Samsung Galaxy Ring launch: price, specs, features, availability

The Samsung Galaxy Ring has the ability to track various health metrics, such as heart rate. It’s Samsung’s first foray into the smart ring product category, as it hopes to keep users hooked to its ecosystem of devices, ranging from smartwatches to smartphones.

Arjun Kharpal | CNBC

PARIS — Samsung on Wednesday launched the Galaxy Ring, its first foray into “smart rings.” The South Korean tech giant is looking to integrate its products — such as smartphones and wearables — and offer health-tracking features to compete with Apple's push into space.

The Galaxy Ring, which Samsung has been promoting for the past few months, is a lightweight ring with sensors designed to monitor health around the clock, the company announced Wednesday at its Galaxy Unpacked event in Paris, France.

Samsung’s push into a new product category comes as smartphone sales are recovering slightly, but users are holding on to their devices longer. Device makers are looking for additional electronic products to sell.

For Samsung, the Galaxy Ring adds a new device to its portfolio that can track health functions alongside its smartphones and smartwatches. In recent years, Samsung has tried to market its health apps — which are increasingly popular among consumers — as a major reason to buy such products.

Samsung is also positioning the Ring as a device that can be worn alongside its smartwatches and a smartphone. The device is equipped with artificial intelligence software and offers a complete picture of a person's health. This move could boost sales of its other products.

“This is going to be the star of the show because all eyes are on this new device and category from Samsung,” Paolo Pescatore, founder of PP Foresight, told CNBC.

Pescatore said the Ring is a “product that can drive smartphone sales and convert users to the platform.”

Key Features and Price of the Galaxy Ring

According to Samsung, the Galaxy Ring can control the following things:

  • Sleep:The device can monitor a person's movements during sleep, sleep latency, heart rate and breathing rate, and provide analysis of sleep quality.
  • Menstrual cycle: Samsung says it uses skin temperature to track a person's menstrual cycle.
  • Heartbeat: The Galaxy Ring can notify users when their heart rate is unusually high or low. Users can also monitor their heart rate in real time.
  • Excercise:The Galaxy Ring can detect what type of workout or activity someone is doing.

The Galaxy Ring weighs between 2.3 grams and 3 grams, depending on the size you buy. It comes in three colors.

Samsung says the Galaxy Ring battery lasts up to seven days. There’s a portable charging case, just like the wireless airbuds.

The Samsung Galaxy Ring will be available from July 24 and will have a starting price of $399.99.

Samsung ecosystem play

Samsung also unveiled its latest smartwatches on Wednesday — the Galaxy Watch7 and Galaxy Watch Ultra. It’s the first time Samsung has released an “Ultra” model of its smartwatch, a device aimed at athletes and those who enjoy activities like hiking and mountain climbing.

Samsung Galaxy Watch Ultra (left) and Galaxy Watch7 (right) are the latest smartwatches from the South Korean giant. It's the first time Samsung has released an “Ultra” version of its wearable.

Arjun Kharpal | CNBC

“It's no surprise that Samsung is pushing even harder to connect its products to an 'ecosystem story.' Apple has shown that encouraging interdependence between products is a highly effective way to connect consumers to a specific brand,” Ben Wood, head of research at CCS Insight, told CNBC.

Ring is a 'niche' product

While the Galaxy Ring probably won't be a huge hit for Samsung in terms of sales volume, it does underscore the tech company's desire to grow its audience.

“The Galaxy Ring is an interesting bet by Samsung,” Wood said, adding that the product category is a “niche segment” and that about 4 million rings are expected to ship in 2025. That’s a “rounding error” compared to the 250 million smartphones expected to be sold next year.

“However, it's a category of devices that aligns well with consumers' growing interest in health tracking and complements Samsung's current smartwatch sales, particularly when it comes to sleep monitoring.”

While smartwatches are large devices, a smart ring is less obtrusive and can be much more comfortable to wear at night.

Samsung isn’t the only company selling such devices. Oura, one of the market pioneers, has sold 2.5 million units of its products in the past nine years, according to CCS Insight. With Samsung’s announcement of the Ring earlier this year, other players have become interested in the market. CNBC reported in February that the Chinese electronics player Honor is developing its own smart ring.

According to Wood, Samsung can capture the smart ring market on a larger scale than other competitors.

“Samsung will likely be the market maker, given its global reach and significant marketing budget, bringing awareness to a new product category that most consumers have never heard of,” Wood said.

The Galaxy Ring could open up new software revenue streams for Samsung. Users could get their data from the wearables through the Samsung Health app. Hon Pak, the head of Samsung's digital health team, told CNBC in February that the company was “considering” a subscription service for the app.

“For Samsung, this category may not be a huge revenue driver, but it helps expand their wearables portfolio and opens the door to new services in the future, should they choose to do so,” IDC’s Jeronimo said.

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