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Ringly review: The smart ring that could be sexier

Sarah Jacobsson Purewal | Jan. 7, 2016
This smart notification ring is cool, but it’s not something you’d buy for style alone.

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I love the concept behind Ringly: A Bluetooth-enabled notification ring that connects to your smartphone and keeps you in the loop about incoming texts, calls, and emails via colored LEDs and vibrating patterns. And I love the fact that Ringly is clearly trying to make “smart” jewelry attractive enough to be worn as, well, jewelry.

After taking the Ringly for a spin over the past two weeks, I even love the way it works as a tech product. It sets up in seconds, customizing the device via its companion app is a breeze, and it comes with a cute ring box-shaped charging case that charges the ring inductively (and holds a charge of its own, for up to 10 days).

But I don’t love the Ringly as jewelry, and that’s kind of a big problem. I mean, the point of the Ringly is to combine tech and style—if it’s not going to do that, I may as well buy a smarter, less stylish tech product.

This is not the next ‘It Girl’ ring

The Ringly currently comes in eight different variations, which range in price from $195 to $260, depending on the type of stone used. The most expensive variation, “Into the Woods,” sports an opaque, cushion-cut emerald and a matte 18-karat gold-plated base. All Ringly rings have roughly the same rectangular shape, but some stones have different cuts. My review unit was the “Opening Night” Ringly—a cushion-cut black onyx stone in a shiny, gunmetal-plated brass setting.

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Here’s the Ringly, in “Opening Night. See how big its band is? Credit: Sarah Jacobsson Purewal

At first glance, the Ringly is pretty unimpressive for a piece of jewelry that costs $200. It’s not particularly stylish, nor does it look or feel like a weighty, expensive piece of costume jewelry. I’m not a huge fan of onyx to begin with, but the cushion-cut stone looks a little plasticky, while the gunmetal plating is cool but very prone to fingerprints. I spent a lot of my time with the Ringly cleaning it off with my shirt. The Ringly is water-resistant, but not waterproof, which means it should be fine getting wet when you wash your hands (just don’t immerse it in water).

The Ringly is an interesting, sort of in-between size. It’s not small and delicate (gotta put the tech and battery somewhere), but it’s also not that big—certainly not big enough to make a style statement. This is really going to come down to personal taste, but I like my cocktail rings to be big enough to cover my entire finger—and I have relatively slim fingers (my largest finger is a size 5). The Ringly’s stone awkwardly almost covers my finger, but doesn’t quite make it.

 

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