The Garmin Lily is a sports focused smartwatch released in January 2021. This is a smaller smartwatch, targeted specifically at women. It looks quite fashionable and more like a traditional watch when compared to many of Garmin’s other smartwatch offerings. There are 2 versions of this watch. The $200 Sport model which comes with a silicone band and the $250 Classic model which comes with a leather band.
Unfortunately Garmin does not disclose the chipset used for the Lily. Watch responsiveness is fine and there are no noticeable lags when interacting with the user interface.
This watch is using the proprietary operating system for Garmin smartwatches. While there are some available apps, the number is minimal and you do not have access to a 3rd party app store such as the Google Play Store. This is a significant disadvantage and is common drawback for any smartwatch using a proprietary operating system.
The Garmin Lily has a circular watch face design and is quite sleek, stylish and attractive. While it is quite fashionable overall, the unique T-bar lugs make the watch to strap connection look a bit clunky and may not be to everyone’s taste.
The Lily is available with a bronze, gold or purple case. The case is plastic which is disappointing given the $200+ price tag. The Lily comes with a 14mm silicone strap for the sport model or leather strap for the classic model. The color combinations can be seen in the photo below. Note that each model comes with a different background pattern. While an interesting concept, it actually makes some of the text difficult to read.
The leather strap is very nice quality and suits the design of the watch well. For fitness activities, the silicone band of the sport model is preferable. The straps are interchangeable but a special tool is required.
The Garmin Lily is very small at 34.5 x 34.5 x 10.2 mm and weighs 24.0g. The watch is slim with a thickness of 10.2 mm. It is comfortable and can be worn while sleeping.
You can only interact with the watch using the touchscreen. There are no physical buttons on the watch, but a small circle on the touchscreen acts as a virtual button. The touchscreen works well with no lag. However the fonts, menus and icons are small making them not the easiest to read, especially with the patterned background.
The Lily has a 5ATM water resistance rating which allows for swimming and showers. Only use the silicone band for swimming, as the leather band will likely get damaged. Salt water or chlorine could be problematic so make sure to rinse, wipe and dry the watch after swimming.
The screen of the Lily is the biggest disappointment with this watch. Most reviews gloss over the fact that this is a monochrome screen. This is unfathomable for a watch released in 2021. The 1.0″ Monochrome TFT Touchscreen comes with 240 x 201 pixels and is quite small. Indoors the display is below average and not that impressive. Only positive is outdoors on a sunny day, the screen is easily readable.
The Lily uses Corning Gorilla Glass 3 to protect the screen. That being said, the bezel-less design offers less protection against screen scratches and scrapes when compared to watches where the bezel protrudes past the glass surface. While the bezel-less design is sleeker, it may not be as durable as some other sport focused smartwatches.
Unfortunately, the watch does not have an always on screen option. It has a raise wrist to wake option but it is not the fastest and does not work consistently. Given the cheap monochrome screen, the watch does allow custom watchfaces.
The Garmin Lily comes with a tiny 66 mAh battery. Garmin claims that typical usage battery life is 5 days. Real world battery life is a bit less with many people getting 2 to 4 days with normal usage. While not horrible, this is on the lower end of the battery life spectrum. Since Garmin opted for a low power monochrome display, this battery life is surprisingly low. This is most likely to the small sized battery that could be incorporated in such a small form factor.
From a connectivity perspective, the Lily has limited functionality when compared to full featured smartwatches. The watch can receive and respond to notifications from the watch. Essentially the Lily is closer to a fitness band rather than a smartwatch. There are a number of features missing that you would normally find on a smartwatch:
- Does not have a speaker or microphone
- Cannot answer or place calls via Bluetooth
- Does not have a camera
- Does not have cellular connectivity
- Does not come with GPS
- Does not have Near Field Communication (NFC), hence you cannot make payments (Garmin Pay is not included)
For the $200+ price range, the limited features are quite disappointing.
Health and Fitness Features
The Garmin Lily comes with 4 sensors: Accelerometer, Ambient light, Heart Rate Monitor (HRM), Pulse Oximeter (SpO2). These cover quite a bit of fitness functions and even some health areas. These sensors allow you to track the following 11 metrics: Blood Oxygen Level, Calories, Distance, Fitness Level, Heart Rate, Menstrual Cycle, Sleep, Steps, Stress, Swimming, VO2 Max.
Heart rate accuracy at rest, casual activities or steady state runs is relatively accurate. For casual tracking, this may be adequate but could be a concern if you are looking for high tracking accuracy for your sports or fitness goals. However with interval training, short bursts of activity or high intensity training, accuracy is poor. Tattoos, hair, sweat and even skin color are factors that impact accuracy as well.
This is a common problem with nearly all wrist based optical heart rate monitoring. While there are a few exceptions that do a pretty good job on heart rate monitoring, such as the Apple Watch 6, serious trainers should look into a chest strap for best heart rate accuracy.
Also included are 11 different sports modes. When compared to more fitness or health focused watches, the Garmin Lily is quite limited. If fitness and health monitoring are key features you are interested in, this watch is not ideal.
Garmin Connect App
The Garmin Lily uses the Garmin Connect app, which is very good particularly for fitness and sports tracking. The app is not cluttered, easy to navigate and works quite well. You can see how the Garmin Connect app ranks on our Smartwatch Apps Page.
As this watch has just recently been released, there are no common known issues.
A small, fashionable smartwatch targeted at women. The monochrome display is very disappointing for 2021. The lack of GPS, speaker, microphone, music storage and payment capability are also large negatives considering the $200 price tag. Unless you love the design, the Garmin Lily is not a great choice.
|Watch Type||Sports Focused Smartwatch|
|Release Date||January 2021|
|Operating System||Proprietary - Other|
|Supported Devices||Android 5.0+, iOS 11.0+|
|Case Size||34.5 x 34.5 x 10.2 mm|
|Strap Width||14 mm|
|Strap Material||Silicone, Leather|
|Watch Colors||Bronze, Gold, Purple|
|Water Resistance||5 ATM|
|Screen Type||Monochrome TFT Touchscreen|
|Resolution||240 x 201|
|Pixels per Inch||Not disclosed|
|Screen Protection||Corning Gorilla Glass 3|
|Typical Usage Battery Life (Days)||5|
|Watch Mode Battery Life (Days)||Not disclosed|
|GPS Mode Battery Life (Days)||N/A|
|Notifications||Recieve Notifications and Respond|
|Near Field Communication (NFC)||No|
|Sensors||Accelerometer, Ambient Light, Heart Rate Monitor (HRM), Pulse Oximeter (SpO2)|
|Tracking||Blood Oxygen Level, Calories, Distance, Fitness Level, Heart Rate, Menstrual Cycle, Sleep, Steps, Stress, Swimming, VO2 Max|
|Advantages||Small and Fashionable|
Monochrome screen is awful
No speaker or microphone
No GPS, Garmin Pay or music storage
Limited apps, no app store with third-party apps
|Verdict||A small, fashionable smartwatch targeted at women. The monochrome display is very disappointing for 2021. Limited features considering the $200 price tag.|
Published: January 30, 2021
Garmin Lily - WatchSmarty
The Garmin Lily is a small, fashionable smartwatch targeted at women. The monochrome display is disappointing for 2021. Limited features for the $200 price.
Product SKU: Garmin Lily
Product Brand: Garmin
Product Currency: USD
Product Price: 200
Price Valid Until: 2023-01-01
Product In-Stock: SoldOut