Samsung Galaxy Ring to launch in August with limited functionality

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Samsung Galaxy Ring to launch in August with limited functionality

  • Samsung may release the Galaxy Ring on July 26.
  • Galaxy Ring price and battery life could be revealed together with the Z Fold 6.
  • The Ring's medical-grade features will still need FDA certification.

Samsung approached the marketing of its brand new Galaxy Ring wearable form factor in a rather unusual manner. There have been rumors that it is working on a smart ring for a good year before it officially confirmed it this January during the Galaxy S24 Unpacked event announcements.

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What it didn't officially do, however, is release it, or even announce the Galaxy Ring specs, price and features. Google does something similar with its Pixel line of phones which usually get announced in the spring and released in the fall, but at least it gives way more tidbits at first and then gradually adds info and builds up interest over time.

Samsung Galaxy Ring Unpacked event and release

  • Unpacked announcement: Wednesday, July 10 in Paris (est.)
  • Release date: July 26 (est.)

According to local Korean media The Elec, the Galaxy Ring price and specs will indeed be announced at Samsung's Z Fold 6 Unpacked event in July, and the wearable will be launched together with Samsung's 2024 foldables in early August. Samsung reportedly pulled the Galaxy Z Fold 6 Unpacked event and release date forward because of the Olympic Games in Paris.

Last year, Samsung announced its Fold and Flip phones on July 26 and released them on August 11. Coincidentally, however, July 26-August 11 is exactly the time of the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, so Samsung had to pull its Unpacked event forward by about two weeks.

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Samsung, after all, is an official Worldwide Olympic Partner and that contract is running until the next 2028 Olympic Games. Moreover, the official Samsung theme for the Olympic Games now is "Open always wins." Say what you will about that play on words, but the 25 athletes from Team Samsung at the Olympics may very well be wearing the new Samsung Galaxy Ring and the new foldables if Samsung wants to fully capitalize on its Olympics partnership.

Galaxy Ring health and fitness features at launch

While Samsung may have timed the release of the Galaxy Ring together with the opportunity to brandish its new health and fitness wearable form factor to millions in a global audience, the smart ring functionalities may be limited at launch.

According to local industry insiders, Samsung is preparing an initial batch of 400,000 Galaxy Ring units and will have nine sizes to choose from for every finger out there, fat or slim. The smart ring is apparently not complex to make and doesn't contain any difficult to source components, so Samsung is taking it slow and can ramp up production quickly if it senses that demand is outstripping its forecast.

While there will be enough Galaxy Ring units to go around upon release, the smart wearable may not launch with the full suite of medical-grade functionalities its sensors and form factor could be capable of. 

Since the wearable is a brand-new device and form factor for Samsung, it will have to do the usual FCC radio wave certification song and dance stateside before it can be submitted to the FDA for medical-grade functions certification as well. Samsung is expected to start the Galaxy Ring production in May, and it takes about a year before the FDA can clear it as a medical device, with the process usually starting in the fall. 

After all, before the Galaxy Watch line was certified for ECG and arrhythmia or blood pressure measurements, it also went on sale with limited functionality. In any case, what Samsung will probably have on the Galaxy Ring at launch will be advanced fitness and basic health tracking features such as sleep, pulse, or even blood oxygen tracking. 

Even so, the advantage before a smartwatch will be that the Galaxy Ring can be worn tighter to offer more accurate measurements in real time and will be way more unobtrusive when it comes to sleep tracking, not to mention the potential for a much lower price compared to the Galaxy Watch series.

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