would receive a ring as close to mine as possible in two weeks. That was June 2016 they do not answer my emails, and the letter I sent came back undeliverable. Yet they have a new website for 2017 plus internet shows the owner receiving awards for her startup company. Very disappointed I gave her startup company a chance by ordering two rings,lesson learned.

  • Accountable says:

    Ordered siren ring on preorder, had nine months when it quit charging, company said it would replace when new shipment arrived, that was in June , Company won't answer emails or letter lesson leavened.

  • Makko says:

    How come, you didn't list OURA. Unbelievable.

  • ryjoba says:

    Agree with Makko - you missed the Ouraring! I've had it for almost a month and like it a lot. The tech on it is more sophisticated than those above. Dig deeper about Bioring - I think it was noted elsewhere as a complete scam.  

  • Zardeenah says:

    Ringly kills it. Why would you want a smart ring? Because your phone is in your backpack or purse and you can't hear it. Because it's on silent in the movie theater and you need to know if you're babysitter calls or texts (she has a custom alert!). Because it vibrates when your phone is a certain distance away so you don't forget it or know if it's stolen. Because other activity trackers are ugly as sin. Because next gen Ringly will include Apple and Android pay. Because I've had mine for 18 months and wear it nearly every day (except in the shower and pool and washing dishes) and it still works perfectly.

    I would buy a Ringly for every woman I know if I had the $$. It never lies around unused. I wear it more than any jewelry I have *ever* gotten, aside from my wedding ring.

    (And they're not even paying me for this!)

  • nshpatel69 says:

    WHERE CAN I GET ONE, BUT HOW MUCH? i WOULD BE A GOOD TEST SUBJECT,IM 68 AND WALK LONG DISTANCE IN WOODED AREAS WITH MY TWO THERAPY DOGS. I LOVE RINGS AND SOMETHING NEW. i NEVER HAD ANY REAL TRACKING DEVISE.

  • nshpatel69 says:

    I think you'll find thumb rings are great.

    • xSoCalx says:

      Hells yeah, I can't get enough! Put them in, errr, I mean, "on" every available finger you got! Lol!

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