Smartwatches have slowly been making their way into the mainstream over the last few years. They are no longer the niche products they used to be since more and more people have discovered their usefulness and multiple applications, not to mention that some models have become quite affordable.
Despite being a bit of a newcomer to the scene, smart rings are already stealing some of the spotlight away from smartwatches. Their compact and stylish designs appeal to many, so some people would rather spend money on a smart ring than a smartwatch. But which is better? What are the differences between smart rings and smartwatches, and which one should you buy?
- Smart rings and smartwatches differ considerably in size and capabilities.
- Smartwatches run apps, so they can perform or control many of your smartphone’s functions.
- Smart rings tend to have more advanced sensors and better battery life.
- A smart ring is an excellent digital detox tool.
Advantages of a Smartwatch Over a Smart Ring
Smartwatches have several advantages over smart rings. This is primarily due to their bigger size, so they tend to have more capabilities, but there are other factors.
The Size of the Screen
Only a few smart ring models have screens, and their screens tend to be relatively small. This is one of the advantages of a smartwatch. Most smartwatch screens are big enough to browse the web, read your emails, and even reply to text messages.
Processing Power and Storage
Smartwatches have considerably more processing power and storage than smart rings, mainly due to their bigger size. This means smartwatches can run dedicated apps that don’t just sync with your smartphone but can do many things independently, too. You can even download music to some smartwatches to listen to without having your phone with you.
Making and Receiving Phone Calls
Smartwatches can often make and receive phone calls. Sometimes, it’s even possible to do this without having your phone present. Some smartwatches even have their own SIM card slots or e-SIMs. Smart rings cannot make or receive calls, though you can use them to take or reject calls on your phone.
Smartwatches often come pre-packed with voice assistants, like Siri on the Apple Watch. Smart rings don’t support voice assistants, though it might happen in the future.
One of the other advantages that smartwatches offer over smart rings is that smartphone manufacturers have already embraced smartwatch technology, which hasn’t happened for smart rings yet.
For example, the Apple Watch is so integrated into Apple’s ecosystem that some people have managed to go entire days without having their iPhones with them, using only their Apple Watches.
This is not the case with smart rings yet. We are limited to the manufacturers’ implementations and smartphone app capabilities. That is steadily improving, though, and there’s also a possibility that manufacturers like Apple and Samsung will start developing their own smart rings in the future.
Advantages of Smart Rings over Smartwatches
Smartwatches are undoubtedly more powerful than smart rings, but raw power isn’t necessarily always what we need. Smart rings have a few advantages over smartwatches.
Smartwatches are usually quite large. Though they aren’t typically uncomfortable, they are nowhere near as comfortable as smart rings. I usually take my smartwatch off at night because I don’t like sleeping with a watch. On the other hand, I can often wear my smart ring and barely notice I have it on. This leads to more consistent measurements of my health and sleep status.
Smart rings are also more comfortable to wear and control during sports. When I’m running with my smartwatch, using the watch to check my speed and distance or skip a song feels slightly unnatural. A smart ring is less intrusive and easier to control, sometimes with just one hand.
Smart rings are also less noticeable than smartwatches, so they draw less attention, which might be a benefit in certain situations.
Smart rings can be more accurate at health tracking than smartwatches. Our fingers are full of arteries and capillaries, making it easier for the sensors to track data such as heart rate and blood pressure.
Smartwatches have screens and speakers, which most smart rings don’t have (and if they do, they’re small). With a smartwatch, others can often see notifications arriving on the screen or overhear your private phone calls. Smart rings eliminate that problem.
This is not a definite advantage since it varies between different models and your usage habits, but smart rings’ batteries tend to last a bit longer than smartwatch batteries. That’s mainly because smartwatches have screens and more powerful processors, so they drain more power. Smartwatches last about a day or two, while some smart rings can go for seven days on a charge.
People are becoming increasingly aware of the risks involved in using their smartphones too often. Social media addiction is real, and the blue light emitted by phone screens can hinder our sleep patterns. Smartwatches have the same disadvantages to some extent since you can open most of your notifications, and some social media apps work on certain smartwatches.
Smart rings don’t have a screen, but they can still tell you when you’re receiving a call. This means you can theoretically go all day without looking at your phone’s screen if you want to, making smart rings ideal for a digital detox.
Because of the differences in processing power and capabilities, there can be a considerable price difference between smartwatches and smart rings. Depending on the brand and model, decent smartwatches can range between $150 and $600. Meanwhile, good smart rings range between $100 and $300.
Smartwatches are often stylish, and the fact that you can change their bands and use different watch faces means you can make them fit almost any aesthetic you want. But you are still limited to the overall look and feel that the manufacturer decided to give the watch. This is inconvenient because watch enthusiasts like to switch between different watches for different occasions.
Because smart rings are rings first and foremost, they come in a wide range of different designs and styles. Manufacturers often release each model in three or four different designs that resemble fashionable rings. This makes choosing a smart ring that fits your aesthetic easier.
Smartwatches are potent devices. Even though they can’t entirely replace smartphones yet, they are getting closer and closer to that point. But they can be a bit bulky and clunky compared to smart rings. Smart rings can’t replace smartwatches, but in some ways, the factors that seem like disadvantages could be a smart ring’s most significant benefits.
Since both devices have advantages that the other doesn’t have, there are logical reasons to get both if your budget allows it. But, if not, you can look for the device that offers your desired benefits. There’s a wide range of wearable options out there, and you’re sure to find what you’re looking for.