What's that in the sky? A new Garmin Forerunner? Or a new Garmin Fenix? No, it's the Garmin Lily, a small and fashionable smartwatch for women. That's right: Garmin is clearly trying to take a big slice out of the casual smartwatch market. It tested the waters in 2019 with the original Garmin Venu, followed in 2020 by the smaller and more affordable Garmin Venu Sq. Now, it's time to bring out the big guns.
Well, small guns, as one of the main aspects of the the new Garmin Lily is its size, and more specifically that it's small: the watch case is only 1.34" (34 mm) wide, which might make the Lily more appealing to small-wristed women. The Lily also utilises Garmin's new pregnancy tracking feature, of course, and it makes perfect sense that this was rolled out a couple months before the arrival of the new watch to iron out any issues with it before the big reveal.
Garmin Lily could also be seen as a more female-centric rival to the Fitbit Inspire HR. It's more expensive than Fitbit's device but it also looks nicer and has an expanded suite of features.
Garmin Lily: price and availability
Available from the 27 January 2021 at Garmin, the recommended retail price of the Lily (Classic) (opens in new tab) is £229.99 / $249.99 while the Lily (Sport) (opens in new tab) retails for £179.99 / $199.99.
Garmin Lily: main features
The Garmin Lily comes in two versions: Classic and Sport.
The Classic variety features a leather band, stainless steel bezel and hardware, and comes in three colourways. The lens patterns for Classic were "inspired by high-end fashion but made subtle for everyday wear", according to Garmin.
The Sport version comes with a silicone band, aluminum bezel and hardware, and it is also available in three colourways, just like the Classic version. The Sport styles feature "organic lens patterns that allude to nature, health and wellness", as Garmin puts it.
Health and fitness features include respiration tracking, 'Pulse Ox' blood oxygen saturation monitoring, as well as 24/7 stress, hydration, advanced sleep and heart rate tracking.
Garmin's Body Battery 'energy monitoring' technology is also present: this shows the body’s 'current energy level' based on how well you slept and how much you moved around the day. In theory, this information can help with scheduling workouts, rest times and so on.
Women’s health features include menstrual cycle and pregnancy tracking, which, as Garmin explains, "support women during each stage of their reproductive cycle with the ability to log symptoms alongside their other health and wellness data in the Garmin Connect app."
The Lily has a number of sport modes including yoga, Pilates, cardio, treadmill etc. but what it hasn't got is built-in GPS: it connects to a compatible smartphone’s GPS to track outdoor walks, runs and rides. And naturally, the Lily does offer usual fitness wearable features such as step counting, calories burned, intensity minutes etc.
Battery life is 'up to' five days and there is obviously no GPS battery life as there is no GPS chip on board. The watch also supports smart notifications, an assistance feature that sends real-time location to emergency contacts in case of an emergency and even LiveTrack that lets friends and family track your activity in real time.