Oura Ring vs Fitbit: 4 Must-know Facts
- Fitness and activity trackers like Oura Ring and Fitbit are estimated to earn a whopping $17.3 billion in 2022 alone.
- Oura is valued at $2.55 billion in 2022.
- Fitbit has over 110 million active users worldwide.
- Despite having fitness tracking capabilities, the Oura Ring actually considers itself to be a “sleep and recovery tracker.”
While many consider Fitbit as the first consumer fitness tracker, that honor goes to Manpo-kei, or ‘10,000 Steps Meter’ from 1965. Fitness trackers have undergone countless improvements and upgrades in the subsequent decades. In the past, it was enough to simply track activity. Modern, fitness trackers incorporate smart technology. Perhaps no other devices exemplify this better than Oura Ring and Fitbit. Between the two fitness trackers, which one is superior? Oura Ring vs Fitbit: Which one comes out on top?
It seems there’s more that separates Oura Ring and Fitbit than unites them. In this guide, we see what sets them apart using side-by-side comparison, key differences, pros and cons, and their respective histories. Ultimately, you will know which product is better: Oura Ring vs Fitbit.
Side-by-Side Comparison: Oura Ring vs Fitbit
|Developer||Oura Health Oy||Fitbit, Inc.|
|Annual Revenue||$95.5 million (2021)||$1.21 billion (2021)|
|Main Offering(s)||Oura Ring Gen3||Versa 4|
|Battery Life||Up to one week||Up to 12 hours|
|Units Sold||More than 1 million||More than 125 million|
Oura Ring vs Fitbit: Key Differences
Obviously, design is the greatest difference between the Oura Ring and the Fitbit. As its name suggests, the former is ring-shaped while the latter is a wristband. Fitbit first debuted with a clip design. The Oura Ring monitors activity levels and health vitals with a series of sensors along the inside of the ring. Fitbit does something similar, just with the wrist instead of the finger. Both rely on infrared technology for some of the finer health details such as blood oxygen.
Design differences may seem like a cosmetic thing, but they directly impact on the device data. While the ring design is less likely to get in the way compared to the wristband design, levels taken from the wrist appear more accurate than those taken from the finger. Oura Ring designs have improved upon early inaccuracies, but some hiccups, especially with sleep tracking, exist. This gives Fitbit’s design a clear advantage over Oura’s.
The latest Oura Ring — the third-generation device — will cost around $300. This is three times more than the cheapest Fitbit, the Inspire 3, which will retail for $100. This price difference matters for casual users. $300 is roughly the price of a new Apple Watch. Needless to say, Oura Ring has fewer features than an Apple Watch. Clearly, this is another advantage for Fitbit: Their products are much cheaper without sacrificing the technology’s quality.
Both Oura and Fitbit can track sleep, activity, blood oxygen, heart rate, and more. These are obviously the core features of any activity tracker. Oura and Fitbit have these key features in common. So, what features are exclusive to each device?
Fitbit comes with guided breathing sessions and an alarm feature. Oura, on the other hand, comes with guided meditation. It’s a similar but nevertheless distinct experience to Fitbit’s guided breathing. All in all, we’ll call this one a tie. Both activity trackers come with their own set of similar but distinct features.
The History of Oura Ring
The Oura Ring was made and developed by Oura Health Oy in 2015. The Finnish company initially started as a health technology company in 2013. Oura Health’s founders — Petteri Lahtela, Markku Koskela, and Kari Kivelä — had an idea for something bigger and more disruptive to the world of activity monitors. Called the Oura Ring, the company debuted their proof of concept in the form of a Kickstarter campaign in 2016. They raised their first $2.3 million through seed funding in 2015, began a Kickstarter campaign the year after, and officially launched the ring in 2017.
The Oura Ring gathers data and health information from the finger of the wearer much the same way as your typical heart rate monitor or activity bracelet. Yet, unlike Fitbit or other competitors, the data and health information it collects come exclusively from the finger, not the wrist. This data is then sent to the wearer’s smartphone via Bluetooth, where it’s organized by the Oura Health app. It’s all based on infrared LEDs. With Oura’s proprietary algorithm, the LED light can reflect through the skin and be analyzed for changes in reflection.
The second-generation Oura Ring came out in 2018 and was closer in spirit to what a first-generation device would be. Complete with a wide release and a new, slimmer redesign, the second-gen Oura Ring made the first-gen product look more like a proof of concept. The third-generation Oura Ring dropped in 2021. It came fully loaded with several brand-new features. These include 24/7 heart rate monitoring, cycle tracking and prediction, blood oxygen monitoring, and more. In 2022, Oura topped a million units sold.
The Success of Fitbit
Obviously, Oura Health was after a bit of Fitbit’s massive market share. It was founded in 2007 as Healthy Metrics Research, Inc but soon changed their name to Fitbit, Inc. prior to the release of their first product. Dubbed the Fitbit Tracker, the device was clipped onto clothing and worn during workouts and other daily activities. At the start, the Fitbit Tracker could only monitor steps, distance, calories, and sleep. Later models introduced additional features, not to mention abandoning the clip design in exchange for a wristband design.
While Fitbit had seen plenty of success prior to its redesign, the move from clip to wristband sent Fitbit to new heights. Along with this redesign, Fitbit also introduced the ability to sync the trackers to your smartphone via the Fitbit app. This opened up a whole new market for the activity tracker brand. In addition to their activity, users could now track meals, activities, weight loss, daily or weekly goals. A social aspect also allowed users to keep up with each other’s progress. Around the same time, Fitbit also entered the smartwatch market.
Fitbit was bought by Alphabet, Google’s parent company, in early 2021. With an estimated $1.21 billion in revenue for Fitbit’s first year under Alphabet ownership, it’s clear that the two are a match made in fitness heaven. Fitbit‘s latest products include the Versa 4, the Inspire 3, and the Sense 2. These three new offerings introduced key improvements to the wristbands’ tracking features, battery, and overall activity monitoring. Despite this success, some still worry about privacy under the new ownership.
Pros and Cons of Oura Ring vs Fitbit
|Innovative, subtle design||Costs anywhere from $299 to $349|
|Longer battery life than Fitbit||Some key features are prone to inaccuracies|
|Smartphone and Bluetooth functionality||No digital display|
|Waterproof and built to last||Ring is not flexible|
|A range of affordable options||Very short battery life|
|Bright, informative digital display||Google ownership raises privacy concerns|
|Accurate health and activity measurements||Can sometimes feel uncomfortable during certain workouts and activities|
|User-friendly social features||Less features than an Apple Watch|
Oura Ring vs Fitbit: Which Is Best?
The Oura Ring is a cool and innovative device while the Fitbit is affordable and functional. Each has its pros and cons. So, which of these activity trackers is truly the best? Fitbit has been around longer than Oura and has more products to offer. Looking at features and price, Fitbit come out ahead of Oura’s. However, both have solid fitness and activity tracking capabilities.
Fitbit still deserves to take home the trophy. Not only does it have a superior and more accurate tech, but a more functional design, dependable features, and affordable pricing. Ultimately, it’s more than just another disruptive, one-of-a-kind design as Oura’s. Still, there’s plenty of room for Oura to make improvements in generations to come. For now, though, Fitbit is the superior activity tracker.
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