I’ve been wearing the NexRing smart ring that is described as a “health lab wrapped around your finger”. It is a digital smart ring available in South Africa for R4 995. Before I dive into my review, a quick introduction.

What is a smart ring?

Smart rings are a type of wearable technology that lets you monitor your health and well-being, similar to a smartwatch, except it does not have a screen. It looks like a normal band but it has sensors built-in, which sits on the inside of the ring.

Along with Bluetooth connectivity, it pairs with a smartphone app so you can access your data. The difference between a smartwatch and smart ring is that you can be more discreet about it as the ring is not as obvious as a smartwatch.

And the biggest criticism for smartwatches over the years has been that it’s bulky and doesn’t look good, which is subjective. A fair amount of watches are masculine and don’t fit dainty wrists. If you’re someone who stayed away from a smartwatch for this reason, you may be interested in a smart ring.

One of the most popular smart rings on the market is the Oura ring, though the newest model does not ship to South Africa. Then there’s the Samsung Galaxy Ring that was shown off at MWC Barcelona, which has not officially launched, and there are rumours that Apple is considering making a smart ring.

NexRing – an introduction

The NexRing is a smart ring from Linktop, a Chinese based telemedicine company. The ring can monitor sleep, heart rate, activity, and body temperature with personalised insights. It is available in black, silver or rose gold, according to the website. I received a silver ring to test.

It is equipped with sensors, Bluetooth and is water resistant up to 50m – I shower with mine sometimes. It also has a small non-replaceable 15mAh (size 6) to 22mAh (size 13) battery that claims to last between 5-7 days. Mine is a size 7 so battery life is 16mAh.

NexRing – inside the box

Inside the box, you get the NexRing, NFC charging dock, UBS-C cable, warranty booklet, and charging guide. The ring is 2.8mm thick and the width is 7.9mm; it weighs between 4-6g, depending on the size.

It needs to be paired to the NexRing app, which works for both Android and iOS. The app provides all the data it tracks from you to provide reports.

The company says the NexRing is made from durable titanium that is PVD coated, and describes it as non-allergenic with a non-metallic seamless inner moulding.

NexRing: How do you know your size?

The company also sells its ring sizing kit for R450, which you can purchase to determine your size before purchasing the NexRing. It is available in eight different sizes, starting from size 6 all the way up to 13.

Purchasing the sizing kit prior for R450 may put people off from buying the ring, and should have been factored into the final price. There is a clause on the site that says you will get a refund of R200 if you return the kit in its original, undamaged packaging.

I know Oura lets you order a ring, but ships the kit to you first to get your size and then sends you the ring once you confirm what your size it and they don’t charge for the kit.

NexRing sizing kit – R450

They recommend you wear the dummy ring for 24 hours to check if your finger may swell within that time. This happened to me; I initially tried it on my right index finger and went with that size because the size up was too big.

But having worn it for more than a month now, it sometimes feel tight on that finger. I just switch it to my left index finger, but it also fits both my middle fingers. I don’t sleep with it on my right index finger anymore.

The company does not recommend the NexRing be worn “adjacent to other rings as this may cause discomfort or unintended scratching.” Due to its thickness, I also prefer not to.

NexRing app – the basics

I had no issues pairing the NexRing on my iPhone, it paired seamlessly and then I charged it fully before wearing it. The landing page of the NexRing app will give you a summary of your activity, workout records, readiness score (more below), heart rate, and finger temperature variation.

You are given the choice to adjust goals according to you, such as daily steps, daily calories burned and daily activity distance. Much like any other smartwatch.

It has four main tabs: home, readiness, sleep and settings.

The app also shows you things like battery level, how to wear and maintain it, and tools, when you tap the battery icon on the top right. Tools include things like heart rate measuring accuracy; reboot; power saving mode; factory reset.

App landing page

The Settings tab lets you fill things like date of birth, height, weight and gender; set goals for sleep and activity; settings like units, location, data sharing (I linked mine to my Apple Health app); privacy policy and software version.

Once you’re in the landing page, to go to previous day’s data, you need to tap the date on top and choose a day. I find this a bit dated, and not intuitive to let me scroll or swipe right from the activity tab to a previous day. When you swipe left, you can see more details of your activity and an overview of the last 7 days.

Tracking health and wellbeing

The NexRing is meant to be worn daily, especially while sleeping at night so it can give you a daily “Readiness” score. The readiness score is made up of things like sleep duration, heart rate dip, heart rate variability (HRV), and finger temperature. The highest I got was 90, and the lowest 45.

NexRing Readiness score

On my lowest score, I was traveling and missed a flight due to a tight connection being delayed. I had to walk in the rain to get to my airport hotel, and I suspect this is the reason my baseline finger temperature dipped to -1.29°C. The app says it should fluctuate from -1.0°C to 1.0°C, so mine went below the recommended threshold.

Beneath the Readiness tab, you also get graphs for your heart rate and average HRV. It explains that HRV varies from 20ms to 120ms and a higher score is a sign of general health and fitness, whereas a lower score could be due to stress or overtraining. If I look at my averages, it was mainly on the lower end of the spectrum, which would indicate I am stressed? My lowest was 37ms and I’m averaging around 45ms.

The Sleep tab will give you a breakdown of your sleep. You can set your own goals for the stats, I made mine seven hours. You also get a sleep score, which counts things like total sleep time, quality sleep, heart rate dip and deep sleep.

Sleep breakdown

There are graphs beneath to show you a breakdown of your sleep. You may be familiar with this if you’ve used a Fitbit or Apple Watch and similar to track your sleep. It shows hours/minutes for awake, REM, light and deep sleep.

But what I find somewhat inaccurate is when I laze in bed, it counts it towards my sleep score. Now that I’m fasting for Ramadan, one of the Saturdays, I decided to lay in till after 10am. And it gave me an excellent score, but I was just sitting in bed, playing with my phone. Unless they think that resting that way is good for you?

The sleep tab also gives you some health updates, like SpO2 (blood oxygen) reading and respiratory rate – how many times you breathe per minute while sleeping. Both graphs let you go into it to see your daily, weekly and monthly readings. Since I’ve worn the ring, my lowest SpO2 reading has been 95% which appears to be normal.

That said, I am also wearing my Apple Watch daily, and on the 15th of March, my watch said my SpO2 reached a low of 89% but the NexRing said it was 98%. I know I’m only stating this now, so deep into my review, but we cannot trust any device to be 100% accurate. We can use it as a guideline, and always consult a medical professional for any vital readings or diagnosis.

The NexRing takes readings throughout the day and the green light may be a distraction or a conversation starter:

Using the NexRing for fitness

The NexRing can be used to track fitness, but it’s basic compared to a fitness tracker or smartwatch that you wear on your wrist. It supports seven workouts: walking, indoor running, outdoor running, indoor cycling, outdoor cycling, mountain biking and swimming.

As mentioned earlier, it is water resistant up to 50m so you can swim and shower with it. I shower with mine sometimes.

The odd thing about tracking workouts is that you have to choose things like duration (15/30/45 mins or 1/2/3 hours) and intensity (easy, moderate, hard) at the time of recording the workout, which I think is silly and doesn’t leave room for flexibility.

How are you supposed to know that you will carry on doing a light workout; what if you run faster on the treadmill and it ends up being a vigorous exercise? What if you want to carry on your workout? or your 30 minute one gets interrupted?

When I recored my first 30 minute workout, it automatically ended it after the 30 minutes. Again, I don’t understand the logic other than it being for beginners. It is not capable of automatically detecting a workout like how an Apple Watch can.

While the addition is great for those who prefer this, anyone into fitness may not find this ideal.

There’s also a way to record being Mindful, which asks you to take a moment to pause. You can choose how long you want to, and it gives you a result of your lowest heart rate and finger temperature.

Battery life and charging

The NexRing says battery life is between 4-7 days. Given that the battery size matches the various ring sizes, my size 7 ring may not be the same as someone who takes the largest size 13. They will get a better battery life than me.

That said, I’ve been using the ring consistently for five and a half weeks now and I’m getting 4.5 days. By the end of the fifth day, I need to charge it before going to bed.

I keep the circular charger with USb-C cable at my bedside. It takes about maximum 80 minutes for a full charge from empty. So you can charge it before going to bed and not miss out on a sleep analysis for that evening.

I like that it’s USB-C charging, makes it easier to carry cables when you travel, you can use the same one for most of your gadgets.

Final thoughts

The NexRing is a smart ring aimed at individuals who didn’t want to buy into smartwatches based on what it looked like – bulky and obtrusive.

The ring is more discreet and offers another way to keep track of your health and wellbeing. It’s great if you want to track your sleep, SpO2, body temperature and see how ready you are for the day, plus practice being mindful, if that’s important to you.

What it’s not great at is being used for fitness tracking. If you already have a smartwatch, you may not find it as useful as they offer similar, if not the same features, plus a whole lot more.

Unlike the Oura ring, all the stats available to you mentioned above does not carry a monthly subscription.

It is important to note that these devices cannot be 100% accurate and should be used more as a guideline to monitor your health, and if you spot anything out of the ordinary, it is best to follow it with a GP visit.



  • Discreet, unobtrusive design
  • Great for sleep tracking
  • Suitable for SpO2 monitoring
  • Battery life is longer than a watch
  • No monthly subscription tied to data


  • App UI could be better
  • Poor fitness tracking
  • You have to buy a ring size kit
App Interface
Value for money

Final Verdict

The NexRing is a subtle wearable to track health, wellbeing and sleep but should not be relied on for fitness tracking. Suited for those who've never owned a smartwatch and are not into fitness but want to keep track of vitals. The R450 ring size kit could be a put-off.