Whoop makes fitness tracking bands for people who don’t want to wrap a screen around their wrist. It recently launched its fourth generation wearable, the Whoop 4.0.
You buy it as part of a subscription, which gets cheaper the longer you’re willing to commit, the cheapest being $18 a month. But how does it compare to the last-generation version?
The Whoop 4.0 attempts to fix the accuracy issues present in the Whoop 3.0 — which always seemed more glaring than in wearables bought outright because you’re paying to use a Whoop month after month.
Where the Whoop 3.0’s optical heart rate sensor has two green LEDs, the Whoop 4.0 uses , and four times the number of light-sensing photodiodes. This should give it a much greater ability to filter out the “noise” inherent in a naturally compromised optical hear rate sensor.
These LEDs and diodes don’t have the same job, though. The Whoop 4.0 uses three different wavelengths of light. As in many recent trackers, it uses red and infrared light to analyse the oxygen saturation of your blood, along with three green LEDs for standard heart rate readings.
The Whoop 3.0 can’t monitor blood oxygenation, the Whoop 4.0 can. It has a skin temperature monitor too.
A greater array of recorded metrics means there’s more data to inform the Whoop software, which has always been the lead draw of the platform.
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The Whoop 4.0 also has a “haptic” vibration motor. This lets it function as a sound-free alarm clock, and it’s used during workouts.
Whoop’s 3.0 band hardware was arguably quite thin in a technical sense, and that changes with the fourth-generation model. Its physical thin-ness has increased, though.
The Whoop 4.0 is 33% smaller than the Whoop 3.0, which cements it as a pick for those who want an unobtrusive wearable that does not seem at all nerdy.
Battery life remains similar at around five days despite the smaller size. On the Whoop website, the company says it now uses higher-density battery tech, suggesting actual capacity has not had to be reduced.
The battery pack, used to charge the band, now uses wireless charging. This avoids the potential short-circuit pitfalls of the old design — Whoop always warned wearers to remember to take off the battery charge pack before taking a shower.
Whoop’s 4.0 band is more advanced, slimmer and can record more stats. But the fundamentals remain. This band does not have GPS, so if you want to see maps of your runs you’re better off with something else.
As with any Whoop band it’s worth reading into how the platform operates to see if it will be a good fit for how you approach your workout routine.