Oura Ring is one of the most advanced and coveted devices in the world of wearable technology (tracking your sleep, activity, and overall wellness). But what is the difference between Generation 2 and Generation 3 Oura Rings?
The introduction of the third-generation Oura Ring in October 2021 left many users wondering whether they should upgrade or stick with Gen2 Oura Ring. Is the Gen 3 worth the additional cost?
Since Gen3 Oura Ring is an improved version of Gen2, this Oura Ring Gen 2 vs Gen 3 post will focus on the changes that were introduced into the gen 3 Oura Ring and why it is way better than gen 2.
Table of Contents
Oura Ring Gen 2 vs Gen 3
Design and Comfort
The physical appearance and materials used in making Oura Ring Gen 2 and Gen 3 are very similar. They are both made from lightweight hypoallergenic titanium.
Both Oura Ring generations feature a sleek, minimalist design but the gen 2 is slightly larger and heavier than the gen 3. While the gen 2 ring weighs 7 grams, the gen 3 ring weighs between 4 and 6 grams – depending on the size.
Both the Gen 2 and Gen 3 (Heritage) rings offers 4 color choices (Black, silver, gold, and stealth). The Gen 3 (Horizon) is available in 5 colors: Black, silver, gold, rose gold, and stealth. The only addition in terms of colors is rose gold.
NB: Since you can only buy secondhand gen 2 Oura Ring, you don’t have much choice when it comes to colors.
Both ring generations come in 8 different sizes to comfortably accommodate different finger sizes. Their sizing kit and procedure are pretty similar – no changes have been made to the fitting process.
Related: Does Oura Ring Track Blood Pressure?
When it comes to sleep tracking, the Gen 3 came with great improvements. In addition to showing your sleep stages (light, REM, and deep) and how you slept through the night, the gen 3 comes with a bed guidance feature and automatic nap detection.
Gen 3 Oura Ring learns about your sleep patterns (using research-grade sensors) and shares personalized guidance on when to start winding down.
Another feature that is exclusive to gen 3 Oura Ring is Sleep Staging. The sleep staging algorithm achieves 79% agreement with gold-standard polysomnography (PSG) for four-stage sleep classification (wake, light, deep, and REM sleep).
The gen 3 Oura Ring comes with an ‘Automatic Activity Detection’ feature that can detect 30 plus activities for you – from cycling, basketball, swimming, housework, and more. You no longer need to manually start an activity.
The ring’s activity score is comprised of three core components – inactivity, activity level, and recovery.
Another feature that is only found on the gen 3 Oura ring is Activity Goals. This feature lets you personalize goal types and baseline goal numbers in the Oura App.
Related: Oura Ring Not Connecting
Heart Rate Monitoring
The Gen 3 Oura Ring has improved heart rate monitoring. Unlike the gen 2 ring, the gen 3 comes with 24/7 heart rate monitoring capabilities.
Another addition to the gen 3 is the Workout Heart Rate which lets you track your heart rate during workouts. You get to receive post-workout insights including heart rate recovery.
Both ring generations have temperature tracking capabilities, but the 3rd gen ring has an additional sensor – the advanced calibrated sensor. This is for measuring differences in your skin temperature.
The gen 3 Oura Ring uses body temperature trends to accurately predict your period – you won’t be caught off-guard again! This makes the Oura Ring 3 the perfect fitness ring for women.
Blood Oxygen Levels
Another feature in gen 3 Oura Ring (that is not available in gen 2) is the ability to track blood oxygen levels (SpO2). This will tell you if you are experiencing breathing disturbances (at night or during the day).
The gen 3 Oura Ring has more sensors than the gen 2. The 3rd generation Oura Ring comes with the following sensors:
- Green LEDs (optical heart rate sensor)
- Red LEDs (blood oxygen sensor)
- Infrared LEDs (Photoplethysmography (PPG) sensor)
- NTC sensors (negative temperature coefficient sensors)
- Advanced Calibrated Sensors: For measuring the differences in your skin temperature.
- Finger Detection IR sensor: Allows for more accurate readings.
NB: Always make sure the sensors are on the palm side of your finger. For Heritage Ring, the flat surface should be on the top of your finger. For the Horizon Ring, make sure the dimple is on the palm side of the finger.
Like the gen 2 Oura ring, the gen 3 ring is water-resistant up to 100 meters (more than 328ft). This makes it suitable for swimming, and showering – but not scuba diving. No improvements in the ring’s water resistance capabilities.
No improvements were made to the Gen3 Oura Ring’s battery. Like the Gen2 ring, the Gen3 has a battery life of up to 7 days.
If we’re being honest, the Gen3 Oura ring battery doesn’t last for the said 7 days. Maybe it is due to the added functionalities (e.g., SpO2) – that are not available in the gen2 ring.
Even though the charges are pretty similar, the gen3 charger has a color-changing LED light for easier charging status.
The Gen3 Oura ring comes with a relatively large memory size. While the Gen2 Oura ring has a memory size of 0.5 MB, the Gen3 comes with 16 MB memory.
Price and Value
The Gen3 ring is more expensive than the Gen2 ring. For instance, the gen 2 Heritage gold ring was going for $399 while the gen 3 Heritage gold ring goes for $449.
Also, the gen 3 Oura Ring comes with a paid membership that requires you to pay around $6 per month.
The high price of the generation 3 Oura ring (plus the monthly subscription) can be justified by the new features such as temperature tracking, blood oxygen levels, sleep staging, workout heart rate, and 24/7 heart rate.
NB: Even though you can you use the Gen3 Oura Ring without a subscription, I recommend you get a subscription to get the most out of the smart ring.
Can I still use Oura Ring Gen 2?
Yes, you can still use the Oura Ring Generation 2. Even though the Gen3 ring comes packed with advanced tracking features, the Gen2 ring still tracks the three most important things – sleep, activity, and readiness.
Is Oura 3 worth upgrade?
Yes, upgrading from the Gen2 Oura ring to Gen3 is worth every cent. In addition to the Gen2 features, the Gen3 ring comes with the following new tracking capabilities: blood oxygen sensing, workout heart rate, and 24/7 heart rate.
The Oura Ring 3 also has a state-of-the-art sleep staging algorithm that provides more accurate and personalized sleep tracking.
The Oura Ring Gen 2 and Gen 3 are both excellent sleep and health-tracking rings that offer a variety of useful features.
While the Gen 3 offers some new features, the Gen 2 is still a great option for those looking for a more affordable option.
Ultimately, the choice between the two generations will depend on the user’s needs, preferences, and budget.