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I’m probably going to get hate for saying this but I’ve never been a big believer in smartwatches. In fact, I thought the whole concept was ridiculous.

Our phones are usually glued to our hands anyway for most of the day. Do I really need another screen to make it easier for me to get distracted?

So when I was assigned to write a review on Garmin’s Lily 2 Classic, I had my reservations. After all, it’s just a watch, right?

I bet its design team had a woman in it

Aside from not wanting to feed my ADHD tendencies, my main qualm with smartwatches is their appearance.

Most of the smartwatches I’ve seen in the market have a certain tech-like, geeky look to them. They tend to be bulky with silicone straps which don’t match my aesthetics at all, especially since I wear dresses a lot.

But that isn’t an issue with Garmin’s Lily 2 Classic. 

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Instead of silicone straps, it sports Italian leather bands in the colours Tan or Mulberry. This makes them more suitable for office workers who want a fashionable yet smart timepiece.

The latest iteration of Garmin’s Lily series still features stylish patterned lenses similar to its predecessor. I initially thought the art deco patterns made the screen look too messy and therefore distracting.

But upon first use, I was pleasantly surprised to find that this isn’t the case. The display screen lit up really well and the patterns made the screen look less dull. Even under the sun, you can clearly see the display without straining your eyes.

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Sporting a rather petite build, this smartwatch appears made with the everyday woman in mind. The 14mm straps allow for a good fit particularly for people with smaller wrists like me. The bezel isn’t too large that it gave the watch an ill-fitting appearance.

That said, Garmin has switched out the stainless steel bezel and plastic body for a piece that is entirely made of anodised aluminium. Losing plastic parts gives the watch a more seamless look, but aluminium is generally less durable than stainless steel.

Throughout my one-month trial using it, this wasn’t a problem. But I can’t vouch for how well it performs after a prolonged period of wear particularly if you’re more abrasive with it.

It carries a slew of pretty useful functions

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Being a smartwatch, Garmin’s Lily 2 Classic naturally has a number of health-related features.

As usual, you have the fitness tracking and sports apps that help monitor your workouts. It boasts 18 different sports profiles including running, swimming, and strength training. Part of this new upgrade is the addition of more profiles compared to the previous Lily model, such as indoor rowing and dance fitness.

Now I know what you’re thinking, surely working out with leather straps isn’t the brightest idea. Garmin keeps that in mind too so you can actually switch out the bands for its nylon (RM260) and silicone straps (RM210). 

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These come in the shades Sage Green, Coffee, Metallic Lilac, and Coconut, and are only available for purchase at Garmin’s physical stores. 

We didn’t have the opportunity to try the other straps, but the leather one handled my daily 30-minute walks just fine. I can’t say much for the other more intensive activities as I didn’t have the time or right space to practise them. 

In terms of tracking, it monitors your daily steps pretty well. However, I noticed that the Lily 2 Classic doesn’t automatically pick up on when you’re walking. To consider it as an actual activity, you’ll have to manually switch it on. 

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This turned out to be a slight hassle as going for walks is a regular part of my commute and I’d just forget to track it. Most days I’m also rushing to work so it would be great if the next edition could automatically detect this particular workout.

Aside from that, it would be a good upgrade if the watch had music storing capabilities as well. For now, you can only control music from your watch which might not suit people on-the-go.

Other notable features of the new smartwatch

Beyond that, Garmin’s latest Lily model tracks all the basics of health and fitness. This includes calories, stress, respiration, and sleep. The latter was quite useful as I had been struggling to maintain a decent level of sleep quality. By keeping note of my sleeping patterns, I was able to better plan ahead for my next slumber. 

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Besides that, the heart rate tracker was a wonderful addition to my life. It made me more aware of potential health problems as my heart rate ticks up pretty high multiple times every day. I should probably schedule a doctor’s appointment soon to get it checked…

Catering to a female market, this model continues to offer Women’s Health Tracking where you can keep note of your menstrual cycle and pregnancy. I’m very particular about monitoring my menstrual cycles so it was nifty to do this from my wrist. 

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Garmin’s Connect app also provides more information on exercise and nutrition which helped me feel less fatigued.

I also appreciated that the battery lasted five days, exactly as Garmin claimed it would. However, this might differ depending on how often you use the workout features. Charging-wise, it’s fully juiced up within an hour. I usually charge it every few days while I’m getting ready to leave in the morning.

Those who like the convenience of shopping will be happy to know that the Lily 2 Classic supports Garmin Pay. This allows for NFC payments where you can connect to your debit and credit cards. 

Currently, this feature is only available on the Lily 2 Classic and can’t be found on the previous model or sports edition. The feature hasn’t been released in Malaysia yet but Garmin’s team assured us that it’ll be available here soon.

So…did it change my biased views?

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All of these are wonderful features to have on hand, but the thing that changed my mind about smartwatches is perhaps its most basic function—live notifications.

My line of work consists of receiving at least 20 emails a day that need to be opened. Otherwise, I’ll miss out on time-sensitive news.

But checking your emails all the time can be a distraction because they come in when I’m already in the middle of a task. So it was very helpful that I could just flick my wrist to be informed. While it doesn’t show the full email, getting the gist of the content was enough for me.

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Combine this with the health functions and the fact that it’s actually stylish for the modern woman? Well, I’m certainly sold on the concept of smartwatches now. And it’s all thanks to Garmin’s Lily 2 Classic.

For the price of RM1,550, I’d consider it a worthy investment to improve my lifestyle and health habits.

Bright & responsive screen with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 lensThe anodised aluminium material is more prone to wear and tear after some time
Large variety of features, particularly for those with active lifestylesDoesn’t automatically detect activities based on your heart rate and movements (e.g. walking)
Stylish and easy to pair with everyday non-athletic attire 
Has Women’s Health tracking to keep note of menstrual cycle and pregnancy 
  • Learn more about Garmin’s Lily 2 Classic here.
  • Read other VP Verdicts we’ve written here.

VP Verdict is a series where we personally try and test out products, services, fads, and apps. Want to suggest something else for us to try? Leave a comment here or send the suggestion to our Facebook page

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© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)

Vulcan Post aims to be the knowledge hub of Singapore and Malaysia.

© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)