Garmin has established itself as a maker of some of the toughest, most reliable smartwatches on the market. Everyone loves an Apple Watch, but serious athletes love a Garmin.
But the company’s technical fireworks almost always come tucked inside bulky men’s watches and trackers.
You might ask, “Who cares what a GPS system so advanced it can help you navigate through the Amazon rainforest comes encased in?” To that the female fitness enthusiast might respond, “Try riding a Peloton with a flip-flop strapped to your wrist.”
I exaggerate. But truly, a bulky fitness tracker weighing down your arm and marring your cutest athleisure getup is terrible—especially when you’re in beast mode, baby!
Hence, Garmin has been developing a smaller, slimmer smartwatch—one that doesn’t skimp on those technical fireworks and is designed to be comfortable on a women’s wrist—for years. And finally, Garmin’s first-ever smartwatch for women, Lily, has come to market.
The Lily comes in two styles, Sport (with a silicone strap) and Classic (with a leather strap), and features a 34 mm watch case, which is Garmin’s smallest yet. Both styles look more like a fashion watch than a fitness band or an all-business sports watch. The Lily is petite and pretty but also minimalist, so not girly—a good thing.
This watch can do a lot of tracking, body monitoring, and GPS orienting without connecting to a smartphone. But when synced with the Garmin Connect app through a phone, Lily can do even more, including tracking your heart rate, respiration, daily fluid intake, sleep duration and quality, and even period cycles and pregnancies.
Additionally, the watch’s Pulse Ox sensor4 (quite the serious name) checks your blood oxygen saturation at any point during the day, or for part of the night as you sleep, to show how well your body is absorbing oxygen.
The lightweight watch also alerts you to emails, texts, and calls (and lets you read emails and texts). There’s a calendar view that lets you check your daily agenda directly from your wrist. And when the watch and phone are paired, you can send an assistance alert with your live location to selected contacts—a super feature for those who like to train in cavernous canyons, hike through big forests, bike through icy tundras, etc.
But perhaps the cherry on top of this smartwatch sundae is the Lily’s long battery life, which extends to five days when the device is in smartwatch mode. Because no woman on earth requires another device that needs to be plugged in every night.
Top: The Garmin Lily Classic with Italian leather band and stainless steel bezel and hardware, $250. Also available is the Garmin Lily Sport, which has an aluminum bezel and silicone band, for $200. (Photo courtesy of Garmin)