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Home / Reviews / Wearables / Samsung Galaxy Ring hands-on review: smart rings enter the mainstream

Samsung Galaxy Ring hands-on review: smart rings enter the mainstream

If you track it then you should put a ring on it

Samsung Galaxy Ring hands-on lead

Initial Stuff Verdict

It’s not the first smart ring, but Samsung’s debut effort stands a good chance of bringing the tech to the mainstream. The Samsung Galaxy Ring looks the part and doesn’t skimp on sports tracking.


  • As thin and light as smart rings get
  • Established software that doesn’t need a subscription
  • Seven day battery life


  • No contactless payments
  • Pricey
  • First-gen tech


With Samsung’s wrist-worn wearables now regularly topping best smartwatch lists, the firm has decided the time was right to target your fingers as well. The Samsung Galaxy Ring is aimed at health conscious gadget fans who don’t like sleeping with a smartwatch on their wrist, or who want to go weeks between recharges rather than days.

It has been a long time coming – the company teased its existence back in January – yet the smart ring category is practically still in diapers. With most of the competition coming from much smaller startups, and big names like Garmin, Google and Apple happy to watch from the sidelines, whether the Galaxy Ring succeeds or not is going to have a huge impact on the wearable world.

I got to try one on ahead of Samsung’s official reveal at Unpacked in Paris. Here’s what it gets right – and a few areas I think it falls short.

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Design & build: jewel in the crown

The Samsung Galaxy Ring gets impressively close to a regular piece of jewellery, being just 2.6mm thick despite being stuffed with sensors. It definitely looked chunkier than my wedding band, but not so much it was uncomfortable to wear solo on my other hand. There’ll be nine different sizes to pick from, which is more than many smart ring makers provide, and should guarantee a great fit – which will be crucial for accurate health tracking.

Ultrahuman’s Ring Air might be the closest competitor on the scales, at just 2.4g. The Galaxy Ring is lighter still, but only if you can fit the smallest of the size options on one of your digits.

There are three colours to pick from: black, silver and gold, with the former having a matte finish and the latter two a polished one. All three are milled from titanium, with a concave shape that makes it look even slimmer once on your finger. IP68 and 10ATM water resistance means it can be worn in the pool as well as the shower,

The transparent charging case reminded me of the Nothing Ear wireless earphones. It’s a little bit smaller, but has a similar flip-top lid and white-on-clear plastic colour scheme. It’s small enough to pop in a pocket, though I imagine it’d probably spend most of its life on my night stand.

Health & fitness: have a heart

Fair play to the engineering team: there wasn’t much room to work with, but they still found space inside the Samsung Galaxy Ring for an accelerometer, skin temperature sensor, and PPG heart rate tracker, on top of the battery and Bluetooth LE kit needed to send all the gathered data to your phone.

It’s not going to give serious athletes the fine-grain insights a fitness watch might, and aside from a few workouts that can be automatically detected, you’ll need to reach for your phone to track most activities. But if you struggle to sleep with a watch on, this could be a fantastic way to track your sleep.

Even better, Samsung Health doesn’t carry any subscription fees – something a lot of rival smart rings still demand.

The biggest omission I can see is that there’s no support for contactless payments – though very few rivals include this either.

Battery life: week-long warrior

You’re supposed to be able to squeeze up to seven days from a single charge, whatever size Samsung Galaxy Ring you wear. An 80 minute trip to the transparent charging case will top it up for another week, and it has enough power reserves itself to theoretically go 100 days before needing to find a plug socket. It also has wireless charging support itself, if you have a Qi pad handy. I really like how the case lights up to show the Ring’s remaining battery, ticking up the white LEDs as it refuels.

That puts lifespan on par with most of the smart ring competition – but you can extend that further if you also wear a Galaxy Watch on your wrist. The two recognise each other, and adjust their health tracking automatically.

With the Ring able to take fewer heart rate readings, Samsung says a 30% battery boost could be on the cards. Apparently your readings will be more accurate, too, as Samsung Health uses readings from both devices to smooth out the erroneous heart rate spikes some solo wearables can show.

Samsung Galaxy Ring initial verdict

Samsung Galaxy Ring hands-on initial verdict

The Samsung Galaxy Ring doesn’t feel like a first attempt; on initial inspection the firm appears to have delivered a well-thought out wearable with all the fitness tracking smarts of early adopter models – only in a much slimmer shell. That it doesn’t charge a subscription fee for its health insights or sleep tracking is a big win, and battery life also sounds up to par, even before you factor in the boost that comes with wearing a Galaxy Watch at the same time.

But if you currently wear a smartwatch 24/7 anyway, is there much to be gained by putting one of these on your finger? Will a second-gen version with more features quickly follow, irking early adopters? And are there enough features here to justify a higher asking price than the Galaxy Watch7? I’ll only know for sure after a full review.

Samsung Galaxy Ring technical specifications

MaterialsTitanium (black, silver, gold)
SensorsAccelerometer, skin temperature, PPG
ConnectivityBluetooth 5.4 LE
Battery18-23.5mAh (Size 5-13)
Dimensions7mm wide, 2.6mm thick
Profile image of Tom Morgan-Freelander Tom Morgan-Freelander Deputy Editor


A tech addict from about the age of three (seriously, he's got the VHS tapes to prove it), Tom's been writing about gadgets, games and everything in between for the past decade, with a slight diversion into the world of automotive in between. As Deputy Editor, Tom keeps the website ticking along, jam-packed with the hottest gadget news and reviews.  When he's not on the road attending launch events, you can usually find him scouring the web for the latest news, to feed Stuff readers' insatiable appetite for tech.

Areas of expertise

Smartphones/tablets/computing, cameras, home cinema, automotive, virtual reality, gaming