Oura Ring Gen3 Review: Get It Together, Please

I never wanted that guessed that the rollout of Oura’s third generation ring would go badly. The Finnish health tracking ring debuted in 2015 to great acclaim (of which I gave some). Detecting early warning signs on Covid is simple, accurate, stylish and the almost universal choice for businesses and organizations. Everyone (well, everyone who cares about these things) eagerly awaited the arrival of Gen3.

But early reports have been disappointing. This is not because the company has significantly changed how the ring looks or works, but because Oura has switched to a new subscription model. Instead of accessing all the features when you buy the ring, you now pay $ 6 a month for personal insights and guided videos. Even worse, many of the new features you pay for, such as blood oxygen measurements, will not even appear until early 2022.

Oura uncovered its efforts somewhat. The first six months of the subscription are free, and if you upgrade from a Gen2 to a Gen3, you will receive a free lifetime subscription (but only if you purchase before November 29th!). In the end, you still pay money to upgrade and then pay more money for features you can not use yet. Oh, and Oura reduced the warranty from two years to one.

A subscription model is not crazy in itself – other fitness trackers like Whoop and Fitbit require subscriptions. However, these wearables are significantly cheaper than Oura. That said, there’s just nothing out there like Oura. It has a wealth of sensors that are mostly very accurate, plus it is small and very easy to wear. If you want an Oura ring, Gen3 still works fine. But I understand why people feel frustrated.

Ready to go

Photo: ŌURA

The ring looks pretty much like Gen2. You measure your index or middle finger with Oura’s size set to get a ring that fits you exactly. An astonishing array of sensors fit into this small package – Gen3 now has green and red LEDs, in addition to infrared and a new temperature sensing system – to track everything from your heart rate (24 hours a day) and minute changes in your body temperature to when you falls asleep and wakes up.

These measurements are boiled into three separate categories – your body stress, sleep and activity. Based on your performance in each of these categories, you will receive a Readiness Score each morning that assesses how capable you are of tackling each day’s activities. If you have a score of 85 or above, you are ready to take on any physical challenge. Under 70? You should probably retire for the day.

I’ve had Oura on and double checked it with a Whoop tape and Apple Watch Series 7. I sleep restlessly, and when it comes to sleep recording, both Whoop and Oura are noticeably more sensitive and accurate than Series 7, which regularly says that I sleeps an extra half hour or hour. Oura especially measures sleep delay, or how long it takes to fall asleep each night – a useful measure similar to whether I drank alcohol or exercised later in the day.

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