Samsung announced its first smart ring, the Galaxy Ring, at MWC 2024 in Barcelona, Spain.

The Galaxy Ring is fitted with sensors that track heart rate, respiratory rate, the amount of movement made during sleep, and the time it takes a person to fall asleep. The ring will also be able to provide a user’s vitality score for productivity based on collected data about physical and mental readiness. All of these features can be accessed with the Samsung Health app.

Most smart rings on the market are one-trick ponies: for example, the Evie Ring, which focuses on women’s health, or the Go2sleep Ring, which tracks sleep attributes.

Samsung’s main US competitor for its Galaxy Ring is Oura, which does all that and more. In fact, Samsung’s announcement has reignited interest in this category dominated by market leader Oura. The announcement leaves out many specific details, but if Samsung can execute well on this concept, it will be the first major tech brand to do so in the US. Samsung is big tech, with deep pockets and a brand that a loss-making smaller competitor like Oura – despite having carved a strong niche in smart rings – will be hard-pressed to match.

Execution will be the test for the Galaxy Ring

The Galaxy Ring is sleek, unobtrusive, and more cosmetic than a bulky smartwatch and thus aimed at consumers who do not want to wear a smartwatch all the time. It expands Samsung’s ‘portfolio of tools’ focused on health and wellness with its AI integration of data to provide consumers with personalized insights and tailored health experiences through Samsung Health’s extensive global dataset. It’s a great concept in theory, but the execution of the AI data and the smart ring hardware will be the true test.

Samsung’s services on the smart ring won’t be limited to wellness; the company is also considering the addition of contactless payment ability on the Galaxy Ring. All these features will make it a fully functional wearable, competing with smartwatches.

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If executed well, this ring could well cannibalize Galaxy watch sales, and other Android smartwatches better watch out, too. Questions remain on pricing and subscription costs, telco inclusion, durability, battery life, and the ecosystem surrounding the Galaxy Ring. The ring comes in multiple colours and sizes, which could help alleviate the complexity of personalized ring sizing. Samsung will likely announce more details in H2 2024 at its Fall Unpacked event, which is expected in July or August.