Whoop tape: Strap 3.0 in practice test

Fitness trackers collect body data and process it in an app. So far, so common. The American manufacturer Whoop does the same, but approaches the subject a little differently. Whoop Strap 3.0 cannot be purchased, it can only be used in a subscription model. The accompanying app for the smartphone provides concrete recommendations with the aim not to overwork your own body, but to find a balance between relaxation, exertion and sleep. So it’s not surprising: Whoop caters to people for whom sports are an important part of their lives. We put the band on for a week. Here are the experiences from our practical test.

Whoop subscription in Germany, but not in German

The Whoop strap has been on the market in the US since 2018 and has had great success there: the company is valued at 1.2 billion US dollars (about 1 billion euros). Since January 1, 2021, the company has also wanted to win the hearts of athletes in Germany. Despite the market launch in Germany, the associated Whoop app is so far only available in English. A translation is planned, but the manufacturer left it open for us when. The company does not disclose how many users Whoop has worldwide and in Germany.

Whoop Strap 3.0: Put it on, never take it off

That “Whoop Strap” ticks a little differently than other fitness trackers is clear the first time you put it on. The whoop strap can be assembled from three parts: The tracker itself is black. It comes with a folding buckle that clicks into the case and a fabric strap that can be clicked at both ends. Whoop offers straps and buckles (as a set) in different colors. A bracelet in the color you want is included. The fabric is elastic, soft and can be adjusted with millimeter precision. The whoop strap is very comfortable and hardly disturbs you while you sleep. The lock clicks into place with an audible click. It’s a little awkward to reopen it, but when Whoop goes, there’s no need to take it off because the tape can stay on your arm 24/7, whether you’re sleeping, taking a shower or even recharging the battery.

The whoop strap can be fastened with a folding buckle.

Hov: battery life and recharge time

According to the manufacturer, the bracelet lasts three days with its built-in battery. In our practical test, it even turned into five days. The manufacturer includes a “battery pack”. This can also be used on the go as a powerbank. It is made of plastic and does not weigh much. The battery pack can be pushed onto the belt using the rails on the side and clicks into place in its final position. With this turtle shell on its back, the battery fills up quickly: In our practical test, it took less than an hour to recharge the battery. Meanwhile, the bracelet can remain on the wrist – only the armor must not get wet. The manufacturer also provides a micro-USB charging cable for charging the battery pack.

Charge Whoop Strap

A battery pack with a USB cable recharges the battery. The tape can remain tied on for charging.

What Whoop can and cannot do

Whoop focuses on fitness features. No screen, no smart features. The only reaction that the tape shows: If you press it twice, you will see up to three LEDs on the left side of the case, which reveal the battery charge level.

  • Sensors: The band focuses on collecting data: Accelerometers and an optical heart rate sensor continuously record movement and heart data. Two other sensors ensure that the strap works perfectly: A touch sensor detects when the strap is not worn or worn incorrectly. The tape measures the ambient temperature to maintain battery and device temperatures.
  • Data storage: Whoop Strap sends the data it collects to the connected smartphone via Bluetooth. The memory lasts up to three days. In the practical test, the transfer of data sometimes took a few minutes.
  • Heart rate measurement: The whoop strap continuously measures the heart rate. In the practical test, it was to be measured against the editorial reference apparatus. In everyday life and in sports with a little to moderate arm movement, the band was right. However, when the arms move a lot, as when dancing, the Whoop strap overestimated the heart rate, even though the strap was stuck in the correct position on the wrist.
  • Sleep analysis: Whoop Strap 3.0 automatically tracks sleep. From here, the app forms a detailed analysis – with sleep phases, heart rate, breathing rate and a value for sleep efficiency. In the practical test, this worked perfectly.
  • Sports detection: According to the manufacturer, the bracelet automatically recognizes workouts and assigns them to one of the 60 stored sports – but only under certain conditions. The heart rate should be elevated for at least 15 minutes and the load should exceed a certain threshold. In the editorial practice test, the whoop band noticed neither a half-hour bike ride nor a twenty-minute walk. Some of the competitors are more sensitive: Fitbit Luxe on the other arm recognized both without any problems. Manual entry can help: Training sessions can be recorded manually via the Whoop app and entered afterwards.
  • Track log: Anyone who wants to know how far they have traveled after the run can record the route by taking their mobile phone with them and starting an appropriate workout in the app.
Whoop strap without display

A display is missing, the whoop strap serves solely as a data collector. Just a double tap produces battery status information in the form of three small LEDs.

Whoop app: how it works

Everyone who signs up for Whoop creates an account in the app and answers questions when signing up, for example about interests and goals – training, fitness or wellness. Instructions (“tutorials“), which explains the features. This is useful and necessary because the app is a little more complex and the manufacturer helps you find your way around. The longer the band has collected data, the more features, evaluations and coaching unlock the app. At the bottom of the menu there are five menu items, the most important of which is the home page (a house icon) and the clipboard with access to coaching functions, and then there is a social network of this kind with pictures, groups and discussions.

Whoop app guide and level

The app is full of instructions. Based on the data collected, new features are gradually activated, such as a sleep coach.

On the one hand, the Whoop app evaluates the body data collected by the strap. In return, she learns more about her own habits and activities from various postings in the app. training records can be started and ended via the app or added later. In addition to exercise, the algorithm is interested in everything else that can affect health, recovery and fitness. Therefore, the app asks daily in a yes-no questionnaire (“journal“) certain points. Users decide what these are. Possible are: alcohol, blood pressure medication, breathing exercises, caffeine intake, cat or dog in the bedroom, Covid 19 symptoms, menstruation, pollen allergy and many more.

Whoop app inputs

The Whoop app can be fed with information: In addition to sports activities, information about coffee consumption, vaccinations or sleep can be entered in the “Journal”.

Whoop translates the recorded data into one analysis, divided into strain (“Strain”), recovery (“Recovery”) and sleep (“Sleep”). The more data Whoop has collected, the more coaching functions unlock, which also relates to the three areas. On a daily basis, Whoop recommends the optimal load for the day. Depending on when you get up and the data collected, the sleep coach provides information on when it’s time to go to bed. When calculating bedtime, the coach takes into account your own wishes: Do you want to be topfit the next day (“peak”)? Be in shape (“Perform”)? Or just get through the day (“Get by”)?

Whoop App Analysis and Coach

The Whoop app prepares the collected data in graphics and provides tips on the right time to go to bed.

Conclusion from the practice test

Whoop Strap 3.0 represents an expensive investment in your own fitness. Anyone who wears the strap every day and uses the app a lot will learn a lot about their own body and receive specific recommendations. Sports watches from Polar such as Ignite or Vantage M also offer something similar – in German and without a subscription. It is up to you whether you want an app to tell you how much exercise and when it is healthy to sleep. The inaccuracies in the heart measurement are annoying when the arms move a lot. Some equipment features are also lacking compared to the competition: a display, a built-in GPS sensor or smart features. But the Whoop scores with good carrying comfort and charging with a battery pack.

Hov: subscription model instead of purchase price

Anyone playing with Whoop Strap 3.0 can order it from Whoop’s website. The tracker itself is free, but Whoop charges a subscription fee to use it. Membership is as expensive as fees in the gym: 18 to 30 euros are paid monthly, depending on the agreed term.
  • 18-month membership: 18 euros per month (324 euros for 18 months)
  • Annual membership: 24 euros per month (288 euros for 12 months)
  • Monthly cancelable membership with a minimum period of 6 months: 30 euros per. month (180 euros for 6 months)

A compatible smartphone with the Whoop app is required to configure and use Whoop Strap 3.0. This runs on iPhones from generation 6S with at least iOS 12 and on smartphones from Android 7.0 with Google Play Store. According to Whoop, there are some connectivity issues with smartphones up to Android 9.0. According to the manufacturer, this applies to devices from the brands Huawei, LG, OnePlus, Xiaomi, Blackberry, Motorola, Oppo, Shift and Meizu.

Accessories for Whoop Strap 3.0

The manufacturer has various accessories on offer. In the internal store there are other interchangeable bracelets (15 to 25 euros), including one for the upper arm (30 euros). There is an upper arm cuff (39 euros) for more support and anyone who needs a new charger pays 30 euros.

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