I’ve been analyzing Whoop and Apple Watch for nearly 90 days. And the bottom line is they differ significantly in terms of design, features, function, and overall performance.
Whoop is a fitness tracker focused on optimizing your recovery based on your heart rate, sleep, and activity data. Apple Watch is a health and fitness smartwatch designed for exercise and motivation, and it has a few significant built-ins not found on the Whop 4.0 Strap.
In this Whoop vs Apple Watch guide, I do a complete, front to back comparison between the two devices to help you decide what would be a suitable pick for you.
Let’s get to it.
Whoop vs Fitbit Overall Comparison
Before I go deep into the details, here is a table comparing Whoop and Apple Watch:
|Display & Resolution||No display||1.9 inches with 484 by 396 pixels at 326 PPI density|
|Health & Fitness Tracking||Sleep, heart rate, hydration, skin temperature, HR broadcasting, strain, sleep analysis, sleep quality score, recovery score||Hydration, cycling, calories, skin temperature, sleep, heart rate, guided workouts,|
|Water Resistance||Up to 32 feet underwater for a maximum of 10 minutes||Up to 50 meters underwater for a maximum of 30 minutes|
|Battery Life||4 to 5 days on a single full charge||Up to 36 hours, with Apple Watch Ultra working for up to 60 hours on low power mode|
|Mobile Payments||No mobile payments||Apple Pay enabled|
|GPS||No GPS||Built in GPS|
|Price||$30 per month subscription||Check Price|
Whoop vs Apple Watch: Similarities and Differences Explained
Let me make one thing abundantly clear upfront:
Apple Watch and Whoop are expensive, but they both have features that you won’t find in cheap fitness trackers or smartwatches.
With that out of the way, here’s how they compare:
Display and Resolution
First off, the obviously noticeable difference between Whoop and Apple Watch is the display.
All the Apple Watch Series, as well as the Ultra model, feature vibrant and strong displays that can stand up to everyday use in constantly changing environments.
The screen size of these smartwatches vary based on models, but their pixels per inch density has remained consistent throughout every release.
Apple has maintained its measure of resolution at 326 PPI density. From a practical perspective, the text and images on the screen are clear, and it’s unlikely you’ll ever notice instances of screen tearing or output lags.
You can customize the screen of an Apple Watch to show calories burned, heart rate, steps taken, as well as the current date and time.
Whoop is a different build altogether.
It’s not a smartwatch by any means. So it’s no surprise that it doesn’t have a display, leave alone the features commonly found in a true smartwatch.
To be clear, Whoop 4.0 strap is a fitness tracker whose design features multiple sensors and a comfortable woven band wrapped around a metal buckle.
The lack of a screen on Whoop 4.0 isn’t such a big deal. After all, it pairs to a dedicated app where you can see all your metrics and analyze those stats in minutes.
If the lack of display is intention, then it’s likely that Whoop adopted this design approach to minimize the distractions caused by constantly checking a display to see your progress.
Water Resistance and Swim Tracking
The ability to resist water is a feature to consider when buying a smartwatch or a fitness tracker.
And that’s so particularly if you plan to indulge in water activities such as speedboat riding and swimming.
Whoop and Apple Watch are water-resistant, but how much water they’re able to repulse varies quite significantly.
Regardless of the model you choose, all Apple Watches are water-resistant up to 5 ATM. Based on this simulation testing, the smartwatches can stand up to a water depth of 50 meters and they’re therefore ideal for water sports.
The ability to stand water pressure to a depth as huge as 50 meters for a period of about 30 minutes makes Apple Watch the kind of smartwatch that you can wear even to the deepest swimming pool in the world.
On the other hand, Whoop Straps have the IP68 rating, which means their water resistance is about 32 feet underwater. That’s about 9.7 meters of survival in water, and for a period of not more than10 minutes.
You can wear Whoop to the shower, and it should stand up to light rains quite well. However, you can’t wear it to the swimming pool or use it for scuba diving.
GPS System Integration
I can’t imagine that wearable technology has advanced so much that we can now talk about GPS integration in some smartwatches and fitness trackers.
With the GPS system, be it connected or onboard, you can track distance, know your pace, and even map out your route during workouts.
Apple Watch Series 4, 5, 6, SE, 7, 8, and Ultra feature the built-in GPS system, which can help you discover and map new routes, account for distance covered, and even understand your workout.
With the positioning feature, you can visit a new place and never worry about losing your way back because you can use Apple Watch as your compass.
Unfortunately, Whoop doesn’t have an onboard GPS system. And it doesn’t include the option to take advantage of connected GPS either.
The whole point of Whoop isn’t to focus on distance covered anyway. Given that it’s a fitness tracker built to help you with recovery, the lack of the GPS system integration may not be a deal breaker.
Knowing how well you sleep each night can go a long way to help you optimize your bedtime schedule. And it’s a good thing that both Apple Watch and Whoop allow you to track sleep.
These devices depend on real-time movement and heart rate to collect data. The sensors will listen to the motions you make and start monitoring your sleep as soon as your body stops moving.
Whoop is a better sleep tracker because, in addition to monitoring four sleep stages, it also allows you to do an in-depth analysis to understand the quality of your sleep.
From my personal experience, you even recall how many steps I walked in the last hour from off of the top of my head.
A smartwatch or fitness tracker can be quite handy here. The device can track and keep a record of steps you take for a given period. And then you can use this data to optimize your workout.
Sadly, the step-tracking feature isn’t available on Whoop. So if step tracking is a must-have feature for you, get yourself an Apple Watch.
Heart Rate Monitor and Skin Temperature Sensor
The heart rate monitor built into a smartwatch and fitness tracker may not be an accurate technology. But the estimates you get from these devices can be incredibly valuable.
Both Apple Watch and Whoop have built-in heart rate sensors that check your resting heart rate, as well as heart rate variability.
This information can help you to optimize your workout duration, not to mention select the intensity of exercises that would be suitable for you.
Both devices include skin temperature sensors, which works every 5 seconds over the night. The technology is particularly useful to women, as it enables them to track their menstrual health.
Hydration is so important because it affects your recovery score, resting heart rate, and sleep.
Both Whoop and Apple Watch track hydration.
According to Whoop, at least a third of its members track their hydration levels frequently with the journal.
Apple Watch will also let you monitor your hydration levels, as well as let you log your water intake for efficient consumption.
Battery runtime on a single charge is something to take seriously when choosing a fitness tracker or a smartwatch.
I tend to settle for wearable that have longer battery life on a single full charge.
But then again, I wouldn’t hang on the battery runtime so much that I overlook the features that a fitness tracker or smartwatch has to offer.
As for Whoop and Apple Watch, the battery runtime on a single full charge varies quite significantly.
Whoop 3.0 and 4.0 straps offer longer life. Expect the straps to work for an average of 4 days with constant fitness monitoring before the battery runs out.
Apple Watches don’t have the best battery life. Owing to the many battery-draining features engraved into its hardware, you’re likely to get a runtime of up to 18 hours on a single charge.
The brand’s latest model, Ultra, has a better battery life, though. It boasts of a runtime of up to 36 hours in smartwatch mode.
You also have options to save Apple Watch battery, including activating the Low Power Mode on Ultra to increase the runtime to at most 60 hours.
As for the charging time, it takes about 120 minutes to juice up Whoop straps and Apple Watches. But some Apple Watch models can take about 30 minutes more to charge fully.
One thing that might turn you off about Whoop is its subscription model. But if you’re in it for detailed sleep tracking and workout recovery, the subscription plan might be worth it.
You get a Whoop 4.0 strap at no cost with a lifetime warranty. However, you must have an active subscription to use Whoop with a 12-month commitment.
You don’t need a monthly subscription plan to use an Apple Watch, regardless of what model it is.
Once you buy your Apple Watch, you simply set it up by connecting it to an iPhone and start using it right away.
Your Apple Watch purchase comes with a 3-month trial for Apple Fitness+, which costs $9.99 per month after the trial expires. But you can opt out of the plan if you no longer wish to receive thousands of training videos and still use your Apple Watch.
- Whoop vs Amazon Halo: How Do They Compare?
- Is Whoop Better than Fitbit?
- What to Wear Instead of Whoop
Whoop Straps and Apple Watches are great fitness trackers and smartwatches respectively. From where I sit, they both deserve an audience because they serve completely different purposes.
However, if you’re searching for a wearable with a ton of health and fitness features, you should consider going for an Apple Watch.
I would personally go for an Apple Watch because, despite lacking in recovery, it can count steps and track swimming. Also, you don’t need a subscription plan to use an Apple Watch.