Wearable tech is everywhere now. So whatever information you want to know about what’s going on in your body can be sent straight to your phone 24 hours a day.
While, for some people, this prospect may sound worryingly dystopian, for others, it’s an exciting opportunity to connect with themselves and to help improve their health at the same time.
We already compared the benefits of Whoop vs. Fitbit, but technology e”evolving at a fast pace, a new comparison had to be made. Two new releases have been creating quite a buzz: the Whoop 4 and the Apple Watch Series 7, and if you’re feeling torn about which one would be best for you, read on for our handy guide to all of the important bits.
Whoop vs. Apple Watch
The design of these two wearables could not be more different. The Apple Watch Series 7 is in keeping with previous Apple Watch designs, with a prominent rectangular touchscreen as the watch face.
The Whoop 4, on the other hand, isn’t a watch at all. Instead, the Whoop 4 is the sensor that tracks all of your data, which can then be placed inside a strap to wear on your body. There is no interface at all, and the data is sent straight to the Phone’s Whoop app and the cloud.
And with both wearables, there is a lot of opportunity for customization. For example, for the Apple Watch Series 7, you can choose from a staggering array of watch straps in just about every material and color you can think of.
There are also three different material options for the watch itself:
- Titanium (space black and silver)
- Stainless steel (silver, graphite, and gold)
- Aluminum (midnight starlight, green, red, and blue)
With the Whoop 4 has come a new style strap to wear it in. It is made of SuperKnit, designed to be comfortable enough to wear all day and night. You can also customize the color of the hook, clasp, and Fast Link slider. And you’re not limited to wearing it on a band across your wrist. Whoop has brought in Any Wear technology where the Whoop 4 can be worn in their new range of technical fitness clothing and even on a chest strap. And when it is linked with the clothing, it can automatically detect where it is being worn on the body.
Both the Apple Watch Series 7 and the Whoop 4 have hardware that has been upgraded and improved since their predecessors.
The Apple Watch Series 7:
* 33% faster charging
* 70% brighter screen
* 20% bigger screen
* 18-hour battery life
* crack, IP6X dust, and WR50 water resistance
* low-power OLED always-on display with integrated touch sensor
* dual-core S7 System in Package (SiP), which is 20% faster
* black ceramic sapphire crystal backing
* digital crown with haptic feedback
The Whoop 4:
* 5 LEDs and four photodiodes
* multi-day battery life
* waterproof battery pack for charging on the go (sense doesn’t need to be removed for charging)
* waterproof up to 10 meters
* silicon anode battery which has 17% higher energy density and a longer cycle life
The Apple Watch 7 and the Whoop 4 are entirely different beasts with very different goals. The Apple Watch 7 is a smartwatch with all the capabilities you can expect from the available smartwatch technology. Whereas the Whoop 4 is specifically designed to be a streamlined and minimalist health tracker. So, in terms of available features, the Apple Watch 7 has far and above more to look at than the Whoop 4.
The Apple Watch 7 comes with various features designed to make it fully integrated into your lifestyle. You can make phone calls and send messages to your friends and family. You can also listen to music, audiobooks, and podcasts. It has Siri integrated into it and the Apple Maps app. You can also use Apple Wallet so that you can pay for things with contactless technology using your watch.
Apple has introduced Family Setup, which allows you to link Apple Watches with your family and even those that don’t have iPhones so that you can stay connected all the time. Thousands of apps can be used with the Apple Watch on the App Store, with a whole host of fun features that you can take advantage of.
Apple has also taken advantage of the bigger screen size by making the buttons on many of the apps bigger so that they are easier to use. They have also introduced a Qwerty keyboard that can be tapped or used with QuickPath, a swiping system that predicts what words you are trying to type using AI.
The Always On feature means that the screen always displays some basic features, such as the watch’s hands, even when the watch isn’t raised to your face. In addition, the screen is dimmer, and it is in battery-saving mode when the watch is at your side.
Compared with the Apple Watch 7’s features, the Whoop 4 can look very basic, but remember that that is precisely the point. The lack of these extra features is a deliberate choice. The Whoop 4 is tailored perfectly to tracking your health data and your health data only. And we will take a look at those health features in the next section.
Health and Fitness Features
Both of these wearables are designed with a wide range of health and fitness features incorporated into them. Let’s take a look at what these wearables can do to help you track just about everything.
The Apple Watch 7 has the same sensor as the 6, which tracks your resting heart rate, heart rate when you are active, and calories burned. The watch will automatically detect that you might be working out by the changes in your heart rate, but it won’t start actively tracking the workout until you respond to the prompt to confirm that you are exercising. A new feature for the 7 is that it is now able to detect when you start cycling. And, when you are cycling, it will give you audio feedback on factors such as your speed and distance.
It has the same Activity Rings as its predecessors, which show how much you Move, Exercise, and Stand. You can share your rings with your friends and family and even set up activity competitions with them. So if your competitive edge keeps you motivated, this can be an outstanding feature.
You also have the option to subscribe to Apple Fitness+. Through this service, you can access new workouts every week. There are 11 different types of workouts, including HIIT training, yoga, and strength. When you connect to Fitness+, you will be able to see your real-time metrics onscreen during each workout.
The Whoop 4 collates fitness metrics in a slightly different way. Rather than having Activity Rings, it uses Strain and Recovery periods. Its 5 LEDs and four photodiodes track your data continuously so, when it automatically detects activity, it will continuously be tracking it (without you needing to tell it to).
The Strain score use Whoop’s own 0-21 scale to categorize your activity into light, moderate, high, or overreaching. You can track your day strain over the week, as well as your average heart rate and your calorie burn. You can also access your personalized Strain Coach, which helps you stay on track with the amount of strain you want to put your body under.
Whoop Live is a feature that allows you to overlay your real-time heart rate data over a video of you working out. This can be very helpful if you want to get a detailed picture of how effective different elements of your workout are. The Whoop 4 is also BLE compatible, so you can broadcast your heart rate to these devices without having your phone nearby.
The Apple Watch Series 7 and the Whoop 4 have both included a range of health features that go beyond fitness tracking. The Apple Watch 7 allows you to measure your blood oxygen level in two different ways. It will measure the levels automatically over the course of the day when you are still enough for a reading to be taken. But you can also take a reading on-demand to see a full reading that can then be stored in the Health app on your iPhone.
The Apple Watch 7 also allows you to take a single-lead ECG. This is achieved by creating two points of contact: your wrist and your finger pressed against the digital crown. You can share your ECG readings with your doctor. It has fall detection technology included which uses a gyroscope to detect when you have fallen over. The watch will notify your loved ones so that you can get some help. And there is a dedicated meditation app to help you relax.
More than a simple fitness tracker, the Whoop 4 also collects a wide range of health data. The entire picture can be exported as a PDF so that you can share it with your doctor, and the health monitoring data will include: heart rate, skin temperature, blood oxygen levels, resting heart rate, heart rate variability (more on this later), and respiratory rate.
It doesn’t allow you to take on-demand readings of any of these features, but it continuously tracks them so that the PDF report can give a clear and detailed picture of your health stats.
Heart Rate Variability
The Whoop 4 measures your heart rate variability. This is a key part of the Recovery element of their metrics. Your heart rate variability measures how variable the time difference is between each heartbeat and can be an important indication of your fitness and your health.
Whoop uses your heart rate variability, resting heart rate, and sleep performance to calculate what stage of recovery you are in. It then categories your status into green, yellow, or red. These categories give you an indication of whether you should be actively resting or whether your body is ready to go back into Strain.
It can also help you understand the factors that could affect your performance, and Whoop provides you with a detailed monthly report to help you detect any patterns.
Sleep tracking can be an essential part of measuring your health metrics, mainly because it is almost impossible for us to know how much sleep we have had and our sleep quality. These variables will track your sleep data and give you a complete picture of how well you are sleeping via a personalized sleep score.
It wasn’t really possible to use the Apple Watch models as a sleep tracked because of the limited battery life. The watch couldn’t last more than a day and so would need to be charged overnight. However, with the Apple Watch 7, Apple has made some tweaks which means that it is now possible to use the watch to monitor your sleep via the Apple Watch app.
It now takes 45 minutes for the Apple Watch 7 to reach 85% charge, so it is more realistic to charge it in the morning after you wake up. Apple also says that 8 minutes of charging time will give you enough power for 8 hours of sleep tracking.
The sleep tracking itself uses the sensors in the watch to track your movement and heart rate to calculate when you are awake and asleep. This information can then be linked to the Sleep Health app on your iPhone to give you your sleep tracking details. These details can show you how long you were asleep, as well as how many times you woke up during the night. So you get an idea of your sleep duration and your sleep quality.
You can use the app to create a personal bedtime routine and schedule that will allow you to meet the sleep goals that you set. The watch will also measure your respiratory rate throughout the night, which can indicate your health.
The Whoop 4 goes into a little more depth with its sleep tracking features. It uses the same data to monitor your sleep, but it breaks it down into more of a fine-grained picture. For example, it will track your time in bed and how long it takes you to get to sleep (if you manually tell it that you are going to sleep). It will also measure the number of disturbances you had throughout the night and your sleep efficiency.
You can see a picture of how much time you spent in each of the four sleep cycles: awake, light sleep, REM sleep, and deep/slow-wave sleep. Spending enough time in each cycle is key when it comes to sleep quality, so it is beneficial to be able to have this information at hand.
The Whoop 4 also provides you with a personal sleep coach. Unlike the Apple Watch 7, you don’t manually input your sleep goal. Instead, it uses the date from your activity to determine how much sleep you will need each night. Your baseline level of sleep is how much you will need on average each night, but it also takes into account any recent strain periods, the amount of sleep debt you have built up, as well as any naps that you had throughout the day.
You can set your own sleep goals, but not by inputting the number of hours you want to sleep. Instead, you can say that you want peak sleep (100% of the sleep that you need), perform sleep (85% of the sleep that you need), or get by sleep (70% of the sleep that you need).
We all know that complaints about poor battery life have plagued the Apple Watch. It is a byproduct of its having so many features. However, Apple has made strides with the Apple Watch 7 to make the battery life easier to manage by using fast charging technology to make it charge 33% quicker. The Apple Watch 7 has an 18-hour battery life, but, of course, the actual amount you get will depend on how much you use the watch and what you use it for.
The Whoop 4 doesn’t run into the same issues as the Apple Watch 7 because it has no display and no features in the sensor itself. The battery can last for days at a time. With the Whoop 4, you also get a battery pack. This pack is charged separately, and then when you want to charge the Whoop 4, you attach the battery pack to it while you are still wearing it.
This means that you never actually have to take the Whoop 4 off to charge it. Whoop says that it is designed to be worn 24/7, and they do mean 24/7.
The price set-up for the two wearables is quite different. Apple hasn’t released a full price list for the Apple Watch 7, but pricing will start at $399. If you want to subscribe to Fitness+, you can get that free for three months when you buy the watch, but you will have to pay for it every month after that. And many of the other features, such as Apple Music, will also cost a monthly subscription fee.
You don’t pay anything for the Whoop 4 outright. Instead, you pay a monthly subscription to receive the Whoop 4 and the Whoop app. This is $30 a month, but the price is lower if you choose to pay for a more extended period at once, with the 18-month option working out at $18 a month. Like Apple, you can pay more for extra features. For example, if you want a different strap (you get one free) or you want some of the sensor Whoop-4 compatible clothing, this will cost you extra.
Is the Whoop 4 worth it?
The Whoop 4 is unashamedly a fitness band and nothing else. It has no display and no features included within the sensor itself, but it is very good at giving you highly detailed health and fitness data. Because it is designed to be worn 24/7, you never have any gaps at all. You also have the option to wear it on different parts of your body so that it can track your data whatever you’re doing.
- Fine-grained 24/7 health and fitness data, including strain and recovery score
- Versatility with how it can be worn (whoop strap)
- Excellent battery life and the ability to charge it while it is being worn
- Detailed health reports including strain and recovery score, making it one of the best fitness tracker
- No display on the Whoop 4 itself (everything is managed via the app)
- No extra features
- No ECG or fall detection options
Is the Apple Watch 7 worth it?
The Apple Watch 7 is a health and fitness tracker and much more besides. It tracks your activity, sleep, and health, and you have the option to take regular ECGs that can be shared with your doctor. And, on top of this, you can do all manner of other things with the watch, including making phone calls, sending messages, listening to music, and much more.
- Wide range of health and fitness tracking including HRV
- ECG FDA-cleared algorithm
- Access to thousands of apps from the App Store
- Extra features, including making phone calls, sending text messages, Siri, etc
- While the battery life is better, it still won’t last a full day
- Less detailed health and fitness tracking
- Can only be worn on the wrist and has to be taken off to charge
Which one is best for you?
Comparing these two wearables is almost like comparing apples and oranges. The one that’s best for you will depend entirely on what you want your wearable to do.
If you want your wearable to give you very detailed health and fitness tracking and nothing else, then the Whoop 4 is the perfect option. On the other hand, if you prefer a wearable that can do health and fitness tracking and offer you a range of other features, then the Apple Watch 7 is the better option.
To Wrap Up
The Apple Watch 7 and the Whoop 4 have both improved on the models that came before them, addressing many of the issues that users have had with them in the past. And they have both dealt with them well, so when you buy one of these models, you can be pretty confident that they will perform well at what they set out to do. And they set out to do quite different things.
They are both capable of innovative health and fitness tracking. Still, the Whoop 4 provides a mass of data that you can use to get a super in-depth idea of your health and fitness on a 24/7 basis, whereas the Apple Watch 7 provides less detailed health and fitness data but with the capability of a vast range of other features.