Among its various new products unveiled this year at CES 2024 in Las Vegas, Garmin has announced its Lily 2 series of smartwatches. Rather than being purpose-built for specific sports or tasks like some of the brand’s models, the new Garmin Lily 2 is designed for everyday life and a wide variety of different health/activity tracking. Featuring compact metal cases with a refined and elegant overall aesthetic, the real detail that separates the new Lily 2 models from other smartwatches within this space are the lenses that cover their displays. Rather than having standard screens, the Garmin Lily 2 series features patterned crystals with illuminated LCD displays that shine through them from below.
The Garmin Lily 2 series is essentially the updated version of the original Lily model, which first introduced the patterned crystal concept and served as the most refined and elegant model in the brand’s catalog. From a design standpoint, the Lily 2 is a bit more sporty compared to the original Lily, and rather than having an integrated style of lugs (similar to what you get on a Cartier Pasha), the new Lily 2 model has traditional lugs, although their shape is rather dressy and ornate, with a profile that is somewhat similar to what you might find on a vintage dress watch. The main benefit of this update to the lugs is that straps can easily be swapped out, and owners can change their Lily 2 to adapt to their lifestyle.
The new Garmin Lily 2 lineup is available in the form of two models (the Lily 2 and the Lily 2 Classic), with the primary differences between these two versions being their straps and the colorways that are available for them. With that in mind, aside from these physical differences, the more premium Lily 2 Classic models also include Garmin Pay, which allows users to make contactless payments directly from their devices. The standard Garmin Lily 2 watches are fitted with two-piece silicone straps, while the Lily 2 Classic is intended to be the more elevated option between the two, and these models are fitted with two-piece straps that are made from either nylon or Italian leather.
Color options for the standard Garmin Lily 2 watches include a cream gold case with a coconut-colored silicone strap and a metallic lilac case with a matching lilac strap. Meanwhile, the Garmin Lily 2 Classic is available in four different configurations. One model features a silver case paired with a sage gray nylon strap, while another features a bark Bronze case and a mulberry-colored leather strap. Additionally, the other two colorways for the Lily 2 Classic both have cream gold cases, although one is fitted with a coffee-colored nylon strap, while the other receives a tan leather strap.
The cases of the new Garmin Lily 2 smartwatches are crafted from anodized aluminum and measure 35.4mm in diameter by 10.1mm thick. Relative to the size of the case itself, the lugs are fairly small, and their compact size combined with their notched profile helps create a refined overall appearance. Just like most other Garmin smartwatches, multi-function sensors and contact points for the charger reside on the casebacks of the Lily 2 series, while water resistance comes in at 50 meters, which is enough to be worn in the ocean or pool, and this is confirmed by the fact that the Garmin Lily 2 even includes activity tracking modes specifically dedicated to swimming.
The Garmin Lily 2 models are all fitted with crystals made from Corning Gorilla Glass 3, although each version features a different metallic pattern across its surface, which creates a noticeably different appearance compared to the black or gray screen of a traditional smartwatch. The LCD display is able to shine through the surface of the crystal and the metallic pattern ends up becoming the background, similar to how a dial serves as the backdrop for the hands on a traditional wristwatch. The one drawback of this approach is that it does not allow for a color display like what you will find on many other modern Garmin smartwatches, although it does create a more refined and cohesive appearance that helps to make the Lily 2 feel a bit different from the myriad of other screens and devices you encounter in daily life.
In terms of its functionality, the new Garmin Lily 2 series offers the usual suite of health, sleep, and fitness tracking features , along with the same smartphone connectivity and GPS tracking that is standard among all of the brand’s current-production smartwatches. Battery life for the Lily 2 comes in at a fairly respectable five days, and similar to other entry-level models in the brand’s lineup, such as the Garmin Vivoactive 5 I previously reviewed, the new Garmin Lily 2 smartwatches aren’t able to perform some of the more advanced features like make calls and respond to texts directly from the device itself, although they can still display text messages and notifications.
Now that the Garmin Lily is in its second generation, it will be interesting to see if the brand ends up integrating this patterned crystal approach into any of its other models. The practical benefits of smartwatches are undeniable, but one of the primary reasons why some people shy away from them is that they just feel a bit too much like a tech-oriented device to wear in everyday life. Adorning the crystal with a pattern helps to separate it from the “black mirror” appearance of phone or laptop screen, and if a patterned crystal were to be integrated into the case design and paired with some custom display screens, the net effect could be something that feels truly different from a traditional smartwatch or connected device.
Prices for the new Garmin Lily 2 series start out at $249 USD for the standard Lily 2 models on silicone straps, while the Lily 2 Classic models are priced at $279 USD when fitted with a Nylon strap or $299 USD when paired with an Italian leather strap. Although this does represent a small increase in price compared to the original Lily models with resin cases, the new Garmin Lily 2 series exists on the more affordable side of the brand’s catalog, especially considering that some models from the brand’s top-of-the-line MARQ series can be priced at several thousand dollars. The original Garmin Lily was defined by its elegant integrated lugs, and while the new Lily 2 might not be as aesthetically distinct, it does benefit from a practical interchangeable strap system and brings the series closer to the rest of the brand’s catalog. For more information on the Garmin Lily 2 smartwatch collection, please visit the brand’s website.