Garmin Lily: A Quick Intro
In January 2021, Garmin released their Lily. It is a watch like no other from Garmin, and was a first of its kind from the popular smartwatch brand. Lily is a sleek and lightweight smartwatch which totally disrupts Garmin’s traditionally bulky and arguably masculine aesthetic. Lily is marketed toward women but is not a women’s watch exclusively.
The largest drawback for a few Garmin enthusiasts is the watch’s lack of on-board GPS, a feature which would elevate it to full sports watch rank. However, having built-in GPS would also bulk up the Lily, so Garmin chose to make the Lily as compact and battery efficient as possible (GPS is still accessible through Bluetooth and smartphone connection). Although the Lily lacks onboard GPS and NFC, many users will not miss these functionalities since they are seldom more than a few feet away from their phones.
Lily isn’t just beauty, either; the smartwatch has brains too. This is no surprise to Garmin fans and makes it a comparable to the likes of the vivoactive 4. Overall, Lily is a compact smartwatch with a focus on wellness and on how well your wrist looks. This smartwatch values fashion over function but does not sacrifice a ton of features to do so.
The Garmin Lily is just under $200, placing it at the higher end of price ranges (when compared to similar smartwatches). Garmin provided you a choice between two models: the Classic and Sport. The latter is cheaper, whereas the Classic is closer to $250. Your model decision will determine your colour choices for your Lily smartwatch as well.
The Best Features on the Garmin Lily
Safety & Assistance Features
Women of all ages can appreciate the safety features which Lily and Garmin have to offer. The safety enhancements from Garmin will require a connection between your smartphone and Lily watch, the Garmin Connect App, and access to a cellular network. As you track activities in Garmin Connect, you are automatically connected to emergency contacts if anything were to go wrong while you’re out and about.
On the Lily smartwatch model, you will get Assistance and LiveTrack capabilities. These both work with the emergency contacts you’ll save in the Connect App, and your smartphone’s GPS. Assistance allows you to instantly send an automated message and GPS link to your emergency contacts with little effort. If anything happens while you’re away from your car, or if you seriously hurt yourself, you can notify loved ones fast with your Lily.
You can use LiveTrack as a safety feature, or just for fun. You can allow your family and friends to track your workouts and activities, so they always know your location. Or you can use it for fun to race and compete with friends and family. These features appeal to women, for sure, but are useful to all.
In testing, this worked perfectly: as we began a run, our contact was provided with a link, and she was able to observe our path and activity on a comprehensive map. If you’re going out on your own, it seems like a pretty helpful safety feature, however, the fact that you’ll have to have your phone with you anyhow makes it less effective than on a solo watch.
Senior citizens can certainly see the value in Garmin’s safety features that come in a classically fashionable package. But these safety features may also appeal to teens (and the parents of said teens) just beginning to workout on their own!
Women ‘s Health Features
Garmin has taken significant strides ahead in women’s health. The Garmin Lily is pre-loaded with an app for both menstrual and pregnancy tracking. Either app can provide advice on nutrition, can recommend stretches or exercises, and provides a place to log symptoms. These symptom logs are incredibly helpful for pregnancy and periods, as they can help you see when anything is off or can provide reports for your doctors and HC professionals to review.
Health Tracking Features
Garmin hasn’t taken away any of its fantastic health tracking features. You can still access a wealth of data using the Garmin Connect app. Although, note that the Garmin Lily isn’t compatible with the Garmin Connect IQ app store, so one letdown is how limited adding apps can be.
One unique feature you get is Garmin’s Body Battery. This tells you about your energy levels so you’re able to plan your workouts and recovery at optimal times.
Activities you can track with Lily include strength, cardio, elliptical training, stair stepping, yoga, Pilates, and breathwork, biking, and pool swimming.
During the night, the Garmin Lily will track deep, light, and REM sleep, followed by a morning report.
Lily also includes a pulse oximeter, which monitors SpO2 levels while sleeping or for spot inspections. A few of Lily’s rival devices only record SpO2 during the night.
There are low and high abnormal heart rate warnings, too. If the watch recognises that your heart rate is unusually high, for example, it will offer you a five-minute deep breathing exercise to bring it down.
Bluetooth Enabled Features
If your phone runs on Android OS or Apple iOS (as most do), you can connect to your Lily with your smartphone, and enjoy a host of features through the watch. Lily’s connectivity features include:
- smart notifications so you don’t miss any calls or texts
- LiveTrack so loved ones can keep an eye on you if need be
- weather updates so your workouts won’t be affected
- music controls, which can make switching songs on a run or bike ride a lot easier
- find my phone and find my device, in case you ever misplace your Lily
- automatic software updates
Garmin Lily’s Overall Design
Lily Classic Edition
As the Classic is toted as Garmin’s more fashion-forward model, and the Sport is for more active people, the Classic is made with an Italian-leather strap and stainless-steel bezel.
Colour options include Cream Gold, Light Gold, or Dark Bronze.
Lily Sport Edition
It has a silicone strap and aluminum bezel, which are ideal for sweat, sport, or swimming. The silicone band also offers more durability than the leather strap.
Colour varieties for Lily Sport include Cream Gold, Rose Gold, or Midnight Orchid.
Unlike Garmin’s vivomove series, a comparable model to Lily, there are no real watch hands on the Lily; instead, they are shown on its monochromatic (no colour screen on this model!) liquid crystal display, which is embellished with an odd geometric design (it may lead you to assume the Lily isn’t a smartwatch at all). It has a unique patterned lens which does not affect the readability of the face, a monochromatic touchscreen that is highly responsive. You can easily read it in both light and dark lighting conditions.
The Lily has a 34mm case with no physical buttons. It has a thin strap, which is dainty compared to the likes of the Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Solar. The bezel sits flush to the display, which is somewhat like the Garmin Venu.
The Garmin Lily utilises the same clip charger as previous Garmin models, which attaches to the watch’s edge and charges it from zero to one hundred per cent in 90 minutes. Though after time and use, this can take up to 2 hours.
If you’re tracking your sleep, Garmin suggests you can go five days between charges. What impacts the battery life the most is how bright you have on your display. We recommend you turn on the automatic brightness adjustment, which will be a big help in saving that battery life.
With the pulse ox on, we found you get closer to four days of life, while losing about 10% overnight.
With casual activity, you’ll probably need to charge it twice a week. More exercise sessions will deplete the battery much quicker – we noticed a decrease of roughly 15% after a 20-minute run – so you’ll probably need to charge it around twice a week.
Is the Garmin Lily Right for you?
You’ll receive phone notifications, sleep, stress, and activity tracking, continuous heart-rate monitoring, and five days of battery life regardless of which option you choose.
It competes with Garmin’s hybrid watches, such as the Vivomove 3, as well as other devices like the Withings Move and the Fossil Hybrid Monroe HR. But make no mistake: this is still a full-screen wristwatch, just one with fewer features.
Lily is on par with the Fitbit Sense and Apple Watch SE, though it offers more style. Considering Garmin is best known for its beastly sport watches, we think the brand has done exceptionally well here.
It features a slimmer band, a sleeker profile, and a more appealing face than any other of Garmin’s prior devices. Unfortunately, it lacks several important functions that we hope to see on a contemporary device at this price.
Menstrual monitoring is automatically accessible on your wrist and transmitting an emergency warning to a friend is as easy as pressing the touchpad repeatedly. However, it’s a pity that the Lily lacks built-in GPS, a long-term staple of Garmin’s other gadgets. There’s also no NFC, which means you won’t be able to use Garmin Pay to make contactless payments; this is a huge letdown for a watch intended for daily usage.
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