In this Motiv Ring Review, we will try to find out why Motiv is so popular on Amazon and why people are turning away from their Fitbits and towards rings. I will cover many aspects of the Motiv ring and its usage and then tell you what I think about the newly revamped Motiv Ring.
The new Motiv Ring for 2018 is a smart activity tracker that is worn on any of your fingers. As an activity tracker, it tracks your basic activity (steps), sports and sleep. When you next have your smartphone it sync’s the data and you can look at what you’ve been up to on the Motiv app or Google Fit/Apple Health.
There is no ‘screen’ on the ring and the ring has no GPS to say where you have been. But that’s OK for many people, you just have to know the sort of product you are looking for and, in the case of Motiv, it is a mostly unobtrusive product that also has the notable benefit of looking good.
Is Motiv For Me?
If you find wearing a watch or wrist band too annoying or if you forget to wear them for extended periods, then the practicalities of a ring may well appeal to you.
You will probably want a reasonably accurate product to indicate your efforts are moving you in the right direction rather than a sports device that will time your weekend 5k parkrun. You may well do weekend parkruns or gym classes but you want your tracker to also acknowledge that you have worked harder at those times and want your tracker to give you a little more credit than normal for all your hard work.
There are also some neat techy features to do with security that I will cover later.
This is a fairly long review so now is the time to skip through to the section that interests you or sit back and make sure there are enough stops left on the train before you reach home.
I’ll share what the product is about and my experience with it. I’ll tell you now that there are sensible uses for it but I will also tell you the areas that are less than sensible uses too, as I wouldn’t want you to waste your hard-earned money.
What You Get, Unboxing
Once you place your order you are sent a ring sizing kit of 7 ring sizes.
Later, your ring arrives and all you get the ring, a clever, magnetic USB charger and some pieces of paper that you won’t read. There is also the free iOS/Android app which links to the free Google Fit/Apple Heath apps.
The Motiv Ring – description
The Motiv Ring is a stylish, featherweight, band
Motiv only has one design which is an elegant band and it’s available in Rose Gold, Silver and Black colours. There is a small LED strip going through the band which forms part of the outer face of the ring. The rest of the outer face has a titanium coating and this encases the electronics which are not visible in normal usage.
The inside of the ring is mostly circular and smooth but with a slight flat inner face at one point. This has the heart rate sensor and charging strips. The other electronics, which include a motion sensor and battery, are entirely removed from view and are inside the ring. It’s comfy to wear and, as you can see from the following image, it’s not as thick as another same-sized tech ring.
new Motiv Ring – the apps
The Motiv Ring app is clearly designed to provide straightforward and actionable information and it achieves that with an easy-to-understand ’tile’ view, which usually fits onto one single, scrollable screen on your smartphone.
The exercise tiles appear if you complete a workout – some activities like this 75-minute run were automatically detected
You can then tap on any of those tiles for more information. As shown below this will give you: a trend of resting HR over time; your sleep trend over time; and more minute-by-minute detail on any workout – you can even tap and hold the activity bars to see more detail.
And that’s it.
The other parts of the app are mostly ‘admin’ type functions such as: updating the ring; updating your account; linking your account to other services; and managing notifications.
Motiv DO recognise that some of you might want to see your activity data in Apple Health or Google Fit and so those popular services are linked and sync’d to via the Motiv app. Even if you do not already use Health/Fit then they can be a good call to get a different view on your activity and general progress, although the Motiv app is highly intuitive to use.
new Motiv Ring – workout
The Motiv Ring can sense when you are moving more vigorously and can automatically add your workout – for example, I can get my runs fully and automatically classified as a run with the correct start and stop time. You literally have to do NOTHING apart from wear the ring! (and run)
However, in other activities like cycling, your hand/ring will hardly be moving and Motiv cannot detect the sport so easily. Your raised heart rate will still be fully automatically recorded and you can optionally add a period of time as a workout – as shown on the image to the right.
new Motiv Ring – sleep
Motiv assesses your sleep times by looking at your movements via the accelerometer and it reasonably accurately measures the start and end time of any sleep or nap over 35 minutes.
One of the first steps to take to improve sleep quality is to adhere to a more consistent schedule of sleep- and wake-times.
The sleep functionality is all automatic. Unlike some other sleep products you do NOT have to tell the Motiv Ring you are in bed and trying to sleep or that you have woken up.
I was totally unaware of the ring as I slept and it did not affect me in any way whatsoever. Unlike some watches, there are no lights that mysteriously shine in the middle of the night and disturb the sleep of you or your partner.
new Motiv Ring – workout accuracy
I would say that the Motiv Ring is reasonably accurate and it seems to be fairly consistent in that level of accuracy. What that means is that you will not get the same level of precision as you might with a dedicated sports watch but the level of activity recorded by the Motiv Ring will be a reasonably good indicator over time of your progression.
Having said that, I was pleasantly surprised by how accurate a ring could be. Here are the comparison stats from the workout shown on the image to the right
- Polar – 14km, 970 calories, 12975 steps
- Motiv – 12.5km, 1030 calories, 12290 steps
The actual total distance was just over 14km. The Motiv Ring does over-estimate the heart rate and hence the calories but the likely calories used were 970 based on Polar FLOW, so 1030 is a reasonable estimate by Motiv. My Polar device made the total number of steps 12975, so 12290 is also a reasonable estimate by Motiv – bear in mind that Motiv might not have the start and end points exactly the same but would still have included all the steps in the total for the day (rather than just those in the workout)
Another example of accuracy when running
- Polar – 14.6km, 1104 calories, 14110 steps
- Motiv – 13.5km, 1169 calories, 13248 steps
new Motiv Ring – security
As of 9 November 2018 there is open Beta functionality for two-step authentication.
On some online services, this means that a second ‘thing’ is required in addition to your password. This could be a code sent to your mobile phone, your fingerprint or it could simply be the presence of your Motiv ring.
Thus if your password was compromised no-one could use it unless they also had your ring.
I will test this once my application for the open beta is approved.
Other security improvements planned by Motiv include: requiring a fingerprint to access the Motiv app; WalkID to ensure that your ring is worn by you on the phone that is carried by you; and supporting Google, Amazon, and Microsoft FIDO2 password-less logins.
new Motiv Ring – Specifications
- Measures; Active Minutes, Resting Heart Rate, Activity Types, Calories Burned, Activity Intensity, Steps, Distance and Sleep Duration
- Lifestyle Features; Find My Phone, Social Sharing, and Inner Circle Sharing
- Sensors; 3-axis accelerometer and Optical Heart Rate Sensor
- Battery; Lithium Ion with a battery life of up to 3 days and a full charge in under 90 minutes
- Forms; in 7 Motiv Ring Sizes and 3 colours Rose Gold, Silver & Black
- Online Security Features (TBC, beta): 2-Step Verification (2FA), Passwordless Login, WalkID, Facial recognition and Fingerprint identity
- Compatibility – iOS 9.0 or later; Android 6.0 Marshmallow or Later; iPhone 5s or later; Samsung Galaxy S7, S7 Edge, S8, S8+, S9, S9+, Note 5 or Note 8; Google Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL; For online security feature compatibility, click here
- Water resistant to 50m, fine for swimming
- Band width and depth 8mm x 2.5mm (circumference varies according to ring size)
- Weight – very lightweight (my kitchen scale said 1gram!)
- LEDs – orange=pairing, blue=syncing. Normally off.
Android feature availability may lag behind iOS
new Motiv Ring – tips, tricks & insights
Here is some practical guidance for using the Motiv ring.
Ring Size & Wear Position
The strongest signal tends to come from a right-handed person’s right index finger but you can choose any finger you like to wear the ring on. Generally, the more you use any specific finger, the more the blood flow will be in that finger. Note that your right index finger and left index finger may well be a different size.
Whichever finger you decide to use then getting the best possible fit is key to getting the best from the Motiv Ring.
Wear the sample ring from the sizing kit for as long as possible including overnight.
TIP: Clearly the ring needs to be comfortable but a good tip is to twist the ring on your finger and it should be sufficiently tight so that when you twist it, your skin should move with the ring a little bit.
TIP: Go for the smaller of two sizes if you are unsure – I did the opposite!! and I wear the ring tightly on the larger finger for exercise and put on the other, left, hand where it is still snug but a slightly looser fit and more comfortable for most of the day and night.
The Practicalities of Exercise
The ring will scratch if continuously rubbed against hard stone or metal. So using it whilst doing free weights is not a good idea. But your bike will be OK as you will have a rubber grip over the end of the metal handlebars. Also be conscious of swimming, if you do tumble turns then your hands will never touch the end of swim lanes but those who hold on to the hard stone at the end of each length may eventually scratch the ring.
The Motiv Ring was designed primarily with step-based activities like running in mind. So it IS designed to accommodate a swinging arm motion but the flexing or gripping of your hand may impact accuracy for example if playing basketball. However, it is generally recommended that jewellery is not worn in any contact sport, or at least covered for the protection of others.
Motiv told me that maintaining a loosely closed fist could in some circumstances improve accuracy when running.
Dealing with the cold
If you have blood circulation issues, like Raynaud’s, or if the weather is just cold then blood flow in your fingers will likely be reduced and this will limit the ability of any ring to get accurate HR readings. Indeed if you have skinny forearms/hands then this can might similarly affect wrist-based sports watches too.
Generally, it’s best to keep your forearms and hands as warm as possible. This might involve just making sure you warm up or could involve wearing longer sleeved shirts or gloves in cold weather
I tested the Andoird app which did not have the following features that are found on iOS: Social Sharing; Last Heart Rate; Sleep edit; Find My Phone; Family Sharing; goal setting for sleep and steps
Motiv Ring promo code added at the end.
Q: Is the ring ‘always on’
A: Sort of. Heart rate is always on once an activity is detected but otherwise, it turns on every few minutes.
Q. Does the ring detect sleep stages
A: No. It is very difficult for any device to detect sleep stages and most sleep tech effectively just guesses at sleep stages. Motiv measures total sleep time, sleep restlessness and some other sleep-related measures
Q. When does the exterior LED light up
A. It rarely lights up unless ‘talking to’ your smartphone
Q. Is there a manual?
Q: Can I transfer from iOS to Android
A: Yes, unpair your device first. Your historic data will NOT transfer across
Q: Can I set goals?
A: Yes. You can set goals for sleep time and steps.
new Motiv Ring – closing thoughts
I sense a sea-change coming in activity tracking tech and I think that tech-smart ring products like Motiv will be leading the way.
For people like me who do LOTS of sports seriously and who LOVE their data then Motiv is the wrong choice. However, if you want an activity tracker that covers the main bases of activity tracking, including sleep and some exercise, then Motiv is the right choice especially if all you want to see on your smartphone app is easily digestible information, presented clearly.
I’d say ‘non-invasive’ was a good word in the context of Motiv. The ring is easy to wear 24×7 and the app is easily used for a minute a day – longer if you want, of course.
It’s great to see that Motiv is still improving the ring, most notably with recent 2FA security additions which will be useful to some. Also planned are improvements to the sleep insights.
It would be great to see Motiv or some other ring maker get contactless payments onto a ring.
Price, Availability & Discounts
You can usually find the Motiv Ring on Amazon and you should be able to get a Motiv Ring discount code directly from Motiv or as shown below
the Motiv ring is $200
As at 4 Sep 2018 there is $20 off the Motiv Ring at mymotiv.com (link to: mymotiv.com) and there always seems to be $20 off each additional ring if you order >2
Black Friday period 2018: There is $30 off MOTIV