The fitness and activity tracking segment of wearable devices has been experiencing an exponential growth in the past couple of years. More and more people are interested in fitness and the good news is that wearable devices are keeping up. Smart rings and smartwatches, in particular, are two of the most popular fitness and activity trackers available.
But how does one differ from the other? Which one should you choose? In this article, I’d like to shed light on the subtle differences between smart rings and smartwatches.
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Both smart rings and smartwatches are built differently. However, they do share one thing — sensors. These sensors are responsible for tracking a user’s biometric data. Most fitness and activity smart rings have sensors like accelerometers to detect linear acceleration, a gyroscope to monitor rotational movements, and a heart rate monitor. In simpler terms, these sensors can automatically detect a variety of physical activities such as walking and running, which are then used as the basis for tracking calorie burn.
Normally, smartwatches are packed with features, given their form factor. They have more sensors, such as a GPS tracker, so they can do more than smart rings. Nevertheless, both wearables come with complimentary mobile app where users can see a detailed look at statistics and sometimes personalized insights.
Related: The Ultimate Smart Ring Buyer’s Guide
Smart rings are generally more accurate than smatwatches simply because of their form factor’s intrinsic design. Our fingers have so many arteries and capillaries, allowing smart rings to get more accurate data than the wrist. This is the same reason doctors use fingers to get pulse and blood pressure rather than the wrist.
In addition, smart rings don’t get exposed to as much natural light, improving data tracking. This level of accuracy can only be achieved by wrist-worn fitness and activity trackers if they are worn tightly, which is not the most comfortable experience for the user.
Smart rings are inherently lightweight, so there’s not even a competition here. However, if you are looking to use an activity tracker for longer periods, it’s important to consider the design of the smart ring as there are some that, although significantly lighter, are also inconveniently bulky. Meanwhile, if you want to use an activity-tracker that monitors your sleep, wrist-worn activity trackers can be restrictive — not good for comfort’s sake.
In terms of the quality of the build, smart rings and smartwatches don’t differ too much from each other. All it boils down to is the quality of the wearable per manufacturer. For what it’s worth, the bands of smartwatches and smart bands don’t stand as long as their displays. The good news is that they are easily replaceable.
Privacy is an aspect that’s a far cry between these two wearables. You don’t need to worry about exposing your personal information with smart rings since they often don’t have a display and loud speaker. With smartwatches, it’s much easier for other people to see the screen and/or hear voice prompts. Other than that, your privacy depends on how the makers handle your personal information.
Smart rings tend to last longer than smartwatches. Most fitness and activity tracking smart rings on the market can last for 7 days per single charge, while the average smartwatch can only survive for 1-2 days, give or take. The screen apparently has a big impact on the battery life of smartwatches.
Since smartwatches have more features and can do more, they are often more expensive than smart rings. A decent smartwatch with fitness and activity tracking capabilities cost around $150 and can go as high as $600, depending on the brand. Meanwhile, smart rings in the same segment can range anywhere between $100 and $300. The most popular brands obviously cost more regardless of the wearable device.
As hardware, these two wearables couldn’t be any different. If you’re looking for a discreet and unobtrusive tracker, smart rings are the one to go for. If you want a display to constantly view your progress, you need a smartwatch or a smart band.
Overall, accuracy is the one thing makes smart rings more superior than smartwatches in terms of fitness and activity tracking. Battery is also another great factor why smart rings make for a very good option over smartwatches.
Looking for the best fitness companion? Check out the Best Fitness and Activity Tracking Smart Rings!