Samsung Teases Galaxy Ring with S24: What’s the Reason?

What you should know

  • Samsung teased a smart health tracker, the Galaxy Ring, during the Galaxy S24 Unpacked event. The company did not provide any details about the product’s features or release date.
  • The Galaxy Ring is rumored to be a new form factor for Samsung, offering a closer fit around a finger than a Galaxy Watch on the wrist. This could potentially allow for more accurate vitals tracking.
  • One reason for the tease could be that Samsung is awaiting regulatory approval for the Galaxy Ring’s health and fitness tracking functions. If these functions require approval from entities like the FDA, this could explain why Samsung has not yet released the product.
  • Samsung may also be positioning the Galaxy Ring as a competitor to other smart rings on the market, such as those from Oura, Ultrahuman, and Circular. The company may also be aiming to compete with Apple, which has filed a number of smart ring patents.

Full Story

Samsung’s Galaxy S24 Unpacked event had a surprise in store. Out of nowhere, they teased a smart health tracker in an “alternative” form factor. This was a “one more thing” moment. But they didn’t announce the Galaxy Ring with all its health or fitness features, nor a release date. Instead, they just threw the idea out there.

Why? We’re not sure. The Galaxy S24 preorder deals are now active. The S24+ and S24 Ultra are available to buy with free storage upgrades and generous trade offers. But the Galaxy Ring? It’s still up in the air.

Why did Samsung show the Galaxy Ring now? There could be several reasons. They chose the January Unpacked event for the Galaxy S24 series to throw their hat in the (smart) ring. Rumors have been swirling that they’re preparing a new health tracker with this intriguing form factor. There are even patents and Health app logs hinting at its features. So why now and why just a tease?

There was nothing else to announce. The Galaxy Book 4 series was unveiled at the CES 2024 expo in Las Vegas a few days back. Foldables, tablets, or smartwatches are reserved for the summer. Samsung may have simply thought to add the Galaxy Ring tease to the mix during an event where it wouldn’t get lost in all the announcement noise.

Granted, the Galaxy S-line is its flagship series of phones. There were enough S24 hardware and AI upgrades to keep the Samsung fan’s attention busy during the keynote presentation. Yet, Samsung knew that most of the design and specs have been leaked already.

Moreover, Samsung does grand design changes to its top series of phones every three years or so. 2024 is not one of those times. So, it may be trying to preempt the inevitable impression for an iterative upgrade of a somewhat bland mix of phones. The specs and features are mostly a known commodity.

In that train of thought, Samsung’s Galaxy Ring tease reminds of Apple’s similar “One more thing!” stunts during its earlier announcement days. These were kept for exclusive and exciting devices or features. If Samsung was trying to mimic the “one more thing” approach, it worked. It created a lot of buzz around the Galaxy Ring. Plus, Samsung doesn’t use device teasers all that often.

All that remains now is for Samsung to actually deliver the smart ring. If they do, they would’ve already beaten Apple’s AirPower vaporware. Given that Samsung is teasing it at its first Unpacked event for 2024, the Galaxy Ring release date could very well coincide with that of the devices it keeps for its other big Unpacked festivity in the summer.

Actually, according to local media, Samsung decided to release its new Galaxy Ring health and fitness tracker together with the Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Z Flip 6. This is how it delivers its other wearables. Does that mean there won’t be a Galaxy Watch 7 in the summer? It remains to be seen. But the smart ring is a brand new form factor that is an either/or proposition.

The Galaxy Ring is rumored to come in four sizes to fit different finger types. And, given Wednesday’s tease, Samsung may have already decided on the health and fitness tracking functions that will go into it. If those require regulatory approvals like some Galaxy Watch functions, that would explain why Samsung may be ready with the design and features, but will have to wait for the FDA or other federal entities to test it and give it their stamp of approval as a medical device.

This process takes quite a lot of time. Instead of waiting for the regulatory gods to say their heavy word after the release, Samsung may have simply opted to wait and release the Galaxy Ring with all the bells and whistles. The next round of regulatory approvals, however, is not before the fall. So if Samsung wants to launch the Galaxy Ring this summer together with the Z Fold 6, it should’ve already gone through the process.

Competition is another factor. Samsung may be keeping an eye on the competition in the health tracker field. While the Galaxy Ring will be a new form factor for Samsung, it is not for other competitors. Samsung may be willing to sacrifice some surprise for the sake of postponing a purchase from the wearable’s direct competitors like Oura, Ultrahuman or Circular.

The Oura ring in brushed titanium is one example. According to Korean industry insiders, the Galaxy Ring may have been concocted as a way to take more accurate vitals than the Galaxy Watch. This is because it offers a much closer fit around a finger than a Galaxy Watch on the wrist.

Apple has filed a number of smart ring patents as well. Samsung allegedly wants to position the Galaxy Ring as an accessory to extended reality devices. This is similar to the Apple Vision Pro headset that is launching next month and may usher in an AR/VR craze that has eluded many others. It remains to be seen what others will do with their headsets or smart wearables after Samsung’s stunt. But it certainly had a good reason to preempt it all with the Galaxy Ring tease at the Galaxy S24 event.

Derrick Flynn
Derrick Flynn
With over four years of experience in tech journalism, Derrick has honed his skills and knowledge to become a vital part of the PhonesInsights team. His intuitive reviews and insightful commentary on the latest smartphones and wearable technology consistently provide our readers with valuable information.


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