Whoop Announces the 4.0 Band, Its Most Meaningful Upgrade Yet

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Cameron Summerson is the Editor in Chief of Review Geek and serves as an Editorial Advisor for How-to Geek and LifeSavvy. He’s been covering technology for nearly a decade and has written over 4,000 articles and hundreds of product reviews in that time. He’s been published in print magazines and quoted as a smartphone expert in the New York Times. Read more…
Whoop unveiled its next generation fitness/recovery tracker today, and it’s the company’s biggest update in its short history. The Whoop 4.0 brings more sensors, improved accuracy, better bands, and a whole lot more—all in a smaller package. Let’s dig in.
If you’re not familiar with Whoop, I suggest giving my Whoop 3.0 review a read—it’s a good jumping off point to quickly familiarize yourself with Whoop. The short version, however, is that it’s a fitness tracker unlike anything else on the market. It’s all about optimizing recovery through sleep and good health practices.
The 4.0 band takes that philosophy further than before, bumping the number of LEDs in the HR sensor to five—three green, one red, and one infrared. That’s a big improvement over the 3.0’s two green LEDs and nothing else. This should go a long way in improving accuracy.
Not only that but the 4.0 also brings blood oxygen monitoring into the fold thanks to the new LEDs. This is measured as Sp02 and can help users monitor blood oxygenation to track certain health metrics. This is especially useful during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as it can help spot potential issues early.
On a related note, the 4.0 band also does skin temperature monitoring, which can help users better understand their body’s sleep patterns for better recovery. This can be another indicator of illness, as skin temperature will rise with a fever. Both the Spo2 tracking and skin temperature features will show up in the new Health Monitor feature in the updated Whoop app. Users will also see at-a-glance HRV, RHR, and respiratory rates here.
The Whoop 4.0 also “fixes” one of the biggest issues with older Whoop models by adding a haptic motor. It can use this for health alerts and the new alarm feature (it still doesn’t do notifications from your phone, which would be pointless without a screen anyway). Whoop 4.0’s alarm feature uses haptics (vibration) to wake you up at the perfect time using the updated Sleep Coach.
Now, with Sleep Coach, you can tell your Whoop to wake you at a specific time, when you’re in a specific recovery zone, or when you’re recovery is fully optimized. It’s a very cool feature and something that most Whoop users will want to take advantage of.
Despite these new features, the Whoop 4.0 is 33% smaller than its predecessor without sacrificing any battery life (five days). The battery pack itself, however, has gotten a makeover and is now waterproof (!!). That’s a big upgrade from the older model because it’s just too easy to get in the shower or anything else water-related with the battery pack on the strap. Very nice.
Thanks to this redesign, the band system is also better than before. The new Fast Link system makes swapping new bands in and out as simple as a couple of clicks. Again, another big upgrade.
One of my biggest complaints with the Whoop 3.0 is that it lacked the accuracy I’d want from a tracker like this. The limited number of LEDs for the sensor was part of this, but also the placement of the band itself. It lives on your wrist or bicep, which really aren’t ideal locations for many activities.
Enter Whoop Body, a new activewear line that has little “pockets” designed for Whoop to be worn on your body. So, for example, there will be sports bras and boxer shorts, as well as shirts and other compression wear. It looks like a great way to get Whoop off your wrist and onto parts of your body that make more sense for activity tracking. I still wish they’d design a heart rate strap for Whoop to be worn during activities. That’d be the coolest.
Whoop is also introducing a new membership option called Whoop Pro. For an additional $12 a month (on top of your regular Whoop membership), Pro members will get one free item every three months—from bands to new battery packs to Whoop Body gear—as well as free shipping and 20% off of everything in the Whoop store. Pro members also receive early access to new drops and other exclusive perks. This is the membership option for the most diehard Whoop fans.
Past that, however, the membership options aren’t changing. A base Whoop membership will still set you back $30 a month or $24/$18 for 12 and 18 month memberships subscriptions.
Like all Whoop hardware, the updated 4.0 band is free for Whoop users with at least 6 months left on their subscription. For other users, extending your membership will get in the queue for the new band. Again, no fee for the hardware itself.
It’s noted that Whoop has limited 4.0 bands right now, so if you want in on the new hardware (and if you’re already a Whoop user, you definitely do), then you better jump on it now.
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