Whoop became popular as the strap that NBA players and UFC athletes were spotted sneaking them under their sweatbands, but up until now, LeBron James’ tech has had mixed reviews in the crowded fitness tracker market.
Some users loved the detailed recovery data, helping them know when they should skip a workout and when they could really push themselves, others questioned the accuracy of the fitness tracker’s heart rate data. But now the Whoop 4.0 has been released — read our full Whoop 4.0 review here.
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Whoop said its new fitness tracker is 33% smaller and more accurate than before, thanks to new sensors. It also announced Whoop body, a line of smart apparel that allows users to wear their tracker on multiple locations on their bodies.
Here’s what you need to know about the new tech.
Whoop 4.0: Price and release date
Unlike other trackers on the market, the Whoop band itself doesn’t have a set price, instead, users sign up via a monthly subscription, which costs $30/£30 a month and they get the band free with that. Back in September, when the Whoop was announced, any user with at least six months left on their account could choose to upgrade to the Whoop 4.0 band for free. New users can also sign up now to get their hands on a Whoop 4.0 on the Whoop website.
In terms of release date, this is where things get a little more confusing. Whoop is said to be experiencing delays getting their new band out to consumers, and have said they are prioritizing existing members. On Twitter, the company said, “Due to global supply chain issues & chip shortages, we are currently experiencing longer than normal shipping timelines. We apologize for the inconvenience and understand your frustration. We assure you we are working around the clock to get you your 4.0 ASAP!”.
Whoop 4.0 specs vs Whoop 3.0: What’s changed?
Like Whoop 3.0, the new tracker will still give users in-depth sleep, strain, and recovery data. Like its predecessor, the tracker has no screen, no ability to read your smartphone notifications or listen to music, it just tracks data. It’s designed to be comfortable around the wrist 24/7 and the new Whoop 4.0 is smaller and lighter than the older strap.
Here’s what else has changed:
Addressing the shortfalls of its older products, Whoop said the Whoop 4.0’s sensor now contains 5 LEDs (three green, one red, and one infrared), 4 photodiodes, and advanced algorithms for more accurate heart rate tracking. The new tracker will also be able to calculate blood oxygen levels.
These new sensors are designed to give users more enhanced health insights. Your skin's temperature, for example, can be used as a metric to see when your core body temperature is rising, which could be a sign you're getting ill. Aside from illness, the body's core temperature should drop at bedtime as part of a natural circadian rhythm, so skin temperature can give more detailed sleep data.
While skin temperature isn't something that can really be focused on alone (the environment can affect temperature, for example) when paired with blood oxygen levels and heart rate, it can give more a detailed insight into your overall health. Other trackers on the market have begun to use skin temperature as a health metric, with Fitbit adding it to the Fitbit Sense last year.
But the Apple Watch, a device that's regarded as the best smartwatch around and is flush with health-tacking tech, has yet to gain skin temperature measuring sensors. So the Whoop 4.0 has an ace up its sleeve, though Apple is said to have been working on skin temperature measuring since 2019, but the feature didn't arrive with the Apple Watch 7.
New vibration features
Another new feature are the "haptic alerts" of the Whoop 4.0 designed so "that members can set to wake them up through gentle vibrations at the optimal time based on their sleep needs and cycles." In other words, the new Sleep Coach feature will use vibrations to wake you up based on your sleep cycle, rather than when you set your alarm.
Whoop 4.0: Battery life
The Whoop 4.0 has a 4-5 day battery life. One of the smarter features of the Whoop is that you can charge the tracker on your wrist; why other trackers on the market, or indeed the Apple Watch and other smartwatches, haven’t adopted these, we don’t know.
With the Whoop 4.0, the Whoop and the battery pack are now waterproof to 10 meters, meaning you won’t have to worry about wearing and charging the device in the shower, or when washing up.
Whoop app: What's new?
Whoop also announced changes to its incredibly detailed app, which will now allow members to track their live heart rate, skin temperature, blood oxygen saturation, resting heart rate, heart rate variability, and respiratory heart rate in one view. Users will also be able to download and export 30-day or 180-day trends, to share this data with a trainer or coach.
Whoop body: Price and release date
Another feature linked to the launch of the Whoop 4.0 is the "Whoop body" — a collection of apparel that allows the tracker to be collect data from different areas of the body. The apparel ranges from $54 to $109 and includes sports bras, compression tops, leggings, shorts, and boxers with ‘built-in pods’ that allow the tracker to be worn on the torso, waist and calf muscles.
There’s also an arm sleeve and a hydro sleeve, which allows users to wear the tracker in the swimming pool. Aside from the pockets for the Whoop tracker, the apparel doesn’t seem to have any stand-out features. But for athletes who also want real-time data from their sports watch, having less tech on their wrist could be a handy feature. A selection of Whoop Body products are on sale now.
Whoop 4.0: Outlook
Having tested the Whoop 3.0, I'm excited to see how the Whoop 4.0 measures up. I think the ability to charge the strap on the wrist is excellent, and the fact the charger is also now waterproof is an impressive addition. I'm also excited to see whether the new sensors actually do make the tracker more accurate, especially with skin temperature metrics, which seem handy after two years of taking our temperatures more frequently than ever.
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