If you're hesitant about dropping big bucks on a wristwear gadget that demands round-the-clock wear for accurate data, think again. High-end smartwatches dominate the fitness tracking scene, but they often fall short when it comes to comprehensive health insights.
Enter the Oura Ring Gen3. Launched just over a year ago, it's been put to the test over the past few months, and it's nothing short of revolutionary. With enhanced sensors and machine learning-driven sleep stage tech, the Gen3 outshines its competition. But here's the burning question: Is it worth the $299 price tag plus a $5.99 monthly subscription fee?
Let's cut to the chase and explore what this marvel has to offer.
Ōura Ring Gen3: The Essentials
Weight: 4 - 6 grams (depending on ring size)
Width: 7.9 mm
Thickness: 2.55 mm
Colors: Silver, black, gunmetal, gold, rose gold
Sizes: 6 - 13
Original Photo of Oura Ring Gen3
How the Oura Ring 3 Works
Much like its counterparts, the Oura Ring is all about relentless data collection. What sets it apart is its supreme comfort and unrivaled sleep algorithms.
Tiny sensors inside the ring, acting as vigilant spies on your finger, gather data on heart rate, body temperature, respiratory rate, and movement with unparalleled sensitivity. Infrared LEDs and photodiodes work together to monitor your heart rate by shining light into your skin and measuring the bounce-back.
With a built-in 3D accelerometer and gyroscope, it tracks your every move, be it a leisurely stroll, a jog, or an impromptu dance-off. These sensors tally your steps, calculate calories burned, and measure active time.
Most health wearables rely solely on movement data to determine sleep stages. The Oura Ring, on the other hand, goes above and beyond. It incorporates data like heart rate variability, body temperature, and highly sensitive movement insights to provide precise information about your sleep duration and quality. This data feeds into a new sleep staging algorithm that delves into sleep stages (REM, deep, light), sleep efficiency, and an overall sleep quality score.
The user-friendly interface syncs with your smartphone via Bluetooth, offering convenient access to your data through the Oura mobile app. The app's slick visuals provide at-a-glance insights into your sleep and activity data. You can dig deeper into graphs and trends if you're inclined, but the app's clean layout keeps things straightforward.
Accuracy in Health and Fitness Tracking
To test the Oura Ring's fitness tracking chops, I compared its step count to data from my Apple Watch over three days. The Oura Ring consistently recorded 10-20% more steps than the Apple Watch, a notable difference. However, it excelled in identifying specific activities during increased movement, from tennis to cycling to volleyball.
While the Oura Ring proves itself in sleep tracking, it isn't the go-to choice for serious fitness tracking. Its design isn't conducive to intense workouts, and it lacks real-time workout metrics. It's best suited as a secondary tracker for those who prioritize mid-workout stats.
When it comes to heart rate and heart rate variability, the Oura Ring stands its ground. A study comparing it to a medical-grade electrocardiogram—the gold standard in heart rate measurement—revealed "very high agreement" between the two.
Oura Ring vs. Other Health Trackers
The Oura Ring shines in several aspects, but its most outstanding feature is its wearability. It's sleek and unobtrusive, blending seamlessly into your daily life. Its comfort is unmatched, making you forget you're wearing it, even during sleep.
The "readiness" score further adds to its appeal. With thresholds set, you can gauge your daily activity intensity. However, remember it's algorithmically generated. You should eventually gauge your capabilities without relying solely on it.
The Oura Ring's app deserves a special mention. It outshines many competitors with its user-friendly interface, presenting data clearly and intuitively. Personalized recommendations based on your data are on offer, along with customizable push notifications. Movement reminders and bedtime alerts prove more helpful than annoying.
On the flip side, the Oura Ring falls short in fitness insights. It mainly caters to running, cycling, and walking, limiting its appeal to those engaged in diverse activities. Real-time workout metrics are also missing, making it less attractive to athletes who rely on immediate performance data.
What's New With the Gen3 Model?
The Gen3 is a significant upgrade from its predecessors. It introduces SpO2 tracking, monitoring blood oxygen levels while you sleep. This provides valuable metrics on your nightly SpO2 percentage and breathing regularity.
Battery life remains consistent, with a full charge taking 20-80 minutes and lasting 4-7 days. Notably, the Gen3 lets you monitor battery usage through the app, ensuring you're never caught with a dead ring.
Workout heart rate tracking is a new addition, offering detailed stats post-workout. However, the lack of real-time metrics dampens its appeal for fitness enthusiasts.
Despite additional sensors, the Gen3 is slimmer and sleeker than earlier models. It's now available in two shapes: 'Horizon' and 'Heritage.' Both offer aesthetic variety, with the flat top of the 'Heritage' shape ensuring proper orientation while wearing.
For menstruating individuals, the Gen3 introduces period predictions, using temperature data and calendar insights for accuracy.
The Oura Ring Gen3 is a powerhouse when it comes to monitoring health and sleep. Its seamless design and comfort set it apart, even if it feels slightly chunkier for non-jewelry wearers. Its technological prowess justifies the compromise, and its discreet wearability outclasses other health trackers.
With extensive research and improvements in sleep tracking, the Oura Ring stands as a valuable investment for those seeking comprehensive sleep insights.
However, be aware of its limitations. If you're a fitness enthusiast craving real-time metrics and an all-in-one solution, you may want to explore other options.
Embrace the future of health tracking with the Oura Ring Gen3—it's a sleep revolution waiting to transform your understanding of your body. Looking to aid your sleep? Check out Shred PM!