1. Verdict
  2. Price and competition
  3. Design and comfort
  4. Smart features and the Oura app
  5. Health tracking and daily readiness
  6. Stress tracking
  7. Fitness and workout tracking
  8. Sleep tracking
  9. Battery life

Two years on: Our updated Oura Ring Gen 3 review

Updated: Still the smart ring of choice - but rivals are closing in
Wareable Oura Ring Gen 3 review
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Oura Ring (Generation 3)
By Oura
Despite increasingly strong competition, the third-gen Oura Ring is still the best smart ring money can buy. The app experience is unrivaled, the sleep tracking accuracy is outstanding, and it's developed into one of the most helpful stress trackers we’ve tested. Issues around wearability and workout tracking will likely always hamper smart rings like the Gen 3, but Oura has even covered its bases here with various partnerships. And while it's also still a very pricey way to track your readiness, stress, and sleep - and Oura will have to continue innovating to stay ahead - the overall package here comes thoroughly recommended.

  • A stylish alternative to wrist wearables
  • Outstanding tracking accuracy
  • Ever-improving app and features
  • Relatively durable design
  • Expensive - and requires a subscription
  • Not the best for workout tracking
  • Battery life is only okay

When we first reviewed the Oura Ring (Generation 3) following its release in 2021, we described it as "the last man standing" in the smart ring market. Plenty had tried and failed, and the Finnish startup was still the only convincing showcase of the form factor available. 

Fast forward to 2024, and the picture looks very different - this third-gen ring has propelled Oura to stardom.

Amid collaborations with Gucci and the release of a refined Horizon edition, the latest Oura Ring has proved so successful that some of the industry’s biggest hitters - including Samsung - have been convinced to jump in and play catch up. Even Apple is rumored to be mulling a smart ring internally.

This is a tracker that won our Wearable of the Year award in 2022, so it's clear we're fans, but below we'll be revisiting the Oura Ring Gen 3 and seeing how it stacks up over two years since its release.

History would tell us that an Oura Ring 4 could be coming later this year, but, at least for now, this is still the best smart ring on the market. We’ve been wearing full-time for over a year - here’s a comprehensive review of everything Oura gets right and wrong with the Gen 3.

Price and competition

WareableOura Ring Gen 3 horizon stealth male hand

As we mentioned, the smart ring landscape has changed dramatically since Oura first debuted the Heritage edition of the Ring Gen 3 in November 2021.

It means that there are now a bunch of rings from startups like Ultrahuman, Circular, Ringconn, and Movano to consider - while the Samsung Galaxy Ring and Amazfit Helio are also preparing to launch.

We still don’t have full price details on those last two, but we do know that most other smart rings don’t require a subscription fee - and this is one of the key drawbacks currently attached to the Oura experience.

There is no free tier available here - you either pay the $5.99/£5.99 per month or your ring effectively becomes defunct. It’s a pretty harsh equation, especially when the ring itself isn’t cheap.

Depending on your edition and finish, the price ranges between £299-549.

Oura is one of the very few that charges you both for a device and an ongoing subscription. Fitbit Premium is the other key example here, but this was opened up considerably in a major update in 2023 - it’s now mostly just the company’s daily readiness score that’s locked behind a paywall.

Whoop charges a lofty monthly amount for access to its platform, too, but you don’t have to invest in the actual tracker.

To its credit, Oura has created a compelling platform and continues to add new features and functions all the time - so it could be argued, loosely, that you get what you pay for here. But, in our view, it still doesn’t quite stack up, with the rest of the industry mostly getting by without charging extra.

Design and comfort

WareableOura Ring Gen 3 stylesThe Horizon edition of the Gen 3 is a perfect circle

In our initial review of the Heritage model of the Oura Ring (Generation 3), seen below, reviewer Michael Sawh praised the waterproofing, style, and durability of the design while raising concerns about its versatility and appeal. Despite the rounder Horizon design on our finger this time, it’s a very similar story.

Despite never wearing a ring previously, we’ve found this to be a very easy wearable to integrate into our daily routine There’s an adjustment period - as anybody who wears rings will tell you - and there are some definite caveats to wearing something on your finger full-time.

Not taking it off before washing hands irritated our skin, and wearing it while lifting weights in the gym - as we discovered while wearing the plastic sizing kit version - is a non-starter.

We’ve learned that it's easier to just take it off for almost all of these handsy tasks. Lifting heavy bits of furniture? Probably not worth risking ring avulsion for. Heading out on a Sunday long run? The sliding gets annoying. Yoga session? Too much pressure on the finger.

WareableOura Ring Gen 3 index finger

We mention this not really as a slight on the Gen 3, but to point out the intrinsic issues of wearing a smart ring. We’ll explore the theme a little more throughout this review, but, simply, they’re not designed to withstand everything your hands come into contact with.

Mostly, though, it’s become something we don’t think much about at all. And we’ve not really been self-conscious about the look - we think it’s a strong unisex option akin to most smartwatches.

It’s also much easier to wear for sleep tracking than a hulking great sports watch, and, despite being a bit chunkier than we would like, the protrusion isn’t something that’s forced us to change the way we do ordinary things like hold a coffee, use the car steering wheel, or shake hands with people.

It’s still imperative to go through Oura’s sizing kit process before you order, though, and also perhaps consider your lifestyle. For example, we’ve lost a bit of weight since we received our test sample a year ago, and it moves around much more than it did during the first few months of wear.

WareableOura Ring Gen 3 Heritage SilverThe Oura Ring (Gen 3) Heritage edition has a more pronounced bump, as shown above.

Again, with the everchanging fluctuation of your finger’s width and every smart ring’s rigid ring design, this is really just another inherent issue of the form factor.

Specific to the Gen 3, we’ve been very impressed by the durability over the last 12 months. You'll spot from our images that it's developed a slight wear to either edge of the palm-facing side and the fit indicator cut-out, but we’ve not shied away much from putting it to the test - and it’s yet to gain any major damage.

We also much prefer the perfectly circular nature of the Horizon model, which removes the flat edge present in the Heritage edition. However, again, we would like to see the thickness reduced for the next iteration. 

Smart features and the Oura app

WareableOura Ring Gen 3 app syncing

If you’re coming to smart rings after previous experience with fitness trackers or smartwatches, it's fair to wonder exactly what the Ring Gen 3 can actually do. And the most pertinent thing to note is that this isn’t a particularly smart device.

There’s no capacity for contactless payments or notifications, with the Oura experience instead heavily focused on recovery, wellness, and sleep. It means you can leave the ring to do its thing and check in on the iOS/Android app sporadically throughout the day.

There is the odd smart function within the app - such as the find my ring feature (only available on iOS at present) - but mostly it serves as a historical hub of all your data.

As mentioned above when discussing subscriptions, it’s a full experience. Oura makes great links between its core elements - readiness, sleep, and stress - and it’s still an app we spend plenty of time in each day.

Our only criticisms here are that the Bluetooth connection from the app to the ring is pretty spotty, and syncing speeds can also be terrifyingly slow on occasion.

This is consistent both on iOS and Android, and the background features of the app mean it’s also very power-hungry. We would consistently get warnings on Android to put the Oura app into the background because of this - something we’ve never had in our years of dealing with companion apps.

Health tracking and daily readiness

WareableOura Ring Gen 3 app

While Oura’s Gen 3 ring won’t monitor your heart for irregular rhythms, perform electrocardiogram readings, or send out an SOS if it detects you’ve fallen, the health tracking is still fairly solid.

Crucially, it’s also very accurate compared to other gold-standard trackers - whether it’s tracking nightly SpO2 averages, respiratory rate, body temperature trends, or, as we’ll discuss more below, heart rate variability (HRV) and resting heart rate (RHR).

Instead of being an out-and-out health tracker, Oura focuses on the biomarkers that inform your daily readiness. It’s there to assess how ready your body is for the coming day - much like how we see from Whoop, Garmin, and others.

The overall 0-100 score concept still works very well. It almost always nails exactly how we would grade our body’s readiness when we wake - and there have also been a few occasions when it’s been able to pick up on the early signs of illness when we were in two minds, as well. It's still the first thing we check in the morning, even after a year.

WareableOura Ring Gen 3 on finger lifestyle

If you want to delve into the reasons behind your readiness, all your contributors are ready and waiting. The balance of these is graded as ‘Optimal’, ‘Fair’, or ‘Pay Attention’  - and it’s a neat way of helping you figure out whether your readiness is low due to bad sleep or just because you had a heavy previous day of exercise. As we say, it works well - and there’s a Trends and Reports section, too, if you really want to extend this granularity to the bigger picture.

As two of the body’s key physiological responses, heart rate variability and resting heart rate underpin a lot of your readiness. And we’ve found Oura is able to grasp the same rough trend as Whoop and Garmin when it comes to these metrics.

We should also note that the health tracking experience is different for both men and women. Unfortunately, since we don’t personally have the capability, we’ve been unable to test out Oura’s Period Prediction, Cycle Insights, and Pregnancy Insights. However, we have chatted to Oura’s Chief Product Officer Holly Shelton about these in our PULSE podcast, so check that out for more info.

Heart rate variability 

WareableOura Ring Gen 3 heart rate variability testHRV comparison: Oura (bottom) and Whoop (top)

As we’ve shown above, the last six months of averaged-out data show that Whoop and Oura see our figure almost identically - never more than 2ms above or below each other. This is pretty remarkable considering how much this fluctuates during the night.

It's also backed up by Garmin’s general picture. Though the company tackles HRV a bit differently, mostly focusing on the acute trend of this metric, it does glean and deliver the same insight despite consistently reporting figures around 10% below Oura and Whoop.

Resting heart rate

WareableOura Ring Gen 3 resting heart rateRHR comparison: Oura (left), Garmin (middle), Whoop (right)

It’s always difficult to compare resting heart rate data between wearables, with companies split on presenting this as your lowest HR figure from sleep or an average figure from a certain period during the night.

Oura takes the former approach and provides a snapshot, while Garmin, for example, takes your lowest 30-minute average within 24 hours. 

It explains the differences we see in the screens above. Oura is the lowest of these three over the last year, viewing our average RHR as 49 BPM, while Garmin instead sees this as 52 BPM. Whoop doesn’t precisely explain how it takes your RHR - only that it does so during sleep tracking - but it’s the highest figure by quite a distance over the last six months, as shown above.

Like with HRV, the important element here is the trend - and Oura nails whether our RHR is rising or falling based on our activity or illness.

Another example comes from a day we came down with the flu, which saw how our LHR and RHR average spike to 63 BPM and 71 BPM, respectively. So, it’s certainly sensitive enough to track trends.

Stress tracking

WareableOura Ring Gen 3 on finger

When we first reviewed the Gen 3 a couple of years ago, stress tracking wasn’t part of the experience. That’s changed dramatically since, with Oura adding Daytime Stress and Resilience. 

Oura doesn’t have any specific stress-tracking sensors - like the electrodermal activity sensor you’ll find on the Google Pixel Watch 2, for example - but it does use its existing setup and algorithms to take snapshots of your body’s responses and estimate how you’re shaping up. Let’s look at them a bit deeper.

Daytime Stress

WareableOura Ring Gen 3 daytime stress

Out of the two current stress features, we find ourselves pulled more toward Daytime Stress. It’s not perfect by any means - which makes sense when you consider it’s only looking at HR, HRV, motion, and temperature - but it provides a rough insight into how our day went (or how it's going).

The Oura approach to stress is what we like - tagging a period as restorative, relaxing, engaging, or stressful is much more useful and considered than just pinging an alert to say our body is experiencing a change of state. It then distills this into two key periods - stress time and restorative time - and this, again, is far more insightful than wearables that rely totally on user input and mood logging, we think.

Something like all-day stress tracking is tricky for manufacturers because it relies on quite a lot of user understanding. It’s not a reach to suggest most of us don’t have a good handle on stress and aren’t in touch with our body, and the biggest compliment we can pay Oura is that it’s pushed us to explore breathing exercises and become more mindful of whether our ‘downtime’ is actually downtime.

It’s helped us view stress management as equal to our activity, sleep, and health - and that's more we can say for any other tracker.


WareableOura Ring Gen 3 resilience

This is the newer feature of the two, and, as of yet, it’s not one that’s massively cut through for us. Rather than being unuseful, though, we think this is mostly due to the lack of change in our state; it’s been locked as ‘Strong’ since it launched six weeks ago.

Unlike Daytime Stress, which is naturally more focused on your body’s response in the now, Resilience takes a 14-day average of daytime stress, daytime recovery, and nighttime recovery. It will then map out the balance of your response to the stress to work out how resilient you are.

Again, we like the approach of adding context to a hard-to-understand area, and we think it would be great for anybody who’s struggling to figure out whether they need to focus on managing work stress, getting more sleep, or taking more time in the day to rest.

It just so happens this isn’t an area that requires much attention for us, but we’re glad it’s there.

Fitness and workout tracking

WareableOura Ring Gen 3 lifestyle

For all the good we’ve talked about above, fitness tracking simply isn’t an area where the Oura Ring shines. Smart rings are still in their relatively early stages, so it’s difficult to know whether this will always be an intrinsic issue to the design - simply, there’s too much movement for real-time HR to be accurate - or whether algorithms and integrations can iron out some of these issues.

In the first few months of using Oura, we painstakingly logged our strength training sessions in the app manually - and also edited auto-tracked workouts heavily to ensure things like calorie burn estimates lined up with Garmin and Whoop.

It was pretty laborious stuff, and, generally speaking, we just don’t really love Oura’s approach to exercise as ‘Easy’, ‘Moderate’, or ‘Hard’. It rarely feels correct even if you begin workouts manually from the app.

The Gen 3 can work as a step counter, with data always roughly in line with our Garmin - but calorie burn estimates are well below other established baselines, and Oura’s own estimations like 'Walking Equivalence' just don't do it for us. 

We do give some credit to Oura here, though. It’s gone out of its way to integrate with better fitness trackers and allow their data to populate its platform.

Strava is an example, with two-way syncing of data. Strava workouts show in Oura, and you can show off your recovery scores in Strava, too. However, people who workout will need a 'proper' fitness watch – and it makes Oura something of a companion device. 

In other words: Oura is not a replacement for an Apple Watch/Garmin/Polar etc.

We no longer had to manually log workouts once we paired up Oura with Whoop via Google Health Connect - and this resulted in a huge uptick in the accuracy of calorie burn and workout time.

It similarly links with Apple Health - and there's even the Oura Apple Watch app and complications to consider - though this isn’t quite as interoperable as the integration Android users can enjoy if they own a compatible wearable. 

Simply, don’t buy an Oura (or arguably any smart ring) purely for fitness tracking - they're great at plenty of stuff, but logging workouts isn’t one of them just yet.

Sleep tracking

WareableOura Ring Gen 3 palm

The finger is a much better place to track sleep than the wrist. Not only is it much more comfortable and unobtrusive, but placing the optical sensor setup closer to arteries means it's much more likely to track accurately.

As such, Oura has become our go-to tracker for testing alongside the Pixel Watch 2 over the past year. The company added Chronotypes and Body Clock info in 2023, which we feel chimes with our personal estimation, but the bedtime suggestions, sleep efficiency scores, sleep latency, sleep timing graphs, and breathing info mean there are also plenty of daily metrics to dive into.

Like many other wearables, Sleep Score is at the core of Oura’s tracking in this area. It’s only really separated by the fact we think it’s much more accurate than most - and this is vital, because all this data feeds into readiness metrics that are a key part of your daily experience.

WareableOura Ring Gen 3 sleep tracking

And, unlike with most watches, we literally can't remember experiencing any false early bedtimes from sitting on the couch with Oura - and it’s also incredibly good at registering naps. Seriously, if you like a siesta, this is the wearable for you, with Oura counting all that daytime slumber towards your Readiness and Sleep scores.

It's far more consistent in every regard than Garmin (though Whoop's not too far behind), and we suspect this is largely due to the sleep algorithm that was in beta when we first reviewed the Gen 3. This is now standard across iOS/Android, and promises a 79% agreement with gold-standard PSG (polysomnography sleep study).

For its great success in accuracy, though, there’s still the wider question of whether Oura is effective at actually helping you achieve better sleep. It can initially make you more mindful, as we found with stress tracking, but, like the rest of the industry, it does still have some work to do in this area.

It’s made positive moves by crossing elements of sleep tracking with stress and readiness, but we would love to see some behavioral/journal-focused links (like Whoop) or integration with phones or smart home appliances to really take its sleep tracking to the next level.

Battery life

WareableOura Ring Gen 3 charger

Given it doesn't have a screen to power, you would be forgiven for thinking the Oura Ring (Gen 3) would rarely need to be charged. Unfortunately, the battery life here isn't anything that blows wrist-based devices out of the water.

Oura estimates that you should see battery cycles last anywhere from four days to a week with the Gen 3, and our time with it has taught us that we typically get in the middle of this range. If we don't take it off for running or swimming, we tend to see a battery drain of 15-20% per day, but we can usually squeeze in an extra day if we do remove it sporadically.

Largely, we suspect any shortcoming here is due to the blood oxygen sensing - a post-launch addition to the ring that can also be turned off, if you so wish. 

It's not necessarily bad battery life - this is still a very small device, after all - but we would love to see it boosted closer to a couple of weeks with the next Oura hardware release.

Charging is relatively painless, as well. It only takes the Gen 3 around an hour to go from flat to full on the charging puck shown above, and we typically keep this on our office desk and throw it on for quick power-ups when we head out for a longer run.

How we test

Conor Allison


Conor joined Wareable in 2017, quickly making a name for himself by testing out language translation earbuds on a first date, navigating London streets in a wearable airbag, and experiencing skydiving in a VR headset.

Over the years, he has evolved into a recognized wearables and fitness tech expert. Through Wareable’s instructional how-to guides, Conor helps users maximize the potential of their gadgets, and also shapes the conversation in digital health and AI hardware through PULSE by Wareable.

As an avid marathon runner, dedicated weightlifter, and frequent hiker, he also provides a unique perspective to Wareable’s in-depth product reviews and news coverage.

In addition to his contributions to Wareable, Conor’s expertise has been featured in publications such as British GQ, The IndependentDigital Spy, Pocket-lint, The Mirror, WIRED, and Metro.

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