Two non-conventional options for tracking fitness and health are the Whoop 4 and Oura Ring 3. While smartwatches often combine communication and fitness features, these two focus specifically on health and wellness in innovative form-factors. Launched in the latter part of 2021, both have continually evolved through software updates, enhancing their capabilities and user experience well beyond their initial release.
Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets
This side-by-side comparison delves into the nuances of Whop 4 and Oura Ring 3. A smart timepiece such as an Apple Watch might not align with your needs. But one of these specialised devices could offer the health and fitness tracking solutions you’re looking for.
Both Whoop 4 and Oura Ring Gen 3 are centred around recovery and wellness. But they differ in design and specialized features. The Whoop 4, with its journal and AI chat features, offers a comprehensive view of how daily activities impact overall health. The Oura Ring 3, on the other hand, offers a unique ring design. It is perfect for those who prioritise sleep and recovery tracking and a more subtle, fashion-forward wearable experience. Whoop offers a free device with an annual subscription, while the Oura Ring 3 requires an initial purchase but a lower monthly fee, making it more expensive upfront but comparable over time.
Whoop 4 vs Oura Ring 3: Hardware
Look & feel
Shape and build are the first noticeable differences. The Whoop 4 adopts a rectangular shape, featuring a metal frame and a plastic body, which gives it a sleek yet durable appearance. The wearable is primarily designed to be worn on the wrist, akin to a traditional fitness band. In contrast, the Oura Ring 3 takes an innovative approach with its circular design. Crafted from durable titanium with a PVD coating, it offers a seamless and non-allergenic inner moulding, making it a discreet yet stylish option that resembles a piece of jewelry more than a fitness tracker.
Size options between the two devices vary significantly due to their different form factors. The Whoop 4 comes in a standard size, with its band accommodating various wrist sizes. The Oura Ring 3, however, offers more personalized sizing. It comes with eight different size options to ensure a perfect fit for the finger, which is crucial for the accuracy of its sensors. When you purchase there’s a sizing kit you can use to determine the right ring size for you.
Versatile approach to wearability
As you’d expect, the only option for waring the Oura Ring is on your finger. That’s pretty much self-explanatory.
The Whoop 4, however, offers a versatile approach to wearability. It allows users to wear the device on different parts of the body for comfort. Apart from the traditional wrist placement, the Whoop can also be worn on the upper arm, a popular choice during exercise for enhanced accuracy. This adaptability is further supported by a range of clothing accessories from Whoop. This includes specialized bands, sleeves, and even sports bras and leggings with integrated pockets. These accessories are designed to securely hold the device in place, ensuring consistent data collection regardless of the activity or the wearer’s movement, thereby offering a customizable and comfortable experience for continuous health tracking.
When it comes to physical buttons, both devices take a minimalist approach, featuring no physical buttons at all. This design choice enhances the sleekness and simplicity of both devices, ensuring a smooth and uninterrupted surface.
Display, colour options, water resistance
The absence of a screen on both the Whoop 4 and Oura Ring 3 is a notable design decision. By forgoing a display, these devices focus purely on tracking and analyzing health and fitness data without the distractions or power consumption associated with a screen. This choice aligns with their emphasis on continuous, passive tracking rather than on-demand interaction.
Water resistance is another critical aspect of these wearables. The Whoop 4 boasts an IP68 rating, indicating a decent level of water resistance. The Oura Ring 3 ups this with its ability to withstand depths of up to 100 meters. This makes it exceptionally water-resistant and suitable for almost all water activities.
Finally, color options for these devices reflect their distinct target audiences. The Whoop 4 offers a range of colors like Black, Arctic Gold, Ivy Rhodium, and Onyx Rose Gold. Coupled with this are various strap options to suit different personal styles. The Oura Ring 3, on the other hand, provides a more traditional jewelry aesthetic. It comes with its Heritage and Horizon designs in colors like Silver, Black, Stealth, Gold, and Rose Gold, catering to those who prefer a classic, understated look.
In terms of sensor technology, the Whoop 4 is equipped with a 3-axis accelerometer, a 3-axis gyroscope, an optical heart rate sensor, a blood oxygen sensor, and a skin temperature sensor. These are known for their high sampling rate, which is crucial for accurate health and fitness monitoring.
The Oura Ring 3 focuses on a slightly different set of sensors. It including infrared, red, and green sensors, along with temperature sensors. These are primarily designed for monitoring sleep patterns, recovery, and overall health. The Oura Ring’s sensor suite is more focused on providing insights into the wearer’s readiness and recovery, rather than detailed fitness tracking.
When it comes to GPS connectivity, the Whoop 4 offers connected GPS functionality. This means it can link up to a smartphone’s GPS to track location and movement more accurately during outdoor activities. This feature is particularly useful for athletes and fitness buffs who want to map their runs or bike rides. The Oura Ring 3, however, does not include GPS connectivity. It focuses instead on health metrics that can be tracked independently of location.
Neither the Whoop 4 nor the Oura Ring 3 includes NFC (Near Field Communication) capabilities. This omission means that users cannot use these devices for contactless payments or other NFC-based interactions, which are becoming increasingly common in other wearable devices.
Additionally, both devices do not offer music storage capabilities. This is consistent with their primary focus on health and fitness tracking, rather than being all-in-one smart devices. Users looking to listen to music during workouts would need to rely on their smartphones or other music-playing devices.
The Whoop 4.0, known for its detailed health and fitness tracking, requires charging every 4-5 days. Its unique charging method allows you to slide the battery pack over the device while wearing it. This makes it convenient to charge without having to take the tracker off. The feature ensures continuous monitoring, even during charging.
On the other hand, the Oura Ring 3 boasts a longer battery life of up to 7 days. Its compact charging puck is designed for ease of use, requiring a little over an hour resting on the charger to go from zero to full. This extended battery life is particularly beneficial for a device intended for round-the-clock usage, including sleep tracking.
It’s worth noting, users of the Oura Ring 3 have reported some issues concerning its battery life and performance. A number of them have experienced shorter battery life than advertised. This discrepancy can be particularly noticeable with intensive use or when multiple tracking features are activated simultaneously. It’s important to note that individual experiences with battery life can vary based on usage patterns, settings, and even software updates.
Whoop 4 vs Oura Ring 3: Technical specs
Here’s a comprehensive tech specs comparison table for the Whoop 4.0 and Oura Ring 3:
Oura Ring 3
Metal frame, plastic body
Durable titanium, PVD Coating, Non-allergenic, non-metallic, seamless inner moulding
38 x 25 x 12 mm
Width: 7.9mm, Thickness: 2.55mm (8 size options)
Weight (w/o Strap)
4 to 6 grams (depending on ring size)
3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis gyroscope, optical heart rate, blood oxygen, skin temperature
Infrared, Red and Green, temperature sensors
Up to 100m/328 ft
BLE, EMF-Safe and Allows Airplane Mode
Li-po battery pack
15mAh – 22mAh (depending on ring size)
Up to 7 days, Full charge in 20 to 80 minutes, Charging dock USB-C
Black, Arctic Gold, Ivy Rhodium, Onyx Rose Gold and many other strap options
Heritage – classic, plateau design (Silver, Black, Stealth, Gold), Horizon – sleek, uninterrupted design (Silver, Black, Stealth, Brushed Titanium, Gold, Rose Gold)
Device is free, annual membership $240
$300 – $549 (depending on finish) + $5.99 monthly subscription (first month membership free)
Whoop 4 vs Oura Ring 3: Features
The Whoop 4 is primarily geared towards athletes and the fitness-focused users. Its array of sensors providing comprehensive data on physical activities. The device’s strength lies in its ability to track performance metrics like heart rate variability (hrv), resting heart rate, respiratory rate, blood oxygen and sleep quality (Deep sleep, Rem sleep, Light sleep, total sleep time), which are crucial for understanding recovery needs and optimizing training schedules. You also get a Recovery Score which lets you know if you should push hard on a particular day or take a rest.
At the other side of the equation is activity tracking and its daily Strain Score. This let’s you know how hard you’ve pushed on a particular day. The Whoop 4.0’s connected GPS feature enhances its appeal to outdoor athletes, allowing for accurate tracking of runs, cycles, and other distance-based activities. However, it does not offer traditional smartwatch features like notifications or apps, focusing instead on in-depth health and fitness analytics.
The Whoop 4.0’s journal feature is a standout aspect of its functionality, offering users a unique and interactive way to understand how their lifestyle choices impact their health and fitness. This feature allows users to log daily activities, behaviors, and external factors, such as diet, stress levels, and sleep habits. By correlating these entries with the collected physiological data, Whoop provides personalized insights into how these factors affect overall wellness, recovery, and athletic performance. For example, you can quantify the negative effects of alcohol consumption on your health stats.
Complementing this, the Whoop’s AI chat function acts as a virtual coach, analyzing the user’s data to offer tailored advice and insights. This interactive element not only helps in understanding the complex data but also guides users in making informed decisions to optimize their health and fitness routines, making the Whoop 4 a powerful tool for personal health management.
Oura Ring takes a more holistic approach
On the other hand, the Oura Ring 3 takes a more holistic approach to health monitoring. It emphasizes sleep efficiency tracking, recovery, and a readiness score over detailed fitness metrics. The ring’s sensors are adept at monitoring sleep stages, body temperature variations, blood oxygen, and overall sleep quality, providing insights into the wearer’s recovery and readiness for physical activity. You can view all this and more in the simple to use iOS or Android Oura app.
While it does track basic activity metrics like steps, the Oura Ring 3 is less focused on specific workout details and more on the overall wellness and health trends of the user. Like the Whoop 4, it lacks traditional smartwatch features and does not include GPS or cellular connectivity, underscoring its focus on health and wellness over connectivity.
Whoop 4 vs Oura Ring 3: Price
Regarding pricing, the Whoop 4 and Oura Ring 3 adopt slightly different models. The Whoop 4.0 is unique in that the device itself is free with a subscription model. Users pay an annual membership fee of around $240, which grants access to all the device’s features and analytics.
In contrast, the Oura Ring 3 has an upfront cost ranging from $300 to $549, depending on the finish, with an additional $5.99 monthly fee for full access to its features and insights. This pricing structure makes the Oura Ring 3 a more expensive option initially, but over time the price difference narrows.
Whoop 4 vs Oura Ring 3: Final thoughts
It’s clear that both Whoop 4 and Oura Ring 3 prioritize recovery and wellness, though they present it through different form factors and unique features. The Whoop band is tailored towards athletes and fitness buffs, offering in-depth analytics on workout intensity, sleep quality, and recovery. Its standout feature is the journaling capability, allowing users to track how lifestyle choices affect their fitness and recovery, providing a personalized health monitoring experience.
The Oura Ring 3, on the other hand, adopts a ring form factor, emphasizing its discreet and stylish design. It excels in sleep tracking and recovery, with detailed insights into sleep stages, body temperature fluctuations, and overall wellness. This focus, combined with its unobtrusive design, makes the Oura Ring appealing to those who prefer a minimalist and less noticeable wearable.
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