The Garmin Lily, launched in January 2021, finds its successor in the Garmin Lily 2, a device that has been made official ahead of CES 2024. What’s new? What’s old? Is it worth upgrading?
Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets
This comparison aims to dissect these details, offering a look at how the Lily 2 stacks up against its predecessor. Let’s get started.
The Garmin Lily series offers a stylish and functional choice for women’s smartwatches, balancing health tracking and smartwatch features. The original Lily provides essential functionalities at a more affordable price, while the Lily 2 introduces an upgraded heart rate sensor, new fitness modes, and NFC payments, reflecting a modest price increase.
Garmin Lily 2 vs Lily: here are all the improvements: Hardware
Design & display
The Garmin Lily and Lily 2, while sharing a similar aesthetic ethos, exhibit subtle yet significant differences in their look and feel, catering to the evolving preferences of their target audience.
Both generations embrace a round shape, maintaining the classic watch aesthetic. This choice reflects a commitment to a timeless design, appealing to users who favor traditional watch styles over more modern, angular smartwatches. The round shape also enhances the wearability of the devices, making them suitable for a variety of wrist sizes and fashion choices.
In terms of build, the original Garmin Lily features a case made of fiber-reinforced polymer, while the Lily 2 opts for an upgrade to anodized aluminum. This shift in material choice for the Lily 2 not only enhances the durability but also adds a touch of sophistication to the watch’s overall appearance. The bezel material in both models is anodized aluminum, ensuring a consistent look across the series. The lens in both is made of Corning Gorilla Glass 3, offering robust protection against scratches and impacts.
A notable advancement in the Lily 2 is the introduction of a more standard lug that simplifies the process of switching bands. This feature enhances the user experience by allowing more flexibility and ease in customizing the watch’s appearance. It’s a thoughtful addition, especially for users who enjoy matching their watch with different outfits or occasions.
Both models lack physical buttons, relying on touchscreen interfaces for navigation. This design choice contributes to a sleeker, more streamlined look, emphasizing the minimalist aesthetic that is a hallmark of the Lily series.
Display, colour options, water-resistance
The display in both generations is a TFT LCD with 16-level grayscale, which, while not as vibrant as a color display, offers clarity and legibility. The choice of a monochrome display aligns with the overall design philosophy of prioritizing simplicity and elegance over more flashy tech features. The lens has a unique patterned design. However, with a tap, a bright touchscreen display is revealed.
In terms of color options, both the Garmin Lily and Lily 2 offer a range of choices (detailed in the table below), with the Lily 2 introducing new patterns and colors that add a contemporary flair to the design. These options cater to personal style preferences, allowing users to choose a look that best suits their individual taste. Like before there is a Classic and Sport version.
All models boast a water resistance of 5 ATM, ensuring durability and reliability in various environments, whether it’s during workouts, swimming, or daily wear. This feature underscores the practicality of the Lily series, designed to withstand the rigors of everyday use while maintaining its aesthetic appeal.
As far as sensor technology in these watches, it includes an accelerometer, a heart rate sensor, and an SpO2 sensor. However, neither model includes built-in GPS, relying instead on connected GPS via a paired smartphone for location and activity tracking. This choice reflects a design prioritization for compactness and aesthetic appeal over the inclusion of more hardware-intensive features. Plus it keeps the price low and battery life high.
The Lily 2 marks a technological advancement with the inclusion of the Gen 4 Elevate sensor, enhancing its health and fitness tracking capabilities. Despite this upgrade, the watch does not support ECG, a feature that comes with the Gen 5 sensor. Additionally, the Lily 2 introduces NFC capability, allowing for contactless payments through Garmin Pay. This is something that is absent in the original Lily.
Both models do not offer onboard music storage, indicating a focus on essential smartwatch functionalities over multimedia features. This decision aligns with the overall design philosophy of the Lily series, which aims to offer a balance of essential smartwatch features in a form factor that appeals to its target demographic, primarily women looking for a stylish, compact wearable. The emphasis is on health and fitness insights, along with basic smartwatch functionalities, packaged in an aesthetically pleasing design that doesn’t overwhelm with excessive features.
The Garmin Lily 2 maintains the same battery life of up to 5 days. This consistency in battery performance is notable, especially considering the introduction of the more advanced Gen 4 Elevate sensor in the Lily 2. The original Garmin Lily also offered up to 5 days of battery life, but with a caveat: this duration excluded the use of pulse OX sleep tracking. The new sensor in the Lily 2 not only enhances overall functionality but does so without compromising on battery longevity.
Garmin Lily 2 vs Lily: Technical specs
Here’s a detailed comparison table for the Garmin Lily 2 and the original Garmin Lily:
Garmin Lily 2
Anodized aluminum; Lens: Corning Gorilla Glass 3; Bezel: Anodized aluminum
Fiber-reinforced polymer; Lens: Corning Gorilla Glass 3; Bezel: Anodized aluminum
Number of Physical Buttons
35.4 x 35.4 x 10.1 mm
34.5 x 34.5 x 10.2 mm
TFT LCD (16 level grayscale)
TFT LCD (16 level grayscale)
240 x 201 pixels
240 x 201 pixels
Weight (without strap)
Accelerometer, Gen 4 Elevate heart rate, SpO2, Ambient light sensor
Accelerometer, Gen 3 Elevate heart rate, SpO2, Ambient light sensor
Up to 5 days
Up to 5 days (excluding pulse OX sleep tracking)
Sport Edition (Silico Crema Oro / Coco, Lila), Classic Edition (Nylon – Brown, Gray), Classic Edition (Leather – Beige/Gold, Black/Blue)
Sport Edition (Dark Purple, Cream Gold & Dust Rose, Light Gold & White, Rose Gold & Light Tan, Cream Gold & Grey, Dark Bronze with leather band, Light Gold with Black leather band, Light Gold with White leather band). Classic (Dark Purple, Cream Gold and Dust Rose, Light Gold & White, Rose Gold & Light Tan, Cream Gold & Grey, Dark Bronze with Leather Band, Light Gold with Black leather band, Light Gold with White leather band)
$250 and up
$200 and up
Garmin Lily 2 vs Lily: Features
When comparing the health and fitness functionalities of the Garmin Lily and Lily 2, it’s evident that both models are designed with a strong focus on health tracking, yet the Lily 2 introduces some nuanced advancements. The original Garmin Lily laid the groundwork with essential features like an accelerometer, heart rate monitoring, and SpO2 tracking, catering to basic fitness and wellness needs. It excelled in tracking activities such as yoga, pilates, and aerobics, and included stress tracking, Body Battery, abnormal heart rate alerts, and menstrual cycle tracking.
The Lily 2 enhances its capabilities with the Gen 4 Elevate sensor, improving the precision and effectiveness of health monitoring. This advancement reflects Garmin’s dedication to delivering more accurate and dependable health metrics. Additionally, the Lily 2 now includes Garmin’s sleep score feature, which evaluates sleep quality based on duration, restlessness, and time spent in different sleep stages. While this feature is standard on other Garmin watches and many wearables, it marks its debut on the Lily series with this model.
Additionally, the Lily 2 introduces new fitness modes, including HIIT training sessions and a “Dance Fitness” mode, reflecting an expansion in its fitness tracking repertoire. The total has been upped to 18 sports tracked from 13 previously.
However, both models share a limitation in GPS functionality, relying on connected GPS through a smartphone, which might be a consideration for users who prioritize independent location tracking in their fitness routines. Another limitation in both generations is the lack of ANT+ for connecting to external heart rate chest straps. For that you might want to opt from the Vivomove Trend.
In terms of smartwatch capabilities, both the Garmin Lily and Lily 2 offer a suite of features that enhance everyday convenience. They display notifications for messages and calls, provide calendar and weather information, and include music control functionalities. Unfortunately, there is no built-in storage for music.
The emergency help function, which transmits the wearer’s location to pre-defined contacts, is a thoughtful addition to the second generation device. However, it requires a connected smartphone to function.
A significant upgrade in the Lily 2 is the inclusion of NFC for contactless payments via Garmin Pay, a feature absent in the original Lily. This addition marks a step towards a more integrated and seamless user experience, aligning the Lily 2 with other contemporary smartwatches that offer similar payment functionalities.
Garmin Lily 2 vs Lily: Price
Regarding pricing, the original Garmin Lily is positioned as an affordable yet stylish option, starting at $200 for the Sport version and $250 for the Classic version. In contrast, the Lily 2 sees a slight increase in price, reflecting its enhanced features and upgraded materials. The Lily 2 models with a silicone band are priced at $250, while the Classic models with textile nylon bands are at $280, and those with leather bands at $300.
Garmin Lily 2 vs Lily: Final thoughts
The Garmin Lily and Lily 2 represent a thoughtful evolution in the realm of women’s smartwatches, each tailored to the needs and preferences of its time. The original Lily, launched three years ago, set a precedent with its blend of style, basic health tracking, and smartwatch functionalities, all at an accessible price point.
The Lily 2 builds on this foundation with an upgraded heart rate sensor, expanded fitness tracking modes, and the convenience of NFC payments, wrapped in a slightly more premium package. The price increase in the Lily 2, while noticeable, is justified by these enhancements, positioning it as a competitive option for those seeking a blend of fashion, functionality, and fitness tracking in a smartwatch.
Given the specs, there’s no reason to upgrade from the first generation device. But if you’re in the market for a new watch, we suggest going for the latest model.
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