WHOOP has announced generation 4.0 of its activity and health tracking sensor. It comes with upgraded tech, SpO2, temperature tracking, a smaller body, multiple ways to wear it and more.
The company has been in the news quite a bit in recent weeks. Following on from a $200 million cash injection, WHOOP acquired Toronto-based sports technology company PUSH. We’ve tested the PUSH band in the past. This is a wearable that tracks your lifts, reps and sets in the gym through something called Velocity Based Training.
We are not seeing that technology as part of WHOOP 4. Although it may come as an update in the months ahead. But we are seeing lots of other upgrades.
WHOOP 4.0 – what’s new?
The recovery and activity tracking band comes with upgrades in several different areas. For starters, the gizmo is smaller by a third than WHOOP 3.0 which was released back in 2019. But the changes in design don’t end there.
Yes, you can still wear the sensor inside the little wrist-band. But in addition to that, WHOOP 4.0 utilizes Any-Wear Technology. This automatically detects where you are wearing the sensor on the body.
Different apparel that can be purchased enabling you to wear WHOOP 4.0 on the torso, waist, calf and more. You just slip the sensor pod in small pouches that are sawn into garments such as:
- sports bras,
- compression tops,
- everyday boxers and
- athletic boxers.
Needless to say, data captured from some of these locations will be quite limited. Capturing heart rate, for example, will probably only happen when you are wearing the sensor on the wrist.
There’s still no display onboard the small pod. For info and insights you need to open up the smartphone app or website dashboard.
The real benefit of the WHOOP data remain the recovery insights. That is what most of the subscribers to the platform are interested in. If you are after steps, calories, sleep and other basic activity tracking data, go for one of the many activity bands and smartwatches out there. For that sort of data these are the more cost effective options.
Under the hood – better accuracy, more sensors
Inside the thing are a set of upgraded sensors. Much has been made of WHOOP 3.0 heart rate accuracy (or rather inaccuracy). Now the sensor configuration has been upped to 5 LEDs and 4 photodiodes. Three of the LEDs are green, 1 is red and 1 is infrared. The previous generation also had 4 photodiodes, but only 2 green LEDs. Hopefully this translates into better heart rate tracking. Only real-world reviews will tell.
Other than that, WHOOP has slapped on a blood oxygen sensor and skin temperature sensor. Nothing groundbreaking about this. We’ve seen SpO2 in a plethora of wearables and Fitbit has a skin variation sensor on a bunch of its fitness bands and smartwatches.
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WHOOP is introducing a Health Monitor in its app to monitor these two metrics, along with real-time heart rate, resting heart rate, heart rate variability and respiratory rate. From here you can also export 1 month or 6 months trends in the form of a PDF report.
Sleep Coach is another new feature. It comes with haptic alerts that you can set to wake you up in a light stage of sleep. This also takes into account your sleep needs.
As far as battery life, you can expect to get around 5 days between charges. Which is pretty decent considering the specs and frequency they are captured at. But this has now been adopted for on-the-go charging in all environments. The battery pack is waterproof and shows the battery level on a double-tap. As before, you charge the battery pack and then snap it onto the pod. The battery pack then charges the sensor.
Release date, price, availability
A monthly subscription for WHOOP 4.0 will cost you $30. Existing members will get the new tracker free of charge as long as they have more than 6 months left on their membership. Availability starts on September 27th. The smart garments can be purchased separately and the run anywhere between $54 to $109.
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