Monday, June 27

I spent a month with Oura’s fitness tracking ring – here’s what happened

The Oura ring is probably not like any of the best fitness trackers I have used before. For one thing, it’s literally a ring, so I wear it on my index finger instead of my wrist. It also has no buttons or physical controls.

In general, I am skeptical of non-traditional wearables, especially when they are expected to Really Use them every day. But after using Oura Ring Generation 3 for over a month, it joined my Apple watch 7 as a daily driver. In fact, with advanced sleep metrics and practical recovery tips, it fills the gap in holistic health tracking that my Apple Watch lacks. It could even replace my smartwatch, if I prefer to sport a traditional watch.

My Oura Ring Generation 3 review covers all three crossovers of using this smart ring, as well as my experience with size, battery life, and what happened when I put the ring in the washing machine. Yes, that happened.

Oura Ring Generation 3 Cheat Sheet:

  • The Oura ring may look like a regular piece of jewelry, but it is loaded with sensors for heart rate, breathing rate, and body temperature. It also has a 3D accelerometer to detect movement.
  • It’s available in four different metallic finishes, but you’ll need to use a sizing kit to find the right fit. While the sizing process is a bit tedious, it is essential to fit something that you are supposed to wear 24/7.
  • Speaking of 24/7 wear, the Oura ring only needs to be removed for charging every 4-7 days. It is waterproof and is protected against soaps, oils or other elements with which the fingers can come into contact.
  • There are three key elements to the Oura Ring health tracking experience: activity, sleep, and preparation. We will go over each pillar below.
  • To unlock the entire Oura Ring experience, an Oura membership is required. It costs $ 5.99 / month. I would consider this a significant additional cost, but it is not uncommon in the fitness tracking market these days.

(Image credit: future)

Oura Ring Generation 3 price and availability

The Oura Ring Generation 3 is available now, costs $ 299, and comes in four finishes: Silver, Black, Stealth, and Gold.

Before receiving your ring, a sizing kit is sent to you. There are 8 total sizes of Oura rings, but they may not match normal ring sizes. After trying on the fake rings from the size kit, I decided I needed a size larger than my non-tech rings. The process felt a bit wasteful (Oura suggests sharing the sizing kit with a friend) but finding the right fit is important. Wearing this thing to sleep must be comfortable, after all.

(Image credit: future)

A purchase of Oura Ring Generation 3 comes with a complimentary 6-month Oura Membership. Once the trial ends, the Oura membership costs $ 5.99 / month. Membership is required for most Oura Ring features, insights, and personalized recommendations.

Oura Ring Generation 3 review: design

You wouldn’t know that the Oura Ring Generation 3 isn’t a normal gem just from seeing it on someone’s finger. The silver I received for review is paired with my larger variety of plain silver rings, but I did a party trick by removing the titanium loop to reveal the sensors on the bottom.

(Image credit: future)

The three inner ridges house heart rate, respiratory rate, and body temperature sensors. For accurate readings, it is recommended to wear the Oura Ring Generation 3 on your index finger with the slightly flattened edge of the ring facing up.

(Image credit: future)

Wearing the Oura ring for over a month felt low-key. Since it is waterproof and safe for contact with sweat, soaps and the elements that your hands can face on a day-to-day basis, I didn’t need to take it off when exercising, washing my hands, or cooking dinner. He even got into a load of laundry by accident and survived with ease. However, I would not recommend recreating this particular durability test.

Oura Ring Generation 3 Review: Activity

The Oura Ring Generation 3 isn’t the most impressive fitness tracker. Without a display, it is obviously not designed to show metrics while you exercise. So if you’re picking up the pace in a run, you’ll want to stick with one of the best running watches or the best GPS watches. There is no real-time fitness tracking, so I still wore my Apple Watch while testing the Oura Ring.

Instead, the Oura Ring app can track calorie burn, steps, walking equivalency (burning of daily activity as a walking distance), and movement per hour. It measures your training intensity based on your heart rate and minutes of elevated activity, as well as using imported training data from Apple Health or Google Fit.

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I paired my Health app, which syncs with my Apple Watch, so all of my Apple Watch-tracked workouts appeared in the activity tab of the Oura app. If you don’t have one of the best smartwatches or another fitness tracker, the Oura app allows you to retroactively record exercise and you can even guess a full workout. I almost always knew it when I went out for a walk.

Oura Ring activity is rated based on the number of minutes you are inactive, how often you exercise, the amount of recovery time you are allowing your body, and whether you have needed automatic alerts to stand up every hour. Usually I scored in the 80s, although it took me a while to understand that my daily calorie goals are adjusted based on my preparation; more on that later.

Oura Ring Generation 3 review: dream

I am someone who wears most of my daily jewelry to sleep, so keeping the Oura ring in bed was not a hassle. At a glance in the Oura app, I can check my total time in bed, hours of sleep, resting heart rate at night, and percentage of sleep efficiency. I also receive a daily sleep score based on these factors, in addition to REM sleep hours, REM sleep hours, deep sleep hours, sleep latency (how long it takes you to fall asleep), and sleep time.

I particularly like how Oura visualizes rest. For example, I never fully understood that all my deep sleep occurs before 4 a.m. M.,

(Image credit: future)

To help with sleep time, the Oura app will send a notification when it’s the window to start relaxing for bed. Except they often sent me this alert before 9pm, long before I could get under the covers. While I’m sure Oura’s suggestions would help with the excessive exhaustion I’ve been feeling recently, I think I prefer my Apple Watch’s sleep routine, which tells me to relax at the same time every night of the week.

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But the sleep metrics on the Oura Ring are much more advanced than those on my Apple Watch, and also more accurate. I knew every time I moved during the night, even if I just opened my eyes to see the time. A color-coded timeline tells me how long I spent awake or in REM, deep or light sleep. The best Fitbit trackers and the best Garmin watches can also recognize sleep stages, but I particularly like how Oura visualizes rest. For example, I never fully understood that all my deep sleep occurs before 4 a.m. M., Even though I have tried many portable sleep tracking devices before.

Oura Ring Generation 3 review: preparation

Activity and sleep metrics contribute to the true hallmark of the Oura Ring – the readiness score. The readiness score determines when your body is ready for physical activity or when it’s time to take it easy. Any score of 85 or higher indicates a good division of movement and rest, although an optimal score is achieved when resting heart rate, heart rate variability, body temperature, sleep, and activity are in balance.

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Recovery is important to meeting your overall wellness goals. If you are not physically or mentally rested, you may suffer exercise-related injuries or increase stress. I know from personal experience that I have been there. Sometimes you need a day when it’s okay to not close the rings on your Apple Watch or hit your Fitbit calorie goals and relax.

(Image credit: future)

The Whoop band was already tracking recovery data, while Fitbit released a similar daily readiness score not too long ago. But Oura Ring goes a step further with a recommended sleep mode when it detects an irregular body temperature, possibly indicating illness or another reason for slowing down. If you’re not sick, but think you need a day off, you can also manually enter sleep mode to turn off your activity goals and motion notifications. I wore it the day after getting my COVID-19 booster and appreciated the break, even if my empty Apple Watch rings were still trying to embarrass me.

Oura Ring Generation 3 review: battery life

The battery life of the Oura Ring Generation 3 is estimated at 4-7 days. However, I could never go a full week without changing. I found that my ring needs juice every 5 days, which is long enough not to be bothersome. I already charge my iPhone and Apple Watch every day, I certainly don’t want to add a third device to the mix.

(Image credit: future)

When it’s time to charge, the Oura Ring sits on a dedicated wireless charging dock. The indicator light on the base turns white to let you know that it is charging. You’ll receive a notification on your phone when your Ring reaches 100% battery life, which in my experience took a little over an hour.

Oura Ring Generation 3 review: verdict

It’s rare that I test a portable device that I really want to use every day. The last time that happened was the screenless Amazon Halo Band which, similar to the Oura Ring, acted as a discreet add-on to the smartwatch. But the Oura Ring does a better job of disappearing – I just remember wearing it when I want to show it off or when I need to charge it up. It certainly helps that it looks like the rest of my jewelry.

While I wish purchasing the experience didn’t come with a monthly cost, the Oura Ring membership promises enough software to convince me it’s worth it. A period tracking feature that guesses the start of your cycle is in beta, while a collection of relaxing audio sessions appears to be growing as well. Oura says a version of real-time fitness tracking that you can follow in the app is also on the way.

Could you want to wait for these features to reverse? Sure. But if you’ve been waiting for a fitness tracker that doesn’t force you to replace your pretty wristwatch, or one that effortlessly complements your smartwatch with deeper recovery features, the Oura Ring Generation 3 might be the ultimate answer. I know it was mine.

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