Fitbit vs WHOOP (2020): Comparing the Charge 3 & the Strap 3.0 Fitness Trackers

Fitbit and WHOOP are fitness tracker brands often talked about today by casual users, hardcore fitness enthusiasts, and professional athletes. While both promise to help you achieve your health and fitness goals, you may gravitate towards one over the other depending on your personal fitness goals. We compare the Fitbit Charge 3 and the WHOOP Strap 3.0 to help you decide which fitness activity tracker is the better fit for you.

Fitbit Charge 3 vs WHOOP Strap 3.0 Comparison Chart

ModelFitbit Charge 3WHOOP Strap 3.0
Fitbit Charge 3 Fitness Activity Tracker, Graphite/Black, One Size (S and L Bands Included) WHOOP Strap 3.0
PriceCheck Price on Amazon Check Price
DisplayYes, TouchscreenNo
Strap MaterialWoven
Sport
ProKnit band
Color CombinationsBlack/Graphite
Blue-Grey/Rose-Gold
Special Edition:
Frost White/Graphite
Lavender/Rose-Gold
Onyx
(Other band colors are available for 39 USD)
Call & Text AlertsYesNo
Water ResistanceUp to 50 metersUp to 30.5 meters
Strain CoachNoYes
Heart Rate MonitorYesYes
PedometerYesNo
Calorie Burn TrackerYesHeart Rate-based
Sleep ReportsYesYes
Resting Heart RateYesYes
Heart Rate VariabilityNoYes
Blood Oxygen LevelYesNo
Swim TrackingYesYes
Menstrual TrackingYesNo
Connected GPSYesNo
Bluetooth4.04.0
Contactless PaymentAvailable in the Special EditionYes
CompatibilityiOS, Android, WindowsiOS, Android
SubscriptionOptionalRequired
Battery LifeUp to 7 daysUp to 5 days

Design and Comfort

Both the Fitbit and WHOOP are comfortable and lightweight, but the WHOOP offers the option to wear the Strap 3.0 around your arm through a sleeve

Frost White/Graphite Aluminum variant of the Fitbit Charge 3 (left) and the WHOOP Strap 3.0 in Arctic White

As they are designed for users who want to focus on fitness activity tracking, the Fitbit Charge 3 and the WHOOP Strap 3.0 come with slim, lightweight, and unobtrusive straps. Where they differ is the Fitbit fitness trackers come with a display and button with haptic feedback. In contrast, the WHOOP relies solely on your phone to manage and display data. The WHOOP only comes with the Strap 3.0 that you can attach to either a band or a sleeve.

When it comes to the versatility of design, Fitbit wins. Users can choose from Charge 3’s woven or classic sport bands in different combinations. Meanwhile, the free WHOOP Strap 3.0 only offers the Onyx ProKnit band. If you don’t like the black band, you’ll have to pay an extra 39 USD or more for your preferred color. Both fitness trackers can be used for swimming, but the sport bands of the Fitbit Charge 3 dry much faster than the ProKnit band of the WHOOP Strap 3.0.

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The Fitbit Charge 3 with a sport band (left) and the WHOOP Strap 3.0 in a sleeve

Perhaps a significant reason why one would opt for the WHOOP Strap 3.0 over the Fitbit Charge 3 is the option to use the WHOOP with a sleeve. This allows users to gather data and monitor heart rate even when doing contact sports. This includes Krav Maga, boxing, Jiu-Jitsu, rugby, and similar sports where wearing something on your wrist can cause an injury. You can simply insert the WHOOP Strap in the upper arm sleeve and it is protected by a sturdy, but comfortable foam.

Heart Rate Tracking and Accuracy

The Fitbit and WHOOP are relatively accurate; the WHOOP Strap measures HRV

fitbit vs whoop heart rate tracking
It’s imperative that your wearable fitness tracker measures your heart rate accurately

Monitoring the heart rate is one of the main reasons why users get a fitness tracker. Both the Fitbit Charge 3 and the WHOOP Strap 3.0 are relatively accurate when it comes to monitoring heart rate. However, some users report that the WHOOP tends to be inaccurate from time to time, especially when doing activities that involve frequent hand movements. This can be addressed by making sure the Strap fits you snugly so it is constantly in contact with your skin.

What the Fitbit is missing that many users find helpful in the WHOOP Strap 3.0 is the Heart Rate Variable (HRV). This measures the average intervals between your heartbeats and the higher the HRV score, the better. WHOOP claims that studies show that HRV is positively correlated with training and athletic performance. The Strap 3.0 takes it up a notch and actually interprets the data for you to give you suggestions for optimal health and performance.

Where the Fitbit trumps the WHOOP is by having a display, which means you can see your heart rate right away on the Charge 3. With the Strap 3.0, you have to check your phone to see the data.

Sleep Tracking

Both the Fitbit and the WHOOP track sleep performance, but they offer varying additional features and insights

fitbit vs whoop sleep tracking
Track the quality of your sleep with the Fitbit (in photo) and the WHOOP to help improve sleeping habits

Fitbit offers one of the best app interfaces for health and wellness tracking, and its sleep technology is top-notch. The Charge 3 measures the time you’re awake and your different stages of sleep–light sleep, REM, and deep sleep. It generates your sleep score by tracking your sleeping heart rate and resting heart rate.

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The Fitbit app also offers other sleep features for better quality sleep. These include the Silent Alarm, Sleep Schedule, Bedtime Reminders, and Sleep Insights. Fitbit’s recent update activated its much-awaited SpO2 sensor which can detect blood-oxygen levels while you sleep.

sleep stages on fitbit charge 3
Fitbit’s Sleep Tracking interface is intuitive and user-friendly

Meanwhile, the WHOOP Strap 3.0’s sleep data provides insights into your Recovery Score. The Recovery Score is based on your sleep quality, heart rate variability (HRV), and resting heart rate (RHR). Your Recovery Score indicates how well-prepared your body is for training. In addition, the Strap 3.0 asks questions such as the number of caffeinated drinks you had, whether you read before bed, etc. This shows insights into how your habits affect your sleep quality.

However, there’s a caveat to WHOOP’s Recovery Score. During instances where you are feeling under the weather and take lots of rest in bed, the Strap 3.0 tends to give you a high Recovery Score. This is then interpreted as being recovered and therefore ready for peak performance and training once again even when you’re still feeling weak.

Additional Activity Tracking

The Fitbit Charge 3 can detect your exercise and track steps while the WHOOP Strap 3.0 offers Strain measurements

WHOOP Strap 3.0 strain measurements
You can set performance goals in the WHOOP Strap 3.0

While the Fitbit Charge 3.0 offers more bells and whistles, the WHOOP Strap 3.0 is focused on monitoring heart rate, HRV and interpreting the results for optimal performance. This is why in its advent, it was marketed towards professional athletes and hardcore fitness enthusiasts.

One of the WHOOP Strap 3.0’s unique features is its integrated Strain Coach. The WHOOP recommends levels of exertion based on your Recovery Score. It also lets you set goals–peak, perform, or just get by–for different days. Knowing your strain measurements will guide you on your training decisions and hopefully avoid injuries.

Track your swim sets with the waterproof Fitbit and WHOOP

Meanwhile, the Fitbit Charge 3.0 offers more features such as detecting your exercise automatically, tracking your steps through its pedometer, measuring your distance when connected to your phone’s GPS, tracking menstrual cycles, and more. None of these are features are available in the WHOOP Strap 3.0.

Another win for the Fitbit is it has better water-resistance. It is waterproof for up to 50 meters whereas the WHOOP can only be submerged up to a depth of 30.5 meters. Both fitness trackers are not recommended for use for water skiing and scuba diving.

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Connectivity and Smart Features

The Fitbit Charge 3 Special Edition can be used for contactless payments, message notifications, and other everyday apps

fitbit-vs-whoop-charge-3-and-strap-3
Pay for your purchases using Fitbit Pay on the Charge 3 Special Edition

Fitbit’s latest Charge offers more than fitness activity tracking. The Fitbit Charge 3 Special Edition is equipped with NFC (Near-Field Communication) so you can use Fitbit Pay for contactless payments. If you’re an Android user, you can also pair the Fitbit Charge 3 to your device to get notifications and alerts. You can further use apps like weather, alarm, and timer and they will be displayed on the Fitbit Charge’s screen.

Something many users complain about the WHOOP Strap 3.0 is its connectivity issues. Users report that the connection between the WHOOP and their device, despite being a newer model, keeps dropping. Hopefully, this is something that can be fixed with an update.

Subscription and Support

The Fitbit offers an optional premium subscription while the WHOOP requires a minimum of 6 months of subscription

fitbit charge 3 vs whoop strap 3 subscription
Your purchase of a Charge 3 gives you free three-month access to Fitbit Premium upon activation

When you purchase a Fitbit Charge 3, you’ll get a free three-month subscription to Fitbit Premium upon activation of the device. This membership gives you access to more thorough personalized insights, a vast library of workouts, and guided programs to help you crush your fitness goals.

It is worth noting though that the free three-month access was given at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic to encourage more users to stay fit and healthy. We have yet to find out whether this offer will continue after this, but the regular monthly fee of 9.99 USD for a Fitbit Premium access is a pretty reasonable price.

As for the Strap 3.0, WHOOP advertises that the Strap itself is free. However, WHOOP requires a minimum subscription for six months. At the time of writing, the subscription costs 30 USD a month. While you can keep the WHOOP Strap 3 once your subscription is done, the device will be rendered useless without the subscription. If you plan on using it long term, this monthly fee is something to consider.

Compatibility and Battery Life

The Fitbit Charge 3 has longer battery life than the WHOOP Strap 3.0

You can wear the Fitbit Charge 3 for up to 7 days at full charge

For the fitness tracker to track your sleeping patterns and heart rate, you need to wear the device during sleep. This is made possible through the long-lasting battery life of the Fitbit Charge 3.0 and the WHOOP Strap 3.0. The Fitbit can last for up to 7 days before you need to charge it while the WHOOP’s battery lasts for 5 days.

In addition, the WHOOP comes with a small battery pack that you can attach to the Strap 3.0 even when worn. This means you can wear the fitness tracker 24/7, resulting in more consistent data and interpretations. Both the Fitbit and WHOOP are compatible with iOS and Android devices with Bluetooth Low Energy connectivity. The Fitbit is further compatible with Windows devices.

Verdict

The Fitbit Charge 3.0 offers overall better value for your money. Get the WHOOP Strap 3.0 if you absolutely need the HRV and the upper arm sleeve.

Fitbit Charge 3

Fitbit Charge 3

Check Price on Amazon 

WHOOP Strap 3.0

WHOOP Strap 3.0

Check Price

The Fitbit Charge 3 simply offers overall better value for your money. It is a reliable and accurate fitness tracker packed with helpful features for health, fitness, and overall wellness. In addition, you won’t need a subscription to be able to enjoy the features of the Fitbit Charge 3 and its companion app. Its longer battery life is a welcome bonus, too.

In contrast, WHOOP has started requiring a monthly subscription with the Strap 3.0. This will be worth it if you believe the following features are imperative: strain measurements, the HRV, and the availability of an upper arm sleeve for doing contact sports. Also, the WHOOP Strap 3.0 does a great job of interpreting the tracked data to give you appropriate coaching based on the insights.

Last update on 2020-05-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Rhodaline Escala-Phelps
Rhodaline Escala-Phelps

Managing Editor and Team Leader at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about people, product comparisons, culture, and current events.