WHOOP 4.0 Fitness Band Review – Tracks Your Sleep and Recovery
REVIEW – When January and a whole new year roll around, many people make resolutions to get healthier and leaner. Are you someone who has set a goal to be healthier? To achieve these goals, you’ll need motivation, willpower, and fitness gadgets that will help you see progress toward your goals. A new fitness gadget I’ve been testing for the past 2 weeks is the WHOOP 4.0 band. What is it for and what did I think of it? Keep reading to find out!
What is that?
The WHOOP 4.0 is a wearable biometric tracker that collects sleep data, skin temperature, blood oxygen, heart rate data, etc.
What’s in the box?
- WHOOP 4.0 fitness band
- Battery charger module
- USB-C charging cable
- Installation guide
Design and features
The WHOOP 4.0 is an IP68 dustproof and waterproof fitness tracker. It has no built-in screen or buttons.
It features an expandable clasp design and the ability to customize it by replacing elastic wristbands available in a variety of colors.
At the bottom of the WHOOP 4.0 fitness tracker is the sensor which uses 5 LEDs and 4 photodiodes to track your heart rate, sleep cycle, skin temperature, and more.
WHOOP charging and battery life
WHOOP doesn’t have a port to plug in a charging cable because it uses a small wireless battery that’s charged with a USB-C cable.
The waterproof battery slides on top of the WHOOP sensor. What’s cool is that you can slide it into place while you’re wearing the bracelet. This way you won’t have any gaps in your fitness data while charging.
The edge of the WHOOP 4.0 has an LED that provides a visual indicator of battery level. Pressing the top of the sensor will cause the LED to light up green, yellow, or red to let you know you need to charge it when it’s yellow or red. You can also check the battery level through the WHOOP app. In my testing of this fitness tracker, I was able to use the WHOOP sensor for about 3 days before needing to recharge it.
Comfort while wearing WHOOP
The elastic was comfortable on my wrist. I had no issues wearing the WHOOP during the day, but found the large sensor to be a little uncomfortable for me when wearing it while I slept. I really don’t like wearing anything on my wrist at night so maybe I’m overly sensitive. For people like me, WHOOP has special clothes like underwear that have built-in pockets/pods that you can slide the sensor into so it rests against your body so you don’t have to carry it around your wrist.
The WHOOP app
Since the WHOOP 4.0 fitness band doesn’t have any sort of visual display for you to see your fitness data, you have to use an app to interact with it.
When launching the application for the first time, you must create an account and provide a credit card number. More on that later. You’ll also need to decide what your primary goal is: optimal training, general fitness, or a focus on wellness. I chose general fitness and then was asked to choose from different options that interested me.
The app’s main screen provides your fitness status for the day as well as WHOOP battery status and cloud sync status. From the main screen, you can start an activity which will offer you a long list of different fitness activities. WHOOP is supposed to automatically detect certain activities but in my testing I manually started and stopped each activity.
When the activity is started, you can see a live view of your heart rate and blood pressure information. You can also see a GPS view of where you are doing the activity. This feature would be great if you’re a runner or an outdoor workout unlike my pursuits of indoor treadmill rides and indoor workouts in my basement.
Note that WHOOP does not track step counts, but will show distance information.
You can get more information about each of your past activities/workouts by tapping on it in the main view. From here, you can see the estimated number of calories burned, average and maximum heart rate during the activity, and the duration of each activity.
Regarding the WHOOP heart rate sensor. The entire time I tested the WHOOP fitness band, I also wore my Apple Watch Series 6. I was able to see the heart rate on both devices in real time and found that the WHOOP sensor and the Apple Watch heart rate data was always within 1-2 beats of each other.
The neat thing about WHOOP is that it accumulates your fitness data and uses that data to calculate a daily fatigue score for each day. The score lets you know if you should rest or push for more effort the next day.
WHOOP also analyzes your various health metrics like resting heart rate and HRV (heart rate variability) to give you a recovery score. You can then use this score to help you see how your activities are affecting your recovery and help prevent overtraining and injury.
The app provides lots of good information in easy to understand charts and tables, as well as short blurbs at the top of the screen that summarize the information in a small block of information so you don’t have to wonder how. interpret the data.
WHOOP will even track your respiratory rate which signals COVID-related issues and more if you see drastic changes.
The Coaching feature will provide you with a Daily Effort/Exercise Goal based on the previous day’s Activity Effort Recovery Score. With this goal, you will know if you need to take it easy or go all out to achieve your goals for the day.
WHOOP is also a sleep coach that will track your sleep patterns so it can tell you when you need to go to bed so you achieve optimal recovery. It can also use haptic feedback to wake you up at the optimal time based on the wake-up time you set.
This is where I’m going to lose some of you… You’re not actually buying the WHOOP 4.0 fitness tracker. It’s free. What you pay is a monthly or yearly subscription which is as low as $18 per month ($324 upfront) for 18 months, $24 per month ($288 per year) or $30 per month for a minimum of 6 months.
What I like
- Lots of good data on sleep, fatigue and recovery
- Easy to understand and actionable information/advice
What I would change
- Offer a price where you pay once and never have to pay for a monthly subscription
It is important to note that WHOOP is not a smartwatch. There’s no display and it doesn’t buzz when you get a text on your phone or a call. What WHOOP is is a fitness tracker that provides lots of data and coaching tips you can use to optimize your sleep and achieve your fitness goals. If you’re willing to pay for membership, this tracker can be an awesome tool in your health toolbox.
Price: $18 – $30 per month subscription (WHOOP 4.0 fitness band is included)
Source: The sample for this review was provided by WHOOP.