Fri. May 24th, 2024

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If you’re coming in with the right expectations, the Garmin Lily 2 is a solid, female-focused wearable. With an emphasis on aesthetics, the Lily 2 is perfect for those with small wrists, delivering style, comfort, and plenty of tools. It’s not the ultimate gym companion, but it does offer accurate health and fitness tracking behind the scenes, without broadcasting users’ interest in stats. Thanks to a uniquely patterned lens and upgraded strap design, it’s an attractive entry point into Garmin’s robust ecosystem and a commendable second-generation device.

Garmin Lily 2 review: At a glance

  • What is it? The Garmin Lily 2 is the company’s follow-up to its 2021 female-focused fitness tracker. The updated device still offers reliable wellness tracking on a 35mm subtle, fashion-forward accessory, but it now features an upgraded build, additional sleep details, and more tools for tracking workouts. The device also comes in two models, the Lily 2 and the Lily 2 Classic.
  • What is the price? The Garmin Lily 2 is priced at $249. The Lily 2 Classic has a starting price of $279.
  • Where can you buy it? The Gamin Lily 2 is available now from Garmin.com or from third-party retailers like Amazon.
  • How did we test it? I tested the Garmin Lily 2 Classic for eight days. The review unit was supplied by Garmin.
  • Is it worth it? The Garmin Lily 2 series caters to a unique user set within the Garmin camp. With a small case, traditional aesthetic, and limited on-device features, it’s the right pick for anyone interested in health and fitness tracking who doesn’t want the look of a Garmin sports watch and doesn’t want to wade through superfluous tools or features. It’s not perfect, and it’s pricier than its predecessor, but the Lily 2 fixes some of the original’s minor shortcomings for a better overall experience.

Should you buy the Garmin Lily 2?

A Garmin Lily and Garmin Lily 2 rest side by side.

Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

The Garmin Lily 2 delivers iterative improvements to the original Lily, including an upgraded build and streamlined band design. Still measuring in at 35mm, the device’s case is now a metal one, compatible with standard 14mm bands. The impact of this material change is a more elevated feel on the wrist. For $249, the base model Lily 2 ships with a silicone band in Lilac or Coconut. Starting at $279, the Lily 2 Classic models come with a Coffee or Sage Gray nylon band or a Tan or Mulberry leather band — each of these options pairs with an aluminum case in various colors.

A Garmin Lily 2 rests on its side, highlighting its sensors and bands attachments.

Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

I am always grateful when companies drop proprietary designs, like band attachments, offering users more flexibility and customization. The nylon band that shipped with my Lily 2 Classic is comfortable and attractive, and the Gray Sage is a truly classy hue. I would have liked to see the pricier models ship with a secondary silicone band for training, but I didn’t have any issues wearing the nylon option throughout this review.

The Garmin Lily 2 upgrades to an aluminum watch case for a high-end impression, and now features lugs compatible with all standard 14mm watch bands.

I also found the watch perfectly lightweight for overnight wear and am happy to report the addition of Sleep Score and Sleep Details on the device. As is the case with most Garmin devices, my sleep data aligned with what I experienced (sleep and wake times) and how I felt (scores) throughout my testing. The device also adds a sleep mode that keeps the watch face from illuminating and blinding you into wakefulness. While in sleep mode, the Lily 2 won’t respond to raise to wake, a simple but appreciated mode.

A user hold a powered down Garmin Lily 2 in hand, highlighting the device's patterned lens.

Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

This brings me to more general details about the Garmin Lily 2’s touchscreen display. The device does not offer an always-on display; however, the raise-to-wake functionality is much more consistent than in the previous generation. Meanwhile, on or off, the lens still features a subtle background pattern reminiscent of high-end watch brands. The lineup includes a variety of patterns ranging from botanicals to graphic dots. I personally didn’t find the pattern distracting or hard to read around, but it does give the watch a very specific impression.

My only gripe is that I miss side buttons. On the best days, the pseudo-home button was enough to keep me mollified. The device features a small circle on its screen that provides haptic feedback when used to navigate the device. On my worst days, swipes and taps only got me so far before frustration set in, and I found myself jabbing at the screen like a child. I imagine anyone purchasing this device would adjust to the lack of buttons over time, but I can’t say I’d comfortably adapted by the end of my review. Not to belabor the same point, but the lack of buttons only reiterates that this is an everyday accessory, not a sports watch. From starting workouts to reviewing stats mid-set, I longed for tactile interaction.

A user begins a Dance Fitness workout on her Garmin Lily 2.

Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

And yet, the Lily 2 is not without improvements on the fitness tracking front. The new generation adds a few popular sport profiles, including HIIT, Meditation, and Walk Indoor. It also adds Row Indoor, just in time to guilt me into actually using the rowing machine I purchased over the holidays.

For those with rhythm or a lack of inhibition, the Lily 2 adds Dance Fitness, with the option to break a sweat to several genres. Unfortunately, the device doesn’t pair this with music storage or playback, but you can control music on your paired phone from the wrist. Still, it’s nice to see the sport profiles increased to cater to more users’ interests. I was surprised not to see an indoor bike workout profile, considering how popular cycling is among women. Unfortunately, the watch doesn’t offer Bluetooth connection to equipment like a Peloton Bike.

A Garmin Lily 2 displays a use's basic daily stats

Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Beyond specific workouts, the watch accurately tracks all the basics of health and fitness, including steps, distance, calories, respiration, stress, sleep, and sleeping SpO2. It also features Body Battery, one of Garmin’s most popular wellness tools. Dedicated to female users, the watch also features female health tracking and pregnancy tracking, offering useful notifications and predictions.

To track 24/7 heart rate data, all Lily 2 devices feature Garmin’s Elevate Gen 4 heart rate sensor, which isn’t the newest generation available. I hoped the line would upgrade to the Gen 5 and potentially offer more advanced health metrics. You won’t find ECG recordings or temperature tracking, both of which would have been beneficial on a female-focused tracker. Still, the sensor proved reliable across the board, recording accurate readings at rest and during workouts. I wore the watch rowing, cycling, and running, and the device kept up well with my Polar H10 chest strap and Apple Watch.

Heart rate data shows how the Garmin Lily 2 performed against a chest strap.

The only workout during which the Lily 2 struggled was an indoor HIIT session. As you can see in the chart above, the device kept up reasonably well with my chest strap for the first twelve or so minutes. Once I introduced burpees, rowing, and pushups, things went haywire. Then, around the start of my cooldown, it realigned with the chest strap. Wrist-based wearables can struggle with activities that put strain on the wrist. However, given how well the Lily 2 performed in other workouts, it’s also possible I wasn’t wearing the watch at quite the right fit for this specific workout.

A map shows GPS data recorded by the Garmin Lily 2 and an Apple Watch Series 9

Still, this watch is not aimed at high-performance athletes as much as individuals interested in casual (albeit very accurate) tracking. This is made clear in that the Lily 2 does not offer built-in GPS. Instead, it leverages the GPS data of your paired phone for outdoor runs and rides. Accuracy is, therefore, completely dependent on your cell rather than the device itself. As you can see in the map above, the Lily 2’s GPS route, derived from my smartphone, is nearly identical to that of my Apple Watch Series 9. Still, I was happy to see GPS lock on quickly and maintain a strong connection throughout my workouts. Additionally, Garmin added incident detection to the Lily 2, emphasizing users’ safety across the Garmin stable.

Oddly enough, the Classic models of the Lily 2 also add Garmin Pay to the lineup so that users can make payments without a phone on hand. I’d find this addition more useful in conjunction with built-in GPS (eliminating the need to take a phone on long walks or runs), but it’s definitely nice to see more smartwatch features added. Aside from smartphone notifications and music controls, the Lily 2 is still quite lean on that front.

A Garmin Lily 2 rests alongside its proprietary charger.

Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Finally, the battery life on the Garmin Lily 2 is listed at five days. The device lasted just over four days between charges for me, with multiple workouts per day and above-average usage. The device ships with a proprietary charger that should look familiar to anyone with an original Lily. The chip clip style end aligns with the pins on the back of the watch case. The charger is, however, USB-C rather than USB-A, which is nice to see.

Garmin Lily 2Garmin Lily 2

Garmin Lily 2

Attractive, petite build • Accurate heart rate tracking • Additional sport modes

A commendable second-generation, female-focused device.

The Garmin Lily 2 is the company’s follow-up to its 2021 female-focused fitness tracker. The updated device still offers reliable wellness tracking on a 35mm subtle, fashion-forward accessory, but it now features an upgraded build, additional sleep details, and more tools for tracking workouts. It comes in two models: the Lily 2 and the Lily 2 Classic.

What are the best Garmin Lily 2 alternatives?

A variety of Garmin Lily 2 alternatives rest on a white cushion.

Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

While there isn’t another specifically female-focused device available for direct comparison, plenty of additional wearables offer a similar user experience. The trackers and smartwatches below represent the best Garmin Lily 2 alternatives.

  • Garmin Venu 3 ($449.99 at Amazon): From Garmin’s own stable, the Venu 3 offers the best smartwatch experience Garmin has to offer, plus built-in GPS, and ECG capabilities. It’s a well-rounded device now available in two sizes, though neither option is as small as the Lily 2.
  • Garmin Vivomove Sport ($179 at Amazon): Garmin’s vivomove Sport offers an alternative hybrid experience with a hidden display and real ticking hands. Like the Lily 2, the device is limited on smart features but packs many of Garmin’s powerful wellness tools below the surface.
  • Apple Watch SE 2 ($269.99 at Amazon): Apple’s budget wearable packs nearly the same feature set as the flagship Series 9, but drops a few sensors in favor of a much lower price tag. Typically, when comparing Garmin vs Apple wearables, the former takes the lead in fitness tracking; however, in the case of the Lily 2, an Apple Watch SE 2 is likely a better workout companion for most users thanks to built-in GPS and other smart features.
  • Withings ScanWatch 2 ($349.95 at Amazon): An attractive health-focused hybrid watch, the Withings ScanWatch 2 packs an ECG for atrial fibrillation detection as well as SpO2 tracking. Thanks to its tiny display window, this watch also boasts 30-day battery life.
  • Galaxy Watch 6 Classic ($299.99 at Samsung): Though slightly pricier, Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 6 Classic model features a rotating bezel for a traditional aesthetic similar to that of the Garmin Lily 2. The smartwatch experience on this pick is more robust than that of Lily 2, but the device is also bulkier on the wrist.
  • Fitbit Charge 6 ($159.95 at Amazon): A band style tracker rounded out by integration with Google’s top apps, the Charge 6 is the best fitness tracker from Fitbit and offers a small, though sporty, form factor. When comparing the Garmin and Fitbit experiences, users looking for more casual, basic tracking data will likely find the Fitbit ecosystem more than satisfactory.

Garmin Lily 2 specs

Garmin Lily 2

Display

Liquid crystal
25.4mm x 21.3mm
16 level grayscale
240 x 201 resolution
Corning Gorilla Glass 3

Materials

Case: anodized aluminum
Strap: silicone, leather, or silicone

Dimensions and weight

34.5 x 34.5 x 10.15mm
Fits wrists with a circumference of 110-175mm
24.4g

Battery

Up to 5 days

Durability

5ATM

Storage

7 timed activities, 14 days of activity tracking data

Connect IQ compatibility

No

Garmin Pay

Classic models only

Safety features

Incident detection
Assistance
Livetrack

Sensors

Garmin Elevate Gen 4 heart rate monitor
Connected GPS
Accelerometer
Ambient light sensor
Pulse oximeter

Connectivity

iPhone
Android

Garmin Lily 2 review: FAQ

The Garmin Lily 2 has a water resistance rating of 5ATM, making it safe to wear in the shower or when swimming in depths less than 50 meters.

The Garmin Lily 2 cannot play music. However, the Lily 2 does offer music controls for managing music on your paired phone.

The Garmin Lily 2 works with iPhones and Android phones.

The Garmin Lily 2 does not offer built-in GPS but can utilize connected GPS.

Yes, the Garmin Lily 2 tracks sleep duration and stages and offers a daily sleep score.

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