Going to the gym and working out is fun, but do you know what’s even more fun? Being able to track Every. Single. Workout.
The right smartwatch can show you everything you could possibly need to know about your workouts and your lifestyle.
You can even see your stress levels (not that we’re sure we actually want to see ours!) and track your sleep. It’s the ideal companion if you’re striving for a healthy lifestyle.
As time goes on, more and more smartwatches made for fitness make their merry way onto the market. Whoop, Fitbit and the Apple Watch are just a few of the best contenders out there for your almighty dollar.
But which one is the best option for you?
Fasten your watch strap and tie up your gym shoes, because we’re going to deep dive into the fight of the year: Whoop vs Fitbit vs Apple Watch.
The Apple Watch Series 6 is the latest model in Apple’s flagship smartwatch series.
There’s a lot to love about this smartwatch, whether it’s for daily use or for the gym. But is it worth your money?
There’s certainly a lot to love about the Apple Watch Series 6 when it comes to the design. It has a slim profile and when you wear it on your wrist it will most definitely turn some heads.
Of course, it looks pretty similar to the previous version of the Apple Watch, but you don’t need a huge change in order for something to look spectacular.
Let’s paint a visual picture. If you’ve never seen an Apple Watch before – what, have you been living under a rock? – it has what Steve Jobs fondly calls a ‘Squircle’ fact – sort of like a square with rounded edges.
It feels comfortable on the wrist and it features sensors on the underside of the watch. This is how the watch can track things like your heart rate.
You may not be too concerned about the long term wearability of your watch if you’re only going to wear it for a 30 minute workout, but the Apple Watch Series 6 has incredible sleep tracking features, which means that the slim and lightweight design is a pretty big selling point.
The square watch screen is also large enough for you to see things like your texts and notifications much more easily.
The watch features a brushed metal body that looks sleek, mostly in neutral colors that can work well with pretty much any outfit you can think of. If you would prefer something a bit more flashy, the watch also comes with a blue color finish option.
The last thing you want when it comes to buying a smartwatch is something that will last you for about the duration of your warm up before you need to put it on charge again.
With all of the extra features that come with this version of the Apple Watch, battery life is even more vital.
The battery life on this particular model is around 18 hours according to Apple’s specifications, but in truth, it lasts quite a bit longer than that.
Sure, this isn’t the best option out there in terms of battery life – many Garmin watches can last for a week or more, but this is decent nonetheless.
The battery life of the watch isn’t the same all the time, however – how long it lasts can largely depend on your usage.
It’s certainly not going to last as long if you decide to track your sleep.
While the battery life isn’t the best in the business, the charging speed is certainly something that Apple can boast about.
You could get this watch to around 50% charged within about 30 minutes.
When it comes to the specifications and features of the Apple Watch Series 6, there are an abundance of different key features to love.
To start with, it comes with a bunch of different health sensors, including fall detection and emergency SOS calls.
It’s capable of tracking all sorts of different workouts and it will also track how much movement you’ve had throughout the day.
Perhaps the most intriguing feature offered by the new Apple watch is the blood oxygen sensor. Sounds a little ominous at first, we know, but we promise that it’s pretty impressive.
According to Apple, blood oxygen is an indicator of overall health. It can help you to keep things like Asthma and other respiratory conditions in check by giving you regular readings.
To take a reading, you can open the Blood Oxygen app and press the start button. It will then tell you your reading in terms of a percentage.
Naturally, it should not be used in place of a proper medical examination but it’s neat nevertheless.
In addition to this, you can use the watch to track your sleep. It should be noted right off the bat that this sleep tracking is not nearly as intuitive as the Apple Watch rival, Fitbit – which we’ll get onto a little later in this article.
With that being said, it will tell you the duration of sleep which may be all that many people need.
The watch has fairly accurate GPS tracking, comes with a bunch of great apps, and the screen is super simple to read even when you’re working out. As a whole, a great smartwatch that any fitness enthusiast will appreciate.
The ability to answer calls and texts right from the watch is also pretty handy, meaning you can go out without your phone for a few hours and still stay in touch with the outside world.
Hands free communication – what can be any better? Now your mom will pester you even more about why you didn’t answer her calls!
- ‘Ring’ tracking system is engaging
- Colorful screen
- Tracks a range of different activity
- Blood Oxygen monitoring
- Sleek design
- Comfortable to wear
- Accurate tracking
- GPS tracking
- Apple pay
- Sleep monitoring leaves a lot to be desired
- Only works with iOS compatible devices
Fitbit is a pioneer brand when it comes to smartwatches for fitness addicts, but does its newest model, the Fitbit Charge 4, hold up against its competitors? Here’s what you need to know.
Any lover of the Fitbit ‘Charge’ series is going to love the Charge 4. This watch looks pretty similar to the Charge 3 in many ways.
It features a modern looking rectangular face, and there are two main versions to choose from – the Standard Edition, featuring a silicone strap, and the Special Edition, that comes with a silicone strap and a reflective woven nylon strap.
We must say – the Nylon is pretty striking looking, and reminds us a little of the Charge 3 Special Edition purple strap.
But you didn’t come here to hear us gushing about straps, did you?
Well, the Fitbit Charge 4 comes with a black and white screen, rather than the color you would get with an Apple Watch.
This is somewhat disappointing, but it does perform well nevertheless. It’s a relatively minor complaint when you think about everything else on offer here.
With the Fitbit Charge 4, you can choose from a range of different watch faces to suit your preferences. There are plenty of customization options at your disposal, and as a whole the watch is rather stylish.
This is ideal if you are particularly fashion conscious and you want something to match your own unique style.
It’s fairly simple to use – it just has a small button on the left hand side of the watch and a touch screen. All you need to do is put the watch in front of your face or touch the button to turn it on.
Much like with the Charge 3, you then just need to swipe the screen to access the option that you need. You can see all of your key stats by just swiping up, or you can optimize the watch screen to show you most of your key statistics in one go. There’s even a weather app on it!
You can charge the Fitbit Charge 4 using a USB cable with a big clip on the end, similar to the previous Fitbit models.
This is fairly simple to do and it charges incredibly quickly – you can charge the whole thing in less than an hour. All you need to do is connect it to the USB before it’s time for your workout and away you go!
The battery life is even pretty impressive in addition to this. It can last for up to a week with just one charge.
This is ideal if you are planning on wearing the watch for prolonged hikes or especially long workouts. Of course, this battery life is somewhat shortened if you plan on using the built in GPS, so this is something to keep in mind.
Have you been sitting down without moving for an excessive amount of time?
Well, your Fitbit is having approximately none of that. If you’ve been lazy for too long your Fitbit will buzz on your wrist to tell you to move, sort of like when you’re standing in front of someone in the grocery store and you’re walking too slow.
Using the Fitbit, you can track six different activities, but you can only have four different shortcuts on the actual device. You can select which ones you can have on the device though.
If you’ve been moving for 10 minutes or more continuously, the Fitbit will also automatically track the workout.
Unfortunately though when it does this you won’t be able to see any GPS data, which is a bit of a bummer if you want to go for a walk and save your route for later.
Once you’ve finished your workout, that’s when the fun starts, Open up the app on your phone and click on the exercise – here you will see all sorts of things such as your Active Zone Minutes, Amount of calories burned and more. You can even see your pace and speed if you were running.
When it comes to tracking that all important shut-eye, the Fitbit reigns supreme.
You can see all of your exercise in little bar charts on the app, giving you a clear picture of how your sleep had improved over a few weeks rather than just one day.
The tracker can even shot you the duration of time asleep, time in Deep and REM sleep and restoration. This is all pretty handy, as you can see how your actions throughout the day can influence your sleep at night.
Additional features of the Fitbit Charge 4 include alerts for calls and texts, calendar notifications, spotify functionality, Fitbit Pay and so much more.
- Attractive, discreen design
- Built in GPS
- Intuitive Active Zone Minutes feature allows you to customize your workouts based on your goals.
- Excellent sleep tracking that shows you REM sleep and more
- Music controls
- Waterproof – Ideal for swimming
- Very long battery life – can last up to a week in some circumstances
- FitBit pay
- No color display
- Screen can become a little cramped depending on what layout you opt for
- Not as slim as the Apple Watch
Now for something a little bit different!
Whoop is a pretty new name in the Fitness tracker industry, but it stands up rather well against its much larger competitors.
It’s very unique, offering a lot of things that the Fitbit and Apple Watch could never.
Let’s start with how this little thing works. It’s not like the other girls, oh no – it’s more of a membership on your wrist.
What does that mean? It means that if you’re particularly competitive or want to pit your performance up against other fitness enthusiasts like yourself, this is the way to do it.
Upon purchase, you will get the strap completely free of charge (so long as it’s the black version – any more eye catching colors are going to cost you around $39 extra to buy.). From there, you will need to have a subscription for 6 months minimum.
It’s pretty affordable, costing around $30 a month in total.
Of course, after your six months are up, the watch becomes somewhat pointless if you don’t pay the subscription because you won’t be able to see any of your apps or data.
This is something that you need to keep in mind in advance – it’s certainly more of a commitment than the other options on this list.
For more information on the Whoop tracker, check out the website here.
So, why pay $30 a month continuously for a subscription, when you can get plenty of functionality with a one off payment with the other two options? Let’s get into the basics first of all.
The watch strap can work with both iOS and Android devices, so you aren’t limited to just one as you would be with the Apple Watch, for example.
As far as aesthetics are concerned, this is a discreet watch that won’t look like an eyesore when you wear it.
As we’ve already mentioned, it comes in a range of different colors, including green, orange and white, justto name a few.
The band is a ProKnit style band which is plenty stretchy with a textured underside to stop it from sliding around your wrist.
Unfortunately, it can take a pretty long time to dry if you happen to get it wet.
One minor issue with the Whoop wristwatch is that it doesn’t come with any display or buttons, and that means that you can’t tell it when you’ve started an exercise.
However, don’t give up on it just yet! The device can actually measure your heart rate 100 times per second, and this means that it knows when you’re working out.
It’s a little like Christmas – it knows when you are exercising, it knows when you are not, so you’d best exercise. Not that there’s any penalty for not doing so!
You can also install the Whoop app onto your phone, and this will allow you to log an exercise.
This is best if you don’t trust technology to know the difference between when you’re doing laundry or doing a HIIT workout.
It will notice any activity that’s lasted for 15 minutes or longer, however.
One particularly interesting thing that Whoop does is that it calculates your daily strain. What is that, you may ask?
Here’s where the device really shines!
Essentially, your daily strain will show you your cardiovascular performance throughout the week, something that’s especially vital because it impacts your sleep and recovery needs. It will measure strain score from 0 to 21, ranging from light to ‘All Out’.
It measures your strain based on your maximum heart rate, and this means that all data is customized to you as an individual.
One thing to note though – remember that ever-so-strenuous laundry we mentioned earlier? Yeah – your strain score will also include things like that. Though, this is more likely if your laundry weighs a tonne.
This strain score is especially cool though, as it means that Whoop will suggest how much strain you should put yourself under on a given day in order to optimize your performance.
Much like the Fitbit and Apple Watch, the Whoop device also tracks your sleep. It’s pretty advanced too – telling you how long it takes you to fall asleep, the duration and the sleep stages you were in as you slept.
Simply look at the app each morning to check your sleep from the night before. You can even look at your respiratory rate which can tell you quite a bit about your general health.
- Comes with a range of sensors, and it can even gather five different metrics 100 times in one second
- Shows you your daily strain so you can plan workouts accordingly
- In depth sleep data
- Extra long battery life
- You don’t need to take the strap off to charge the device
- Discreet design
- It won’t work with Heart rate monitors from other brands
- No screen on the watch – you will need to open the app to see your exercise and other health metrics
Fitness Bands: A Buyers' Guide
Finding the best fitness band for you is a very personal journey. A band that is right for us, maybe totally wrong for you. This is why we have put together this buyers’ guide.
The guide is made up of 9 questions you need to ask yourself before you purchase a fitness band. The combination of your 9 answers will help you narrow down to your perfect option.
The first question you need to ask yourself is what do you want your fitness band to do? Do you want to purely for measuring your sleep, exercise intensity, and heart rate? Or you want more from it?
The Apple Watch for example is more than a fitness band. It is an extension of your phone or iPad. Through it, you can receive messages and calls. It will even allow you to make contactless payments.
Whoop and the Fitbit offer less but are solely focused on tracking fitness data. If you’re looking for a sleek, minimalist experience, then you will want to look at one of these two.
The next question you need to ask yourself is how important is GPS functionality to you? Your answer to this will entirely depend on what kind of exercise you’re interested in doing.
For example, if you’re a weight lifter or do Crossfit then there is very little that GPS can add to your workout data.
On the other hand, if you’re a runner or wild swimmer, GPS data is the foundation of all your other calculations. For these sports accurately measuring distance is paramount.
We would recommend going with a GPS-enabled device as it gives you the freedom to enjoy both types of exercise.
The next question you need to ask yourself is how crucial is it that your band has long battery life.
Battery life might not be as important as you think for a large number of you. That being said, the majority of modern fitness bands have exceptional battery lives.
If you partake in HIIT workouts or other forms of short but intense exercise, you don’t need your fitness band to last all day. Especially if you’re not interested in tracking your sleep.
However, long-distance runners and swimmers may feel very differently.
Does design matter to you? Does it matter if your fitness band looks stylish when it’s on your wrist?
If your answer is no, then congratulations you can save yourself a lot of money when purchasing a fitness band.
If your answer is yes then there is nothing to be ashamed of. Particularly if you want to wear your band all day, every day. You may find yourself drawn to the Apple Watch. It’s one of the thinnest fitness bands out there, and it has Apple’s trademark minimalist design.
However, the newer models of Fitbits are also quite attractive. If the design does matter to you then you should spend some time looking into which design appeals to you the most.
Easy of Use
Next, does ease of use matter to you? Do you want your band to be ready to use out of the box?
Both the Apple Watch and the Fitbit are incredibly easy to use. That’s something you would expect for the price point.
Other brands aren’t so simple. However, if you’re prepared to put the setting up time in, you could save yourself a little bit of cash and have some far more detailed records at your fingertips.
Compatibility with the rest of your tech
Do you want your fitness band to be compatible with the rest of your tech? Your answer to this should be yes. As the bands themselves are not designed for displaying data.
You won’t be surprised to hear that Apple Watches aren’t compatible with non-Apple phones and tablets. However, the Watch’s integration between itself and Apple products is seamless.
Fitbits are pretty universal when it comes to compatibility. However, the take a little more work to set up.
When looking at other fitness bands you should make sure that the brand offers a well-reviewed app on whatever operating system you are planning to run it on.
Do you want a fitness band with an easy to use screen?
Some fitness bands have no screen at all. Instead, they will feed all the information to an app on your phone. This may be inconvenient if you want to track your data while exercising. The benefit of this is that the screenless bands tend to be a lot cheaper.
Fitbit bands come with a good screen. However, they do try to fit a lot of information on these screens. Leading to very cramped displays that are hard to read on the move.
The Apple Watch has the easiest screen to read by far. It is also one of the only fitness bands to offer a colored screen.
Our second to last question is do you want a fitness band that will track your sleep?
If this isn’t something that interests you then you have your pick of the bunch.
However, if you do want accurate sleep tracking then you will have to look very carefully at what each band can offer you.
While the Apple Watch excels in many categories, sleep tracking is not one of them. Here both the Fitbit and the Whoop sweep it under the rug.
The Whoop collects more sleep-based data. While the Fitbit is a lot more accurate when it comes to data collection.
Good sleep is an important part of fitness and recovery.
Finally, do you want a waterproof fitness band?
If you don’t swim then your answer will probably be no. Unless you like to exercise outside and live in an area where it rains a lot.
There are different levels of waterproof, and the Apple Watch and Fitbit range are far above everything else in this category. Both can even be used while deep sea diving.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is whoop good for weight lifting?
The Whoop band is a fantastic choice if you are looking to get into lifting weights. It will track your heart rate during both cardiovascular and strength based exercise to give you an indication of your calorie burn during exercise.
Whoop actually has something called a strain metric. This will measure the ‘cardiovascular load’ on your body. You may find that you have a low strain score when you are doing strengthened based exercises, but you need not worry.
Instead, you will often find that your strain score is higher on the day after your workout because your muscles are tired. Your heart rate during the exercise can also give you an indication about whether you have put your body under the right amount of pressure to get results.
It’s best to analyze your heart rate data when using Whoop for strength training. Targeting different heart rate zones will determine what kinds of results you get from the exercise.
Can I shower with my whoop?
Yes – the Whoop strap is resistant to water. It has an IP68 water rating, and it can deal with water pressure up to 3ATM – essentially, 30 meters. As such, it’s fine for use in the shower, the ocean or in baths. You shouldn’t use it for things like scuba diving, however.
With that in mind, you don’t necessarily need to wear it in the shower. It’s often best to put your Whoop device aside when you’re in the shower. This will give your skin on your arm more time to breathe, which is important, especially if you wear your Whoop device a lot.
In addition to this, you need to ensure that you keep your Whoop away from certain ingredients, like insect repellent, sunscreen, nail polish remover, acetone and detergents. These ingredients can cause your strap to deteriorate over time.
One final thing to note is that the battery pack of your Whoop device isn’t waterproof – keep it far away from water! In addition to this, you should ensure that the strap has been dried completely before you put the battery pack on.
If you do plan on wearing the Whoop band in the shower, you should take it off for a little while then wash the skin underneath the sensor to keep your skin healthy.
Do you wear fitbit in the shower?
You can indeed wear a fitbit in the shower. The vast majority of Fitbit models are water resistant up to 50 meters, meaning you can wear them when swimming or when you’re in the shower.
While it is okay to shower with your fitbit, it is often better to avoid doing so if possible. When you’re showering, there is a chance that soap, conditioner and shampoo can get into your device. This can irritate your skin, and may also reduce the longevity of the Fitbit Device.
Instead, it’s often better to take your Fitbit off when you’re in the shower. This is helpful since it allows your skin some time to breathe. You can also use this time to put your Fitbit device on charge too.
There are some situations where you shouldn’t use your Fitbit in water – don’t use it in a sauna or hot tub!
If your Fitbit does end up getting wet, make sure that you remove it and allow it to thoroughly dry before you wear it again. If it touches liquids that aren’t fresh water, clean the device using a soap free cleanser and some fresh water before drying it again.
How does Fitbit know I’m sleeping?
There are many models of Fitbit that can track your sleep. The question is how it manages to do this.
A Fitbit will monitor your sleep by tracking things like your heart rate patterns and your movement. If you don’t move for more than around an hour, your device will register sleep. Not only that, but the Fitbit will also track your movements and heart rate data to figure out what stage of sleep you’re in.
It can even tell you when you’re in REM sleep. When you refresh your Fitbit app the next morning, you should be able to see your sleep score based on your movement and heart rate patterns.
You can also do other things relating to sleep on your Fitbit. For instance, you can set a sleep schedule, a sleep goal or set reminders for you to go to sleep. All you need to do is wear your Fitbit to bed in order to track all of this data. You don’t even need to lift a finger!
What is the best fitness app for Apple Watch?
The answer to this ultimately depends on personal preference. There are a number of different fitness apps that are great for the Apple Watch, but they may not be good for every person.
For instance, the WorkOutDoors app is a great choice. It will essentially make your Apple Watch into a standard sports watch. You’re not going to have an always on screen or an impressive battery life like you’d get with a device like the Garmin watch, but you will get all of the other functionality that you may want. You can even look at maps on your device.
Another good choice is Strava. This is a popular running and riding app that most people know of already. It will give you details on eight different kinds of activity, and you can even customize and share your data.
MyFitnessPal is another good choice. This is a calorie and macro counting app which is ideal for athletes looking to eat for their best performance. It can also track your step count throughout the day and will alter your burned calories based on this data.
Can you shower with Apple Watch?
This depends on the model of Apple Watch that you have. It’s not recommended to swim with the Apple Watch Series 1 or the Apple Watch first generation. These watches are splash and water resistant but they can’t be submerged in water. You can use the Apple Watch Series 2 for swimming in shallow water.
You can indeed shower with the Apple Watch Series 2 or any newer models. With that in mind though, it’s best not to allow the watch to come in contact with foreign substances such as lotions, conditioners, shampoos and soaps. These can harm the water seals in the watch.
If you are going to be using any of these substances, then it’s probably best to put your Apple Watch on charge while you shower instead of wearing it. This allows your skin to breathe too, which is always a good idea.
If your Apple Watch does come in contact with any unfamiliar substances, you should clean it using some fresh water and dry it using a lint free cloth.
It’s also important to mention that the water resistance on your Apple Watch can deteriorate over time if you aren’t careful, so it’s often best to avoid wearing your Apple Watch in the shower if possible.
You also need to think about the type of band that you have, since some of them aren’t suitable for use in the water. For instance, keep the leather and stainless steel bands out of water.
Can Apple watch measure blood pressure?
The Apple Watch itself doesn’t measure blood pressure. It’s better to measure your blood pressure by using a blood pressure cuff. Of course, it is possible to measure your blood pressure using an Apple Watch, but you’ll need to connect it to a blood pressure monitor – for instance, QardioArm.
This app in specific will link up with your smartphone and then it will keep track of your data on your personal account. You can then enable the Apple Watch to access the data, which you can view at any time.
The Apple Health app can also store your key blood pressure data through time, which can be very useful for giving you an indication of your overall health and wellbeing.
It’s also good to note that the Apple Watch Series 6 does have a blood oxygen monitoring. It is possible that blood pressure monitoring may come to the device in further updates, too. For the time being though, you would be better off with downloading a separate app to get truly accurate data.
Which One Is The Best?
So, after all of that, which of these is the best options?
Well, it’s sort of like choosing what’s the best kind of cheese or chocolate – it will depend on your own preferences, desires and usage. Each of these watches is best for a different purpose.
Take the Apple Watch for instance. If you’re an iOS smartphone user, the Apple Watch is already a step in the right direction.
It’s ideal if you want an attractive, everyday watch that has in depth controls and plenty of exercise tracking for you to take advantage of. Check out current pricing here.
It’s also great if you want to go without your phone for a few hours while still staying connected to the land of the living. It isn’t so great for when you want to track sleep.
But do you know what is great for tracking sleep? We’d go with either the Fitbit Charge 4 or Whoop. Sleep is one of the most important pillars of our health, and for many sleep tracking is a vital way of keeping track of their overall health.
When comparing the Fitbit to the Apple Watch or Whoop, the Fitbit Charge 4 is a pretty decent fitness watch, and though it doesn’t have quite the functionality of the Apple Watch, it’s a great choice if you want an easy way to track your workouts without breaking the bank. And it’s good for sleep tracking.
If you really want to hone in on your health stats (including sleep), the Whoop fitness watch is an incredibly strong contender.
It’s more of a fitness tracker than a smartwatch, sure, but it’s a powerful fitness tracker. You can even use it to plan your workouts, which is incredibly helpful.
At the moment, we are leaning toward the Whoop as the best all-around device. You can see if they are running any specials right now by clicking here.
If you’re torn between these three fitness trackers, we feel you.
Each of them has so much to offer, but hopefully this guide has helped you to narrow down your decision.
You’ll be tracking your stats left and right in no time at all! Let us know which one you picked in the comments.