Oura Ring vs. Apple Watch: Which Is Best?

If you want to track your fitness, activity, stress, and health status, you can choose between many smartwatches and fitness trackers, including the popular Apple Watch.

But what if you don’t want to wear a watch? This is where the Oura Ring comes in. It’s a smart ring you wear on your index finger for tracking your health. To decide which device may be better for you, explore this Oura Ring vs. Apple Watch showdown.

Smartwatch vs. Smart Ring

The Oura Ring is a fitness tracker that you wear around your index finger instead of on your wrist. While smartwatches are effective at tracking your body’s functions, like heart rate and skin temperature, the consistently closer proximity of the Oura Ring to your skin makes its sensors far more accurate and precise.

Aside from the difference in where you wear it, how else does the Oura Ring differ from the Apple Watch Series 8?

Oura Ring vs. Apple Watch: Style and Form Factor

If you usually wear a watch, switching to an Apple Watch is a no-brainer. However, some people don’t like wearing larger accessories like watches, especially at home. Furthermore, if you care about fashion, you’ll have to get multiple bracelets for your Apple Watch to match your outfits.

On the other hand, the Oura Ring sits quietly on your finger. Since it’s small and unobtrusive, you can get used to wearing it like an engagement or wedding ring. Although it only comes in two different designs, its discreet placement will make it unnoticeable for most. It also comes in four different colors, so you can match it to your personality.

If you’re looking for a fitness tracker you can wear without thinking about it, then the Oura Ring is the better pick.

Winner: Oura Ring

Oura Ring vs. Apple Watch: Fitness Tracking Options

resting athlete checking smartwatch

Of course, if you’re purchasing a fitness tracker, you would want it to track as many bodily functions as possible. So, let’s compare what the Apple Watch Series 8 can record versus the Oura Ring Gen 3.

Given that the Apple Watch is substantially bigger than the Oura Ring, you can expect it to have more sensors, like ECG and Crash Detection. Nevertheless, the Oura Ring has everything you want in a fitness tracker—sleep tracking, blood oxygen sensor, readiness score, heart rate, skin temperature, and more.

However, the Apple Watch’s screen makes it far more versatile than just a sensor suite. The Apple Watch can make calls, send and receive messages, and even install apps. Furthermore, the apps you can download for the Apple Watch can give you additional functionality that Apple doesn’t have built into the watch.

Winner: Apple Watch

Oura Ring vs. Apple Watch: Battery Life and Charging


an apple employee on stage talking about the low power mode on Apple Watch
Image Credit: Apple

The Apple Watch Series 8 lasts around 18 hours on a single charge, so it’s good enough for a day’s use. But if you need to charge it from empty, it takes around 45 minutes to reach 80% battery and an extra 30 minutes beyond that to hit 100 percent.

That means you either have to take the Apple Watch off for around 75 minutes a day to recharge it fully or top off its battery multiple times a day, which can be inconvenient. If you choose the former and recharge it when you’re sleeping, you won’t be able to track your sleep.

You can also charge your Apple Watch while preparing in the morning, which means you’ll probably be low on juice near the end of the day, so you need to remember to top up its battery before going to bed. Alternatively, you can use Low Power Mode on your Apple Watch. This can stretch its battery life to more than 36 hours—but it will also deactivate many features, which somewhat defeats the purpose of having a smartwatch.

On the other hand, the Oura Ring lasts up to seven days on a single charge—no need to add recharging your Oura Ring to your daily routine. And when the Oura Ring finally runs out of battery, it only takes 80 minutes to bring it to 100 percent. You can also recharge the Oura Ring every time you take a bath. Doing so will ensure that you never run out of power unexpectedly.

Winner: Oura Ring

Oura Ring vs. Apple Watch: Price and Affordability

The Oura Ring Gen 3 starts at $299 for the Silver, Black, and Stealth materials paired with the Heritage design. If you want to go for the classic Horizon design, you’ll have to pay an extra $50.

However, more exclusive materials will cost more. For example, the Gold Horizon Oura Ring will cost you $499, but if you want the Rose Gold material, it’ll cost you $549.

But beyond the initial purchase cost, you must also pay for a monthly subscription to use your Oura Ring’s capabilities. Without the subscription, you can only access three simple daily scores—sleep, readiness, and activity.

Holding several credit cards

On the other hand, the Apple Watch Series 8 starts at $399 for the GPS-only version. If you want the larger 45mm screen with a stainless steel case, you’ll have to shell out $749. You can save money by going for the entry-level Apple Watch SE (2nd Generation), which only starts at $249.

While the Apple Watch and Oura Ring’s prices are comparable, the former is far more capable than the latter as a smart device. Still, choosing the Apple Watch makes involves key assumption—that you’re already an iPhone user.

That’s because you need an iPhone to use the Apple Watch. If you don’t have that smartphone, you must buy one to use the watch. The Apple iPhone SE (3rd Generation), the cheapest iPhone you can buy now, starts at $429. You’ll have to shell out more if you want to go for the iPhone 14 or the iPhone 14 Pro.

Winner: Draw

Should You Get the Oura Ring?


Oura Ring and app
Image Credit: Marco Verch/flickr

If you’re looking for something that’ll track your health almost 24/7, then the Oura Ring may be for you. It’s discreet, so you can keep it on yourself all the time, no matter the occasion. And while it doesn’t have the features or versatility of the Apple Watch, what you’re paying for is its form factor and continuous coverage.

However, the Oura Ring will not replace the Apple Watch. The former is just a sensor that captures your bodily data, while the latter is a complete smart device you can interact with. If you want a smartwatch that lets you use apps, send messages, control music, and more, the Apple Watch is a better choice.

You can actually get both—you can use the Apple Watch as a typical smartwatch, wearing it when you’re outside and viewing notifications when you’re away from your phone. Then, you can use the Oura Ring for the most accurate continuous health tracking.

The Oura Ring Is a Win for Fitness Buffs

Oura Ring vs. Apple Watch—in the end, the verdict depends on what you want out of your device. With the Oura Ring, you can get accurate and precise physical data almost all the time. This is perfect for carefully tracking your body’s performance in day-to-day scenarios.

So, whether you’re a professional athlete, a fitness buff, or just keeping an extra keen eye on your health, the Oura Ring is a fitness tracker you should consider—if you don’t mind paying for the monthly subscription.

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