Comparison of Fitbit Charge and Oura Ring – activity and sleep tracking

///Comparison of Fitbit Charge and Oura Ring – activity and sleep tracking

Comparison of Fitbit Charge and Oura Ring – activity and sleep tracking

I was intrigued talking to a friend about the first generation Ōura ring he had and decided I wanted to try it out for myself. I also had a Fitbit Charge HR and an Android Wear (not WearOS because they didn’t update it, I’m not bitter) watch that I was using. I figured a comparison is in order! All of the following data can be found on this Google Docs Spreadsheet.

One feature that Oura champions is heart rate tracking. Because the ring is snugly on your finger, they can do some cool stuff with tracking how variable your heart rate is, they also use the HR data for tracking sleep (just like Fitbit does). So here is how the Resting Heart Rate compares with the Oura and Fitbit:

It looks like the Fitbit is taking a longer average rate, while Oura is doing a shorter sample window but I’d say they’re both showing similar things.

Speaking of heart rate, let’s see how sleep tracking compares. In this graph, I’ve added the values from Sleep As Android, a sleep tracking program that I run on my phone as an alarm clock and tracks sleep. I actually have data going back to 2015 (I sleep more now since I quit my day job and stopped going to work at 5:30 am). Sleep As Android added support for using an Android Wear/Wear OS watch for tracking movement and heart rate to indicate sleep cycles, otherwise you stick your phone on your mattress and it measures the movement.

The plots for Fitbit and for Oura are REALLY close. Easily within a reasonable margin of error. SAA + the watch tracks at about the same, except it shows me sleeping about 0.5-1 hours longer on a given day. I suspect that the Fitbit or Oura data is more accurate since both are far more consistent with their heart rate data. SAA will often not show HR data at all.

OK, what about activity tracking? I’m right-handed and have Google Fit tracking on my left hand with Fitbit and Oura on my right. Fitbit has an option to select “handedness” – if you wear the tracker on your dominant wrist, it lowers the sensitivity to account for more non-step movement from that hand.

I’m guessing that having my Fitbit on the dominant hand with the lowered sensitivity accounts for the consistently lower numbers from Fitbit.

So what’s the take-away from this? It seems that the Oura ring is a very comparable sleep and activity tracker. The Fitbit has some other features that are lacking in the Oura (Social challenges against other users, differences in workout tracking, no way am I wearing the Oura while weight lifting) but I think I’m done wearing two watches – the Oura works good enough. If you happen to work in a profession where the ONLY allowed jewelry is a ring, the Oura would be phenomenal.

By |2018-10-03T11:48:27+00:00October 3rd, 2018|Categories: On Tour|Tags: , , , , |2 Comments

About the Author:

Chris Bair is a technology and computer geek. He became involved in the nutritionally complete "future foods" movement in January 2014, originally with a conventional recipe and later switching to a high fat, low carb "ketogenic" variant on October 2014. In January 2015 he created the recipe for Keto Chow and released it without restriction for anyone to use, at the same time he began mixing the recipe up for people that wanted a finished product and has seen steady growth in the business every month since. Chris has lived in Utah for most of his life, except for a few years living in Chile where he learned Castillian. Chris and his wife have two sets of twins with a couple singltons thrown in for good measure.

2 Comments

  1. Andrew October 4, 2018 at 10:59 am - Reply

    Thank you for this review….I loved the sleep tracking that my Jawbone Up did. I never really did an analysis of it’s accuracy but it did try to identify REM sleep.

    • Chris October 4, 2018 at 11:16 am - Reply

      I actually really liked the Jawbone UP I had back in 2014 or so. The best thing was the “Nap” function. I think it was something like “hit the button 3 times and it will wake you up in 20 minutes” it was fantastic.

Leave A Comment

Flavor of the Week Oct 15-Oct 21: 10% off sale on Cookies & Cream 2.1 week packsMore Info
+