Garmin Lily 2 review: the daintiest fitness tracker is back

Garmin's second-generation female-focused wrist wearable is a decent smartwatch for women

Garmin Lily 2 review
(Image credit: Lucy Miller)
T3 Verdict

A slight improvement over its predecessor, the Garmin Lily 2 can track all your health and fitness stats on your wrists. The monochrome display and the lack of on-board GPS are a bit disappointing, but we’d recommend it to those looking for a stylish watch that quietly tracks all your personal and basic metrics behind the scenes.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Attractive design

  • +

    Selection of pastel colors

  • +

    Decent battery life

  • +

    Morning report and health summary is helpful

  • +

    Safety tracking features

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    No built-in GPS

  • -

    Very small screen

  • -

    No music storage

  • -

    Lacks color display

  • -

    Light-colored straps mark easily

  • -

    No pause button

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Designed with women in mind, the Garmin Lily range aims to soften Garmin's image as a hardcore sports watch brand. Much like the Withing ScanWatch 2  and Vivomove Trend, the Garmin Lily 2 provides access to all the necessary smartwatch features without making you look like someone who can't talk about anything other than their latest PB.

Able to track 18 sports, compared with its predecessor's 13 exercises, the watch now supports dance styles such as Bollywood, EDM, Afrobeat, hip-hop and Zumba. It can also notify your emergency contacts if it detects an incident during certain activities, another feature also available on other Garmin devices but not on the original Lily watch.

In this Garmin Lily 2 review, we'll examine if this wearable is more than just a pretty (watch)face and whether it can cater for all your health and fitness needs whilst looking the part. Here's everything you need to know about the price, availability and specs of the latest Garmin smartwatches

[First reviewed Jan 2024]

Garmin Lily 2 review

Price and availability

The Garmin Lily 2 was launched in January 2024 and is available to buy now at Garmin UK, Garmin US and Garmin AU. When buying the Lily 2, you have a few options: the silicone band option comes in two different colors, including the cream gold with a coconut silicone band and the metallic lilac, which costs £249.99/ AU$ 429.99/ £249.99.

There’s also the fabric band option, which comes with a cream gold bezel and a coffee band or the silver bezel option with a sage grey band for £269.99/ AU$ 521/ $344.

You also have the option of a leather strap which comes in three different bezel options — cream gold, silver, or dark bronze. This costs £299/ AU$ 578/ $380. 

Both the fabric band option and leather version come with Garmin Pay which allows you to make a contactless payment using your watch. I've been using the Lily 2 classic in silver with a sage grey fabric band model for this review, which is also available from third-party retailers.

Design and build quality

Garmin Lily 2 review

(Image credit: Lucy Miller)

At first glance - the Garmin Lily 2 doesn’t look dissimilar to its predecessor.

Both watches have the same, roughly 1-inch (34 mm) monochromatic (16-level greyscale), liquid crystal touchscreen display, protected by a Corning Gorilla Glass 3 lens. The display has a 240 x 201 pixels resolution.

The bezel and the case are made from anodised aluminium. The Garmin Lily 2 weighs only 24.4 grams and is 35.4 mm wide and tall with a 10.1 mm thickness.

To wake up the watch, you can either turn your wrist or tap the home button - which is a small circle at the bottom of the screen and easy to miss (guilty as charged!) This leads you to your activities, watch face status, clocks, or settings, which, as you tap, you’ll get a vibration feedback confirmation.

Features

To help me access all my stats, I set my watch face to display the time, date, calories burnt and my steps. You do, however, have the option to go more simple and just have the time with your heart rate on display - or the time with the weather and calories burnt.

You can access the dashboard by swiping down, where you’ll find the ‘Do not Disturb’ function and access to your notifications as well as your music and your wallet. One tip I found in terms of making the user interface user-friendly is to increase the display timeout from the default short to either medium or long. Else, the screen turns off super quick and you have to start the whole tap and search process again.

The Garmin Lily 2 has all of the basics we’ve come to expect from the best fitness trackers and best smartwatches on the market, including 24/7 heart rate monitoring, step count and calories burned. You can also keep an eye on your blood oxygen saturation and stress levels during the day (or night), whether you’re within range of your phone or not.

You’ll also get to use Garmin’s Body Battery feature to see how well you’ve recovered, and there’s Garmin’s Morning Report, too, a cute feature that gives you an overview of your sleep each morning. I love waking up to my watch notifying me of the weather, my calendar for the day and which workout it recommends based on my sleep and recovery. It's a fun thing to scroll of a morning, especially if you’re stat-orientated.

Garmin Lily 2 review

(Image credit: Lucy Miller)

Compatible with both Android phones and iPhones, the Garmin Lily 2 doesn’t include music storage/playback, but you can still control music on your phone. You can also control and read your phone notifications, which come through efficiently and in sync with your phone.

Similar to those you’ll find on the best Apple Watches, you’ll also get move alerts to remind you to keep moving throughout the day. I tracked my water intake on the watch, too, by simply pressing the add button every time I had a glass of water.

Garmin Pay is only available on the more expensive models – the cheaper Garmin Lily 2 doesn’t have this functionality. Both the Garmin Lily 2 and Lily 2 Classic use your phone’s connected GPS – this means you’ll have to take your phone with you when recording runs and bike rides out of the house.

There’s also a pool swim tracking option, which uses the Lily 2’s 5 ATM water resistance (safe to 50m deep) to finally free you from the need to keep count of your lengths while in the pool.

Workout tracking

Garmin Lily 2 review

(Image credit: Lucy Miller)

To start a workout, you’ll press the middle home button, select workout and then scroll through the activities until you find your sport. As a keen runner, I used this feature the most and loved the little runner jogging on the screen as I pressed go.

As mentioned above, both the Garmin Lily 2 and Lily 2 Classic use your smartphone to collect GPS data – this means you’ll have to take your phone with you when recording runs and bike rides out of the house if you want to see the route, as well as basic metrics.

The distance and pace covered were, however, accurate, and I felt safe when out knowing that the watch had incident detection safety alerts. All I had to do was allocate three contacts to be my emergency contacts, and they could LiveTrack my route.

They will also be notified if my watch senses that an incident has occurred. Equally, if I felt unsafe, I could send a notification manually. I did give it a go, and my partner got an automated message with my name and GPS location. I also received a message indicating that my contact had been informed that I was in danger.

Garmin Lily 2 review

(Image credit: Lucy Miller)

After you’re workout you’ll also get to use Garmin’s Body Battery feature to see how well you’ve recovered. 

Speaking of recovery, one of the biggest new features in the Lily is the addition of Garmin's sleep score, which rates your sleep based on factors such as duration, restlessness and how much time was spent in various sleep stages.

Sleep score exists on other Garmin watches and is a common feature on most wearables, but this is the first time it's coming to the Lily 2 watch. To access, swipe right and view your day. This is where you’ll see how long you’ve been asleep as well as your sleep score displayed as a simple ‘excellent ( 90–100), good (80–89) or fair (60–79).

More detailed graphs can be found in the Connect App, where you can access stats of your average resting heart rate, average Sp02 - (a measurement of how much oxygen compared to maximum capacity is in your bloodstream as it travels around your body) and your sleep consistency.

Female cycle tracking

As the Garmin Lily 2 is marketed at women, you’ll be able to use all of Garmin’s female health tracking, which allows you to track when your period starts and ends, as well as both physical (like fatigue or bloating) and emotional symptoms (for example, moods and brain fog).

Some of these data points can be tracked via the watch, while others require entry via the phone app. There’s also pregnancy tracking, and as you log more data over time, your cycles become more detailed, and you’ll get period and fertility reminders and predictions.

I found the app predicted my cycles pretty well - and helped to give me a full 365-degree view of my health as well as my fitness and hormones. Finally, I’ve discovered that there’s a reason I feel so tired during my luteal phase: knowledge is power and all that!

Battery life and charging

Garmin Lily 2 review

(Image credit: Lucy Miller)

The watch is charged with a simple magnetic clip, and the battery did a good job of lasting 4 to 5 days as promised - it took just over an hour to charge fully. This gave me plenty of time to make the most of all its features, including the Garmin Pay contactless payments, which is new to the Lily 2 yet has been around for years on other Garmin watches.

You simply load up your compatible credit cards to Garmin Pay, but make sure you check the list of supported banks first before heading out on a coffee without a backup.

Verdict

Garmin Lily 2 review

(Image credit: Lucy Miller)

The best thing about the updated Garmin Lily is that it enables people who prefer sleeker smartwatch watches to have access to pro-workout features without any compromises. You can train and track using a petite watch that doesn’t stick out as a bulky sports watch. 

The watch tracks all your workouts flawlessly and displays all the stats one might need, from your steps to your respiration rate, and the battery lasted a good 4-5 days, as promised.

The watch is well-built and has extra female-focused features like cycle and pregnancy tracking making it even more appealing to ladies who like and need a 360 of their entire health and well-being. It’s tiny, elegant, looks gorgeous and has plenty of options for those looking to get started on their fitness journey - or grow their fitness levels.

We’d recommend it to those looking for a watch that looks stylish yet quietly tracks all your personal and basic metrics behind the scenes. 

Also consider

If you like the thought of a high-quality, stylish smartwatch with a similar price tag - try the Fitbit Sense 2. It’s a lively fitness tracker with a colour touchscreen display and boasts a whole range of features that any person interested in tracking every aspect of their health would be keen to discover.

The ScanWatch Light Watch Active 2 is also a stunning-looking alternative, as is an Apple Watch Ultra 2, which has an array of girlie straps and tracks everything from your ovulation and female cycles via wrist temperature data.

It goes without saying that the price of the Lily 2 is quite pricey for a smartwatch without on-board GPS, which comes built into all the other smartwatches mentioned above. You could equally go for Garmin’s Vivoactive 5, which also looks great and offers 11 days of battery as well as built-in GPS and a few more features to boot.

However, the Garmin Lily’s 24g weight significantly undercuts the Vivoactive 5 - as well as the Vivoactive 4, which again manages to include on-board GPS but weighs in at a hefty 50.5g - and is nowhere near a match to the Lily 2’s luxurious and elegant design either. 

Lucy Miller
Freelance writer

Lucy Miller is a journalist, Level 3 Personal Trainer, Nutritional Advisor and Children’s Fitness Specialist. She holds fitness qualifications from NASM Training and Premier Training International and has been a fitness journalist and fitness (and cover) model for over 20 years. Since going freelance in 2014, Lucy left Men’s Fitness Magazine to write for an abundance of top consumer titles such as Women’s Health, Women’s Fitness, Waitrose, The Times, The Guardian and Runners World.


She’s also extremely passionate when it comes to educating others about health and physical activity and loves inspiring and working with children and adults to help make fitness fun, sustainable and accessible. In her spare time, Lucy is ever the sportswoman. Once a national gymnast, having won three national titles, she has also run a handful of marathons around the world and loves to test her physical and mental side with daily running and gym sessions, not to mention ballet, bootcamp, boxing and TRX.