The best budget smart ring can be hard to find, but it is an excellent option for those who want an alternative to some of the more common wearables out there today.
While the best smartwatches, for instance, are very impressive, a top-tier smart ring can still perform a lot of the same functions. However, it's worth noting that this technology has to be more compact, and is also fairly new too, which does make it hard to find budget options in this field.
That said, many of the options we have picked out can track things like sleep cycles and your heart rate, and some can even do contactless payments or help with phone calls thanks to using your bones as a way of transferring sound. That sounds absurd, but hey, this is the future.
We've selected these rings based on their specs, first and foremost, but have also kept price in mind of course. Typically, some of the very top smart rings come in at around $300 to $350, so we've picked out products around $100 or less. With that in mind, here are our top picks...
Best budget smart rings
1. ORII Smart Ring
Best smart ring overall
If you're only just hearing about this new form of wearable tech, then the ORII Smart Ring is sure to get you interested with its premium construction and futuristic features.
ORII started out as the Kickstarter project of a Hong Kong company that set out to make a product to aid the visually impaired, after being inspired by the CEO's blind father.
As a result, the product comes with a host of features that bring us closer to the future, not the least of which is its bone conduction technology which allows a user to put their finger to their ear and hear soundwaves that travel up their fingerbone.
Bone conduction actually circumvents the eardrum, which results in 'superior audio quality even in noisy environments.
The ORII Smart Ring alerts you to different notifications with custom LED lights and vibration patterns, which can then be interacted with through its gesture-sensing capabilities or voice assistant, making for a truly screenless way of dealing with modern technology.
Read More: Best bone conduction headphones
2. HECERE T5577
Best RFID smart ring
Most Smart Rings on the market interact with devices through NFC technology, but HECERE has given us an RFID solution to the problem of phone connectivity.
The HECERE T5577 comes in 3 different data and transmission styles: UID 13.56MHz, T5577 125KHz, and programmed 125KHz, each of which has different utilities.
Each style of the ring comes with 360-degree omnidirectional sensing, which they claim is of higher sensitivity than similar products on the market.
In terms of material, the ring is made of zirconia ceramic, which has great hardness, wear durability, fracture resistance, and even flexibility compared to other ceramics.
Read more: Best fitness trackers and watches
3. Bkrtondsy Smart Ring
Best smart ring for entertainment.
Bkrtondsy has designed a smart ring for the express purpose of entertainment. Its design is simple but modern, decorated with only a few touch-sensitive buttons and an LED.
It connects to devices via Bluetooth and its buttons are multifunctional, providing wireless assistance for things like scrolling TikTok, reading e-books, listening to music, and watching videos. This could prove useful if you've just set up a tablet stand for your bed and don't want to move.
It charges in 30 minutes, which can last up to 12 hours of use-time and 48 hours of standby, resulting in a product that can really go the mile if you need it to.
When it comes to its IPX rating, it has an IPX8 waterproof rating, which means that you can dive to a depth of 5 meters and stay there for 30 minutes and not have to worry about any water damage, so you won't have to stress about taking off your ring every time you run the tap.
A last little bonus is that Bkrtondsy claims it has an AI chip inside which continuously monitors feedback strength and user key strength so that it can optimise use in real time.
Read More: Best fitness watches for men
4. ArcX Smart Ring
Best smart ring for fitness
The ArcX Smart Ring is another crowdfunded creation, this time hailing from IndieGoGo, which is still where the ring can be purchased. It's one of the more recent projects, and it certainly shows from its range of features. So let's take a look at what makes this fitness-focused ring so good.
The ArcX has honed in on its control options and settled for a clickable joystick that offers different inputs depending on which mode it's in, call mode, playlist mode, and camera mode, for example.
The ring is charged via USB-C and has up to 5 days of typical use and 20 days of standby time.
Its battery isn't the only long-lasting thing about it either, with a silicone body that's drop-tested to 1.7m and sports an IP67 dust and water rating.
The ArcX also has its own app which allows you to customise different mode profiles and update the firmware and is freely available for both iOS and Android.
Read More: Best fitness watches for women
5. HECERE Waterproof NFC Smart Ring
Best ceramic smart ring
For another smooth ceramic option, you'll want to check out this ring from HECERE. It utilises rewritable NFC technology, which allows you to programme it to do practically anything you want.
Much like HECERE's RFID ring, the Hecere Waterproof NFC Smart Ring has a Zirconia Ceramic body, ensuring a long-lasting, fracture-resistant product. The ring also sports the same 360-degree omnidirectional sensing system, but thanks to its NFC capabilities it has more general utility.
The ring works via its NFC Forum Type2 215 chip, which broadcasts at 13.56MHz and allows for easy read/write capabilities via any suitable NFC app, so you'll be able to customise its use however you want.
Since it's a passive NFC transmitter, you don't have to charge it. Combine that with a data storage time of more than 10 years and its Zirconia Ceramic body, you'll have a product that'll just keep on going.
Read More: Best swimming watches
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Don't worry if you've come this far and have a couple of questions. We've answered the most commonly asked queries below.
Are smart rings reliable?
We'd say so. Most of these rings are pretty robust with decent IP ratings, drop testing, and strong build thanks to the form factor, so they're not likely to break too easily.
Can you shower with a smart ring?
Most of the time, yes, but not every ring is waterproof. Every one of our choices is at least splash-proof, and the majority are waterproof, some of which are even rated for up to 5m of depth, so unless you're planning on bathing in the deep sea, there are options.
What can you do with a smart ring?
As with most things, it depends on which choice you've gone for. Some of the rings on the list are only passive transmitters meant to store a command or some data for quick inputting and retrieval, whereas others have gesture controls, joysticks, and audio recognition.
The bottom line is that you can find different smart rings for different purposes, so it's worth looking at all the choices to find the utility that suits you best.