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Samsung Galaxy Ring vs Oura Ring: First impressions

Samsung has a winner on its fingers.
By

Published onFebruary 26, 2024

Today at MWC, I saw the much-anticipated Samsung Galaxy Ring for the first time. I got to look at it, touch it, wear it, and compare its design, size, and some of its features to my third-gen Oura Ring, which I’ve been wearing for a couple of years. I looked for all of the similarities and all of the differences between the two. Here they are.

Which would you rather buy, the Galaxy Ring or the Oura Ring?

1974 votes

A preview of a Galaxy Ring to come

samsung galaxy ring gold 4
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

The Samsung Galaxy Ring was briefly teased at Unpacked earlier this year, right at the end of the Galaxy S24 series announcement. At the time, Samsung only showed one photo of the ring and didn’t say much about its features. Not much has changed now. A lot of the details are still vague; I can’t tell you the price or the release date, and we still don’t have any exact specs or feature lists.

What we do have is a prototype of the Galaxy Ring under glass, shown off to the public at MWC, as you can see in the photos and video here. Samsung also gave me an exclusive sneak peek at it in person, but I couldn’t film that. You have to take my word for it.

Before we go any further, remember that the Galaxy Ring isn’t officially finalized yet. Anything I say here is subject to change by the time the ring is ready to ship, which is rumored to be at the summer Unpacked event, along with the Z Flip 6 and Z Fold 6.

Galaxy Ring vs Oura Ring: Similar design, important differences

Imitation is the best form of flattery, and Oura must’ve done something right because Samsung’s Galaxy Ring looks nearly identical at first glance.

Like the Oura Ring Horizon, the Galaxy Ring adopts a thick wedding band design. Oura offers a second option, the Heritage, for those who want a different design.

The two rings are made of plastic, transparent on the inside, with a metal or gold coating on the outside. All of the electronics are visible from the inner side, and there are three sensor bumps. However, Samsung’s sensor bumps are much smaller than Oura’s, so they didn’t dig into my finger as much when I wore it.

Oura must've done something right because the Galaxy Ring looks nearly identical at first glance.

Samsung is showing off three colors of the ring: silver, gold, and black, all in a shiny finish. There is no rose gold option like my Oura Ring, and no matte or brushed finishes, but again, all of this is subject to change.

The Galaxy Ring also comes in sizes 7 to 13 — all identical to Oura’s sizing (which isn’t exactly the same as conventional ring sizes). I wear a size 12 Oura Ring on my middle finger or a size 10 on my ring finger; I grabbed those same sizes from the Galaxy Ring, and they both fit perfectly too.

I didn’t have a weight scale or a caliper, but the Galaxy Ring felt a little lighter to me and looked a fraction of a millimeter narrower and thinner. However, the thinness could be a side effect of its outer design. This is the biggest difference between the two: The Samsung Galaxy Ring is concave, while the Oura Ring is convex.

Thanks to its concave design, the Galaxy Ring looks sleeker, fits better, and feels thinner and more comfortable. It should also scratch less.

This gives Samsung three clear benefits over Oura, in my opinion. First, the Galaxy Ring reflects light differently and looks more refined and elegant than the Oura Ring. It should also scratch less easily because the outside isn’t as exposed. And finally, when I wore it, it just fit better, because my other fingers could rest into it, instead of the ring pushing into them.

oura ring 3 on hand middle finger
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

I did have one concern about this concave design: Would the top and bottom sides dig into my fingers? I was pleasantly surprised to see they’re rounded enough not to chafe against nearby fingers. The Galaxy Ring was very comfortable to wear, and I think it’d remain as comfortable over longer periods of time.

Overall, I think Samsung has a winner here. Even though I love my Oura Ring, everything about the Galaxy Ring felt slightly better — thinner, lighter, and more refined — than the Oura Ring. From the first second, it felt more natural to wear too.

Samsung and Oura’s distinct advantages

A Samsung Galaxy A51 displays an Oura Ring 3 user's sleep data.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Beyond the physical design, I want to discuss one major advantage each ring has over the other.

For Oura, it’s the Ring’s compatibility with both iPhone and Android. It looks like the Galaxy Ring will only work with Android (any Android phone, not just Samsung phones).

Oura has the iPhone advantage, Samsung has its ecosystem advantage.

The Galaxy Ring, on the other hand, has the benefit of Samsung’s ecosystem. It can also work in cooperation with the Galaxy Watch, so you can wear your Galaxy Watch 6 during the day for precise activity tracking, notifications, and apps, then switch to the Ring at night for a lower profile while you sleep. And while your watch charges.

This is Samsung’s strength. It can harness the power of its wide ecosystem to complement the Ring. I’ve often wished I could synchronize the data from my Pixel Watch 2 and Oura Ring, or at least use the Oura for sleep tracking then send the data to Fitbit. I can’t. Samsung can easily offer that with its Health platform.

Smart ring features: Samsung vs Oura

samsung galaxy ring silver 5
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

Although we don’t know many specifics of the Samsung Galaxy Ring, we do know the battery life will last more than a couple of days. I’m hoping that by the time the specs are finalized, we will see a number close to six or seven days of battery life, like the Oura Ring.

Samsung also says the ring will track your sleep and check your heart rate, respiratory rate, night movement, and sleep latency, which is very similar to Oura and pretty much every modern smartwatch and fitness tracker.

The Galaxy Ring seems to offer many of the same features and tracking capabilities as the Oura Ring.

Where Oura splits its feedback into three scores for sleep, readiness, and activity, Samsung seems to focus on one Vitality score for physical and mental readiness. It’s based on sleep, activity, resting heart rate, and heart rate variability.

oura ring 3 on hand phone oura app
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

You can also set different health goals and get “booster cards” for insights about how you’re doing and suggestions to help you improve. Once again, this is very similar to Oura.

I was curious to see if Samsung would also provide female health tracking, and the answer is yes. Like Oura, the Galaxy Ring will offer period and fertility tracking in partnership with the FDA-approved Natural Cycles.

For now, though, we don’t know if the Galaxy Ring will also track your blood oxygen, stress, and resilience — three features that Oura already offers. We also don’t know what kind of activity tracking Samsung’s Ring offers either. Oura can do general daily activity tracking and auto-detect steps, runs, swims, cycling, and more, but all of these come without extensive data or frequent heart rate measures. You need to manually start a workout if you want more precise data from a workout.

Galaxy Ring or Oura Ring: Which one to buy?

oura ring 3 jewelry standing 2
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

If you have an iPhone, the decision seems to be made for you. The Oura Ring is compatible with iOS, whereas the Samsung Galaxy Ring looks to be an Android-only affair.

For Android users like me, the Galaxy Ring is a promising alternative to the Oura Ring. The design is sleeker, it seems more comfortable to wear for an extended period of time, and many of the features already fit the bill.

Will Samsung ask for a monthly subscription for the Galaxy Ring? I bet not.

And although we don’t know anything about pricing and subscriptions, I would take a bet today that Samsung will not charge a monthly subscription to let you get all of your detailed stats from its Ring, whereas Oura can’t survive without a steady income from users. A case of David versus Goliath, and even if we’d all love for David to weather the storm, Goliath has a clear long-term advantage.

But we won’t know anything for sure until the Galaxy Ring is officially released, and we’ve had our hands on it for an extended time.