The Samsung Galaxy ring is coming soon – here’s everything we know

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First teased by Samsung at the Galaxy Unpacked event in January, the tech giant revealed the Galaxy ring at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, letting the public see the brand-new wearable for the first time.

An unobtrusive smart ring that will monitor your health data and provide insights based on your metrics during the day and night, Samsung is about to join a steadily growing wearable market. Smart rings took centre stage at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, dominating the exhibition booths, and the product category is currently led by the trendy, celebrity-adored Oura ring.

The Independent was one of the first outlets to see a prototype of the Galaxy ring in early February, with our tech critic David Phelan going hands-on with the smart ring.

While we don’t have a firm release date for the Galaxy ring, we know a lot about its design and features. Keep reading for all of the information, from its price, specs and features to its design and release date.

Read more: We review the best smartwatches

Samsung Galaxy ring release date: When could the smart ring launch?

The Samsung Galaxy ring is rumoured to launch in the coming months. Last week, the upcoming wearable appeared as an option in the One UI battery widget on phones, suggesting that Samsung is laying the groundwork to release the Galaxy ring imminently.

While the Galaxy ring’s release date hasn’t been revealed, Samsung’s head of B2B wearables Daniel Seung revealed in a (now deleted) LinkedIn post that a new health and wellness wearable would be released in the second half of 2024.

That leads us to think a full Galaxy ring reveal will take place in late July, with the Galaxy ring being released in early August. Samsung hosts two Galaxy Unpacked events every year – one in January, where it focuses on its S-line of smartphones, and one in July, where it tends to focus on its foldable phones, smartwatches and tablets. The Galaxy ring would fit nicely into this summer Unpacked event.

After Galaxy Unpacked, Samsung’s head of customer experience Patrick Chomet revealed more details about the release date to TechRadar. “We need to do a lot [before it’s ready for release]. We have the hardware, we have some software – which we could have launched today, by the way; it’s ready – but having a complete package experience that people can use at scale [is different]. We are getting there. It will be a bit later in the year,” he told the publication, adding to the evidence of a second half of 2024 launch.

Samsung Galaxy ring price: How much could the smart ring cost?

(Samsung )

There aren’t many rumours out there on the Galaxy ring’s potential price tag, but we’re expecting it to be an expensive bit of kit, given you have to fit a bunch of sensors into a tiny band.

We have a ballpark, though, thanks to the price of comparable smart rings. The Oura ring, which is the gold-standard model right now, starts from £200 and can cost as much as £540, while the Ultrahuman ring costs £349, and the more budget-friendly Circular ring costs £199.

According to CNBC, Samsung is also reportedly considering a subscription service for the Galaxy Health app, though this doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have to pay a subscription fee for the Galaxy ring. Oura employs a subscription fee for its smart ring. On top of the cost of the ring itself, you also have to pay a monthly £5.99 fee to access all the most useful premium features.

Samsung Galaxy ring features and specs

We first received reports that Samsung was working on a smart ring back in 2022 when an article from Korean publication Naver suggested the tech giant had commenced development of the wearable with multiple companies.  

In the report, Naver said the ring would include an ECG and PPG sensor – both are included in the Oura ring – and enable the ring to monitor the wearer’s temperature and heart rate. In an interview with CNBC, Hon Pak, the head of digital health at Samsung, said the ring will be able to track your heart rate, respiratory rate, movement made during sleep and the time it takes a person to fall asleep once in bed. These are all features currently available on the Oura ring.

(Samsung )

As with most smart rings, there is a bigger emphasis on sleep than fitness. Pak told Wired that the Galaxy ring won’t be able to auto-detect workouts at launch, something the Oura ring can do (although we found this to be a bit haphazard anyway). It will, however, be able to track and predict fertility.

A real game-changing feature will be payments. The McLear RingPay is the only smart ring that can make contactless payments on NFC terminals, but there are fees and limits, and it can only make payments – not track sleep or anything else. “We have a whole ... team that is looking at that. But I think clearly looking at multiple different use cases for the Ring beyond just health, for sure,” Pak told CNBC when asked about contactless payments.

While Samsung hasn’t mentioned anything about the Galaxy ring’s battery life, the company says it will have 24/7 health tracking. He told Wired that there’s an expectation of “more than a couple of days” on smart rings generally, but Samsung wants longer than this. Oura’s smart ring lasts for up to seven days, for example.

Pak revealed two main features of the Galaxy ring in a Samsung blog post, published in late February. The first is a feature called the My Vitality Score, which crunches your physical wellbeing, mental wellbeing and sleep into a number, telling you how ready your body is for the day ahead. It’s basically the same as the readiness score on the Oura Ring, the Fitbit or the body battery feature on Garmin smartwatches.

The second main feature is something called booster cards, which provides insights about health in order to stay invigorated throughout the day. This is something usually tucked behind a paywall on other smart wearables.

Samsung also told CNBC that it is working on a digital AI coach to help keep users on top of their health and fitness. “There’s a digital assistant coach in the future, because we think that’s absolutely needed,” Pak told the publication. “Imagine that large language model, acting as my digital assistant, while looking at the context of my medical records, my physiological data, my engagement with a mobile device, the wearables during all of that ... begins to bring greater insights and personalisation opportunities.”

It will also reportedly work as a standalone device, but you’ll potentially get better data when you combine it with the Galaxy Watch 6.

Pak also hinted in his blog post that the Galaxy ring might be involved in monitoring sleep apnoea symptoms. Samsung Health can track changes in blood oxygen levels, sleeping patterns and your sleeping heart rate.

Samsung Galaxy ring design

(Samsung )

In terms of design, The Independent’s tech critic was one of the first to go hands-on with a prototype of the device in early February. “The prototypes, which I wasn’t allowed to photograph, came in a dozen sizes and four different colours, including a shiny gold and matte black. The rings had a concave outer edge that was strangely appealing to the touch,” he said. “It was light and comfortable – making it much more appealing to wear at night, for instance, than a smartwatch.”

Since the Galaxy ring preview at MWC in Barcelona in late February, more details about the ring have come to light. According to Samsung, there are three colour options — black, gold and silver, and there are nine different sizes to pick from (5 to 13). It will come with a sizing kit, just like other smart rings on the market.

ZDNet’s Kerry Wan gave more detailed notes about the Galaxy ring’s design, stating that the outer ring had an inward dip that made the wearable easier to wear, even when your fingers expand (which they often do throughout the day). It also fits differently to the Oura ring, with some having to size up at the Samsung briefing.

The company has not revealed any information on what the Galaxy ring is made out of but it told Wired that it had durability in mind. Most of the best smart rings are made out of titanium or ceramic, making them less prone to scratching, though the slightly cheaper Circular ring is made out of aluminium and carbon fibre, and is less durable than others we’ve tested.

We’ll be keeping an eye on more news about the Galaxy ring in the months ahead. For now, if you’re looking to ditch your fitness tracker for a smart ring, the Oura is the best one around.

Oura ring, generation 3: From £299, Oura.com

(Oura)

Released in 2021, the generation three Oura Ring is the company’s most capable yet, with blood-oxygen monitoring, workout tracking, daytime heart-rate tracking and period-cycle predictions. “If you’re looking for a sleep tracker, activity tracker or just want to know as much as you can about your body, the third-generation Oura Ring will tick a lot of your boxes in one tiny package,” our writer said in their review. “With different coloured rings, it’s arguably more stylish than a Fitbit or Garmin.”

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