It's official: Samsung teased its newest wearable, the Samsung Galaxy Ring, at its Unpacked 2024 event today (Jan. 17).
While Samsung didn't provide any details other than a brief look at the device, whenever it does arrive, it could prove to be a major competitor to devices such as the Oura Ring.
Here's what we know so far about the Samsung Galaxy Ring.
Samsung Galaxy Ring: Expected launch date
Based on what we saw at Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2024, we expect that the Galaxy Ring will launch at some point later this year. That jibes with a report from The Elec in early October of 2023 says that the launch date will be pushed back to either the third quarter of 2024 — alongside the Z Flip 6 and Z Fold 6 — or the first quarter of 2025.
As suspected, the Galaxy Ring made its debut — however brief — at Unpacked 2024, alongside the Galaxy S24 and S24 Ultra, as predicted by @Universeice, a leaker on Chinese social media site Weibo (and reported by SamMobile).
An earlier rumor, which we wrote about in July, pegged the launch of the Galaxy Ring for March or April of 2024; we were a bit premature in speculating that it would arrive at Samsung's Unpacked event this past summer. No one's right all the time.
A teardown of a Samsung APK by 9to5google also seems to confirm the 2024 launch date, as well as the official name of the device.
Samsung Galaxy Ring: How much will it cost?
We don't have any indications of how much the Samsung Galaxy Ring would cost, but we can take some educated guesses based on the price of other smart rings currently on the market.
For starters, the Galaxy Ring's presumptive competitor, the Oura Ring, costs $299 at Best Buy. Other smart rings, such as the Circular Pro 1, costs $410, and the Ultrahuman Ring AIR comes in at $349 on Amazon.
With those in mind, we'd be surprised if the Galaxy Ring cost more than $300.
Samsung Galaxy Ring: Design and possible features
Quite obviously, we expect the Galaxy Ring to be, well, a ring.
A story in The Elec says that Samsung is making the Ring in four sizes, which is half that of the Oura Ring.
Similar to other devices, it will most likely have a built-in heart rate monitor — it's table-stakes for all of the best fitness trackers — but could also have more advanced features, such as blood pressure monitoring and aFib detection. However, some of these could require FDA approval, which can take months, if not years.
An older report said that Galaxy Ring production started in August, but given the latest rumors as of October 2023 — which says that the Ring won't come out until later in 2024 — makes this seem less likely.
Depending on when the ring is released, it's possible that it will launch without all of its features active, but the company will roll out the advanced tracking once it clears regulatory hurdles with the FDA. Fitbit underwent a similar process last year, when it underwent approval to detect atrial fibrillation for its fitness trackers.
The Galaxy Ring might also track sleep, blood oxygen levels and body composition — like the Galaxy Watch 6 — though nothing is certain as of yet.
Like the Oura Ring and the long-discontinued Amazon Loop, consumers who purchase the Galaxy Ring will most likely have to size their fingers beforehand, so that they get a ring that properly fits their finger. This could mean receiving a sizing kit in the mail first, followed by the actual ring.
Most likely, the Ring will connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth, a fact that was uncovered in 9to5google's APK teardown.
Samsung Galaxy Ring: What we'd like to see
There have been relatively few smart rings thus far, but from what we've seen (and tested), we would hope that the Samsung Galaxy Ring has the following:
Activity tracking: While it's highly doubtful that the Ring would be able to fit or use GPS, it should be able to track your daily activity, such as walking, running, and so forth, and measure your heart rate.
Sleep tracking: Also a table-stakes feature, considering this is also included in the Oura ring.
Temperature tracking: If the Galaxy Ring could keep tabs on your temperature, it would not only help you know if you were coming down with something, but could also be helpful for women who want to track their cycles and pregnancy.
Media control: Rather than tapping on your phone or your wireless earbuds, it would be handy if you could tap the Galaxy Ring to change music tracks, change the volume, or even accept and reject calls.
Wireless charging: Like the Oura Ring, the Samsung Galaxy Ring needs to be able to charge wirelessly. Bonus points if you'll be able to charge it by placing it on the back of the Galaxy S23 Ultra.
Samsung Galaxy Ring: Outlook
Samsung launching into a new wearables category certainly would be interesting; it would also be entering a market with relatively few competitors, giving it a first-mover advantage over the likes of Fitbit. The device could appeal to those who want a health-focused wearable, but don't want something as large as a watch. In that way, it could carve out a separate market away from smartwatches, where it has to compete with the Apple Watch, not to mention Garmin.
The Samsung Ring might also be an entry point into the company expanding its online health and fitness offerings into both free and paid tiers, much like what Apple and Fitbit have done.
Given that Samsung isn't exactly the tightest ship when it comes to product rumors, we expect to hear more about the Galaxy Ring in the coming months. Stay tuned.