Samsung Galaxy Smart Ring vs. Apple Watch

By Smriti Razdan | Updated on July 15, 2024
Close up of Silver Samsung Galaxy Ring and Apple Smartwatch - Samsung Galaxy Smart Ring vs. Apple Watch

Smriti is a true tech aficionado and WearableXP’s resident review specialist. Her approach to technology is anything but ordinary. After years of research and expertise...Read more

Samsung pivoted into the smart ring arena with a tiny but mighty member of the Samsung Galaxy family with the ‘Samsung Galaxy Ring’, yesterday, July 10, at the Unpacked 2024 event. With the Apple Watch holding its crown for the best wearable to track activities, Samsung’s sleek Galaxy Ring, seems to be a strong competitor. Who will win the battle of the wearables? Will you be able to trade-off your Apple Watch Series 9 for the Samsung Galaxy Smart Ring? 

If we know something for sure, Apple isn’t far behind on its launch for the Apple Smart Ring after this move by Samsung. With smart ring patents for both brands dating back to 2015, Samsung has taken the lead and with the Apple Ring still up in the air, Samsung has made quite the impression with the Galaxy Ring. 

Let’s compare the features of the Galaxy Ring to the Apple Watch, a product known and loved by many. 

SpecificationsSamsung Galaxy RingApple Watch Series 9
Weight 2.3-3g31.9-51.5g 
Sizes 9 sizes (5-13)41mm and 45mm
Colors 3 colors – black, silver and goldAluminum 5 colors (pink, midnight, starlight, silver, and red)
Stainless Steel 3 colors (gold, silver, and graphite)
Dimensions 7mm wide, 2.6mm thickness35mm and 38mm wide, 10.7mm thickness
Memory 8MB 64GB
RAM 512 KB1GB
Battery size18 mAh – 25.3 mAhLi-Ion 308 mAh
Battery life Up to 6 days (sizes 5-11), up to 7 days (sizes 12-13)18hrs 
Charge time 80 mins75 minutes
Charger Portable charging case with USB-C cable Apple Watch Magnetic Fast Charger to USB-C Cable
Vibration No Yes 
Material Grade 5 titanium Aluminum and stainless steel 
Water resistance 100 m (10ATM, IP68)50 m (IP68)
Dust proof Yes Yes 
Compatible OS Android 11.0 and aboveiPhone Xs and above or iOS 17 and above
Warranty 1 year2 years
Price $399.99$399

The Design 

Comparing a watch to a ring is a distinction as clear as night and day. The Apple Watch Series 9 is a device featuring a screen with a 1.9 inch Retina LTPO OLED display, 484×396 pixels in resolution with a brightness twice as much as the Series 8 at 2000 nits. 

The Apple Watch Series 9 is available in two variants of different materials – an aluminum case (available in five colors) and a stainless steel case (available in three colors). 

The Samsung Galaxy Smart Ring is a sleek, ring version with the outer surface having a subtle, concave curve. Available in three colors – black, silver and gold; the gold has a metallic finish as compared to the silver and black which feature a matte finish. 

The Galaxy Ring features a body made with grade 5 titanium alloy, the same material as the Apple Watch Ultra. 

The ring is a more comfortable option for anyone who doesn’t wanna carry a watch throughout the day.

Sizes 

Apple Watch with a blue band lying on a table next to a MacBook and an iPhone - Samsung Galaxy Smart Ring vs. Apple Watch

The Apple Watch Series 9 comes with a one size fits all approach in two sizes for the watch- 41mm and 45mm with multiple straps to choose from. 

The Samsung Galaxy Smart Ring comes in nine sizes, ranging from 5-13, of which the users have to choose from using a sizing kit.

The sizing kit contains plastic replicas of all nine sizes, with the sensor bumps, mirroring the actual product. It is priced at $10 but this price will be put towards the purchase of the actual product. 

Weight

The Apple Watch Series 9 weighs 42.3g for the 41mm variant and 51.5g for the 45mm variant. 

The Samsung Galaxy Ring in the smallest size weighs 2.3g, while the biggest size is around 3g. Regardless of the size you choose, thanks to the concave design of the ring, it’s much slimmer and can barely be felt on the hand.  

The weight and comfort alone is a reason to switch from a smartwatch to a smart ring, in my opinion. Personally, I would love not having to wear a watch especially to track my sleep. I can only imagine the comfort Samsung Galaxy Ring would provide.

The Battery 

With the Apple Watch Series 9 providing a battery life of 18 hours on a full charge and 36 hours on a low battery power mode, it highly depends on your usage of the same. My Apple Watch requires me to charge it every couple of days because I mainly use it at the gym. Another reason why I don’t use it all the time is because I would need to charge it so often. 

A Samsung Galaxy Ring color gold - Samsung Galaxy Smart Ring vs. Apple Watch

The Samsung Galaxy Ring, on the other hand, has a battery life of up to 6 days on a single charge for sizes 5-11 and up to 7 days for sizes 12-13

Additionally, the Galaxy Ring also comes with a portable charging case, which is essential since it’s such a small product. The case also holds a 1.5 times of a full charge which makes it a great option to travel with. The case comes with a USB-C cable and a full charge for the ring takes 80 minutes.

Metrics Both Devices Track

The various metrics the Samsung Galaxy Ring and the Apple Watch track are as follows : 

Samsung Galaxy RingApple Watch Series 9
Heart rateHeart rate
Heart rate variabilityHeart rate variability
Respiratory rateRespiratory rate
Sleep latencyECG
Movement during sleepSleep tracking
Sleep patternSleep stages
Snoring analysisCycle tracking
Skin temperatureMindfulness and guided breathing
Sleep scoreHigh and low heart rate alerts
Activity and workouts(walking and running) Irregular heart rhythm alerts
Calorie trackingBody temperature
StepsVO2 max
Energy scoreCrash detection
Low and high heart rate alertsFall detection
Cycle trackingSpO2 (unavailable after Jan 18, 2024)
SpO2Automatic workout detection
Calorie tracking
Retrospective ovulation estimates
Medications app
Environmental sound level alerts
Headphones audio level detection

Similar to Readiness Score by Oura, Samsung’s Energy Score is a number, calculated on the basis of your stress and sleep patterns, activity level and intensity of workouts, telling you how ready your body is for the day – a feature lacking in the Apple Watch.

Being equipped with Galaxy AI features, it will give Wellness Tips which will provide recommendations to inch towards healthier habits.

Activity Tracking 

If you ask people the reason why they bought their smartwatches, most, including myself, would reply “to track workouts, steps and calories.” I wouldn’t call it the “sole purpose” of owning a smartwatch, but it is one of the top reasons why.

Apple Watch Sensors - Samsung Galaxy Smart Ring vs. Apple Watch

Apple prides itself on automatically tracking workouts and calories, and rightly so. In my humble opinion, no one does activity tracking better than Apple. You know why? It’s so comfortable to wear at the gym, it has automatic detection for so many workouts, you can start and stop the workout right from your wrist without having to open an app on the phone and the data is like the gold standard for fitness trackers.

Be it fashion jewelry or smart rings, when you’re weightlifting at the gym, rings are next to impossible for me to work with. Samsung Galaxy Ring provides activity and calorie tracking with automatic workout detection for walking and running.

It doesn’t have the feature to start/stop a workout in real time, unlike the Apple Watch for clear reasons. 

The obstruction with any ring and the dumbbells is the sole reason I don’t wear any smart ring to the gym but the concave and much slimmer look of the Galaxy Ring has piqued my interest to see if it could change my mind about the same. I’ll be sure to keep you posted when I get my hands on it. 

Just like the Apple Watch, Samsung Galaxy Ring will also send out movement reminders if one has been inactive for a long time. The reminders for the ring will come via notifications through the Samsung Health app.

Sleep Tracking

The Apple Watch Series 9 tracks sleep from the minute you hit the bed to the minute you wake up. From sleep stages- light, REM (Rapid Eye Movement) and deep sleep, to respiratory rate, heart rate, blood oxygen and wrist temperature, it covers it all. 

Since I bought my Apple Watch Series 9 shortly after its release in Sep 2023, my watch has the blood oxygen feature. However, since a lawsuit filed by healthcare company Masimo against Apple, they have disabled this feature on Apple Watch Series 9 being sold on or after Jan 18, 2024. Users can still see the icon but the app is unavailable to use.

But do I wear my Apple Watch to track my sleep? The answer is no. Why? It’s simply not comfortable. I would not have a sound sleep if I were wearing my Apple Watch or any watch for that matter. Defeats the purpose, right? 

With the Samsung Galaxy Ring, so small and sleek on my finger, I’m much likely to wear it to bed. It will track the same metrics and involves a sleep AI algorithm that gives you a sleep score and snoring analysis for people who need it. With the size so small and light, it would be much easier to sleep in. 

With metrics like sleep quality monitoring, sleep latency, movement at night, respiratory rate tracking, heart rate and time taken for a person to fall asleep once they hit the bed, Samsung Galaxy Ring would be a no-brainer to track my sleep. 

Stress Monitoring

Who doesn’t need this feature in today’s day and age? The Apple Watch Series 9 tracks HRV (heart rate variability) and RHR (resting heart rate), which are used by external apps to determine stress levels. The Apple Watch doesn’t have this feature built-in which is a major drawback in comparison to its counterparts. 

Samsung Galaxy Ring will provide stress level monitoring calculated by the various health metrics it measures throughout the day. These along with breathing exercises can be accessed with the Samsung Health app.

Menstrual Cycle Tracking

The Apple Watch Series 9 tracks menstrual cycles based on the previous inputs and gives an estimate of the start and end of your period dates. The Apple Watch takes 5 nights of continuous wear to establish a baseline temperature using which it gives retrospective estimates of the ovulation phase. 

Samsung Galaxy Smart Ring vs. Apple Watch - A lady wearing an Apple Watch

Cycle tracking is also a part of the Samsung Galaxy Ring with an added feature of tracking menstrual cycle phases through skin temperature. I am excited to see if it can surpass my Oura Ring’s cycle tracking.

Waterproof

Apple Watch Series 9 is water resistant up to 50 meters which means it can withstand day to day activities like washing hands, bathing, doing the dishes, etc. It can also be used without fear of damage while swimming in the pool or the sea. 

Submerging the device in shallow waters is not recommended, I wouldn’t be able to tell you how long it can stand such depths because I would not put myself through the stress of water activities (sorry not sorry).

The Samsung Galaxy Ring is 10 ATM water resistant which means up to 100 meters. Which means that not only can you use it during day to day chores, it can even withstand  swimming in shallow waters.

Compatibility 

Apple Watch Series 9 is compatible with models following iPhone Xs or iOS 17, ensuring seamless integration with Apple’s ecosystem in terms of Apple Health and Apple Fitness for compiling data. 

The Samsung Galaxy Ring will be compatible with other Samsung Galaxy devices and Android phones running OS 11.0 and above with at least 1.5GB of free memory. The phone must have an active Samsung account and a Samsung Health app installed. 

We’ve all seen the S pen doing air actions and changing tracks, as an extension, Samsung has introduced a “pinch action” while wearing the Galaxy Ring. A pinch gesture can control the camera and dismiss an alarm. Currently this is only available to the Z fold 6 and Z flip 6, however, Samsung is set to extend this feature to S24 soon. 

With the Apple Watch Series 9, we can use the camera app as a camera shutter by tapping on the watch. I can also view my camera’s screen on my watch, which is very helpful in setting the angle for the perfect Instagram picture. 

Lost your device? No problem

The Apple Watch Series 9 has a location detection feature with the ‘Find My’ app on the iPhone. A feature I am immensely grateful for. I’d be embarrassed to tell you how many times I had to use this feature to my rescue. I can simply tap ‘my devices’ on the Find My app on my phone and it plays a sound on my watch to help me locate it.   

With the Samsung Ring being so tiny and given the fact that I lost an entire watch, probably the size of 20 (or more) of the Galaxy Rings together, Samsung introducing the Find My Ring feature is such a relief. 

With this feature, the Samsung Find app tells you the location and flashes LEDs to help you locate the ring.

Price & Availability

The Apple Watch Series 9 starts at $399 for Aluminum finish and $699 for the stainless steel variant. The watch is available in stores and online at Apple and at authorized retailers across the globe.

A Person wearing an Apple Watch - Samsung Galaxy Smart Ring vs. Apple Watch

The Samsung Galaxy Ring being priced at $399.99, is a lot more than the estimates projected by everyone. Some people might argue the cost of a ring being equivalent to a smartwatch, but if the Galaxy Ring can replace my Apple Watch, I think it would be well worth the price tag.

The Galaxy Ring also has no subscription cost to access health data. Pre-orders have begun since its launch on 10th July 2024, in select markets and it will be available starting 24th July 2024. 

Final Verdict 

The debate between the Samsung Galaxy Ring and the Apple Watch Series 9 won’t be fully settled until I test it out for myself. I solemnly swear to give you my brutally honest opinion. While both devices track similar metrics, the Apple Watch Series 9 has a better edge with activity and fitness, tracking various workouts in real-time and an ECG sensor. 

I do think the sleek and lightweight design of the Galaxy Ring could give a good competition to its counterparts and can possibly be better to wear at the gym even while weightlifting. The concave design of the Galaxy Ring definitely caught my eye. It will also be interesting to see if the design helps prevent scratches to the ring with regular wear and tear.

It will be interesting to see if the Samsung Galaxy Ring replaces my Apple Watch Series 9, especially in terms of wearing it to the gym. I will be sure to keep you posted.

Will you be getting your hands on the new Samsung Galaxy Ring? Which features are you most excited to see me test out? Let me know in the comments.

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Smriti is a true tech aficionado and WearableXP’s resident review specialist. Her approach to technology is anything but ordinary. After years of research and expertise in cutting-edge consumer technology, she is now exploring the world of smart wearables only to evaluate and bring her unique insights.

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