Garmin Lily small GPS smartwatch with touchscreen and patterned lens dark purple review

Garmin Lily small GPS smartwatch with touchscreen and patterned lens dark purple review

Is it designed for women? It offers activities of Walk, Run, Cardio, Strength Training, Yoga, Pool Swim, Bike, Treadmill, Stair Stepper, Pilates, Breathwork, Elliptical and ‘Other’ (an open timer). When paired with a compatible smartphone, assistance feature can send your designated contacts a message with your real-time location, the LiveTrack feature lets friends/family track your outdoor activities in real time for peace of mind while you’re out. Know about more features in Garmin Lily small GPS smartwatch with touchscreen and patterned lens dark purple review.

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Pros & Cons – Garmin Lily small GPS smartwatch with touchscreen and patterned lens dark purple

Pros

  • Accurate activity tracking
  • Stylish, small and comfortable design
  • Superb companion app
  • On-board pregnancy tracking app
  • Excellent sleep and health tracking features
  • High and low heart rate alerts
  • Battery life is good for such a small watch
  • Measures breathing, energy level, and stress
  • SpO2 sensor
  • Lots of useful widgets

Cons

  • No built-in GPS
  • No always-on display option
  • Battery life half that of claimed
  • Smartphone notifications pointless
  • No contactless payments
  • No onboard music storage or apps
  • Notification replies are Android-only

Specs – Garmin Lily small GPS smartwatch with touchscreen and patterned lens dark purple

  • Phone OS Compatibility Android, iOS
  • Display Type Grayscale Touch Screen
  • Sleep Tracker Yes
  • Processor N/A
  • Compatibility Android, iOS
  • Heart Rate Monitor Yes
  • Watch OS Proprietary
  • Estimated Battery Life 4 days
  • Separate App Store No
  • Battery Life 4 days
  • Display Size 1 inches
  • Fitness Features Accelerometer, Heart Rate Monitor
  • Phone Call Capacity No

Price

The Lily is Garmin’s smallest smartwatch/fitness tracker to date, and its first model designed specifically for women. Starting at $199.99, it features an attractive, patterned face and a 14mm band that’s much slimmer than most smartwatch straps, so you can wear it alongside other jewelry. 

Garmin sells two different Lily models, including a $199.99 Sport version with an aluminum bezel and a silicone band, and a $249.99 Classic version with a stainless steel bezel and an Italian leather band. 

Garmin Lily small GPS smartwatch with touchscreen and patterned lens dark purple review

Design

 It measures 1.35 by 1.35 by 0.39 inches (LWH), fits wrists with a circumference of 4.33 to 6.88 inches, and weighs just 0.84 ounces.

The Classic model comes in dark bronze with a matching band, gold with a black band, or gold with a white band. The Sport model comes in gold with a white band, rose gold with a tan band, or midnight orchid (a plum color) with a matching band. T-bar lugs connect the Lily’s slim 14mm band to its button-free 34mm case, and a matching metal clasp finishes off the look. 

Strap size

The 14mm strap goes a long way to make the Lily feel like a “real” watch – one of those stylish, metal and leather watches we wore to tell the time. The T-bar connector brings it up-to-date with a contemporary yet practical feel.

There’s also a standard watch strap buckle to fasten it – no Velcro or magnets or straps that need tucking inside themselves. The Classic version comes with a leather strap, in black, brown or white, while the Sport model has a silicone strap in white, sand or orchid (purple).

Screen

The screen itself is a monochrome LCD display (240 x 210 pixels) that’s entirely touchscreen – there are no buttons. Each model features a unique metallic-patterned face that complements the band and metal hardware. You can choose from a selection of digital and analogue displays that all incorporate a revolving info section – tap on the screen to scroll through data.

Resolution

The Lily doesn’t have a color, always-on display like the Vivoactive 4, but its 240-by-201-pixel grayscale touch screen looks classy against the patterned face lens. The display is bright and easy to read indoors, but you might have to squint when looking at it outside in the sunshine. 

GPS tracking

To record an activity with GPS, start tracking on the watch, then open Garmin Connect on your phone. The app needs permission to access your location for it to work. The Fitbit Versa 3 offers superior workout tracking features, including a built-in GPS so you can see your real-time pace and distance during outdoor runs, rides, walks, and hikes without having to bring your smartphone. The Versa 3 also offers a wider selection of activity tracking options including bootcamp, circuit training, golf, hike, interval workout, kickboxing, martial arts, spinning, stair climber, and tennis. 

Health features in Garmin Lily small GPS smartwatch with touchscreen and patterned lens dark purple

Fitness

For workout tracking, the Lily supports up to seven activities on the watch itself, and if the default options aren’t your favorites, you can customize the list in the Garmin Connect app (though you cannot disable the walk and run options). My list includes treadmill, cardio, strength training, yoga, and bike, but you can also add stair stepper, pilates, other, breathwork, elliptical, and pool swim. 

Pulse Ox Readings

To take an on-demand SpO2 reading, just navigate to the Pulse Ox widget and it will automatically start. In testing, I found the Lily’s SpO2 readings a tad erratic and low. For the most accurate reading, make sure the watch is snug but still comfortable, keep it at heart level with your arm resting on a table, and stay as still as possible. In these conditions, the Lily will read your SpO2 level in around 20 seconds (the Apple Watch Series 6 takes 15 seconds). 

Stress level

The Lily then quantifies your stress level on a scale of zero to 100. A score of zero to 25 indicates you’re at rest, 26 to 50 means your stress level is low, 51 to 75 means your stress level is medium, and 76 to 100 means you’re highly stressed. In the stress widget, you can see your current stress score and start a guided breathing exercise. During the guided breathing exercise, the watch instructs you when to inhale, hold your breath, and exhale.

Sleep tracking

At night, the Lily measures your shut eye, including your total sleep time, how long you spent awake, and the duration of your deep, light, and REM sleep. My one gripe here is that the Lily doesn’t offer a sleep widget, so you can’t view this information on the watch itself. In the Connect app, you can view daily and weekly graphs of your sleep stages, overnight Pulse Ox, and respiration rate.

Swimming

The Lily has a water resistance rating of 5ATM, meaning it can be submerged to depths up to 50 meters for 10 minutes – fine for pool swimming and showering – and is charged via a USB clip. This attaches firmly and doesn’t accidentally pivot and lose connection (a problem we’ve experienced with some other clip chargers in the past).

Specialised for women

The Lily also has health tracking features specifically for women, like pregnancy tracking and cycle tracking, but they’re not exclusive to the Lily. Garmin’s most recent smartwatches like the Garmin Venu Sq have them as well. 

Added features

The watch is compatible with both iOS and Android phones, but only Android users can respond to text messages using quick replies. The vibration motor is a little noisy when you get a notification, or when you want to start and stop an activity, but it’s strong and I never failed to notice it buzz on my wrist. I also found I needed to turn gesture sensitivity to its highest setting so raising it to wake the screen would work reliably.

There’s also a calendar, alarms and the ability to ping your phone from the watch if it’s in Bluetooth range.

Battery & Charging

Lily uses an alligator-style clip charger that clamps over part of the screen. Garmin says the Lily can last up to five days on a charge, or two days shy of the Vivoactive 4. In testing, however, the Lily’s full battery drained to zero in about four days. 

How to connect with phone?

To set up the Garmin Lily, just plug it into a power source and wait for “Hello!” to appear on the screen. Then download the Garmin Connect app (available for Android and iOS), tap More > Garmin Devices > Add Device, and follow the on-screen instructions. In testing, the app immediately found the watch and asked if I wanted to connect it. When a six-digit code appears on the Lily’s screen, enter it in the app to pair the watch with your phone via Bluetooth. The app then asks for permission to display phone notifications. 

Using widget

You can also enable widgets for Garmin’s Body Battery, intensity minutes, and stress metrics. The Body Battery metric ranges from zero to 100, indicating how much energy you have left, based on your activity, heart rate variability, stress, and sleep quality. A score of 100 to 76 means your energy reserves are very high, an ideal time for a strenuous workout. A score of zero to 25, meanwhile, means your energy reserves are low, and you should relax or go to sleep. 

Garmin Lily small GPS smartwatch with touchscreen and patterned lens dark purple performance review

Since the Lily has no physical buttons, you navigate it with swipes and taps on the display. During the setup process, the app walks you through the navigational controls, which are pretty straightforward. On the bottom of the screen is a small, barely noticeable circle, which doubles as a main menu/back button. In the main menu, swipe left and right to access Activities, Settings, Watch Faces, and Clocks (alarm, stopwatch, and timer). 

Swipe left or right from the main watch face to view widgets, such as weather, notifications, calendar, music, and various health and fitness metrics. To customize the widgets on the watch, open Garmin Connect, select your device, and tap Appearance > Widgets. You can then add or remove widgets as you please, and reorder the list. Aside from the Lily’s design, the widgets are my favorite feature. I enabled all of them, so I can quickly view my metrics and other information. 

“My Day” shows you your step count and calories burned, plus intensity minutes for the week, while “Health Stats” shows Heart Rate, Stress Level and Body Battery. You can also choose options such as Weather, Music Controls, Heart Rate and more.

For data which also appears in the round-up Widgets such as Calories, a separate Widget will give you more detail, such as the active and rest calories for the day, while the dedicated Heart Rate widget will also show your seven-day resting heart rate.

Alternate of Garmin Lily small GPS smartwatch with touchscreen and patterned lens dark purple

Fossil Gen 5 Julianna

If you were a fan of the Gen 4 smartwatches from Fossil but hoped for improvements, you’ll appreciate the Gen 5 smartwatches — including the gorgeous Julianna. It comes with a new stylish design, more RAM, and an external speaker. It also does everything you need: activity and heart rate tracking, 3 ATM water resistance (depth of up to 30 meters), Google Pay, Google Assistant, GPS, and notifications.

If this watch looks familiar, that’s because it’s the women’s version of the Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle. You’ll have the Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor, which helps a bit with battery life. If you were hoping for a major upgrade, you might be disappointed; the Julianna has an estimated 24+ hours of life, which isn’t exactly the improvement we were hoping for.

However, thanks to the improved processor and battery-saving modes, you can get more usage between charges. Extended mode turns off nonessential features, like the always-on display, speaker, Wi-Fi, and touch to wake. Location and NFC are set to “on-demand,” so those radios are only turned on when apps are using them. Time Only mode gives you a few extra hours when the battery is low by functioning as a watch only. In short, if you plan on taking full advantage of all of the features the Gen 5 offers, you’ll need to charge it daily.

Pros:

  • Stylish, lightweight design
  • External speaker, more storage
  • Onboard GPS, NFC, HRM
  • Google Assistant

Cons:

  • Mediocre battery life
  • Display could be brighter
  • Battery saving modes limit functionality

Editor’s recommendations