Oura’s latest fitness ring may be tiny but it has huge fitness aspirations. However, does the Oura Ring 3 offer enough to replace your Apple Watch?
Oura’s latest third-generation smart ring takes some of the most essential fitness technology from today’s wearables and downsizes it into a tiny, finger-friendly form factor. As more fitness companies like Peloton flirt with the idea of entering the wearables game, Oura has been busy perfecting the third iteration of its smart ring. While the Oura Ring Generation 3 sounds promising, some of its better health features won’t be coming out until later.
The almost decade-old Finnish health company released the second-gen Oura Ring back in 2018, which retailed for about $299. Unlike traditional fitness bands or smartwatches, the Oura Ring relies solely on sensors instead of a touch display, and relays recorded health data to a synced smartphone. Now, the company hopes to upgrade its three-year-old ring by giving it fitness features that are more on par with modern smartwatches, but will it be enough to challenge the Apple Watch and its crazy demand?
Oura’s blog highlighted a couple of key upgrades that separates the Oura 3 ring from its predecessor and other wearables. This tiny titanium smart ring is now jam-packed with seven temperature sensors that Oura claims can warn users they might be sick even before symptoms start showing. Its Period Prediction feature helps users calculate their next menstrual cycle more accurately, while its improved sleep tracking is said to rival the “gold standard” of sleep lab tests. Other features include all-day heart monitoring, blood oxygen (SpO2) sensing, and larger onboard memory. In an interview with TechCrunch, Oura CEO Harpreet Rai revealed that its efficacy can be improved even further with the help of its new monthly subscription service, which Rai describes as “a one-stop-shop for your health.”
Is The Oura 3 Smart Ring A Better Smartwatch Substitute?
Pre-orders for the Oura 3 smart ring start at the same $299 price, and ship mid-November, while Oura’s subscription service, which contains over 50 pieces of audio and video content involving workouts, sleep sounds, meditation, health studies, and more, starts at $6 a month. The price might be steep, but the novelty of having a wealth of fitness tracking tech fit in a tiny purse or front pocket can’t exactly be found elsewhere. However, its dependence on smartphones, not to mention not having ECG monitoring, or any indicators as clear as the Apple Watch’s massive new display for that matter, may hamper the overall experience, depending on how hardcore of a health nut you are.
Furthermore, the Oura Ring 3’s more vital features, like blood oxygen sensing, period prediction, and improved sleep staging, won’t be available until late 2021 to 2022. While it certainly caters to those looking for an extremely portable yet fashionable fitness tracker, it’s unclear how close these types of wearables are to mass adoption, especially if competitors can come up with much cheaper and better iterations of their own. Of course, fitness trackers, in general, have been found to have a negative impact on certain users, so as with anything else in the fitness space, your experience will be entirely your own.
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