Ultrahuman Ring AIR: Your personal fitness coach on your finger

Ultrahuman Ring AIR sets new fitness tech standards

ultrahuman ring air

Ultrahuman is a startup based out of Bangalore that's into fitness and health devices as well as community building. They launched their new Ring AIR about two months back, which I have had for a few weeks now, too. Priced at Rs. 28,499, this ring aims to provide various fitness-based data points and measurements. Let's find out if it really delivered and if it's worth that price tag.

Setup and box content: First things first, you don't have to guess what size of the ring should fit you well. The firm first ships you a sizing kit, which has different samples for each size that you can try for yourself and then order the size that you find the best fit (it's only available in one color for now – matte black). Ultrahuman suggests you wear it on your index, middle, or ring finger. The Ring AIR is IPX9 water-resistant, so you can keep it on for your gym sessions or wear it under the rain just fine.

In the Ring AIR box, apart from the ring itself, you get the charging dock, a USB Type-C to C cable along with a few setup instructions and suggestions for day-to-day use. The Ring AIR is made out of Tungsten with Tungsten Carbide Carbon coating done on the outer shell. The inside part is hypoallergenic epoxy resin, which is smooth and comfortable. Of course, this comfort can vary depending on your skin type, but I didn't have any skin or related issues when wearing the ring.

The ring is also quite thin and lightweight, weighing around 2.4 grams to 3.6 grams and measuring from 2.45mm to 2.8mm in thickness, depending on the size you choose.

Sensors and connectivity: Talking about sensors, you have plenty of those here – from heart rate monitoring and oxygen saturation to an infrared photoplethysmography sensor and six-axis motion sensors. You can connect and sync the ring with your smartphone using the Ultrahuman app, available for both Android and iOS, connecting over Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE).

Features and uses: Let's start with the movement index, tracking your steps, calories, and active hours done in a day. Since this device is worn on a finger and not over a wrist, it's bound to be a little less accurate when it comes to step tracking. But it generally was in the ballpark of 10%-12% around a smartwatch tracking for the same period. You can also get details of metabolism, glucose data (available only when used in conjunction with the Ultrahuman M1, a CGM powered glucose monitoring platform), and performance diet, which might throw in a lot of interesting stuff to check over. The workout mode got recently added, allowing you to track different workout types and more granular details using your phone's GPS connectivity, but the feature is still in beta, so it's probably not worth judging its accuracy and stability for now. SpO2 tracking is also in beta, which currently seems to be not very accurate when compared with an oximeter.

Sleep tracking is something the company also highlights in its marketing campaign, and I found it to be a decent enough feature but not quite a home run. You can track sleep duration, which seems to be accurate enough to monitor how well and long you're sleeping at night.

Another useful measurement is resting heart rate as well as heart rate variability. I found its tracking of heart rate quite consistent and reliable when compared to some other dedicated high-end devices. The readings seem to be stable and not show any unexplainable outliers. The Ultrahuman app presents all this data and performance measurements in a nice-looking UI with fairly detailed structure. You can further explore the app, try the activities tab for things such as meditation, check the timeline for the device itself, and so on.

Battery life: Coming to the battery life, the ring is powered by a 26mAh lithium-polymer battery unit and lasts for about 5 to 5.5 days, which isn't far from the company's claim of 6 full days. It charges from near zero to full in about two hours. The charging dock has an LED light in the front to indicate the charging. You need to sync data from the ring with the app on your phone every cycle before the ring runs out of battery so as to not lose any unsynced data. I really liked the Ring AIR's form factor and how it didn't feel off or bulky on your finger at all when worn during the day and even while sleeping, which you may not like doing with a smartwatch on your wrist that much.

Verdict: One thing the Ultrahuman team deserves credit for is updates the Ring AIR has been getting and the timeline for new features in the pipeline. A lot of times, smart fitness companies don't provide any such updates once the product has been shipped, barring maybe one or two bug fixes. And of course, you can update the firmware of the Ring AIR using the Ultrahuman app.

It's also worth noting that there's no recurring subscription requirements here. You buy a Ring AIR for Rs. 28,490 and get the whole package, no fees to be paid later on, which a lot of folks might prefer compared to how it is with other smart rings out there today.

All in all, you get a really sleek and discreet smart ring with decent battery life, accurate heart tracking, though SpO2 (in beta) and steps tracking hopefully get better. The app that you would have to use every now and then is also not buggy or difficult to get around, so that's a plus too. If you're somebody who is looking to get a bit more serious about personal fitness and looking to track your progress and daily performance more granularly, the Ring AIR  is a good enough option from what's available in the market. But be aware that it's far from a finished product that does not track every single thing accurately just yet, plus there are a number of features such as arterial stiffness and changes (among others) coming up.

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