WHOOP vs Fitbit Review
Table of Contents
WHOOP is a lightweight, faceless strap that’s worn around your wrist to help you learn from your health habits—it displays your detailed charts on an app. Developed in 2011 by Will Ahmed, the Boston-based brand is geared towards athletes, helping to improve performance by means of proper recovery.
Put to work by sports teams and elite athletes, the WHOOP Strap is currently on its 4.0 model, designing its smart devices in the USA but manufacturing them in China. Next up in this WHOOP vs Fitbit review, we’ll get to know its competitor.
Like WHOOP, Fitbit’s devices are worn around your wrist. The brand was developed by Eric Friedman and James Park in 2007. The pair created their first-ever tracker after learning how seamlessly technology could be integrated into a wellness routine.
The brand is all about helping people transform their lives, empowering folks to make healthier decisions and have fun while they’re doing it. Located in San Francisco, California, Fitbit has offices around the globe, producing its smart devices in China with manufacturers that employ fair labor practices and push for sustainability.
Ready to get moving? This WHOOP vs Fitbit review is packed with critical details about each brand to help make your decision all that much easier.
Like staying fit, this review is a journey, taking you through tracker and accessory comparisons, as well as value, quality, and policy head-to-head face-offs. Let’s just go ahead and get into it.
What to Consider
Fitbit has more products, hands down. With five different trackers as well as smartwatches, the brand offers a broader selection than its competitor that has just one.
WHOOP has a more athletic vibe. The fact that it’s used by professional athletes says a lot, but its no-nonsense and barely-there design tell us it’s made for performance. On the other hand, Fitbit is geared towards wellness as much as it is fitness. The list of what the brand’s trackers can do is quite vast, including everything from menstrual cycle tracking to cardiac health.
Design and durability
Those who buy WHOOP usually keep their complementary devices until the next generation comes out. After that, the brand upgrades them for free. Fitbit’s models last 1.5-2 years and then customers will have to buy a new one.
The WHOOP 4.0 and the Fitbit Charge 5 were released in the same month of the same year. WHOOP is a little behind in models, but it’s on par with technology.
Fitbit has a Motivation section on its website that includes a blog, challenges, and a community section. WHOOP has The Locker blog, as well as communities and online teams.
This WHOOP vs Fitbit review will showcase the newest models from our brands, along with two extra styles of bands to help you switch up your look. You’ll find all the tech specs, designs, and features in this first section to help you get to know the latest and greatest from each.
Fitbit is owned by Google so you know it’s going to be more accessible. Available around the world, it’s sold by many partner shops and e-retailers. WHOOP is relatively new to the game but offers worldwide shipping as well. Its website is the only place you can buy its trackers.
WHOOP 4.0 vs Fitbit Charge 5 Review:
By now you know that Fitbit has a larger selection of models that all offer different features. Some are basic, others are not. The Fitbit Charge 5 is the brand’s newest model released in September 2021, which is exactly the same month the WHOOP 4.0 was available for purchase.
With these two head-on competitors, this section of our WHOOP vs Fitbit review is about to get fierce. First, let’s see what the 4.0 can do.
There are two parts to WHOOP. 1. The actual device 2. The app. You can’t have one without the other, which is perhaps the biggest difference we’ll see from the Fitbit Charge 5.
The device itself is a small rectangular box that looks like a Fitbit without the face. It nestles comfortably under a stretchy, water-resistant polyamide strap and is super lightweight. Ideal for those who don’t want the distraction of checking their steps every time they move their wrist, the WHOOP 4.0 is sleek and to the point.
The device measures your blood oxygen levels, temperature, heart rate, and respiratory rate, along with your steps and active time. With its haptic alarm, this is where things get really geeky.
Vibrating to wake you based on your body’s needs (as determined by a calculation of your “Readiness” score), it lets you rest just the right amount, making sure you don’t over or under sleep.
The review above lists research that shows that sleep deprivation and sleep disorders lead to metabolic and cardiovascular implications. Tracking the quality and length of your sleep helps to make more informed decisions to improve health.
Things like your Recovery, Strain, and Sleep scores will be displayed on the app, the first using a green, yellow, or red scale to show you when to push and when to pull back. All of this data is recorded in the app in a weekly chart that you can download and keep to chart your patterns and progress.
Designed to move with you wherever you go, you can submerge your WHOOP 4.0 up to 10 meters for two hours, and charge it with the portable, slide-on hub that doesn’t require you to ever take off your band. This precise, advanced device is available with the WHOOP membership for $30-$18/month—the longer you commit to it, the less you’ll pay.
- Incredibly smart
- Lightweight and discreet
- Portable charging device
- Free with subscription
- Easy to navigate the app
- 1-year warranty
Readiness is a new term in the world of fitness and health trackers, and it’s something that’s a must-have for anyone serious about performance. The Fitbit Charge 5 is the first of the brand’s models to have this score, but it’s only available to users who sign up for membership.
The Fitbit Charge 5 is sleek and modern looking, with smoother edges and more precision than its former model. Only basic features are available without the membership, but you’ll get a 90-day free trial if you’re not sure if you want to commit.
Let’s check out the device itself first. It’s offered in black, lunar white, and steel blue colors with a bright display, made from water-resistant silicon which also makes it swim-proof up to 50 meters. Bluetooth compatible to receive notifications about calls, texts, and emails, you can actually reply from the Charge 5 without needing to pick up your phone.
Like WHOOP, your Fitbit can wake you up with gentle vibrations at your most optimal time, monitor your oxygen saturation, heart rate, breathing rate, and temperature. You’ll see your steps too, and of course, the time and date.
Swipe open the app for more detail, including your Daily Readiness, Sleep, and Stress Management scores, active time, and if it applies to you, you can even track your menstrual cycle. Advanced features on the app include an Electrocardiogram and Electrodermal Scan for heart health.
When it comes to taking your Charge 5 for a spin, you can use GPS, SmartTrack, and choose any of its 20 workout modes to assure you’re getting the most precision. Keeping tabs on your activity all day, you’ll see your level of intensity and cardio fitness level.
Keep your Charge 5 on always, put it to sleep, or choose Do Not Disturb to keep notifications from coming through. With seven days of battery life, this do-it-all device is yours for $130 (normally $180). Add on a 6-month membership for $10/month and two years of protection for $40.
- Does not require an app to show stats
- Can be kept on or off
- Incredibly smart
- Water-resistant & swim-proof up to 50 meters
- Available with GPS
WHOOP 4.0 is a simpler device than the Fitbit Charge 5, offering streamlined features instead of a lengthy list that may get some people lost. For certain folks, more is better. Others prefer simple and out of the way. I can see the benefits of both of these devices which are extremely advanced and valuable.
In the end, Fitbit appears to us to be more of a lifestyle tracker, offering features past what’s important for performance. WHOOP is activity-specific, designed to get you the most out of your workout, but staying with you through the day to learn and recommend how to sleep and recover for better results.
The study above concludes that participants that used their trackers for sustained periods also intended to continue usage after the study came to an end. Participants reported improved physical activity levels and their diet or sleep also had visible positive impacts.
WHOOP Superknit 4.0 vs Fitbit Charge 5 Hook & Loop Bands Review:
If you had to choose just one style of strap for life, what would it be? Comfortable is a must, but so is easy to clean, attractive, and durable.
Thankfully, WHOOP and Fitbit both offer a wide range of band options, but if you’re looking for a sturdy pick to take you through sleep time, showers, and dinner dates, these discreet, versatile bands have got your back.
The WHOOP Superknit 4.0 band is made from the brand’s signature blend of polyamide and elastane with a stainless steel clasp, hook, and fast link. Outfitted with a soft backing, users report a weightless feel that isn’t clunky like some other brand’s trackers can be.
This band is only compatible with 4.0 models and comes in six core colors, high-visibility styles, and four outdoor shades. If you’re a member, you’ll get the newest hardware sent to your door for free so if you’re still using the 3.0, it’s time to level up. Get it for $50 or join WHOOP Pro to get it for $40 + perks.
WHOOP Superknit 4.0:
- Comfortable & durable
- Easy to clean
- Many color options
The Fitbit Charge 5 Hook & Loop Bands are all about ease. Sliding on without any snaps or buckles, getting the right fit is super quick with the easy binding fastener. It comes in coastal blue and charcoal colors and is made from nylon and recycled polyester.
Sweat-resistant, be sure to keep this one dry (don’t take it swimming). Hook it up to your Charge 5 for $30 (on sale from $35).
Fitbit Charge 5 Hook & Loop Bands:
- No snaps or buckles
- Easy to care for
- Durable and stretchy
- Made with recycled materials
Anything made with recycled materials is good in our books as a healthy body has a lot to do with a healthy world. Fitbit’s strap is a little less professional-looking than WHOOP is. I value the simple closure system it has but the look of shiny metal elevates a casual strap’s overall look.
WHOOP Superknit Luxe vs Fitbit Charge 5 Sports Bands Review:
One thing I love about both of these brands is the ability to change up your strap. Different occasions call for different looks and it’s this versatility that makes them extra appealing. This section of our WHOOP vs Fitbit review will take a look at two top sellers.
The WHOOP Superknit Luxe is a strap for classier occasions. Made in attractive neutrals that contrast with gold, rose gold, or silver precious metals, it turns an active strap into something nice enough to wear out to dinner or along with a work suit.
The straps come in nine core colors and six holiday colors, using the brand’s signature polyamide-elastane blend and stainless steel hardware. WHOOP says these bands are perfect for any other time of day you’re not working out as the SuperKnit material is soft and made from microfilament yarn.
Equipped with a hook, clasp, and fast link slider, attaching and detaching your band is really easy. All you need to do is have a previous WHOOP 4.0 device or sign up for one. Get it for $100.
WHOOP Superknit Luxe:
- Easy to clean
- Fast Link Slider makes it easy to put on
- Looks classy/professional
- Stretchy & durable
- Awesome color options
The Fitbit Charge 5 Sports Band is a creature of another kind. Where the WHOOP was great for non-active life, this one is designed to make wearing the device during active times more comfortable.
It’s made from silicone dotted with holes for breathability and has an aluminum buckle with a plastic connector. With a sensible look and five mature colors, it sits casually on your wrist during HIIT and won’t stand out when you’re giving a presentation.
Water-resistant and fast-drying, you can pick one up for $25 (regularly $30).
Fitbit Charge 5 Sports Band:
- Water-resistant materials
- Flexible & durable
- Easy to clean
Neither of these bands can get away from a somewhat sporty look. Though I can agree that the WHOOP band’s gold accents give it an edge towards being the dressier option, the design wasn’t made to take you through workouts. In the same breath, though Fitbit is more sporty-looking, it can handle workouts.
WHOOP vs Fitbit: Quality
If you’re going to be wearing a tracker daily, quality is super important. There are a lot of tracker brands out there that create hunks of junk. Premium brands like Fitbit and WHOOP aren’t like that.
When choosing either of these names, you know you’re getting a well-made and well-thought-out product. That’s probably why you came to this WHOOP vs Fitbit review because from afar, they truly look like similar companies.
I’m here to assist and were sure to include every last detail I could find on these brands to help you know exactly what you’re getting. Some surprises aren’t fun.
WHOOP’s hardware is designed in the USA and produced and assembled in China. Designed for daily wear, it’s made to move with you—including washing your hair, frantically walking to work, and rolling over in your sleep.
Its comfortable strap is made from a mix of polyamide, polyester, and elastane that’s durable, stretchy, and breathable, while its other pieces are top-notch, consisting of an aluminum clasp and stainless steel hook.
Withstanding water submersion of up to 10 meters for two hours, you can even take it for laps in the pool. But let’s not forget the genius charging system.
It’s a small black gadget that slides over the top of your WHOOP. You don’t even need to take it off. Powering up your device for five days of battery life with its silicon anode cells, it holds life for 17% longer than the Gen 4 model.
Like WHOOP, Fitbit does all of its manufacturing in China. Made from a mix of materials including polycarbonate, silicon, and aluminum, the trackers are durable and high quality with an estimated life of up to two years, though they can be fixed up if you know the right guy.
Fitbit goes into a lot of detail about its sustainability practices, working to get rid of single-use plastics and increase recycling and responsibly sourced materials. Exclusively working with suppliers that adhere to fair labor practices, the company is moving towards using renewable energy as its main source of fuel.
Though its devices can’t be recycled like WHOOP’s can, overall, it looks like they’re pushing for better production methods. Regarding manufacturing, Fitbit devices require a little more components since they have a display unit. It doesn’t mean they’re higher in quality, it just means they’re a little more complicated to make.
WHOOP vs Fitbit: Price & Value
Fitbit has changed its structure a lot over the years, its newer generation devices keeping up to pace with modern brands like WHOOP. Adding extra features that rival its competitor, Fitbit has incorporated a membership program that further likens those two companies.
The WHOOP Strap was designed to run as a membership-based platform, the faceless device seamlessly uploading data to an app you can only access through a subscription. You can’t actually buy the device without that subscription either, but essentially, the device comes for free as soon as you sign up.
You’ll have three membership options. Here’s how they work:
- Monthly membership: $30/month (6-month minimum)
- Annual membership: $24/month (save 20%)
- 18-Month membership: $18/month (save 40%)
You can totally pay upfront for the last two options if you like and should you not want to continue your membership, you don’t even need to send the device back. This is a lot different than how Fitbit operates, selling its trackers upfront with the option to subscribe after.
Fitbit’s devices range in price, currently, the brand offers five models of trackers and three smartwatches. They vary in what they can do, but I can appreciate that you can opt for different versions if you want to pay a little less or don’t need so many features. Here are a few Fitbit tracker prices:
- Charge 5: $130 (from $180)
- Luxe: $120 (from $150)
- Inspire 2: $70 (from $100)
- Ace 3: $60 (from $80)
Membership is $10/month, but if you choose annual, you’ll save 30% overall ($80 instead of $120). The differences between how these two brands operate are quite large. WHOOP doesn’t offer multiple models whereas Fitbit does.
Fitbit also sells its products outright and its app offers workouts, games, and challenges, whereas WHOOP is strictly stats. Overall, it feels like a more serious brand geared towards athletes.
Both WHOOP and Fitbit manufacture their products in China, but the latter mentions working towards a more sustainable production process. In terms of value, you’ll get a lot more options with Fitbit and a lower-priced membership. With WHOOP, you get the device for free.
WHOOP vs Fitbit: What do Customers Think?
Talking about the featured devices in this WHOOP vs Fitbit review is one thing but it’s another thing entirely to use them. Fitbit is the older brand and therefore has built up a strong reputation, with thousands of reviews and ratings found around the web.
With that said, WHOOP is a mighty competitor, and while browsing the net we discovered some amazing feedback as well. Take a look below to see what buyers think of the new-age brand.
- PC Mag: 4/5 stars
- MichaelKummer.com: 4.8/5 stars
- Cycling News: 4.5/5 stars
- Garage Gym Reviews: 4.4/5 stars
As long as ratings stay above 4/5 stars, generally, you know you’re getting a reliable and useful device. This is the case for WHOOP, a brand with consistently high scores. These ratings were all for either the 3.0 or 4.0 tracker, but only the latter is available for purchase (they retire the previous models).
Want to see what it was that customers loved so much about the Strap? You’ll find common feedback just below:
- The app runs smoothly & displays all stats clearly
- Does not ding with notifications—exercise is more enjoyable/less distracted
- Band is comfortable & lightweight, great for all-day wear
Like I said before, Fitbit has been around for longer than WHOOP. That means there is much more to pull from in terms of reviews and ratings, but I’ve gathered an average of what’s out there and included it below.
- CNET – Charge 5: 8.3/10
- Amazon – Charge 4: 4.5/5 stars from 66,833 reviews
- Best Buy – Versa 3: 4.4/5 stars from 1,410
- Mashable – Charge 5: 4.5/5 stars
Fitbit is available from other retailers like Amazon and Bestbuy, and because of that, I’m able to see its popularity. It’s hard not to be blown away by the sheer amount of reviews its trackers have, but in terms of feedback, the brand is on par with WHOOP. Here’s what customers had to say:
- Inconspicuous band that’s comfortable to wear ‘round the clock
- App is easy to navigate & read
- Has strong syncing capability
I found reports of both brands having strong apps, and they’re pretty well matched when it comes to features. The main difference for customers is whether or not they want an always-on display or a simple band that doesn’t distract them.
WHOOP vs Fitbit: Promotions & Discounts
I don’t have to tell you that when buying anything new, it’s always nice to get a deal. To find out what each of these brands offers, during this WHOOP vs Fitbit review, I scoped out their websites from head to toe. Here’s what I came across:
- Sign up for the newsletter & get $30 off your next purchase
- Save 20-40% off when you choose a 12 or 18-month membership
- The WHOOP Strap is free with membership
- Refer a friend: they get $30, you get 1 month of free membership
- Membership promotion: Sign up for $12/month & receive a free item for every 3 months of membership
- All orders ship for free
- Holiday Sale! Get up to $100 off gifts + free 2-day shipping
- Free 90-day trial when you sign up for Fitbit Premium
- Commit to an annual membership to save up to 30%
- Free shipping on orders $50+
Alright, so this list is a little top-heavy. With WHOOP, something to remember is that its devices don’t operate without a membership, whereas Fitbit’s do. That may be the reason why the competitor offers more discounts, as Fitbit can be a one-time purchase unless you want access to additional features (the membership is $10/month).
WHOOP vs Fitbit: Shipping & Returns
Shipping. It can be a gift or a nightmare. The crux on which birthday, anniversary, and holiday presents hang, before you order anything, it’s always a smart idea to look at a brand’s shipping terms to know what to expect.
This section of our WHOOP vs Fitbit review will do just that, and I’ll also glide over each one’s return policies and warranty details in case you should ever need to make a request. Let’s start with WHOOP.
- Shipping is free
- Shipping times are about 5-7 business days
- Ships within the US & many international locations
- Not available for purchase outside of the brand’s website
You have 30 days from the date of delivery to return your WHOOP or cancel your membership. When they receive your device, you’ll get a refund minus the original shipping fees. If your device doesn’t need to be shipped back, you can always recycle it or give it to a friend.
Your WHOOP device comes with a 1-year warranty that covers flaws in workmanship and materials. It starts from the time you activate your device (to do this, head to WHOOP.com). Keep in mind that to make a claim, you’ll need to have an active membership with the platform. You can’t cancel outside of your membership period.
A global brand with headquarters around the world, Fitbit’s shipping options are a little larger. Here’s a summary:
- Orders over $50 ship for free
- Offers shipping within the USA & to many international locations
- Ships to APO, DPO, FPO, and PO box addresses
- Orders take about 1-2 business days to process
- US Shipping takes about 5-7 business days
- Sold through many partner retailers
If you ever need to return your Fitbit, you can do so for any reason whatsoever within 45 days of the day it was shipped. You’ll be able to return used devices, just be sure they’re still in good condition. It’s possible that your refund will be subject to a 15% restocking fee, but that’s only the case for items that don’t meet the above conditions.
All new Fitbit devices come with a 1-Year Limited Warranty that covers defects in materials and workmanship. If you live in the EEA (European Economic Area), you’ll have a 2-Year Warranty. Bought a refurbished product? It comes with a 90-Day Warranty.
Fitbit is the more accessible brand but both are matched when it comes to warranty. What I find interesting about WHOOP is that the device doesn’t need to be sent back.
That means you can get your money back for your membership but can keep the device just in case you ever want to start it back up again. I like that.
Who Will You Shop With?
This WHOOP vs Fitbit review is coming to a close. As you’ve seen, though these two brands have the same mission, the way they do it and what they offer is very different.
WHOOP is the newer kid on the track, but it’s developed with smart, precise, and modern technology that’s loved by athletes, sports teams, and celebrities. With a sizable list of what it can do, the Strap delivers reliable stats for those seeking a no-nonsense device that won’t interrupt workouts with pings about yet another unnecessary meeting.
Fitbit has been around the track a few times, its trackers evolving with the needs of active folk. Adding a membership to its structure, those who subscribe can access the same features (and a few more) that WHOOP offers. Available around the world from a long list of retailers, this brand has a range of models if you’re looking for variety.
Simplicity and precision or options and accessibility? Matched in tech functions, WHOOP may be designed more so for the serious athlete with its one advanced model, whereas Fitbit welcomes one and all with a range of devices.
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