Smart ring showdown: Helio’s fitness vs RingConn’s recovery focus

The smart ring market is heating up with the launch of the Amazfit Helio, the first smart ring from a major smartwatch brand. This new contender enters a space where the RingConn has established itself as a popular choice. Pretty soon things will heat up even more with the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Ring in July and possible rings from Fitbit and Apple. Both of these have filed multiple patents for smart rings.

Having personally tested and posted detailed reviews of both the RingConn and Amazfit Helio, I can attest that each ring has its own unique strengths and weaknesses. While the Helio excels in accurately tracking heart rate during exercise, the RingConn shines when it comes to providing insights into recovery and overall health. In this head-to-head comparison, I’ll delve into these differences and more, drawing from my hands-on experience with both devices.

RingConn smart ring can typically be purchased for $279 on the manufacturer’s website. For $10 off, at checkout use discount code: BFD50EC113. The $299 Amazfit Helio is available on the Amazfit website.

Read my detailed hands-on reviews: RingConn; Amazfit Helio.

Amazfit Helio vs RingConn smart ring: Look & feel

These two rings look very similar. Put them side by side and you may even think it is the same ring. Both devices embrace a minimalist, button-less, sleek design that easily blends with everyday wear. 

The Amazfit Helio stands out with its slightly more rounded edges, ensuring a comfortable fit that feels natural on the finger. Made from a durable titanium alloy, the device is both lightweight and sturdy. One distinctive feature of the Helio is its subtle “pattern” design on the outer surface. This adds a touch of sophistication. This pattern is barely noticeable yet contributes to the ring’s unique appeal. Despite its intricate design, the Helio is remarkably resistant to scratches, ensuring it retains its sleek appearance over time.

Helio Ring vs RingConn

The RingConn is also crafted from durable materials that is highly resistant to scratches, ensuring it maintains its pristine look with daily use. Its smooth surface appeals to those who prefer a clean, classic aesthetic. At the moment this option comes in more colour variants. You can pick it up in a choice between gold, silver, and black. The Helio is currently only available in Silver. Both rings can be purchased in a choice of sizes.

In terms of feel, I actually think the Helio is slightly ahead due to its more rounded edges. But the difference is minimal, and in reality there is very little to separate these two in terms of look and feel.

The Helio also has an edge in terms of water resistance with its 10 ATM rating. However, the RingConn has a 5 ATM certification – which is more than enough for all water based activities.  I have taken numerous showers, done the dishes repeatedly, and engaged in several swimming sessions while wearing both of these ring, and they have encountered no issues whatsoever.

Helio Ring vs RingConn

Amazfit Helio vs RingConn smart ring: Under the hood

Under the hood, the RingConn and Amazfit Helio showcase subtle differences in their sensor technology. The RingConn houses a PPG optical heart rate sensor, a 3-axis accelerometer and a temperature sensor. This allows it to track various metrics, including heart rate, heart rate variability, blood oxygen, sleep stages, activity levels, and skin temperature trends, providing users with a holistic view of their well-being.

The Amazfit Helio also features a PPG bio-tracking optical sensor and a 3-axis accelerometer, as well as a skin temperature sensor. So it tracks all the same metrics. Plus it throws a EDA sensor to the mix, designed to measure electrodermal activity. This offers a unique advantage in monitoring stress levels.

Both rings utilize Bluetooth technology for syncing with their respective companion apps. However I found the Helio ring to have a more stable connection. At times I would have to re-open the RingConn smartphone app in order for the connection to be established. I experienced no such issues with the Amazfit Helio.

Helio Ring vs RingConn

Battery life

As far as battery life, the RingConn emerges as the winner, lasting a bit longer on a single charge than the Amazfit Helio. Plus the RingConn conveniently charges through its included charging case. Which means you can take this with you to charge on the go. The Helio requires a proprietary magnetic charger. While the Helio typically lasts around 5 days with regular use, the RingConn can power through a week before needing a recharge. 

Now I have been using RingConn for about two years now and in that time the battery life has deteriorated somewhat. This is typical with smart rings and I have yet to learn whether it will be the same on Helio. That one has just launched so I’ve just been wearing it for just few weeks. Time will tell how that battery holds up.

Helio Ring vs RingConn

Amazfit Helio vs RingConn smart ring: Features

RingConn and Amazfit Helio offer a variety of features that cater to health-conscious individuals. The RingConn excels in providing a comprehensive overview of well-being by tracking sleep stages, heart rate variability (HRV), resting heart rate, blood oxygen saturation (SpO2), and skin temperature. These metrics offer valuable insights into sleep quality,recovery, and overall health. Additionally, the RingConn incorporates a unique Wellness Balance metric, a composite metric that assesses your body’s preparedness for the day based on sleep, activity, and recovery data.

Overall, RingConn offers a robust set of features that work well. The company is also very proactive in continuously upgrading its smartphone app, and the depth of data provided is more comprehensive than that of the Amazfit Helio.

However, the Helio does have the advantage in terms of offering insights, an area where the RingConn currently falls short. Zepp Health, the maker of the Helio, also boasts a more visually appealing app. This is the same app that is used by its smartwatch line.

The Amazfit Helio also has a recovery metric, but its calculation seems flawed, often indicating full recovery even after strenuous activity. This is surprising considering the device’s accurate tracking of heart rate variability, resting heart rate, skin temperature and sleep metrics. Hopefully, Zepp Health will address this issue through a firmware update.

The Helio shines in its stress statistics, thanks to its EDA sensor. It also provides insights into activity levels and cardiovascular health through its PAI score. 

However, the standout feature for me is its accurate heart rate tracking during exercise. This is the only smart ring I’ve tested that consistently delivers reliable data even during high-intensity workouts. I tested it on six different runs and it has consistently matched or come within a few beats of my Garmin Forerunner 955, including a half marathon. This is for both the average and maximum heart rate during exercise. RingConn has been working on upgrading its heart rate tracking algorithms during exercise, so we may see improvements in the future.

Amazfit Helio vs RingConn smart ring: Bottom line

The smart ring market is undoubtedly heating up, with the Amazfit Helio making a splash as the first major smartwatch brand to enter this arena. While the RingConn has been a stalwart in this space, the Helio’s arrival, along with the impending launch of the Samsung Galaxy Ring is stirring things up.

Having published detailed hands-on reviews of both devices, I found that RingConn excels in providing a comprehensive overview of well-being, with in-depth sleep tracking, heart rate variability insights, and a holistic Wellness Balance metric. All of this data is pretty spot on. The ring is a reliable companion for those who prioritize recovery and overall health info.

On the other hand, the Amazfit Helio shines in the realm of fitness tracking, delivering accurate heart rate data during exercise. This is an area where other smart rings on the market currently struggle. The sleek design of the Helio, comfortable fit, and integration with the Amazfit ecosystem make it an attractive option for fitness lovers.

As far as battery life and water resistance, there is little difference between the two devices. The one advantage you get with RingConn is a charging case which you can take with you to top up the device on the go.

In conclusion, if you value comprehensive health and recovery insights, RingConn might be the better choice for you. However, if you’re primarily focused on accurate tracking of exercise and seamless integration with a broader ecosystem, or if you already own an Amazfit smartwatch, Amazfit Helio could be the ideal fit.

RingConn smart ring can typically be purchased for $279 on the manufacturer’s website. For $10 off, at checkout use discount code: BFD50EC113. The $299 Amazfit Helio is available on the Amazfit website.

Read my detailed hands-on reviews: RingConn; Amazfit Helio.

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Marko Maslakovic

Marko founded Gadgets & Wearables in 2014, having worked for more than 15 years in the City of London’s financial district. Since then, he has led the company’s charge to become a leading information source on health and fitness gadgets and wearables.

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