The Apple Watch is one of the most popular smartwatches with fitness tracking available on the market, but the Whoop fitness tracker forgoes traditional smartwatch features and instead focuses on simplicity and health. Apple’s smartwatch is, in part, designed to replace the iPhone for certain tasks. Instead of taking out an iPhone every time users need to respond to a quick text or change a now playing song, they can turn their wrist and use their Apple Watch. The smartwatch also adds certain fitness and health features that wouldn’t be possible on an iPhone with a collection of health sensors that provide metrics like heart rate and blood-oxygen percentages.
As it turns out, not everyone is looking for a do-it-all smartwatch to absorb many of the smaller tasks that they would usually perform on their smartphone. Instead, many health and fitness-centric users would rather have a more compact and advanced tracker that has a smaller footprint and a longer battery life. Wherever their journeys take them, athletes don’t want to have to worry about breaking or scratching a screen. More importantly, serious athletes need to be certain that their hardware will be charged and ready to go when it is required. All of these needs — a small, compact, advanced fitness tracker with a long battery life — don’t exactly describe the Apple Watch. This is where Apple’s competitors, including Whoop, try to fill in the gap.
Whoop isn’t like the Apple Watch, and in fact, it differs from most fitness and health trackers available on the market. It is bundled as part of a Whoop subscription, so the tracker itself is free. However, users must keep their Whoop subscription active as long as they’d like to use the tracker, because users are required to return the device once their subscription is canceled. There are different color and finish options for the Whoop tracker — and it can definitely be considered a fashion piece — but these have an additional surcharge. Unlike many fitness smartwatches and trackers, the Whoop does not include a built-in screen and instead has an ambient way of collecting data.
Who Is Each Fitness Tracker For?
Since the Whoop fitness tracker does not have a screen — and thus slips on like a bracelet with a smaller form factor — it can easily go with the wearer anywhere. Sure, the Apple Watch can go just about anywhere, but the smartwatch’s size makes it hard to forget on the wearer’s wrist. The Whoop 4’s smaller size means that some users will forget it is even there, and that will make it easy to keep the tracker on 24 hours per day, seven days per week. It charges wirelessly through an attachment that snaps onto the fitness tracker, so the Whoop 4 can be worn continuously — and can be charged while it is being worn.
For users that would like to track their fitness and health data without consciously thinking about it, the Whoop is a great option. It provides advanced metrics that can be viewed on a smartphone in a form factor similar to a bracelet. However, for people looking for a traditional smartwatch, the Whoop will come up short. This is where the Apple Watch excels, providing health features and some smartphone capabilities on the wearer’s wrist.
The two fitness trackers are far apart in price, and that may be the deciding factor in choosing one or the other. The Apple Watch starts at $199 for the near-obsolete Series 3, but the higher-performance SE is available at $279. The Whoop, on the other hand, requires a monthly or annual subscription ranging from $20 to $30 per month — depending on the length of the agreement and whether it is paid upfront. If price isn’t a concern, people looking for a slim, sleek, and stylish fitness tracker should go with the Whoop 4, while users looking for the most capable smartwatch should reach for the Apple Watch.