I was quite a hardcore fan of Fitbit fitness trackers a few months back. Then a friend of mine recommended me to use a WHOOP strap to keep a tab on my training. And I found some quite interesting results as it helped me to delve into the insights.
And hence, my Fitbit passion finds a sweet competitor, WHOOP straps! Now it’s time I put them on the dissection table and analyze the preference for WHOOP vs Fitbit fitness trackers.
Two types of people came through my mind while writing. That’s why I’ll try to indulge you in two perspectives. Maybe you’re a regular guy eager to achieve fitness or you follow a routine for good habits for exercise. Or you are an athlete who wants to have full insights into the data for getting an edge.
However, instead of focusing on the specific models of Fitbit vs WHOOP, I’ll discuss the underlying technology and features of them. That will help you to appreciate the capability of the fitness trackers. To follow a standard, I chose Fitbit Versa 2 and WHOOP Strap 3.0 for most of the comparison. The comparison of WHOOP vs Fitbit Versa 2 will, hopefully, help you to figure out the perfect device for your dedicated fitness sessions.
However, in this article, you’ll get to know your choices between WHOOP straps and Fitbit watches. You’ll know if you want a cheerleader or a veteran coach to help you achieve your fitness goals.
WHOOP certainly adorns some extraordinary features that Fitbit can’t offer you with any of its fitness trackers. Take a look at the points below:
Measurement of Heart Rate Variability
WHOOP bands assess the strains of a user and advise accordingly
Strain management and recovery monitoring
Monitoring of ectodermal temperature though the data isn’t shown directly
Lowers the risk for injury
The WHOOP fitness tracker doesn’t include any display
Free WHOOP band meaning that the hardware is totally free
WHOOP bands act as your trainer or virtual coach
Unique Features of Fitbit Charge 3
From the pure aspect of tracking fitness, WHOOP avoids any smartwatch features. Also, Fitbit has some better way of telling the metrics. Let’s take a look at the unique features of Fitbit that WHOOP straps don’t have.
Fitbit tells you the time from its AMOLED display
It can receive notifications on the smart screen
Features oxygen saturations measurements
Track menstrual cycle
Can diagnose medical issues like insomnia or apnea
Count steps with the pedometer
Can play music and other entertaining activitiess
Tracks your location using GPS and GLONASS
Always motivates the users to reach their goals
Hardware & Abstract Values: WHOOP vs Fitbit
Brand Value: WHOOP vs Fitbit
If you look at the brand’s popularity, Fitbit is far more ahead of WHOOP. But it’s because Fitbit works in several projects for developing smartwatches and fitness trackers. Fitbit offers plenty of choices for fitness freaks with different features installed. That’s why they reached a greater audience.
However, WHOOP is dedicated to concentrating on fitness and health monitoring. Their all-round analysis and insights about the training help the athletes a lot. That’s why WHOOP brands are gaining traction these days. They intentionally avoid using display just because it wants the users to fully concentrate on the physical aspects.
The credibility and reliability of the WHOOP straps are drawing them closer and even more than the Apple Watch and Fitbit. It’s because of their underlying technology in assessing a person’s daily life including their workouts and training sessions.
What Sensors Do WHOOP & Fitbit Have
To get accurate and precise data, the sensors should be cutting-edge and highly reliable. Fitbit and WHOOP use the sensors to track heart rate and HRV, sleep quality, oxygen saturation, and so more.
Sensors used by Fitbit:
Optical Heart Rate Monitor
Sensors used by WHOOP bands:
PPG-heart rate sensor
Design & Comfort
The design of a wearable can mean a lot as they catch on the wrists for a long period. All the functionalities can be worthless if the wearable doesn’t sit well on the wearer. For instance, Oura doesn’t comply with the Gym fun and so, it lost its exuberant appeal for highly effective features.
WHOOP knows that well and surprisingly, they didn’t think a display would be a necessary installment in a fitness tracker. WHOOP thought of the comfortability of the wearer. The sleek design of the band without any exaggeration of metal display loses the weight for a lion’s portion. WHOOP intentionally avoids the display to keep a low profile.
WHOOP strap doesn’t have any buttons in its minimalist decoration. You can’t tell the time looking at it. You can’t interact with the device other than seeing the battery life by double-tapping it.
The new ProKnit bands are stretchy but catch on the wrist perfectly. The bands can absorb and repel water quickly. WHOOP bands come with different colors to choose from. It includes arctic, carbide, and onyx forms of color schemes.
The WHOOP strap is just like a regular band you can wear all day long. To get leverage on your dedicated fitness training, you can also strap the WHOOP 3.0 band on your sleeve. You can access plenty of options for colors of the straps that will suit you well.
For the very concept of handling your life smartly, Fitbit comes with a gorgeous and high-end AMOLED display. But as a fitness tracker, it loses its edge. The metal casing and display put much gravitational weight on the wrist. Despite the sleek design and lightweight metal, the smartwatch is uncomfortable on the wrist while working out. Compared to the WHOOP straps, Fitbit is hard to wear for constant measuring of health and fitness data.
However, Fitbit designs their watch not only to keep track of your fitness but also associates multiple other functions. The difference between Fitbit and WHOOP is that the Fitbit allows you to access most of the data directly from the device’s screen. Moreover, you can glimpse at the notifications for calls, messages, and others. As WHOOP comes as a whole set of fitness tracking functionalities, Fitbit loses the battle with the design and comfortability for its multipurpose functions.
Battle For Battery Life: WHOOP vs Fitbit
The battery is one of the first things that come to mind while picking up a smartwatch. All the smart features drain the life of a battery. The sleep tracker drains the battery dramatically. That’s why smartwatches don’t want to dare this feature. Let’s see how the battery of WHOOP and Fitbit cope up with the smart brains inside.
Fitbit has more features than the WHOOP band. With all the smartwatch features like telling time, getting notifications, Fitbit also deals with fitness and health trackers. Despite all the battery draining activities, the battery lasts for 6+ days. If some features tend to drain the battery quicker, you can shut them down and afford more lifetimes.
The GPS version consumes less battery than the cellular version. If you use cellular networks, it will consume the lion’s portion of the battery. Other models of Fitbit smartwatch also passed the test of durability in terms of battery life. Fitbit Charge 3 can last for 7 days before you put it in charge again.
WHOOP comes with a small battery pack that allows the straps to be easily charged even when worn. That’s something you won’t experience with Fitbit and other fitness trackers. And you can wear the straps throughout the day to get deep insights about the health data. You can wear the WHOOP straps straight for 5 days.
To charge the straps, you just need to slide the battery pack on top of it. It will take almost 2 hours to be fully charged. You can charge the battery pack later with the USB cable. To monitor the battery life, just double tap on it and three LED lights will beep to let you know the percentage.
Health & Fitness Trackers: WHOOP vs Fitbit
Heart Rate Monitoring: WHOOP vs Fitbit Versa 2
Both WHOOP and Fitbit use their space-age technology to track heart functions. It reaches such a height that medical issues can reliably be diagnosed from the data. The WHOOP straps used some of the finest sensors to track every possible aspect of your health. Like the ambient temperature and others.
The plus point for WHOOP straps is that they count Heart Rate Variability (HRV) The metric is regarded as very important data for recovery and strain management. The main attractions of the WHOOP band depend on this data. However, the heart rate can reliably be tracked down by the sensors. However, some users complained about errors when they move their arms more frequently.
Though Fitbit doesn’t show any data about HRV, it has added another interesting feature, measuring oxygen saturation. We’ll discuss it later in this article. But Fitbit also uses some high functioning methods to keep a tab on the heart. Fitbit uses light reflection on the blood capillary and analyzes data measuring the change in superficial blood. As blood absorbs a specific wavelength, the device can get hold of the peripheral blood pressure and heart rate.
Heart Rate Variability
Heart Rate Variability is an essential metric concerning physical fitness. You’ll find it on WHOOP straps. But it’s not available on Fitbit models. It is believed that the fluctuations in the HRV can be highly accurate to indicate one’s physiological evolution. The data can come in handy for athletes and sportsmen.
Heart Rate Variability is the variation of time between heartbeats. A normal adult person has an average heart rate of 60-100 beats per minute. If someone has a heart rate of 60 beats per minute. That means his heart beats once per second on average. It broadens the idea that actually, there may be two heartbeats that occur in 1.9 seconds. And another two heartbeats that occur in only 2.1 seconds. On average, two heartbeats take only 2 seconds to lub and dub.
The fluctuations in the heart rate are known as Heart Rate Variability. The more the HRV the better. And it means you’re recovering really well.
It’s an essential measurement if you want to monitor your time for recovery and strain management. The metric is not available on many other fitness trackers other than WHOOP bands. That’s why athletes prefer WHOOP straps to Fitbit smartwatches.
Sleep Tracking Credibility: Fitbit vs WHOOP
Sleep Tracking is one of the most desired features that also associates with some medical issues. A sound sleep replenishes your day’s monotony and prepares you for the next day’s boatload of work. The cells get enough time to replenish their lost energy and continue their growth through mitosis. That’s why, you need a device that provides metrics with ultimate accuracy, not to hope for cent percent accuracy though.
A typical sleep cycle normally consists of 4 different stages:
Slow Wave Sleep or Deep Sleep
Rapid Eye Movement Sleep (REM)- Deepest Sleep
WHOOP uses its sensors to record heart rate, movement, and ectodermal temperature. All the data is analyzed with cutting-edge machine learning in their data center and provides results accordingly.
But how accurately does WHOOP track sleep? Well, recently the University of Arizona released a publication on the accuracy of the WHOOP band’s efficiency in tracking sleep. They compared it with the results of Polysomnography (PSG), the gold standard for tracking sleep. Amazingly, data from the WHOOP watch almost resonates with the data from PSG with only a little margin of errors.
The WHOOP strap shows the time you spent on every stage of sleep. It can measure the time for sleep latency (wisdom: sleep latency is the time needed to fall asleep) As the band tracks various data, it can provide reliable metrics to monitor your sleep.
Though the WHOOP watch doesn’t show ambient temperature, it uses the temperature to measure sleep. During deep sleep, our skin temperature tends to increase and WHOOP won’t let the data untried. Even the band shows your respiratory rate while sleeping. The data can be interpreted into any medical issues like apnea or insomnia. Medical people can rely on the WHOOP band data as it can provide data credible as from EKG, PSG, and others.
Fitbit can’t be beaten in terms of sleep tracking. They have also developed and followed some effective methods to track sleep. The procedure is known as actigraphy. Actigraphy can detect the movement and toss around your body. That helps them determine if you’re asleep. However, Fitbit added oxygen saturations measurements that can tell you if you’re having insomnia or apnea.
Oxygen saturation can only be found on Fitbit fitness trackers as the WHOOP strap doesn’t provide data for oxygen saturation. It’s the amount of oxygen dissolved in the blood. As blood carries oxygen to every cell for biological work, oxygen saturation should always remain normal.
Oxygen saturation can surface several medical conditions if properly monitored. At this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, oxygen saturation is an essential metric for critical patients. As it happens, saturation suddenly drops on the COVID-19 patient and if not ventilated in time, he couldn’t survive. So you can constantly monitor the oxygen level in your blood while wearing it.
Moreover, the saturation level can also detect any irregularities in your sleep. It raises the possibility of insomnia and apnea. With the help of actigraphy, Fitbit Versa can easily tell you the medical issues with your sleep.
Strain Management and Recovery
This is the most desired and much-applauded feature of WHOOP straps. The coaching of the WHOOP bands helps the fitness freaks to push their skills to a new height. And Fitbit doesn’t come up with such an extraordinary feature. Though we hope that Fitbit will pay heed to the popular sounds of this feature.
Specialists say that WHOOP strap reduces the risks of injury by 60%. If you exercise to a great extent without proper recovery, it will damage any of your tissues or systems. WHOOP monitors your heart rate, Heart Rate Variability, and sleep hours to provide your recovery rate.
After a day’s boatload of workouts and strains, the body needs to recover for the next day’s hype. Without being fully recovered, you can fall into any severe injuries. The WHOOP straps will show you if you’re 100% or 75% recovered from the strains. And how much effort you need to push if you don’t fully recover from the previous day. It’s like a perfect coach that teaches you what to do and when to do.
Calorie Burn Tracker: WHOOP vs Fitbit
Calorie burn measurement is an interesting and essential metric. So it needs to be more accurate to help people with fat burns. As it goes, to lose weight you need to burn more calories than you consume.
Different types of people lose fats in different activities. Some lose their stomach if they continue steady cardio workouts. Some others easily lose weight with internal workouts. You can also monitor your diet if they’re contributing to your weight loss. That’s why accuracy in measuring calorie burn is so important.
The WHOOP strap not only tracks the calories you burn on the workouts but it also measures the burning calories in physiological events. That means our body burns calories when our hearts beat, lungs breath, brain thinks, cells divide, and everything else our body needs to do to keep it alive. In medical terms, it’s known as BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate).
Fitbit also tracks the calories your body burns during the training session. However, it formulates the BMR with some of the data you entered like your height, weight, etc. Though metrics from Fitbit and WHOOP don’t match at all. They’re more closer and practical.
It seems that WHOOP does a better performance than Fitbit as they always keep a tab in your calorie burns. Even if you’re taking a diet or taking on workouts, it shows the curve for the ups and downs of calories. This curve will tell you the perfect diet and effective training for calorie burns.
Pedometer Accuracy: Fitbit vs WHOOP
Counting steps is a helpful and motivational metric for your fitness. You can set for specific steps and the watch will keep you motivated to complete the goal. It’s entertaining and at the same time an effective measure.
Fitbit features this exciting pedometer function. If you’re a busy guy trying to figure your way out to training sessions, this function can be helpful. Fitbit uses an accelerometer and gyroscope to measure your steps. The accuracy is quite reliable.
The WHOOP strap doesn’t feature any pedometer. They think it’s totally unnecessary in a fitness tracker. Rather they concentrate on the bigger aspects of fitness training. As counting steps don’t go with the physiological and overall health, WHOOP avoids such trifle entertainment.
Water Resistance: WHOOP Watch vs Fitbit
As WHOOP can be worn always without keeping off your wrist or sleeve, It’s designed according to the standard of IP68. The WHOOP straps can resist the water pressure of 3ATM. That means you can dive into 30 meters or 100ft of water. To be precise, the water can’t affect the device while you’re swimming or snorkeling in shallow water.
Fitbit can also withstand the pressure deep down the water. Fitbit Versa 2 can dip into 50 meters of water without any damages. You don’t need to worry while taking a shower, swimming in the pool, or snorkeling underwater.
Cost-Effective: WHOOP band vs Fitbit
If you’re willing to buy a Fitbit Versa 2, it’ll cost you only $199 to afford the hardware. If you want to fully access all of the features, you’ll need a premium membership. That’ll cost you a few more bucks.
WHOOP strap is free but… you have to buy a membership. They offer different packages for different periods. The membership charge is worth the functions WHOOP provides to you. Moreover, you can access a community that shares the same dedication and motives as you do. Unlike the other communities, the members here are more dedicated and strict to gain their fitness goals.
User-friendly & Easy Maneuver: WHOOP Fitness Tracker vs Fitbit
Both Fitbit and WHOOP present data in their way. The apps on the phone allow access to plenty of data. If you use WHOOP straps, the app will show you in-depth data purely for fitness development. The metrics are graphically illustrated with the option for easy navigation to your desired data. Fitbit also arranged the data under different topics. It also has easy navigation to data. Moreover, the Fitbit app always motivates you to complete your goals.