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Rings aren't just fashion accessories anymore. The best smart rings provide accurate health measurements to help you live your best life.
Wearable tech can be highly functional but still discreet. While bulky watches are often removed at the end of the day for charging, smart rings stay on at night to track your sleep. You can even pay for items at checkout without reaching for your wallet using touch-free pay technology.
Smart rings have emerged in a promising market among smartwatch fan favorites. If you want your technology to do the most work for you, consider putting a smart ring on. ZDNET experts have rounded up the best smart rings with capabilities nothing short of spectacular.
The Oura smart ring measures heart rate and body temperature using research-grade sensors. The focus here is data collection: Tracking your heart rate, physical and mental recovery, workouts, and even menstrual periods if that applies to you. A new feature is the guided audio component, which has over 50 sessions for meditation, sleep, and other focus areas.
This comprehensive smart ring has integrated with Apple Health, Google Fit, and iOS and Android apps. This compatibility means that you can see daily, weekly, and monthly views of your activity and other metrics.
A new feature of the third generation model is blood oxygen level tracking -- the Oura Ring measures your levels while you sleep and follows your heart rate 24/7 for good measure.
Read the review: Oura Ring 3 review
The downside is that there's a membership structure in place to unlock the features that make this ring worth it. It will cost you $5.99 per month to unlock a morning in-depth sleep analysis, blood oxygen monitoring, personalized insights, live heart rate monitoring, and temperature trend monitoring that could predict the early stages of illness. The Oura ring can also detect when you might be stressed and automatically go into Rest Mode by adjusting your daily goals for you.
Non-paying members have access to only three insights: Sleep, Readiness, and Activity.
The minimalistic, polished RingPay is the world's first smart ring with contactless payment technology. You can securely pay for items by connecting your debit or credit card and earn cashback when you use it. The ring is faster to use than contactless alternatives, like unlocking your phone wallet or using a credit card. You can wash your hands while wearing it, because the smart ring is water resistant, scratch-resistant, and stress-tested. It's made of hypoallergenic ceramic, so no glues or plastics involved, either.
The RingPay comes from McLear, the company that built the first NFC (near-field communication or wireless data transfer) ring to unlock doors digitally. The company configured the same technology for phones and information sharing, and secured funding from WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg, eventually launching this ring.
The ring can unlock your NFC-enabled Android phones and tablets with just a touch from ring to device. You can store and securely share information, including Wi-Fi information, website links, and contact information to your friends' devices.
The best part? No charging required.
The Circular Ring launched recently, with expected delivery in December 2022. That said, the company markets the ring as "the most advanced wearable tracking device."
The ring focuses on three main components: Sleep, activity, and health. The device tracks precise heart rate, breathing rate, blood oxygen levels, temperature, and motion during sleep with emphasis on quality, duration, and circadian rhythm. You'll even get notifications about irregular heart rates and blood oxygen levels.
For fitness, you'll get an energy score that tells you how much energy you've exerted throughout the day, and the ring automatically tracks your workouts. The technology organizes data in an easy-to-read app so you can better understand your habits and make better health decisions.
The Hecere NFC ring is best smart ring for a tech-savvy person: It's delivered blank with a built-in rewritable chip. You can download an NFC app for free and program the ring to function however you want, whether you want the ring to turn on Wi-Fi, make a call, or share a contact.
The sensing technology in this ring is more advanced than that in comparable products. If you want a fun, customizable project, this could be the ring for you.
The Go2sleep ring is dedicated to one function: Tracking your sleep based on heart rate, blood oxygen levels, and heart rate variability. If you or anyone in your family lives with a sleep condition, this ring could be a useful tool. You can share data with family members on the app to learn more about their sleep habits, and even download your sleep reports as Excel files to show your medical provider.
The advanced technology can wake you up in your lightest sleep phase, so you won't feel disoriented in the morning. The Go2sleep ring auto-syncs with the Health app on iOS devices, and it features a ring-finding function so you can locate the device if it's misplaced.
ZDNET experts recommend the Oura Ring 3 as the best smart ring based on its extensive capabilities.
Oura Ring 3
Four to seven days
Titanium with non-allergenic interior
No charging required
Up to four days
Hypoallergenic inner material with interchangeable external shells
Hecere NFC Ring
No charging required
Zirconia ceramic material and epoxy resin
Up to four days
Acrylic /PC+ABS plastics
Each smart ring is unique and one could be the best ring for you.
Choose this smart ring…
If you want…
Oura Ring 3
The best smart ring overall
A smart ring for payments
To track your fitness levels
Hecere NFC Ring
A customizable smart ring
To track your sleep habits
ZDNET experts analyzed the overall quality and functionality of smart rings on the market right now. There are many smart wearables available, but these smart rings are the most high-quality options based on a variety of categories. From contactless payment to advanced sleep tracking, these smart rings bring advanced technology right to your finger.
ZDNET expert Lena Borrelli assessed the Oura Ring 3 as the best overall smart ring in the fitness wearable market. If your goal is to specifically track exercise and workout recovery, the Oura Ring 3 is your best option. also named Oura one of the best inventions of 2020.
Oura even to help players train during the pandemic. The NBA purchased 2,000 Oura rings to track signs of COVID-19 symptoms using body temperature data. Plus, the smart rings gave players personalized insights into their health.
Smart rings can provide more accurate readings than smartwatches because they are worn close to large blood vessels located in the fingers. In contrast, smartwatch sensors utilize small capillaries for readings. You wear smart rings flush against your skin, and as a result the data can be more accurate than smart watches.
Smart rings can be useful for a variety of functions. A ring like the McLear RingPay is ideal if contactless payments are your top priority. If you want 24/7 monitoring of your blood oxygen and heart rate, go with the Circular Ring. Smart rings can go as far as you need, and you can even program your own with the Hecere NFC Ring.
Smart rings also tend to have long battery lives, while some don't require charging at all.
There are various smart rings on the market that didn't make the cut for ZDNET's top five. However, we've included a few other smart rings that receive honorable mention:
Read a full review: Prevention Circul Plus review: Oura Ring alternative offers more extensive health insights