5 ways the Samsung Galaxy Ring can beat the Oura Ring

The Samsung Galaxy Ring in silver against an outer space background with stars
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
Recent updates

Update: July 10
- You can now preorder the Samsung Galaxy Ring, and these are the Ring's three health features we're most excited for.
- We got hands-on time with the Galaxy Ring at Unpacked 2024 — here's our initial thoughts

The Samsung Galaxy Ring is almost here, now that Samsung has set July 10 for this summer's Galaxy Unpacked event. And as excitement builds for the first smart ring to launch from a major tech company, it’s worth pondering what Samsung will need to get right to make its new product a worthy player in the space.

The Oura Ring, now in its third generation, is the smart ring to beat in 2024, thanks to comprehensive sleep, workout recovery and women’s health tracking; five days of battery life; wireless charging; and 100 meters of water resistance. The Oura Ring also comes in a wide range of styles and sizes and wears quite comfortably. 

We’ve been monitoring all the Samsung Galaxy Ring rumors and leaks so far and we even have a detailed Oura Ring vs. Galaxy Ring breakdown based on those reports. Most signs point to Samsung putting up stiff competition, but to truly outshine Oura, the Galaxy Ring will need to nail these five things. 

1. No subscription fees

The feature that draws the biggest complaints when it comes to the Oura Ring isn’t a feature at all, but rather its recurring monthly subscription cost of $5.99.

Sure, the ring comes with six months free, but over the life of the $299 device, you’re still adding on an additional $150 to $200 in fees. I asked Oura’s CEO Tome Hale about the possibility of eliminating this cost in the future. His response: don’t get your hopes up. 

To beat Oura, Samsung should launch the Galaxy Ring as a one-and-done affair. Keeping the Galaxy Ring's cost in line with the Oura Ring Gen 3 — which again starts at $299 for the Heritage model and $349 for the sleeker Horizon model— without charging a subscription fee would make the Galaxy Ring a no-brainer for cost-conscious customers. 

2. Better battery life

The Oura Ring Gen 3 promises up to a week of battery life, but in reality, that number is closer to about five days. While this is impressive and easily beats the battery life of many of the best fitness trackers available, I’d love to see the Galaxy Ring boast 10 or more days of juice. 

This would mean that users only need to charge the device roughly three times a month instead of six or more times. The less you need to charge a device, the more likely you are to wear it. The more you wear it, the more useful the insights. 

Wireless charging for the Galaxy Ring is also a must, as is a quick recharge time, ideally less than two hours to match the Oura Ring Gen 3. 

3. NFC for contactless payment

You can’t pay for groceries or coffee with the Oura Ring Gen 3 but it sure sounds like that functionality may be available in the next-generation Oura Ring 4, which is all the more reason for Samsung to debut its first smart ring with an NFC chip and support for Samsung Pay built-in. 

Sure, tapping your smartphone is a slick enough way to pay for a round of drinks. But, you know what’s cooler? Giving your ring a quick knock and walking away. 

Three gold Samsung Galaxy Rings glimmering in a display case

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

4. Gesture-based media control

While the Oura Ring Gen 3 is a fantastic holistic device and the best fitness tracker for sleep, it doesn’t offer much in the way of smart features. There are also no wrist-based Oura devices to connect with. 

Samsung, on the other hand, has an entire ecosystem of Galaxy products and I strongly suspect that the Galaxy Ring will launch with the ability to control some of these devices via touch or gesture. 

Imagine, for instance, gently tapping your thumb against the outside of the ring to accept/reject an incoming call or swiping your finger in the air to fast-forward a TV show. I also expect the Galaxy Ring to support locating other Samsung devices that are lost and vice versa. 

5. Cross-platform compatibility

File this one under “don’t get your hopes up,” but it’s worth calling out regardless. While I highly doubt the Galaxy Ring and the Samsung Health app will play nice with Apple devices, ensuring maximum compatibility across platforms would give Samsung its best shot at beating Oura.

After all, the Oura app is available for both iOS and Android users. If the Samsung Health app remains exclusive to the Google Play Store, the Galaxy Ring’s potential customer base shrinks substantially. 

How Samsung beats Oura

These aren’t the only features I want to see in the Samsung Galaxy Ring. Advanced sleep tracking and health monitoring are a must as is a durable and lightweight design. The Samsung Galaxy Ring will also need to provide insightful and reliable menstrual health insights on par with the Oura Ring Gen 3

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Dan Bracaglia
Senior Writer, Fitness & Wearables

Dan Bracaglia covers fitness and consumer technology with an emphasis on wearables for Tom's Guide. Based in the US Pacific Northwest, Dan is an avid outdoor adventurer who dabbles in everything from kayaking to snowboarding, but he most enjoys exploring the cities and mountains with his small pup, Belvedere. Dan is currently training to climb some of Washington State's tallest peaks. He's also a big photography nerd.