First impressions of the Galaxy Ring are enough to get us excited

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There's a lot of excitement for the Galaxy Ring. This is Samsung's first truly new wearable device in what seems like forever. It's also a glimpse of the future, showing us how the company intends to transform its health and fitness wearables in the years to come. Samsung merely teased the Galaxy Ring during last month's Unpacked event, but today it has provided a much closer look at MWC 2024. The company hasn't said anything about pricing or release, only that the Galaxy Ring will be available later this year.

We sat down at a roundtable with Samsung’s VP of Digital Health Dr. Hon Pak to learn about the company's vision and strategy for its health platform. Naturally, the Galaxy Ring was central to the discussions, and prototypes were shown off during the session but taking photos of the device wasn't allowed.

Only non-functional prototypes were shown off during the session. The Galaxy Ring units weren't powered on or connected to a phone. At most, you could only get a sense of what wearing the device would feel like, but even that might change, as Samsung pointed out on several occasions that the product is still evolving.

For example, the Galaxy Ring was shown off in Ceramic Black, Platinum Silver, and Gold finishes, fashioned from a plastic shell. It wasn't confirmed if the final version would be metal-plated for a more premium feel. There's plastic on the inside as well that's packed with sensors and modules. No explanations as yet from Samsung about how the sizing process is going to work but we do know that it's available in sizes 5 through 13.

The Galaxy Ring felt super light and comfortable to wear which is good as the ring is meant to be kept on at all times. Going to sleep with a smartwatch doesn't feel as comfortable and the Ring, which aims to provide enhanced sleep tracking, addresses the comfort issue. The device itself has a more concave shape which is a thoughtful choice from Samsung as it will avoid surface scratches.

Pak spent a fair bit of time talking about the Ring's new sleep tracking features, it offers four that aren't available on the Galaxy Watch devices, including respiratory rate, heart, night movement, and sleep latency tracking. Samsung will sprinkle some machine learning fairy dust on this data to prepare a Vitality score that provides a comprehensive overview of your sleep quality.

The Ring measures a lot of other stuff too, from steps to movement, blood oxygen, skin temperature, and period tracking. It's a comprehensive platform that's simpler to use than a smartwatch, there are no buttons, displays or lights on the smart ring, and more comfortable to wear for extended periods. The Galaxy Ring will be perfect for those who want the health and fitness tracking features but don't want to wear a smartwatch.

Pak spoke passionately about the possibilities the future holds as Samsung builds out the vision for its advanced health platform. On a point regarding the Ring's sleep apnea detection, he spoke about the possibility of the Galaxy Ring connecting to a smart mattress some day that can automatically drop the temperature if the Ring senses that you're getting too hot.

Samsung envisages a future where your phone, watch, ring, and even fridge work in tandem to provide connected care without friction at the individual device level. It's a noble pursuit that heavily depends on how right Samsung gets the execution of its first smart ring. As things stand, it all looks very promising.

 

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