WHOOP vs Apple Watch (Fitness Tracking Face-Off 2023)
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The Apple Watch Ultra 2 and WHOOP strap are two top tier fitness trackers in the wearable market. But, they both offer a completely different array of features, and target a massively different audience.
If you’re unsure which fitness tracker you want to go with, you will know after reading this WHOOP vs Apple Watch guide. I’ll compare various features each has to offer, as well as weight, pricing, and much more.
For the sake of this comparison, I’ll use the latest models of each platform; the WHOOP 4.0, and the Apple Watch Ultra 2, both of which I’ve been wearing daily.
WHOOP vs Apple Watch Overview
As you can see, each wearable differ drastically. Continue reading and we’ll take a deeper dive into the features that set the WHOOP and Apple Watch apart from each other.
The WHOOP and Apple Watch offer completely different pricing from each other, and each one has multiple pricing tiers. Let’s examine each more closely.
Apple Watch Ultra
Apple Watch Ultra 2 is the premium watch made from Apple, and its price tag reflects that, at a whopping $799. However, there are less expensive Apple Watches starting at $399.
But, don’t let that scare you off, because as we’ll cover later in this article, it is my personal opinion that the price tag is well worth it with all the features you get.
It’s a one-time investment, and while it offers a large amount of functions, it may be considered pricey for those just looking for fitness tracking.
The Whoop 4.0 operates on a membership model, with a used WHOOP strap included free with your subscription.
The first month comes free, then moving forward you can choose from a monthly, 1-year, or 2-year plan. The pricing is as follows:
- Monthly: $30
- Annual: $239 upfront, which is $19.92/mo
- 24 Month: $399 upfront, which is $16.63/mo
Keep in mind, if you want to cancel your WHOOP membership it must be done prior to the free trial ending, and you will need to return the hardware.
But, if you pay for one or more months moving forward, you can keep the hardware.
Related Reading: To stay up-to-date on the release of the WHOOP 5.0, bookmark our article.
Design and Comfort
Apple Watch Ultra 2
The Apple Watch Ultra 2 case is made from titanium with a sapphire display. The combination of these two make it incredibly durable, scratch-resistant, and water-resistant to 40m.
I have bumped it, slammed it, dirt rubbed on it, and it refuses to break or even scratch.
With a 49mm screen and a weight of 61g (more than 3x the WHOOP), you’d think it would be uncomfortable. But let me tell you, I can barely even tell it’s on my wrist. Mix that with the comfort of its strap, and the Apple Watch takes the win for comfort.
Some people claim it can be a nuisance to sleep with the Ultra 2 on, but I do it every night and can’t even tell it’s on.
The Whoop 4.0 offers a simple and low profile design. It is lightweight, at just 18g, and fits snugly on your wrist, although it does tend to slide around unless it is really snug.
The WHOOP is also fairly durable, must more susceptible to scratches and dirt build-up due to the way the strap goes over the top of the device.
Despite WHOOP’s efforts to make the perfect fitness tracker, there are a lot of people who experience blisters or rashes from the WHOOP strap, even with proper care. I was one of these people, and it took 5 weeks of wearing the WHOOP for the blistering to finally heal.
Author’s Note! Some users wonder about wearing both the Apple Watch Ultra and the WHOOP strap simultaneously. If you’re curious about the practicality and comfort of pairing these two wearables, check out our guide on wearing WHOOP and Apple Watch together.
Apple Watch Ultra 2
The Apple Watch Ultra is a feature-rich smartwatch, targeting those who want a more well-rounded watch with the Apple ecosystem. Some reasons people choose an Apple Watch are:
- App Ecosystem: Integrates with various third-party applications.
- Health Features: Monitors heart rate, blood oxygen, and even takes ECGs.
- Communication Tools: Allows for calls, texts, and notifications.
- Apple Pay Integration: Offers a convenient payment method.
- Multimedia Functions: Ability to play music, podcasts, and more.
If you’re looking for a wearable device whose function extends far beyond fitness tracking, then it is a much better decision than the WHOOP.
The Whoop 4.0 emphasizes fitness and well-being, targeting those who enjoy the extra data to take their fitness to the next level. Some feaures the WHOOP offers are:
- Strain Coach: Guides your workouts based on previous exertion.
- Sleep Coaching: Provides actionable insights into sleep habits.
- Recovery Analysis: Measures daily recovery to optimize performance.
- Community Challenges: Engage with other Whoop users for motivation and competition.
- Integration with Other Devices: Can be linked to other fitness apps and tools, such as Strava, Apple Health, and more.
If you don’t care much about the functionality of a smartwatch and are just concerned with improving your health and fitness, then the WHOOP is your device.
Apple Watch Ultra 2
Apple Watch Ultra offers diverse tracking options suitable for various exercises, from running to yoga.
It includes GPS tracking for outdoor workouts, swim-proof capabilities, and a user-friendly interface that displays real-time statistics.
The Ultra 1 and Ultra 2 are even designed specifically for SCUBA diving.
Customizable workouts and integration with other fitness apps make it versatile for different fitness levels.
One major difference in the Apple Watch is that it can track steps, while the WHOOP can’t track steps.
On top of everything the Ultra 2 can do, the Whoop 4.0 takes fitness tracking to the next level. Its algorithms consider daily strain, recovery, and sleep to provide a complete picture of your health.
The strain score guides you in planning workouts that align with your current readiness, while sleep tracking helps you understand your rest needs.
While the WHOOP does allow for more workouts and higher volumes of data, a workout must be initiated from within the app, unlike the Apple Watch, which can be done on its screen.
There is rumor that the upcoming WHOOP 5.0 will have a physical button to initiate workouts.
Apple Watch Ultra 2
Apple Watch Ultra is like having a personal health lab on your wrist.
It not only tracks fitness metrics but also monitors heart health, takes ECG readings, measures caloric output, checks blood oxygen levels, allows you to track medications, and even sends notifications for irregular heart rhythms.
Coupled with sleep analysis and mindfulness apps, it offers an all-round health management system.
Focused on overall wellness, Whoop 4.0’s health tracking goes beyond workouts. It monitors heart rate variability (HRV) at 52 times per second and movement to analyze sleep quality. It will also measure the amount of calories you burn.
Daily reports on strain and recovery provide a holistic view of your health, guiding you in making healthier lifestyle choices.
Apple Watch Ultra 2
The battery life of Apple Watch Ultra typically lasts around 48-72 hours, depending on usage. I typically charge it while showering to be safe. While the Ultra’s charging is fast and efficient, the need for daily charging can be a drawback for continuous health tracking, such as sleep analysis.
There are ways to charge your Apple Watch faster by using a speed charger. This can cut the charge time down from 1.5 hours to just under an hour.
With a battery life lasting 4 to 7 days, the Whoop 4.0 makes charging a little less frequent. On top of a larger battery life, WHOOP’s slide-on charger lets you charge the strap without removing it, so you don’t miss any data collection.
This is a major feature that sets it apart from the Apple Watch.
Author’s Note! I conducted a battery test while wearing the WHOOP 4.0 and Apple Watch Ultra 2.
Apple Watch Ultra 2
There are no shortage of Apple accessories, with various bands, customizable watch faces, charging stands, and even third-party accessories such as cases, fast chargers, and screen protectors.
This allows for extensive personalization and adjustment to different occasions, from sporty to elegant.
Whoop offers a variety of band materials and colors to suit your style, although it will run you around $50 per band.
One of the more popular bands is the Hydroknit band that is significantly more waterproof than the Superknit band that comes on the WHOOP.
On top of bands, WHOOP has various other accessories that allow you wear the strap on other areas of your body such as the arm, leg, torso, and waist.
While there are accessories available, the main focus of a WHOOP is on functionality.
Which Should You Choose?
In conclusion, both devices offer exceptional capabilities, but they cater to different audiences.
Whoop 4.0 is for the dedicated fitness enthusiast and competitive athletes who want in-depth insights into training and recovery, those who enjoy a subscription based model.
Apple Watch Ultra 2 appeals to those who desire a multi-functional smartwatch that goes beyond fitness and integrates seamlessly with everyday life.
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Ken is a Data Analyst in the Healthcare industry and the owner and sole contributor to The Wearable Guy.