The best feature of the Samsung Galaxy Ring would be not locking my data behind a paywall


Samsung will be the first of the big tech companies to launch a smart ring when… officially presents the Galaxy Ring on July 10 in ParisBut don’t be surprised if other tech giants like Apple, Google and Amazon follow suit with their own similar wearable devices in the coming years.

Smart rings have some advantages over smartwatches when it comes to health and wellness tracking, and they can generate advanced data to help you understand your health more deeply and make better decisions for your body. But there’s a bad trend in smart rings, led by market leader Oura. They’re now locking some of your data behind a subscription wall. The biggest impact Samsung could make when it enters the smart ring market would be to buck this trend.

If Samsung doesn’t charge a subscription, it will be difficult for Apple, Google, Amazon or other tech leaders to charge one, if they ever enter the market.

Also: What to expect from Samsung Unpacked July 2024: Galaxy Z Fold 6, Watch Ultra, Smart Ring and more

Smart rings share some of the same features as smart watches, but may have some advantages such as:

  • They tend to be more accurate when tracking sleep data.
  • They can provide a better overall picture of your well-being by tracking stress, body temperature, and readiness for activity.
  • They don’t have a screen to distract you
  • There are times when people don’t want to wear a watch, but still want to track their activity and health data.

To be clear, there are other smart rings that don’t charge you a subscription to take advantage of the data benefits of smart rings. Ultrahuman Air Ring is an example of one that ZDNET’s smart ring reviewer Nina Raemont I tried it recently and really liked it, and it’s subscription free.

Also: The best smart rings you can buy

Over the past decade, I’ve been testing a lot of wearable tech, from smart glasses to smart watches and XR earbuds. I’ve been testing smart rings since the first Motiv Smart Ring in 2018. I have recently been testing the Oura Horizon Stealththe company’s third-generation product. And while smart rings are becoming increasingly smart and capable by leaps and bounds (and potentially have a big future as companion devices to control XR earbuds), there’s no smart ring that does enough for me to be willing to pay a monthly or annual subscription to access the full picture of my health.

I hope Samsung will reset the smart ring market by giving us all our data by default with the Galaxy Ring.

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