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Wearable tech is changing the way we live our lives. Unlike watches and bracelets, smart rings are smaller, lighter, and much less obvious in their intended function. Most even look like regular jewelry.
But don’t be fooled, some smart rings can monitor your vitals like an Apple Watch would. Others can track your sleep too, like a Fitbit could. Some even let you make contactless payments like a regular bank card.
Curious? Here are the best smart rings available today.
Motiv is one of the most feature-packed smart rings on the market. The standout feature is its ability to track physical activity. This includes metrics like steps, distance traveled, heart rate, activity, and calories burned. The ring also tracks your sleep quality as it’s designed to be worn all day. The collected data integrates with Apple Health and Google Fit, so you can view all your health data in one place.
Compared with a smartwatch, the Motiv enjoys a relatively long battery life of around three days. It charges via the included magnetic charging dock in around 90 minutes. The ring itself is made of ultra-light titanium. This means it’s fairly durable, and waterproof enough to keep it on in the shower.
Unlike other wearables, a smart ring has to fit your finger perfectly. When you buy a Motiv ring, the company first sends you a sizing ring, lets you specify a color, then dispatches your custom-sized ring. They do all of that with free shipping included. Each ring comes with a 45-day satisfaction period, where you can refund or exchange your device if you’re not happy.
Despite being one of the best smart rings on the market, some users have noted issues with the Motiv. One reviewer found that the ring scratches easily, while another noticed inconsistent charging.
The Oura is a ring that focuses on three distinct areas; sleep, readiness, and activity. The ring contains a body temperature sensor, infrared LEDs, a 3D accelerometer, and gyroscope. Where the Oura excels over the Motiv is it’s sleep tracking capabilities and analysis.
By tracking your sleep schedule, Oura helps suggest optimal times for you to get some shut-eye. While you sleep the ring measures your temperature and movement to gauge which stage of sleep you’re in and when. This data is then used to provide you with daily, weekly, and monthly sleep quality reports.
But that’s not all it can do. The Oura also tracks heart rate during physical activity and while resting. Like most other fitness trackers, there’s a daily activity goal to help you move more. Inactivity alerts are designed to get you out of your seat, plus step and calorie counting can help you reach fitness goals.
Like the Motiv, Oura is made of lightweight titanium. The battery can last up to a week, which means you can wear it all day and night. Water resistance up to 100 meters makes the ring safe for bathing and swimming. There are eight different sizes from US6 to US13 to choose from.
While most smart rings look like discreet bands, Blinq throws that convention out of the window. The unashamedly loud design features your choice of moonstone, blue aventurine, pink jade, or grey cat eye stones.
These gemstones aren’t just for show. Blinq features a notification system which uses an LED to light up the stone. Set up custom alerts for specific contacts, and enable incoming Blinq notifications for phone calls, text messages, email, and other apps.
Blinq also has some fitness tracking features in the form of steps, distance, and calories burned. There is no heart rate monitoring or gyroscope, which means activity and sleep tracking are fairly limited. The ring is waterproof though, so you can shower and swim with peace of mind.
One standout feature that’s worth mentioning is the panic button. By setting up a custom tap pattern, you can use your ring to send an S.O.S. alert without touching your phone. When activated, Blinq sends an SMS to preselected emergency contacts and social networks with your current location.
The Sleepon Go2Sleep ring is designed to help you (wait for it) improve the quality of your sleep. This isn’t your average smart ring; you won’t be wearing it all the time. Instead, you put the Go2Sleep ring on, drift off, and get a detailed analysis of your sleep patterns.
The ring itself is oddly shaped, with sensors for monitoring blood oxygen, heart rate, apnea index, sleep efficiency, and sleep stages. Blood oxygen monitoring is particularly powerful since you can set an alert to trigger and wake you up if it falls too low.
There is one aspect of the Go2Sleep ring that perhaps goes a bit too far. I’m talking about the Family Sleep Monitoring function which lets you share and view sleep data with your nearest and dearest. Handily, all of this data can be exported and shared with your doctor or sleep specialist.
5. NFC Ring OPN
The NFC Ring OPN is a slick, understated, wearable NFC tag available in black or white. Made from scratch resistant ceramic, the OPN is both durable and stylish. Ceramic was chosen for its hypoallergenic properties. This is the same reason Apple uses ceramic on the back of all Apple Watch models too.
The OPN includes NFC Ring’s updated 2018 antenna design for improved operating range and expanded compatibility. You can write to the ring using the included app, or vastly expand the possibilities with other NFC tag writing software.
Unfortunately, you can’t use the OPN to make purchases. You can, however, use it to do just about anything else you can do with NFC tag. That includes opening doors, sharing contact information, visiting web pages, and transmitting text.
The biggest drawback to the OPN is its price. For a ring that doesn’t track activity, provide notifications, or allow you to make payments, it’s expensive. Then again, few other rings look this good or are made of such high-quality materials.
6. McLEAR Ring
The McLEAR Ring is virtually identical to the NFC Ring OPN, but with one big difference; it can be used to make payments. The McLEAR uses the same contactless technology that’s inside your bank card to allow you to make tap-and-go purchases.
Unfortunately, the McLEAR ring doesn’t link directly to a bank account. Instead, you use the RingPay app to add funds to a separate wallet. The ring then uses this wallet to make payments. It’s worth checking out their Limits and Fees page to avoid any nasty surprises.
The ring is made of the same hypoallergenic ceramic seen in the OPN. It also shares the same understated design, which is to say it looks great. It’s resistant to scratches, waterproof, and doesn’t require charging. If you lose your ring, you can quickly freeze your wallet using RingPay.
Unlike the NFC Ring OPN, you can’t use your McLEAR ring for any other NFC purposes. At present, the ring is currently available in the UK, with a waitlist available for overseas customers.
The jury is still out on whether ring mice are technically smart rings since they’re not something you’ll be wearing all day. The EasySMX Ring Mouse is a fairly inexpensive wearable pointing device. There’s a touch panel on the top of the ring that allows you to control a Mac or Windows cursor.
There are four programmable keys to play with, plus four separate DPI levels so you can adjust the sensitivity to suit your needs. It’s probably most useful as a presentation tool. The mouse syncs via a small, plug-in USB adapter, with a range of about 10 meters.
Battery life is somewhere between three and five hours, with a two hour charge time. The ring mouse can be positioned on your finger in such a way that regular typing is still possible too.
For a slightly different take on the ring mouse, check out the Emmako Wireless Finger Mouse. It’s an optical mouse that sits on your finger. To move the pointer, simply place the mouse on a surface and drag. You can then use your thumb to control the right and left mouse buttons.
Once you’ve gotten used to the additional weight, you can type completely normally with the mouse still attached to your finger. Amazon reviewers have praised the optical tracking performance, which is always a concern with cheap pointing devices.
The Emmako Wireless Finger Mouse connects via Bluetooth and is compatible with Windows, Mac, ChromeOS, and Android 4.0 and above. If you’re having issues using a regular mouse or trackpad, this slightly unusual design may provide some relief.
The Best Smart Ring for You
Smart rings are still in their infancy. Although there are a number of options on the market, it may take a few generations for the technology to mature. That said, if you’re looking for a convenient, discreet wearable then a smart ring might be right for you.
If you’re on the lookout for a more fully-featured fitness device, you may want to consider one of the best fitness trackers with heart rate monitoring instead.