Oura Ring 3 is the latest attempt to get you to ditch your fitness tracker for a smart ring

Woman holding camera while wearing Oura smart ring
The new ring is a successor to the Oura 2, shown here (Image credit: Oura Health)

Smart ring company Oura has announced a new version of its tiny fitness tracker, with big upgrades that should make it a viable alternative to wrist-worn fitness trackers from the likes of Fitbit

The new ring is a successor to the Oura 2, which currently holds our top spot as the best sleep tracker of 2021 thanks to its accurate metrics (made possible by frequent measuring of heart rate from your finger rather than your wrist). The Oura 3 goes a step further, with an improved sleep staging algorithm, which should more accurately detect whether you're in light, deep, or REM sleep.

The Oura 3 also has an SpO2 sensor, allowing it to track blood oxygen saturation overnight. This is a feature that's become standard in most modern smartwatches and fitness trackers, but this is the first time we've seen it in a device as small as a ring. It should allow you to spot any unexpected dips in saturation that could be an indication of a breathing condition like sleep apnea that could be disturbing your sleep and should be investigated by your doctor.

Finger on the pulse

There'll be plenty of new features for use during the day as well, including women's health tracking. This is another tool that's become commonplace for fitness trackers and even running watches, but whereas many devices simply use a calendar to estimate when your cycle will begin and ask you to log their symptoms, the Oura 3 will use your body temperature to predict your period up to 30 days in advance.

The Oura 3 also has new optical heart rate sensors for 24/7 monitoring, and you can check your heart rate in real time in the Oura smartphone app. The ring will detect periods of rest as well, and alert you to ensure that you're taking enough breaks throughout the day.

The Oura 2 smart ring in gold, black, and silver

At the time of writing the Oura 3's design is still under wraps, but we anticipate it won't steer too far from the streamlined Oura 2 (Image credit: Oura)

We don't yet know what the Oura 3 will look like, but the company says it's fitted all these features into "less than 1cm of space".

Pre-orders are open now, and we'll be putting it through its paces in the coming weeks, so check back for a full review soon.

Analysis: health by subscription

Alongside the new smart ring, Oura is also launching a paid membership program for $5.99 (about £4.50 / AU$8) per month. Details are fairly limited at the moment, but the company says subscribers will get "full access to the Oura app for daily health insights", as well as personalized recommendations, exclusive audio (possibly meditation sessions or sleep stories to help you drift off at night), educational videos, and more.

It's unsurprising that Oura has taken this route. The new subscription sounds very much like Fitbit Premium (priced at $9.99 / £7.99 / AU$15.49 per month), which also gives you more in-depth insights into your health data, as well as guided workouts, meditation sessions, and nutrition advice.

Similarly, the new Amazon Halo View fitness tracker works best when used together with the Halo Fitness subscription service, which costs $3.99 (about £3 / AU$5.50), and unlocks not only workouts and eating plans, but also activity and sleep data – stats that you'd normally expect to get for free.

Amazon Halo View in black, green, and pink

The Amazon Halo View fitness tracker works best when used with the Halo Fitness subscription service (Image credit: Amazon)

There's clearly a pattern emerging, and if Amazon is anything to go by, there might soon be a real shift towards wearables that are cheap to buy up-front, but require a rolling subscription if you want access to anything beyond basic health data.

Thankfully, it seems that Oura isn't taking things quite that far. Its membership plan appears to be useful, but non-essential, and you won't miss out on any of your biometric data if you don't sign up. It's also good to see that existing Oura owners who upgrade to the third-generation ring will get a discount on the device, plus free lifetime membership. Hopefully members will also get access to new features on an ongoing basis over the coming months and years. 

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of TechRadar's sister site Advnture. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better)