If you’re looking for a wearable to log your fitness and general ‘wellness’, you’re not obliged to wear a fitness tracker that stands out a mile. There are more and more examples of ‘smart jewellery’ available, which aim to blend seamlessly into your everyday outfits.
We tried out three pieces of smart jewellery that have appeared on the market fairly recently: the Bellabeat Leaf Urban, the Bellabeat Leaf Chakra and the Oura ring.
They aim to combine fashion with function, giving you the best of both worlds.
Just want a standard fitness tracker? We reveal the best activity trackers and fitness watches for accuracy and more.
Bellabeat Urban and Bellabeat Chakra – from £78
These Bellabeat trackers can be worn as necklaces, bracelets or clips. Designed to help you track your activity, sleep, meditation and reproductive health, they contain a tri-axis accelerometer, which can detect small movements. And they use smart learning algorithms to understand and draw conclusions about your sleep.
As there’s no screen, you view this information on your smartphone app, where you can also input data on your workouts, meditation, water intake and menstruation cycle. Bellabeat calculates a stress-resistance level for you based off this information, and makes suggestions as to whether you should meditate or go for a walk.
There are several designs, all made of hypoallergenic stainless steel and wood composite material with so-called ‘stone-like appeal’.
We tried out the Leaf Chakra Love, which is marketed as containing ‘healing’ rose quartz or onyx crystals, and the Leaf Urban, which is black and tear drop shaped (pictured together below).
Be aware that, while they’re designed to be discreet and tasteful, they’re a fair bit chunkier (and tackier looking) in real life than they appear on the website.
Usually £110, these necklaces are currently on sale for £78 each. Of course, that’s still not cheap, so you’ll want to know whether either is a good deal before you buy. Our full first look reviews of the Bellabeat Urban and Bellabeat Chakra will tell you all you need to know.
Oura ring – from £270
This ring from Finnish company Oura Health concentrates on two aspects of your health: rest and activity levels. The main focus is on rest (especially sleep).
As Oura puts it, a good night’s sleep will help you ‘manage your weight, stay healthier, perform at your best, be more productive and avoid hangry mistakes’.
The ring uses in-built pulse oximetry (monitoring the amount of oxygen carried in the body) and a 3D accelerometer and gyroscope for motion detection.
It collects data such as heart rate, heart-rate variability, calories burnt, body temperature, respiratory rate and steps and calories burnt, all of which you can view in the accompanying app.
Within the app, your data is split into three categories – readiness, sleep and activity. You’ll be able to see your data displayed in graphs, and you’ll get advice on how to improve.
How much you’ll pay depends on the shape and style you go for, but the rings currently range from €314 for the most basic kind to €1,049 for a diamond edition on the Oura website (approximately £270 to £901).
Read our first look review of the Oura ring to find out more.
Is ‘smart jewellery’ a fad?
If you’re more interested in overall health and well being than you are in sports tracking, smart jewellery could be a good option.
With any piece of wellness-tracking jewellery, the more you wear it, the more you’ll get out of it. If you only wear it occasionally, it won’t be able to build up a detailed picture of your health.
So you have to love how it looks, and be willing to wear it often. If you love jewellery, you’ll want to rotate your collection, and will soon get bored of having to wear the same thing.
Try it on in store if you can. The Oura ring is currently only available online, but Oura sends out a finger-measuring kit when you place your order, which is useful.
If you’re more interested in activity tracking, or you want smart notifications, you’ll be better off with a tracker or watch, which will offer a greater range of features.
There are plenty which aren’t overly sporty, and which will look good with a range of outfits, not just your gym kit.