WHOOP Strap 2.0 High-End Fitness Wearable
THIS ARTICLE IS A DRAFT
This high-end fitness band clocks in at $30/month (although several deals are available) and is excellent at tracking sleep stages and heart rate variability (HRV), an important measure of your autonomic nervous system.
HRV is quickly becoming an essential metric for athletes. The latest Apple Watch claims to measure it, and I predict that more mainstream wearables like Fitbit will soon offer products that do.
- At first the nylon strap seemed a bit flimsy and cheap. However, it has turned out to the most comfortable band I've ever worn. Much more comfortable than a Jawbone, Fitbit, or watch. I often forget it's there.
- Impressed by the overall product design and attention to detail. The devices hugs your arm so that the green heart rate LEDs don't leak out the side, a problem I often had with my Fitbit.
- Very happy that it's waterproof and it performed well at the pool.
- Clever engineering on their battery charger. Very bright battery indicator.
- Underwhelming. The UX is clunky and it's hard to see real-time data.
- Wish there was an easier way to just see heart rate and HRV real time.
I recommend joining the WHOOP Athletes Facebook group to discuss issues.
- There's lots of discussion about inaccurate heart rate readings (see below).
- Asking why data is suddenly changing, like deep sleep scores. WHOOP seems to make algorithm changes without letting their users know.
Heart Rate Issue
Unfortunately, the WHOOP doesn't reliably measure heart rate. As you can see below it's easy to trick the device simply by swinging your arm.
I contacted support and they sent me a bicep band, which I appreciate. But if the devices requires a bicep band to operate properly it should come for free with every device.
This fitness device collects a huge amount of data, but none of it is currently available for download by the user.
According to Will Ahmed, the CEO of WHOOP, they're working on allowing users to export their data. However, this is 2019 and any fitness wearable company should have data export out of the box. WHOOP has been around for several years so it's unacceptable that a tool doesn't exist yet.
Data extract workaround
Out of frustration I built my own tool. To extract your data head on over to whoopdata.herokuapp.com to use the tool that I built. This will export your raw data and a CSV file that can be opened in Microsoft Excel.
This little app is likely to have bugs and will (hopefully) be replaced soon by an official version from WHOOP.
- Ability to export your user data
- A "light" theme for mobile. The iPhone app is too dark in my opinion.
- Improvements to user experience. Every time you wake up in the morning you are asked several questions about your sleep. However the questions are phrased negatively so you have to select "X" to each one, as in "that didn't apply". It's confusing. Questions should be phrased so that a positive checkbox is the standard.
- Being able to edit your user feedback on sleep and recovery. Once you input it you can't change it.
Impressed by the device itself. The charging mechanism is unique and clever. The UI/UX needs to be improved badly. And more data needs to be made accessible to the user. The days of closed systems need to be in the past. Give me my data!