The rumored 'Galaxy Ring' could challenge the Galaxy Watch 6

Oura Ring (Gen 3) next to the Galaxy Watch 5
The Oura Ring (Gen 3) next to the Galaxy Watch 5 (Image credit: Derrek Lee / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • The Elec reports that Samsung has begun "advanced development" of a "Galaxy Ring" health wearable, with a Japanese manufacturer creating the circuit boards. 
  • Samsung patents spotted in 2022 showed a smart ring with electrocardiogram (ECG) and photoplethysmography (PPG) sensors.
  • The Samsung Galaxy Ring could be used to control smart home devices or the upcoming Samsung XR headset. 
  • The Galaxy Ring's tight fit could give it "higher accuracy" than the Galaxy Watch 6. 

Samsung's upcoming Galaxy Unpacked is all but guaranteed to reveal the new Galaxy Watch 6, filled to the brim with health sensors. But if this latest rumor from South Korea is true, Samsung is getting ready to branch out from smart watches into smart rings with the "Galaxy Ring."

The Elec reports that Samsung has begun to develop "prototypes" of a smart ring, prior to mass production. It's apparently partnered with Meiko, a Japanese manufacturer of circuit boards that previously made components for the Galaxy S23 series. 

Last year, a Naver report showed off Samsung's smart ring patents, which revealed how the smart ring would bundle PPG and ECG sensors for tracking heart rate, irregular heart rhythm, and blood pressure — although it's unclear if Samsung would get FDA approval for the latter in the U.S.

That report also claimed that the Galaxy Ring would have the ability to "control electronic products such as laptops, smartphones, and TVs," presumably through gesture controls.

Interestingly, The Elec's report shows off a new patent of a person wearing smart glasses and using the Galaxy Ring to interact with a virtual display, pointing at something they want to select. 

Samsung is developing its own XR headset with a new Android OS, though it delayed its headset in order to better compete with the Apple Vision Pro. While the Galaxy Ring functions as a health-tracking device, Samsung could also bundle it with its smart glasses as a controller. 

While The Elec's source says that the Galaxy Ring "will have better body information measurement accuracy than the Galaxy Watch," this will obviously have to be tested. In theory, a smart ring has a better, more consistent fit than a smartwatch, which can hang loosely or get dislodged from your wrist during sleep tracking. But it'll depend on how well-fitted the Galaxy smart ring is to a person's finger. 

Who will buy a Galaxy Ring over a Galaxy Watch?

Right now, the smart ring field of competition is fairly limited. We were pretty impressed with the Oura Ring (Gen 3) thanks to its comfortable design, comprehensive health tracking, and long battery life. Since Oura charges a monthly subscription for its health data, a subscription-free Samsung alternative could be pretty tempting. 

But the real competition for the Galaxy Ring could be internal rather than external.

We polled our readers earlier this year if they were interested in buying a smart ring, and just over half said they'd consider either a Galaxy Ring or Pixel Ring. While a smart ring is much more comfortable for sleep tracking, many of our commenters noted that they would miss the versatility of a smartwatch's display and software for daily use. 

In other words, they treated the poll as a zero-sum decision between buying a watch and buying a ring. 

The upcoming Galaxy Watch 6 will likely have PPG and ECG and track blood oxygen, body composition, and skin temperature. So far, leaked info suggests the Galaxy Ring will only track some of this data. 

We'll have to see if there is too much overlap between the Galaxy Watch and the future Galaxy Ring for its customers to buy both or to choose the ring over the watch (even if it's more accurate). The appeal of using it as a virtual remote is a cool one, but perhaps too niche for someone who could just use a remote control instead. 

Michael L Hicks
Senior Editor, VR/AR and fitness

Michael is Android Central's resident expert on fitness tech and wearables, with an enthusiast's love of VR tech on the side. After years freelancing for Techradar, Wareable, Windows Central, Digital Trends, and other sites on a variety of tech topics, AC has given him the chance to really dive into the topics he's passionate about. He's also a semi-reformed Apple-to-Android user who loves D&D, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings.

For wearables, Michael has tested dozens of smartwatches from Garmin, Fitbit, Samsung, Apple, COROS, Polar, Amazfit, and other brands, and will always focus on recommending the best product over the best brand. He's also completed marathons like NYC, SF, Marine Corps, Big Sur, and California International — though he's still trying to break that 4-hour barrier.

  • fuzzylumpkin
    I'd do both, but I'm a bit of a gadget junkie. I wouldn't give up my watch for one though.

    I also wouldn't pay a subscription, that's what put me off the idea of ever buying an Oura ring.
  • Bkdodger1
    I would definitely give the ring a try... But I agree I'm not giving up my watch
  • Quethrosar
    no way... never again will i buy a samsung watch or wearable. The watch 4 lte stopped sensing it was being worn, sent it in for warranty, they said nothing is wrong, came back and worked for 2 weeks and stopped sensing it being worn. software update made it work again but by then i had bought a garmin. the watch also is useless in the sun, it over heats so the only way to use it is to turn on airplane mode and bluetooth separate to listen to music from it and not overheat.

    USELESS !!!!
  • me just saying
    ring would be interesting, just don't want any subscription fees. Tired of getting nickel and dime to the poorhouse with monthly subscriptions. I wonder if it will include samsung wallet???
  • Bkdodger1
    Please that's not even talk about subscription fees... I'm burnt right now after reading the latest email from Google YouTube premium and an increase in $4 a month starting December...
  • BerryBubbles
    Bkdodger1 said:
    Please that's not even talk about subscription fees... I'm burnt right now after reading the latest email from Google YouTube premium and an increase in $4 a month starting December...
    Wow, that's quite the increase.
  • Bkdodger1
    BerryBubbles said:
    Wow, that's quite the increase.
    Crazy ...I'm dropping them for sure ...even though I enjoy my YTM and commercial free and skips in YouTube