Best smart rings: put a ring on it in 2021

We round up the top connected rings out now and coming soon
Best smart rings to buy 2021
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Smart rings are a thing. While some new wearable categories spring up, make big noise and then fade into the background, the future of putting tech on your finger still looks bright.

There's plenty of different use cases for smart rings – with some focused on payments, but many are loaded with health sensors that would give any smartwatch a run for its money.

But many of the leading lights have left out of the smart ring game. Amazon discontinued the Echo Loop smart ring, and Motiv Ring is no more after the company sold out to a biometric security company.

But Oura has been involved in Covid-19 trials thanks to its myriad of sensors and an Apple smart ring may even be in the works too, if recent revealing patents are anything to go by.

There are now powerful smart rings for both men and women that do everything from track your health and fitness to letting you pay for a coffee. We've picked out the best.

Incoming: Oura Ring 3

Best smart rings: put a ring on it in 2021

The second generation Oura Ring is our current top smart ring pick, but there's a new version on the way that seeks to make big improvements.

Oura Ring Gen 3 adds the ability to continuously monitor heart rate, track blood oxygen with an onboard SpO2 sensor and promises improvements to biggest strength - sleep tracking.

With Gen 3, Oura is moving to a subscription model, which costs $5.99 a month with the hardware coming in at the same $299 price that the second generation ring launched at.

It launches on 15 November and we'll be getting our hands on it to see if those new features make this the one ring to rule them all again.

Best smart ring: Oura Ring (2nd Generation)

Price when reviewed:From £275

Oura Ring

The Oura Ring Gen 2 will likely be phased out in place for the Gen 3 we discussed up top. We haven't tested Gen 3 yet, so for now until we do, the Gen 2 sits in top spot.

While this wasn't the first of Oura's smart jewellery, it was one that really made a mark, packing in multiple sensors, including infrared optical pulse measurement, a 3D accelerometer, gyroscope and body temperature sensors. These sensors focus on providing insights into three areas; Readiness, Sleep and Activity.

The app captures 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.

Read this: Oura Ring v Fitbit

Plus, it makes personalised suggestions and can show you trends over time. It comes in two models, four different colors and ring sizes US6 – US13. In its second iteration, it's significantly slimmer and sleeker than its predecessor.

It's pricey, but it does offer reliable sleep tracking stats and some other really attractive features packaged in stylish ring design that makes it our standout option. As we said though, it's likely to get phased out and existing users will be able to access new features and get a discount on the newer ring too.

Wareable verdict: Oura Ring Gen 2 review

Best payment ring: McLear RingPay

Price when reviewed: £89.99 (Around $124)

McLear smart ring

One feature the Oura doesn't offer is payments. If you want to pay your way from your finger, this is the ring you want in your life.

Designed by the same team behind the crowdfunded NFC Ring (below), this smart ring offers the same contactless payment tech packed into contactless cards and other payment-enabled devices.

The iOS and Android-friendly wearable creates a secure isolated bank account that sits between any of your cards (Visa and Mastercard at the moment), and once you're all set up will let you make contactless payments up to £100 with a closed fist gesture.

The companion app lets you keep track of where you spend, your average spend and activates an automatic top up to make sure you have money at your fingertips.

It now also lets you make charitable donations each time you make a purchase with it and RingPay+ subscribers can unlock discounts and additional rewards.

The McLear smart ring comes in either black and white and is available in ring sizes 4.5-16. It's currently only available in the UK though if you want that payment ring on your finger.

NFC Opn

Price:£59

NFC Opn

From the same folks that make the payment ring above, the NFC open focuses on letting you use the onboard tech 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 50 metres, the ring comes in the same black and white looks as the Mclear RingPay and the same 4.5-16 ring sizes. So there should be a good fit for most.


ORII Smart Ring

Price when reviewed: £199

ORII Smart Ring

After raising over $400k on Kickstarter in 2017 and encountering several delays, the voice powered smart ring is finally available for everyone to buy.

Its particular secret agent trick is that it lets you take calls by holding your finger to your ear using bone conduction technology to let you hear your calls, something we've seen on smartwatch straps before but which makes even more sense as a smart ring form factor.

It's available in grey, black, silver, and red finishes and other features include getting voice read-outs of text messages and notifications, and support for a variety of gestures to control music playback and even your smart home.

The ORII comes with a set of different sized rings to get the right fit and has an hour battery life, which Origami Labs says should be suitable for the types of daily interactions you make with it. Just be mindful that it's going to live significantly much larger on your digits than something like the Oura or McLear RingPay.

Go2Sleep

Price:$168

Go2Sleep

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 has shipped to backers and now is available for anyone to track sleep from the finger from the Sleepon website.

Incoming...

Prevention Circul+

Best smart rings: put a ring on it in 2021

We've seen ECG heart rate sensors find themselves into smartwatches and fitness trackers and now Bodimetrics has brought the more accurate heart rate tech to a smart ring too. The $299 Prevention Circul+ is made from stainless steel and is capable of continuously monitoring heart rate, as well as monitoring temperature and blood oxygen levels. It can also track sleep and works as a daily activity tracker too.

The ring comes in small, large and extra large sizes and doesn't require a sizing kit like some other smart rings. There's the promise of up to 16 hours battery life with a future software update bringing that single lead ECG support along with heart rate variability measurements and blood pressure monitoring.

You can currently pick it up from Walmart if you like the idea of owning a more health-centric smart ring.

ArcX

Best smart rings: put a ring on it in 2021

A smart ring aimed at fitness folk, the ArcX is another crowdfunded effort that offers features like music playback controls, the ability to use it in a stopwatch mode, answer/reject phone calls and activate an SOS emergency mode.

The controls baked into the IP66 waterproof rated ring can be operated with one hand can be customised too. ArcX Technology states it can also be used to control action cameras, smart speakers and will even work with augmented reality and virtual reality headsets.

The Android and iOS friendly ring promises up to five days of battery life and also has a strap mount to let you place it on handlebars and other sports equipment.

The Kickstarter campaign successfully raised the funds back it needed to launch it back in April 2021 and was set to start shipping to backers in July 2021. It's since set up an Indiegogo account and is slated to ship in December 2021. The usual price for the ArcX is £48 (around $66) and comes in cobalt, graphite and fire colors.

You can grab more information on the ArcX over on its Kickstarter campaign page and Indiegogo page.

Circular Smart Ring

Circular Smart Ring

Another crowdfunding success story, Circular Ring has raised almost £300,000 to bring to life a smart ring that feels very much in the Oura mould of connected jewellery.

The hypoallergenic plastic ring squeezes in an accelerometer and heart rate monitor that promises to track your health 24/7. That includes heart rate during exercise and resting heart rate during the day and night. It's also promising rich sleep tracking including the ability to measure blood oxygen levels and your circadian rhythm.

To go beyond simply monitoring, it's also including a smart assistant called Kira that will try to help you act on bad habits to address them.

The Bluetooth-enabled ring is going to be built to work with Android and iOS devices with the promise of two days battery life and the ability to change up the look with additional outer shells.

The Indiegogo campaign for the Circular Ring has now closed with the company website suggesting pre-orders will open soon. Though it doesn't seem like it's hit the final product stage, so that's something to be mindful of.