Garmin Lily vs Garmin Lily 2: choose the right women's fitness watch for you

Garmin Lily vs Garmin Lily 2: key points

If you're looking for a small fitness watch, the Garmin Lily and Lily 2 both deserve your consideration – but which one is right for you?

First, you should know that the Lily and Lily 2 can't compare to serious running watches when it comes to sports tracking. If you're looking for a watch that will help guide your training, guide you along new routes, and manage your training load, you'll be better off with something like the Garmin Fenix 7S. The Lily (either version) is more for people who want to work a little more movement into their lives and want a nudge towards healthier habits.

Both versions of the Lily are designed with women in mind, with bands made for small wrists and features like period tracking positioned more prominently in the list of glances. However, they're ultimately just watches, and would work well for anyone who prefers a compact design.

Woman wearing Garmin Lily 2 watch

The Garmin Lily 2 has redesigned lugs that make it look more like a conventional watch (until the screen is activated) (Image credit: Garmin)

The original Garmin Lily cost around $50 less than the Lily 2 at launch, and can now often be found even cheaper thanks to regular discounts from third-party retailers. If price is your main concern, that may be enough to tip the balance.

The Lily 2 is arguably the more stylish, with a desk more like a conventional watch and a choice of three band materials (silicone, nylon and leather). If you opt for the slightly pricier Classic edition, you'll also get contactless payments via Garmin Pay, which could be very handy in the US where it's supported by many major banks, but less so elsewhere in the world. The Lily 2 also offers more workout tracking modes, including ones for various different types of dance. It'll likely receive more features over the coming months and years too, since Garmin tends to support its devices with new software updates for a long time.

Made up your mind? You'll find the best prices for both watches above. If not, read on and learn more about the key differences between these two sleek wearables.

Garmin Lily vs Garmin Lily 2: price

  • Lily 2 cost around $50 more at launch
  • Original Lily often available for a discount

The original Garmin Lily launched in January 2021, with a list price of $199.99 / £179.99 for the Sport edition (with a silicone band) and $249.99 / £229.99 for the Classic version (with a leather band).

These days it's often available more cheaply if you shop around (you'll find today's best price above). The typical discount is around $50 / £50. There are often bigger price cuts for Amazon Prime Day and Black Friday.

The Garmin Lily 2 arrived in January 2024, priced at $249.99 / £249.99 for the standard version (with a silicone band), $269.99 / £269.99 for the Classic edition with a nylon band, and $299.99 / $299.99 for the Classic edition with a leather band.  At the time of writing, no retailers are offering discounts on the Lily 2 yet.

Garmin Lily vs Garmin Lily 2: design

  • Almost identical dimensions
  • Lily has stainless steel case, Lily 2 has aluminum
  • Lily 2 bands are easier to replace

The original Garmin Lily comes in two versions: Classic and Sport. The Classic version is fitted with an Italian leather strap, while the Sport version has a silicone band, which is more resistant to sweat. 

The Garmin Lily 2 also has two variants. The Garmin Lily 2 Classic comes with either a leather or woven fabric band. The version with a silicone band is now the standard edition, not specially earmarked for sports. 

For the Lily 2, Garmin has switched from a stainless steel case to anodized aluminum. The Lily 2 has a slightly larger diameter than the original Lily, and is fractionally thinner, but the difference is too small to notice in use. The Lily 2 measures 35.4 x 10.1mm, while the original model is 34 x 10.15mm.

The Lily 2 has a different lug design, making it look more like a conventional watch than the original Garmin Lily, and allowing you to replace the band without any tools. Now you can just slide a quick-release pin across using your finger to detach the strap, then slot a new one into place.

Woman wearing Garmin Lily 2 watch

Both Garmin Lily watches are available with a choice of different band materials (Image credit: Garmin)

Garmin Lily vs Garmin Lily 2: display

  • Hidden LED display
  • Same resolution for both watches

Both Garmin Lily watches have a hidden LED display that's activated when you tap the small circular 'button' at the bottom of the watch face, or raise your wrist. Both watches have a resolution of 240 x 201 pixels.

The watch face itself has a patterned metallic finish, with a different geometric or botanical pattern for each colorway.

Garmin Lily vs Garmin Lily 2: battery life

  • Maximum five days for both watches
  • Charged using proprietary clip
  • No solar charging for either model

Garmin gives a maximum battery life of five days for both iterations of the Garmin Lily. This is significantly shorter than most other Garmin watches currently available, but is a result of the compact case, which is too small for a higher capacity li-ion battery.  

Both Garmin Lily watches are charged using a proprietary clip that fastens onto the side of the case. This is different to the plug-in charging cable used by most Garmin watches. When testing the original Lily, I found this fitted into place securely and didn't pivot or swivel and disconnect, which is a problem I've experienced with some similarly designed chargers for other sports watches.

There's no solar charging option for any Garmin Lily watches.

Woman doing yoga wearing Garmin Lily sports watch

All Garmin Lily watches last up to five days on a single charge (Image credit: Garmin)

Garmin Lily vs Garmin Lily 2: smartwatch features

  • Basic features including Bluetooth music controls
  • Garmin Lily 2 Classic supports contactless payments

The Garmin Lily and Lily 2 offer very similar smartwatch features, including smartphone notifications on your wrist, weather forecasts, music controls (though neither watch can store or stream music directly)

The Garmin Lily 2 Classic is the only model that offers contactless payments. Whether this is useful will depend on your location; Garmin Pay is supported by many banks in the UK, but fewer elsewhere in the world. Take a look at the full list of participating banks.

Garmin Lily vs Garmin Lily 2: fitness features

  • Neither watch has on-board GPS
  • Lily 2 Classic has new dance activities

When it comes to fitness tracking, the Garmin Lily and Lily 2 are very similar. They monitor your daily steps and prompt you to move regularly, with a handful of workout tracking options for popular activities like walking, road running, and cycling.

Neither watch has its own GPS transceiver to track your location, speed and route during outdoor workouts like runs and rides. Instead, all Garmin Lily watches rely on a Bluetooth connection to your phone (a system Garmin calls Connected GPS). With some watches this can be slow to connect and give poor results, but when I tested the original Garmin Lily for Advnture's sister site TechRadar, I was impressed by just how swiftly it established a lock with my phone, and how accurately it tracked my route. It fared much better than the newer Garmin Vivomove Trend, which surprised me. 

Neither watch supports maps, so you can't transfer GPX routes to them and use them for navigation. If that's something you want, I recommend considering a watch with a much larger display like the Garmin Fenix 7X or Enduro 2. Nor do they connect to gym equipment or bike trainers.

The Garmn Lily 2 comes with a set of new modes for tracking different types of dance, including Zumba and EDM. It may get more options with future software updates as well.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.