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Comparison of Oura and Garmin: Which One is Better?

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In recent years, the popularity of wearable technologies has sharply increased, allowing consumers to track their physical fitness and health status in real time. Two companies that have attracted significant attention in this field are Oura and Garmin.

The Finnish company Oura has gained recognition for its innovative Oura Ring, a compact wearable device renowned for tracking many health metrics, such as sleep patterns, activity levels, and heart rate variability. In contrast, Garmin, an American multinational technology giant, is renowned for its extensive range of connected wearable devices, which boast features like GPS functionality, comprehensive fitness tracking, and advanced health monitoring capabilities.

While both brands offer wearable devices designed to track activity and health status, each has strengths and weaknesses. This guide closely examines the key features of the Oura Ring smart ring and Garmin smartwatches, comparing (Oura vs. Garmin) and contrasting these two devices to help you decide which wearable device best suits your needs.

Oura vs. Garmin: General Design

In terms of design, Oura and Garmin have adopted distinct approaches for their wearable devices.

The Oura Ring is a small, lightweight ring, only a few millimeters thick, which sits comfortably on the finger. The product presents users with various colors and premium finishes, such as silver, black, Stealth, and gold, allowing them to choose a style that matches their taste. Made of durable, high-quality titanium, the device features an elegant jewelry design that blends seamlessly with everyday attire.

One of the unique features of the Oura Ring is the absence of a screen, distinguishing it from traditional smartwatches and fitness bands. The ring is less distracting than smartwatches, as it does not bombard users with constant notifications. Instead, users can check their activity and sleep data by syncing the device with the Oura app on their smartphone.

In contrast, Garmin smartwatches, explicitly designed to be worn on the wrist, are bulkier than the Oura Ring but still elegant and stylish. They come in various shapes and sizes, from round to rectangular, with different colors and strap options, including leather, silicone, and metal.

Most Garmin watches feature bright, high-resolution displays. Thus, reading notifications from mobile devices and accessing other functions, including music control, GPS tracking, making phone calls, and responding to text messages, are accessible. However, all of this may be more distracting and less suitable for people who want to limit their screen time and reduce the number of distractions throughout the day.

Ultimately, both Oura and Garmin offer aesthetically pleasing wearable devices, each with designs catering to diverse preferences. The understated form factor of the Oura Ring and its minimalist design may appeal to those who prefer subtle wearable devices. Garmin smartwatches are better suited for those seeking more traditional watches with “smart” features. It would help if you also read our article on the best Garmin Connect IQ apps.

Oura vs. Garmin: Durability

In terms of durability, both Oura and Garmin offer wearable devices designed for long-term use and capable of withstanding daily wear and tear.

The Oura Ring is meticulously designed to ensure durability, crafted from lightweight titanium that provides resistance against scratches and damage, even during everyday wear.

And thanks to its 10 ATM (atmospheres) water resistance, the ring can withstand water pressure up to 100 meters for one hour. This makes them suitable for showering, swimming, and other water-based activities.

Similarly, Garmin smartwatches use high-quality materials such as stainless steel and scratch-resistant lenses to help protect the device from everyday use.

Not all Garmin devices are “waterproof”; some models are waterproof to a certain depth. For example, high-end Garmin smartwatches like the Fenix 6 and Instinct boast water resistance up to 10 ATMs, while other models like the Vivoactive 4 and Venu are rated only up to 5 ATMs.

Overall, Oura and Garmin offer durable, wearable devices resistant to everyday use. However, being more compact and lightweight, the Oura Ring is less likely to bump or scratch accidentally during daily wear.

Additionally, the Oura Ring – 10 ATM’s higher water resistance rating makes it more suitable for working in water under high pressure, while some Garmin devices may not.

Regarding “hydro isolation.”

Oura and Garmin devices are not immune to damage despite their water-resistant characteristics. They can still be damaged during high-pressure water activities, such as scuba diving or snorkeling.

It is essential to check the degree of water resistance of Oura and Garmin devices before wearing them in bodies of water. We recommend following the manufacturer’s recommendations and avoiding subjecting the devices to high water pressure or immersing them in water for extended periods to prevent damage.

Oura vs. Garmin: Activity Tracking

Regarding tracking daily activity, both Oura and Garmin provide a wide array of features and sensors to assist users in monitoring their physical activity and overall health status.

The Oura Ring can track a wide range of activities, encompassing basic exercises like walking, running, and strength training, as well as more unique activities such as surfing and housework. It automatically detects and records the type of activity, duration, intensity, and time of day. The accuracy of the data may be lower than some more advanced Garmin smartwatches and fitness trackers.

Garmin smartwatches and fitness bands are known for their advanced activity-tracking features. They are equipped with various motion sensors, GPS, and personalized instructions to help users track their progress and improve their physical fitness.

The Garmin wearable device lineup includes thinner bands like Vivofit 4 and Vivosport 5, and more advanced smartwatches like Venu 2 and Vivomove Sport, providing users with options according to their specific needs and preferences.

Overall, both Oura and Garmin have impressive health tracking capabilities, allowing users to receive information on daily and weekly activities and daily metrics such as calories burned, step count, and average heart rate during workouts.

Oura vs. Garmin: Health Monitoring

Both Oura and Garmin are renowned for their advanced health monitoring capabilities. Oura’s Ring marketing focuses on sleep monitoring, collecting detailed data on users’ sleep stages (light, deep, REM), latency, time, and quality.

The Oura companion app consolidates all sleep data with biometric readings for the night and prepares an assessment of readiness for the upcoming day. And with heart rate variability (HRV) tracking, you can monitor stress levels and recovery.

Garmin wearable devices offer a variety of health monitoring features, including sleep and stress tracking, heart rate monitoring, and menstrual cycle monitoring. Additional advanced features include “Pulse Ox,” which monitors blood oxygen saturation levels, and “Body Battery,” which utilizes activity, HRV, and stress data to assess users’ energy levels throughout the day in a user-friendly format.

In conclusion, the Garmin wearable device lineup offers more comprehensive health monitoring features than the Oura Ring. However, the latter specializes more in sleep tracking, and its HRV tracking feature can provide valuable information on stress and recovery. Additionally, it’s less cumbersome to wear during sleep compared to wrist-worn devices.

Oura vs. Garmin: Battery Life

Oura and Garmin wearable devices differ in battery life. The battery life of the Oura Ring (Gen 3) ranges from 4 to 7 days, depending on usage, before you need to charge it using the included wireless charging dock. On the other hand, Garmin smartwatches have varying battery life depending on the model: some last up to 20 days, while others last up to 50 hours with GPS/LTE enabled.

Garmin smartwatches generally have longer battery life than Oura Ring, but it varies significantly depending on usage and the specific model. They can be helpful for users who want to use their devices for an extended period without worrying about recharging.

However, the battery life of the Oura Ring, despite its compact form factor, remains impressive, and the included wireless charging base makes it easy to keep the device charged and ready for use.

Oura vs. Garmin: User Experience

Garmin smartwatches use an operating system that provides an intuitive and customizable interface. The operating system is well-designed and easy to use. It lets users quickly view their health and fitness data, customize watch faces and widgets, and access hundreds of proprietary and third-party apps from the Connect IQ Store. Some models even have built-in music storage and support for contactless payments.

The Garmin Connect mobile app is also well-designed, with a simple interface that allows users to delve into their health and fitness data in detail. The app offers a range of features that you can play around with to personalize your experience, including customizable data fields and information panels. It also includes social features where users can communicate with friends and family and participate in challenges and leaderboards.

In contrast, the Oura Ring does not have a screen and relies solely on the accompanying mobile app for data analysis. The inability to view data directly on the device may be inconvenient for users who need quick and easy access to their health and fitness data.

Fortunately, the Oura mobile app offers a clear and concise overview of users’ sleep and activity data in the form of easy-to-understand metrics. Additionally, you receive personalized recommendations based on user data and goals, helping them make informed decisions about their well-being.

Built-in software is what makes Garmin wearable devices suitable for standalone use. But if you are okay with relying on your phone for data analysis, Oura remains a good option.

Oura vs. Garmin: Which One Fits You?

In summary, both Oura and Garmin provide outstanding options for tracking physical fitness and health metrics.

The Oura Ring is a subtle and stylish wearable accessory, ideal for tracking sleep and providing water resistance up to 100 meters. However, the lack of a screen means users can rely entirely on the app for data analysis, and its activity-tracking capabilities are less advanced than those on Garmin devices.

Garmin smartwatches and fitness trackers offer more comprehensive features for monitoring physical fitness and health, accurate activity tracking, built-in GPS, Connect IQ apps, mobile payments, and music storage. With the built-in operating system, users can leave their phones at home, track their activity, and stay connected. However, some Garmin models may be bulkier and less discreet than the Oura Ring.

Availability depends on the model, but both Oura and Garmin wearable devices are widely available online and at official retail outlets. Ultimately, the choice between them depends on individual needs and preferences.