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Motiv Ring review: Yes, you can have a fitness tracker in a ring

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MSRP: $199.00
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The Good Clean-looking, stylish design and a three-day battery life. It's waterproof so you can wear it while showering and swimming. It tracks heart rate, sleep and steps automatically.

The Bad It only works with iPhones. No indicators or vibrations means you need to check the app for feedback. It doesn't track continuous heart rate, only resting and during activities. Its sleep tracking data isn't as deep as other wrist wearables, but it's fine for basic bedtime-wakeup logging. It lacks Apple Health integration. Its basic system of activity logging won't work for everyone.

The Bottom Line Motiv's easy-to-wear fitness ring does the basic stuff surprisingly well, but its higher price and lack of extras mean it won't replace a good fitness band.

7.0 Overall
  • Design 8
  • Battery 7
  • Performance 7
  • Software 6
  • Features 6

Review Sections

I'm not a jewelry guy.  I have one ring: my wedding ring. So for me, the strangest part of getting a second ring was determining which finger to wear it on. Ultimately, I put the dark titanium and plastic Motiv Ring on the same finger of my other hand, mirroring my wedding band. It looks fine. In fact, a few people ask what type of ring I'm wearing. I tell them it's a fitness tracker. They usually do a slow blink.

The $199 Motiv Ring, which debuted last fall, measures steps, sleep, resting and active heart rate, and lasts about three days on a charge. It syncs via Bluetooth to your iPhone -- sorry, no Android support yet. It's shocking to realize that everything a basic fitness tracker does can be shrunk down to so small a size. The waterproof ring has its own battery, plus an accelerometer and even an optical heart rate sensor.

It's not yet available in the UK or Australia, but the US price translates to about £140 or AU$250.

The Motiv has no indicators, just an LED that changes color when it's charging. The ring magnetically snaps onto its USB charge dongle, but no AC adapter comes in the box.

If you hate the idea of a smartwatch or fitness watch (or have a regular watch you prefer to wear) and still want to track your activity, this might be an intriguing option. Much like the old Jawbone Up or the Fitbit Flex 2, this is a low-key way to keep some level of tracking in your life.

01-motiv-ring

That's it. Just wear it.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Casually connected

Motiv's fitness tracking concept is more laid back than stat-heavy. The app counts active minutes -- taking more than 100 steps every minute, for 10 minutes or more -- as the metric. It won't even do nonstop syncing, but you can trigger a sync by twisting the ring clockwise on your finger. But if I walk less than 10 continuous minutes, I get credit for nothing.

It's a clever idea that battles the thing I tend to experience on Fitbit, Apple Watch and others, which is just rewarding myself for a bunch of daily steps. Motiv counts overall total steps, too, but discounts the importance.

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