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Apple Watch Series 6 vs Oura Ring (2021): Comparing Apple’s Watch to the Popular Smart Ring

Between the Apple Watch Series 6 and the Oura Ring, the difference isn’t only in their form factors but also in their fitness and health tracking capabilities.

Essentially, the Apple Watch Series 6 is more feature-packed, and compared to the Oura Ring, it’s more balanced in tracking health and activity. That’s because the smart ring has a stronger focus on health and monitoring sleep. But there’s more to it than that.

Apple Watch Series 6 vs Oura Ring Comparison Chart

ModelApple Watch Series 6Oura Ring
 Apple Watch Series 6 vs Oura Ring
PriceCheck Price at OuraRing.com
Sizes40mm, 44mmCustom fit
Heart-Rate MonitorYesYes
ECGYesNo
SpO2YesNo
Temperature TrackingNoYes
Sleep TrackingYesYes
Female Health TrackingYesNo
ConnectivityWi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, LTE (optional)Bluetooth Low Energy
NFC PaymentYes, Apple PayNo
Battery LifeUp to 18 hoursUp to 7 days
Weight40 mm: 30.5 g (aluminum), 39.7 g (stainless steel), 34.6 g (titanium)
44 mm: 36.5 g (aluminum), 47.1 g (stainless steel), 41.3 g (titanium)
4 to 6g, depending on size

Form Factor

The most noticeable difference is the Apple Watch Series 6 sits on the wrist and the Oura Ring is wrapped around the finger.

Apple Watch Series 6 vs Oura Ring Form Factor
The Apple Watch Series 6 with the silicone rubber Solo Loop (left) and the braided Solo Loop (right).

At the risk of pointing out the obvious, the Apple Watch Series 6 is worn on the wrist, while the Oura Ring is worn on the finger. The latter has an advantage of sorts here since it leaves your wrist free for other accessories, such as a bracelet, luxury watch, or maybe even a smartwatch.

Now the Apple Watch Series 6 comes in either 40mm or 44mm with many customization and color options to choose from. In the Oura Ring’s case, there’s Balance, which has a pointed top, or Heritage, which has a flat top. Aside from style, it doesn’t matter which you pick, as both have the same functionality.

Apple Watch Series 6 vs Oura Ring
The Oura Ring Balance (left) and Heritage (right).

It’s also worth mentioning that Apple’s smartwatch is easier to get ahold of. To explain, it’s recommended that first-time buyers of the Oura Ring use the company’s free sizing kit before making a purchase. That way they’d know which measurement will fit their finger best. After figuring that out, Oura will then ship the smart ring. 

Needless to say, the Apple Watch Series 6 has adjustable bands. For the record, there’s also the seamless Solo Loop that’s available in nine lengths, and it has a downloadable and printable tool to measure your wrist.

Both fitness trackers can be used for swim tracking since they’re par for the course in water resistance. To be exact, the Apple Watch can survive up to 50 meters, while the Oura Ring doubles that to up to 100 meters.

Click here to see the difference between the 40mm and 44mm Apple Watch.

Health Tracking

The Oura Ring beats the Apple Watch Series 6 in sleep tracking.

Apple Watch Series 6 vs Oura Ring Health Tracking
The blood oxygen sensor of the Apple Watch Series 6 (left) and the sensors of the Oura Ring (right).

To no one’s surprise, the Apple Watch Series 6 can track more metrics than the Oura Ring, thanks to having more room under the hood. That said, it features sleep tracking, as well as an ECG or electrocardiogram and a combination of green, red, and infrared LED lights to measure SpO2 or blood oxygen level. It also alerts you whenever it detects abnormally high or low heart rate.

Expanding more on its SpO2 tracking, the Apple watch can periodically measure your blood oxygen level throughout the day and when you’re sleeping via the Blood Oxygen app. You can also do this manually, and the whole process will only take 15 seconds.

Meanwhile, the Oura Ring uses an accelerometer and gyroscope, infrared LEDs for heart rate and breathing, and an NTC body sensor for temperature, which is something the Apple Watch Series 6 doesn’t have. It breaks down the info it gathers into three daily scores, namely Readiness, Activity, and Sleep. It goes without saying that these give you a better idea of your overall health.

As noted, the Oura Ring has an emphasis on sleep tracking, providing valuable data like how long you’ve been in each sleep stage (i.e., light, deep, and REM). That’s made possible because of the aforementioned sensors it has, doing a better job at it than the Apple Watch Series 6, which doesn’t track REM cycles on its native Sleep app.

Check out our list of the best fitness trackers with heart rate monitoring.

Fitness Tracking

Overall, the Apple Watch Series 6 is better at fitness tracking.

Apple Watch Series 6 vs Oura Ring Fitness Tracking
Swim tracking on the Apple Watch Series 6 (in photo).

Again, the Apple Watch Series 6 is more multi-functional than the Oura Ring. First off, it has the usual fitness tracking you’d get from any tracker worth its salt. Aside from that, it has an always-on altimeter, allowing it to provide real-time info on your elevation, which is perfect for hikers. It also has built-in GPS, so runners and cyclists can record speed and distance even without a smartphone.

The Apple Watch Series 6 has more workout modes, and watchOS 7 even adds new ones like Dance and Core Training to the mix. Activity Rings are still in the picture too, and they’re just the thing for that little motivational push to get moving around every day and get in shape.

In contrast, the Oura Ring isn’t as capable. Sure, it has the basic stuff, like counting steps and calories burned, and it even keeps tabs on inactive time and gives an Activity score, as mentioned earlier. However, it lags behind in a few but important points. 

For starters, the Oura Ring can’t track your heart rate during exercise. Straight from the horse’s mouth, the smart ring can only track heart rate during “restful moments” or sleep. In addition, it doesn’t have integrated GPS, meaning that those who work out outdoors won’t get detailed info on their runs or cycling sessions.

Price and Value

The Apple Watch Series 6 has more to offer at a similar price.

Apple Watch Series 6 vs Oura Ring Price and Value
The Oura Ring with a diamond finish is more expensive than your usual Apple Watch Series 6.

How much you’ll fork over for either wearable depends on the configurations and customizations you choose, but at their most affordable price points, they’re more or less comparable. Their value for money is a different story, however.

Arguably, the Apple Watch Series 6 gives more bang for your buck simply because it can do more across the board. It has things like automatic fall detection and emergency SOS, and it has music controls and NFC payment, to name a few. Also, if you’re already invested in Apple’s ecosystem, it’s one of the best smartwatches you can get.

Now the Oura Ring doesn’t have as many features in comparison, but what it brings to the table does justify its price tag. Specifically, it has a not-so-common form factor for smart wearables, freeing up your wrist for other accessories. On top of that, its detailed sleep tracking is hard to beat. Just keep in mind you’ll be spending a pretty penny for it.

Verdict

When it comes to the Apple Watch Series 6 and the Oura Ring, two is better than one.

To sum things up, the Apple Watch Series 6 delivers a more rounded experience, winning in fitness and health tracking during the day. However, the Oura Ring blows the Apple watch out of the water in sleep tracking.

Rather than declare a winner, it’d be better to say that each one has its own strong points and complements the other. After all, the Oura Ring is compatible with the Apple Health app, and it fills in the gaps in the Apple watch, particularly sleep and temperature tracking. 

FAQs

📌 Is the Oura Ring better than the Apple Watch?

The Oura Ring is better at tracking sleep, but Apple’s smartwatches are better at fitness tracking and offer more smart features.

📌 Which finger is the best to wear the Oura Ring?

While the Oura Ring can be worn on any finger, Oura says it’s best to wear it on either your right, middle, or index finger.

📌 Can I shower with the Oura Ring?

Yes, the Oura Ring has a water resistance of up to 100 meters. It can be used while you bathe or when you go for a swim.

📌 Is the Apple Watch Series 6 worth the buy?

Yes, the Apple Watch Series 6 has a ton of features and accurate health and fitness tracking. For one thing, it has an SpO2 sensor and ECG, and it stands out from the competition with emergency SOS and automatic fall detection.

Last update on 2022-08-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Vincent Lanaria

Senior Editor, researcher and writer passionate about running, cooking, and how technology mixes with the two.