Most fitness trackers now look like smartwatches with big screens, so it’s hard to find a simple wearable that focuses on health and doesn’t draw attention to itself. Smart rings do a great job of being unobtrusive but always there. They can track many metrics through the thin skin of your fingers without getting in the way of your daily routine or sleep. Even though this is a new field, the most well-known smart ring, the Oura Ring, is already in its third generation.
Oura Ring 3: Description
Since six weeks ago, we’ve been wearing the Oura Ring 3. After using Fitbit for more than 10 years, I had to get used to the new system. However, I was interested in Oura’s promise to focus more on my overall health and well-being than on individual stats. The Oura Ring 3 looks like an ordinary metal wedding band from the outside, but it is much thicker than that.
The inner layer is made of clear plastic with three sensors that stick out and a lot of tiny tech. It really is interesting to look at. The Bluetooth chip and sensors for heart rate, SpO2, and skin temperature, plus the fact that there is a battery in this thin, round shape, make it seem like magic.
Oura Ring 3: Pros and Cons
- Unobtrusive, durable design
- Thorough sleep tracking
- Rest Mode
- Long battery life
- Less intuitive as a workout tracker
- Looks bulky
- Minimal workout tracking
Oura Ring 3: Specifications
|Battery Life||6 days|
|Sizes||Free sizing kit available upon purchase|
|Heart rate tracke||Yes|
|Heart rate tracker||Yes|
Oura Ring 3: Design
If you saw someone wearing an Oura Ring Generation 3, you wouldn’t know it wasn’t just a piece of jewellery. The silver one I was sent for review goes with the rest of my simple silver rings, but I made a party trick out of taking the titanium loop off to show the sensors on the bottom.
The sensors for heart rate, breathing rate, and body temperature are in the three inner ridges. For accurate readings, the Oura Ring Generation 3 should be worn on the index finger with the slightly flattened edge facing up.
After wearing the Oura Ring for more than a month, it didn’t bother me. I didn’t have to take it off when I worked out, washed my hands, or cooked dinner because it was waterproof and safe to come in contact with sweat, soaps, and other things your hands might come in contact with every day. Even though it got into a load of laundry by accident, it was fine. But I wouldn’t suggest doing this particular durability test again.
Oura Ring 3: Features
The Gen3 model has three green LED sensors on the inside of the ring that can measure things like heart rate and body temperature. Oura says that for the most accurate results, you should wear the band on your index or middle finger, with the sensors on the inside of your finger (palm side). The company also recommends that you wear it all the time for at least two weeks so that it can “learn” your body.
The device is so small that it doesn’t have room for a screen. Instead, you have to use a companion app. The app is helpful because it lets you see how your body responds to things like exercise, stress, and sleep over the course of a day. But it can be annoying if you want real-time feedback during a workout because there’s no way to see your heart rate right away, which you might want to know when you’re working out.
Fitness & tracking
Oura has a unique way of keeping track of your health. Instead of focusing on what you do, it looks at how well you recover from it. Because of this, the focus isn’t on tracking fitness. Yes, the ring will keep track of how many steps you take each day, record your heart rate while you work out, and give you a score for how active you are each day. But it won’t try to keep track of hundreds of different exercises, run routes, weight lifting moves, or anything else like that.
Instead, the focus is on rest, getting better, and taking a broader look at physical health. So, when you open the app, the first thing you see is a score out of 100 for “Readiness.” This is meant to tell you how ready your body is for exercise and activity based on your resting heart rate. It can help you decide if you should take it easy today or go all out with exercise.
In theory, it’s a great idea, but I’m not sure how much it helps in practice. I follow a pretty strict routine when I work out, so a low readiness score one day won’t stop me from going to the gym. It might, however, help me explain a bad session. If you have a more flexible schedule and take each day as it comes based on what your body is ready for, you might get more out of it.
Software and performance
Oura is made up of PPG-style sensors that measure heart rate, breathing, and, when it’s ready, SpO2 data. These sensors are at the heart of how it works. There is an accelerometer motion sensor that records movement and lets you track your sleep. There is also a negative temperature coefficient sensor that gives you information about your body temperature.
Since that ring doesn’t have a screen, you’ll need to use the Oura companion app to check your stats and activity tracking throughout the day. For full access to the app and all the information it gives, you’ll need to pay a $5.99/£5.99/€5.99 monthly subscription. When you first set up the ring, you get six months of free access. Without that subscription, you’ll only be able to see the key Readiness, Sleep, and Activity scores, the battery status, and your profile information and app settings.
The app itself is really well made. In terms of how easy it is to use, it reminds us a lot of the app that goes with Fitbit. At the top, you can see your Readiness score, which is based on all the information those sensors can give you, such as your resting heart rate, heart rate variability, body temperature, and breathing rate.
The next big section is for tracking sleep. Stages, heart rate, how well you slept, and how rested you were at night all affect the overall Readiness score. This score is also based on things like how many steps you take. It can also automatically tell when you walk or run, and from our experience, it does a pretty good job of this. You can even link Oura to Apple Health and Google Fit so that your exercise data can help you see trends.
Oura Ring 3: Battery life
Oura says that its newest ring can go up to seven days without being charged, but I think that’s a very big claim. In reality, it’s a lot shorter than that maybe two or three days at most. Before turning on the dormant SpO2 sensor, the ring could only keep track of heart rate, sleep, and other things like body temperature for about four days.
Turning on the SpO2 had a big effect on how well the battery worked. This is similar to how turning on the Pulse Ox sensor on Garmin watches drains the battery more. There’s no way to turn off any of the monitoring features, so the low-battery phone alerts you can set up are very important to make sure you don’t walk around with a smart ring that’s no longer smart.
Price and availability
The Oura Ring Generation 3 is available now, costs $299, and comes in four colours: silver, black, stealth, and gold. A sizing kit is sent to you before your ring arrives. There are 8 different sizes of Oura Rings, but they might not be the same as regular ring sizes. After trying on the dummy rings in the sizing kit, I found that my real rings needed to be one size bigger you can buy this ptoduct directly from Ouraring’s website.
The process felt a little wasteful but it’s important to find the right fit. After all, it has to be comfortable to wear this thing to sleep. When you buy an Oura Ring Generation 3, you get a 6-month Oura Membership for free. The Oura Membership costs $5.99 a month after the trial is over. Most of the Oura Ring’s features, insights, and personalised recommendations require a membership.
It’s not often that I test something I want to wear every day. The last time this happened was with the display-less Amazon Halo Band, which, like the Oura Ring, was a nice addition to a smartwatch without getting in the way. But the Oura Ring is better at blending in. I only notice I’m wearing it when I want to show it off or when it needs to charge. The fact that it looks like the rest of my jewellery helps a lot.
Even though I wish buying into the experience didn’t cost money every month, the software that comes with the Oura Ring membership makes me think it’s worth it. In beta, there is a feature for tracking your period that guesses when your cycle will start, and a list of relaxing audio sessions seems to be growing. Oura says that you will soon be able to track your fitness in real time on the app.
Do Oura rings really work?
Overall, I was very impressed with how well the Oura Ring could track my sleep, especially for such a small tracker. The sensors seem to work well, especially now that the newest version of the device has been made better. Most of the time, how I felt in the morning and throughout the day matched how well I slept.
Is Apple Watch as good as Oura ring?
Oura’s heart rate tracking isn’t as advanced as the Apple Watch’s, but it gives Apple a run for their money. Both the first-generation and second-generation Oura have a set of PPG sensors that can track things like heart rate, breathing rate, heart rate variability, and resting heart rate.