If you watched or read an Oura ring review a year or two years ago, you would probably come to the conclusion that the Oura ring has incredible potential, but that it’s not there yet. That has changed a lot lately. Oura got some funds, and have been investing in software heavily which is what was needed. The tech on their 2nd gen ring was already great, the software wasn’t. And the situation was many times worse if you had an Android device.
Is the Oura ring worth it now in 2020? Well, here’s the thing. I never wanted to get a ring. That all changed during summer 2019, when in Paris, in a cafe where I met my girlfriend over 2 years ago, I thought I was going to die.
At that point, I had a smartwatch and while I loved it, it wasn’t useful at all to me as far as health and I often just ended up with my Solgaard Hex Watch. You know, step tracking was on my phone, and heart rate checked once per hour wasn’t of many benefits to me.
That’s when I decided to get the Oura ring which many called the most advanced health tracker out there.
And right way, regardless of what you think after this review, we have to give it to Oura for putting so many sensors while fitting a 7-day battery life, into something as small. That’s incredible.
Who’s the Ring For
Ultimately you are reading this review because you want to know whether the Oura ring is worth it, and ultimately it’s only useful to you if it makes your life better.
When I got this ring I right away noticed some key missing things that we’ll talk about more in-depth later, such as the fact that apart from gym days, I didn’t move nearly enough during the day, that my sleep times were very very inconsistent, or that my REM sleep was poor which made sense as I rarely remembered having any dreams.
And that kind of data while right away very useful was of no value because I didn’t do anything about it.
If you are thinking about getting this ring, you need to commit to changing what’s wrong. Otherwise, you are just getting useless data for $299, which some people see as a lot. Although, in reality, the Apple Watch is more expensive and sure, it does provide you with notifications and such, but if you are just looking for health, notifications aren’t going to get you there.
And before we get into the health aspects such as sleep, exercise, meditation, or readiness, let’s talk about design, because the reality is that health tech only works if it looks good enough.
…If it doesn’t, the people that would benefit from it the most, won’t wear it.
The Design of the Oura Ring
Ultimately while the Oura ring is designed as a health ring with emphasis on sleep, you will end up wearing it in the gym a lot.
And that brings the question of how convenient is a ring to wear in a gym, and even more so, whether it would scratch.
At first, I was very careful wearing it, but just like with any tech, I eventually forgot to care, and well, the ring held up great so far without any scratches, so if scratching your worry, it most likely will deal with it greatly, at least on the black version.
Speaking of the black version, the Oura Ring comes in 3 colors, the silver, the black, and the pricier Matt black. An well, the ring is absolutely stunning, I mean, it’s as good as a standard ring looks which exactly what makes it great. The first generation was very ugly.
Except, well, this is their black version, and it more so looks shadow grey.
I love grey which is great but be aware of that when buying the standard black version.
Oh and there are overall two different models of the ring, but frankly, you can’t tell the difference when you have the ring, so it doesn’t really matter.
More than a few reviewers mentioned that the ring is quite big. As I said, I never had a ring before of any kind, but I personally think it fits pretty well on my finger.
Although this perhaps has everything to do with your finger size.
Perhaps the bigger your fingers, the more normal the ring looks. I suppose they have to fit the same amount of tech in all of the rings, so that the level of thickness might look bigger on someone that has a smaller finger. I rock US 10.
As far as comfort goes, I’m a freelancer that shoots photos and that writes a ton of blog posts, and as far as those two go, the ring never got in my way. The same applies to any daily activities such as washing dishes.
In fact, I’ll just right away call this the most comfortable tracker out there. Smartwaches? They get annoying on your wrist at some point during the day, and for sure not great for sleep, but I can wear the Oura ring all day and night. And I’m fine.
Usability is a weird thing though.
One one side, you can forget about the ring when you wear as it doesn’t it get in your life as much as a watch would. You for sure don’t want to sleep with a watch. This? This is great for sleep. Not so great for comfort in the gym when lifting though where a smartwatch isn’t an issue at all.
But ultimately, it doesn’t matter whether your health tech looks great if it doesn’t make your life better, so how much better does the Oura ring make your life?
So let’s talk about the data next starting with the most basic feature that all fitness trackers have, activity tracking.
The Oura ring, of course, has the ability to track steps but also has other useful features such as tracking how much we don’t move during the day which is important because we tend to sit a ton of time these days.
The Oura also tracks your training frequency, volume, and recovery time.
But what I really love about the activity aspect of the Oura is that rather than just getting a daily exercise goal and such, Oura uses the data it gets to give you different goals every day, depending on the state of your body, and that’s what other trackers don’t really do.
However, compared to some smartwatches or trackers, the Oura ring isn’t able to automatically recognize if you are lifting weights though. But while that’s a great fitness feature, it’s not a feature that would change your health, and Oura is a tracker is about data that can change your health.
The reason most people get this ring is for sleep tracking though.
Many call this the most advanced sleep tracker out there, is it?
Well, right away, I’ll mention that this is the most convenient sleep tracker. It. It doesn’t get in the way at night like a smartwatch or even a Fitbit, and you can take it anywhere which isn’t the case with the likes of sleeping mat.
Sleep is one of the most important things out there. We spend almost half of our lives on it, yet most of us don’t benefit from it as much as they could.
That’s what advanced sleep data mixed with your action can change. And the Oura ring is a great tool for that.
The sleeping data it provides for sure provided me with a lot of insights into what I’m doing wrong such as random sleep times, very poor REM, so that alone has had a tremendous value to me with REM sleep being responsible for things such as memory, and creativity.
Does that mean I fixed every issue with my sleep? Not all of them. But I’m doing more than ever to do make changes, and as long as you are trying to constantly improve, that’s where Oura is a super useful tracker.
The ring, however, doesn’t always track my sleep correctly, and that’s because it often doesn’t track it at all. I think that has to do with the sizing. This ring is a slight bit bigger than the sizing kit.
As far as the data, you’ll find out how long it takes you to fall asleep, how long you spend in time vs sleep, what’s your sleep efficiency, your rest heart rate, and sleep stages.
My biggest issue with the Oura at this moment though? It’s the lack of ability to combine data with notes on what you are doing. Right now you can take down notes over how you are feeling in the app, but it’s not really useful at all. Imagine you could take down at what time you had coffee, and then get Oura over the long-term to determine that coffee at x time results in you feeling more anxious before bed, or in lower REM sleep.
That would take the Oura ring to the next level. And it’s something I imagine (and hope) they will develop in the future.
The Oura Is Also a Ring for Stress Management
What separates the Oura ring from just about all trackers is the ability to track HRV which is the time between heartbeats, and it’s a great tool in chouprojects.com for telling how your body is coping.
When you use it, after exercise you’ll see the biggest difference during sleep, but it’s overall a great indicator of the state of your body.
Recently, Oura also added mediation into their app.
Some time ago I did an interview with the founder of the Muse headband which tracks your mediation and gives you real-time feedback, and I found that amazing, as ultimately, the main reason behind why I and many other people stop meditation is because we don’t have the means of tracking meditation, and how our body is reacting to it.
What the Oura ring recently released is a way for you to start meditating while tracking creating a more accountable way to mediate, to the point that even I started meditating with it, and sticking to it a lot more.
And what I love about this feature is that Oura allows you to track your mediation without needing to meditate with Oura’s meditations. That way you can go to the forest to meditate with the sounds of nature.
…Or if you want, you can put on your headphones and then listen to mediation from the Oura app or from a different app.
What I not love is that this feature was actually out for Apple devices much prior it made it on Android devices.
The Readiness Score
The Oura app combines all the data already mentioned with other factors such as body temperature into something called the Readiness score which is a score that sums up how your body is doing as a whole with factors such as previous day activity, recovery index, activity balance, your respiratory rate, and others all taken into account.
This type of score is the ultimate set of data, but like we already mentioned, we wish there was a way to link what you do with data.
To Sum up This Oura Ring Review – Is the Oura Ring Worth It in 2020?
Ultimately, health is the most important thing out there, so whether you see this ring as expensive or not, it depends on how much is health worth to you.
The Oura ring, it’s still not perfect, but the Oura team has been making some big changes lately such as Google fit integration (at last) and simple app improvements that should have been there long time on Android devices such as ability to swipe through days rather than have to select them one by one through the calendar mode.
And while a year ago there still would have been a lot of buts, especially for Android users, going into 2020 the Oura ring is at a stage that we can say it’s worth getting if you care about your health, and will do something with the data it provides you with.
…Otherwise, it’s just useless data.