Samsung's Galaxy S24 phones weren't the only devices revealed Wednesday at the Samsung Galaxy Unpacked event. The tech giant also teased the release of a new smart ring, the Galaxy Ring, which will track a wearer's health in much the same way the Oura ring does.
Samsung didn't say much about the Galaxy Ring, though the confirmation that it's coming may be enough for now. Samsung representatives discussed the ring only briefly, near the end of the hour-plus-long event where the company announced not only the S24 phone lineup but also Galaxy AI. Samsung didn't go into detail, but it seems likely the Ring will be a competitor for the Oura and Evie smart rings.
Chances are the ring will follow in the footsteps of other smart rings and track a wearer's heart rate; sleep statistics; temperature; and exercise and fitness. Samsung will need to differentiate its wearable from the existing rings, in hopes of enticing both Samsung and non-Samsung users to try out the product.
What do we know for sure?
Not a lot of specifics, beyond the name: Galaxy Ring. The company didn't release pricing information or an on-sale or preorder date.
The company touted Samsung's health innovations for the S24 phone series, and then dangled the ring news out there, noting that the company will bring "Samsung Health cutting-edge innovations to a brand-new form factor." The presentation also called the Galaxy Ring "a powerful and accessible health and wellness device here to change the shape of future health."
A representative for Samsung said the company would share pricing and release date information "as it becomes available," saying only that the Galaxy Ring was coming "soon." The spokesperson also said the ring will feature "leading sensor technologies and comfortable 24/7 wear."
Was the Galaxy Ring news unexpected?
Kind of, but also not really. Since 2022, tech sites have been buzzing about leaks that Samsung was developing a smart ring. It wasn't clear, though, that the ring would be discussed at Samsung Galaxy Unpacked, which focused on the S24 series of phones.
What do other competitive smart rings offer?
Probably the best-known smart ring is the Oura, from a Finnish company. The first Oura ring was a Kickstarter project and came out in 2017. In 2022, the company announced it had sold 1 million rings. The third-generation Oura ring (reviewed here by CNET) came out in 2021.
It looks like a regular ring worn on the wearer's finger, and it collects health data such as heart rate, activity specifics, body temperature, respiratory rate and sleep data, sending that info wirelessly via Bluetooth to a smartphone app. The third-generation ring added such features as 24/7 heart-rate monitoring, blood oxygen monitoring and menstrual cycle prediction.
Buyers can choose from multiple designs and four different finishes, ranging in price from $300 to $550. Once you've bought the ring, there's a monthly membership fee, and the Gen3 ring will have only limited functionality unless you pony up for a membership. (Some users have a lifetime membership, but that's not an option now.) Monthly membership costs $6 in the US, £6 in the UK, and AU$10 in Australia.
The Evie ring is new, with products shipping this month. It stands out from the Oura -- and, presumably, from the Galaxy Ring -- because it's created specifically for women. It also monitors health data and sends it to an app. The ring comes in one style and three different finishes -- silver, gold and rose gold. It's currently compatible only with Apple's iOS, and it costs $270, with no monthly subscription.
The Evie site says the company determined some women shy away from wearables due to shortcomings, including cost, lack of accuracy and the devices being "uncomfortable or unappealing to wear."
"From its open design to personalized insights that connect the dots between all aspects of your health, every part of the experience is curated for women at every age and stage of life," the company says on its site. The Evie ring tracks sleep metrics, steps, calories, activity and menstrual cycle information. The site says it also calculates optimal fertility windows.
Other ways to track fitness
Rings certainly aren't the only wearable way to track one's fitness and health. Fitbit fitness bands, Apple Watches, Samsung Galaxy Watches, Garmin trackers and even Nurvv Run smart insoles for your running shoes are available. CNET offers a roundup of our favorite fitness trackers, each of which require a mobile app to track your progress.
For more from Samsung Galaxy Unpacked, check out CNET's full coverage of the event.