Smart rings are a thing, and they're here to stay. While some new wearable categories spring up, make big noise and then fade away, the future of smart rings looks bright.
There's plenty of different use cases for smart rings. Many have been focused on payments, but many are loaded with the kind of health sensors that would give any smartwatch a run for its money.
Over the last few years many of the leading lights have left 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 smart rings are back. The new Oura 3 has seriously impressed, and there are incoming devices from Circular and Movano that caught the eye at CES 2022.
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.
Oura Ring 3
Price: $299 + $6.99 a month | Oura Store
The Oura Gen 3 earned an excellent 4 star score in our review, and a Top Pick award to boot β and it's not just the best smart ring on the market, but an excellent fitness tracker in its own right.
As well as keeping tabs on wellness and activity, the Oura Gen 3 focuses on readiness and recovery β just like the Whoop 4.0 and new Fitbit Daily Readiness score. It's focused on analysing your exertions and your rest, and checking the two are in balance.
It adds the the ability to continuously monitor heart rate, track blood oxygen and promises improvements to sleep tracking β its biggest strength.
There are some issues, however. The SpO2 sensor still hasn't been turned on, and neither has the ability to track HR during workouts β so some of the promised features are MIA.
Oura has moved to a subscription model, which costs $5.99 a month, on top of the $299 for the ring. So it's not cheap to jump on board.
But Oura 3 is still the smart ring to beat, but the pricey subscription means it costs more than ever.
Read our full Oura Gen 3 review.
Movano Ring (H2 2022)
Price: TBC | Movano
With such slim pickings in the smart ring market, the Movano Ring is a mouth-watering proposition β even if it's some way off being available to buy.
Announced at CES 2022, the Movano Ring is aimed at women, with a bold design, and thin build, which should make it more wearable.
And it doesn't hold back on features either.
The Movano Ring will measure heart rate, heart rate variability (HRV), sleep, respiration rate, temperature and blood oxygen. That will put it head-to-head with the Oura Ring, although some elements might need FDA approval.
The company is also doing medical trials on blood pressure monitoring, so it's certainly one to watch.
It's set for a launch in the second half of 2022, although it wouldn't be the first device to be delayed after CES β so take that with a pinch of salt.
Read our full story on the Movano Ring.
Circular Smart Ring
Price: $300 | Circular.xyz
Another crowdfunding success story, Circular Ring has raised almost $375,000 to bring its connected ring to market.
The hypoallergenic plastic ring squeezes in an accelerometer and heart rate monitor, for 24/7 health tracking.
That includes heart rate during exercise and resting heart rate during the day and night. It also promises rich sleep tracking, including the ability to measure blood oxygen levels and your circadian rhythm.
To go beyond simply tracking, it's also included a smart assistant called Kira that will try to help you act on bad habits to address them.
The Bluetooth-enabled ring will 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 Circular Ring was shown off at CES 2022, and is available to reserve now with shipping expected in July and August 2022.
Price: $299 | Walmart
We've seen ECG heart rate sensors find themselves into smartwatches and fitness trackers and now Bodimetrics in partnership with Prevention has put that tech into a smart ring too.
It's not just ECG that this clever ring can track either. It can take blood pressure measurements while capturing that ECG measurement and once you've calibrated it with a cuff-style monitor first.
You can switch on continuous monitoring of heart rate, blood oxygen and temperature and it'll capture step counts and sleep too.
That data can be stored freely in the app and cloud and can also be shared to doctors and health professionals. Bodimetrics promises to deliver strong accuracy on all skin tones and types.
There's just 16 hours of battery life, which does mean weighing up when you monitor your stats. Its rather awkward and unique design means it's one you might want to only wear to monitor your stats overnight as well.
You can find out how we got on with this health tracking ring in our Prevention Circul+ review.
Price when reviewed: Β£89.99 (Around $124) | McLear
One feature the Oura 3 doesn't offer is payments. If you want to pay from your finger, the McLear has you covered.
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 using 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.
Price:$81.19 | NFC Ring
From the same folks as McLear (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: $129 | ORII
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.
Price:$168 | SleepOn
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.
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 was slated to ship in December 2021. That's now moved to July 2022.
The usual price for the ArcX is Β£48 (around $66) and it comes in cobalt, graphite and fire colors.