Garmin didn’t reveal some big new smartwatch at CES, choosing instead to focus on renewing and refreshing products to help those wanting to stay active. There are only two new devices, the Garmin Lily 2 and HRM-Fit, both of which are made for women who want to wear less cumbersome gizmos without losing any of Garmin’s tracking prowess.

Equally important is news that Garmin overhauled its Connect app and website in an effort to make features and settings easier to find for all users. The changes focus more on customizing the dashboard to see the stats and data you want most using a tile-based layout that you can array however you like. The tiles still display plenty of information, but it’s a cleaner look now with more personalized input. You arrange the tiles how you want, which can be very different depending on what you prioritize.

The new HRM-Fit

Garmin sought to address a recurring issue with women wearing chest straps to monitor heart rate activity while active. Generally speaking, women wearing sports bras have had to stick the strap underneath, which can feel uncomfortably tight and only get worse upon sweating. The HRM-Fit aims to solve that problem with a clip-on design that attaches to medium- and high-support sports bras, including those made by known apparel brands.  

The device works with compatible Garmin smartwatches and Edge cycling computers, along with other fitness equipment and the Tacx Training app. Moreover, if you take off the compatible smartwatch and venture out of range, the HRM-Fit stores the workout data and automatically sends it to the watch once back in range.

It’s capable of capturing accurate heart rate data for pretty much any activity, be it running, cycling, strength training, HIIT, and even yoga or pickleball. So, in essence, you don’t always have to always wear the watch, though doing so means a faster data sync from the HRM-Fit. It features up to one year of battery life and is going to be available as early as January 2024.

A refreshed Lily

Garmin also added a newer look to its most svelte smartwatch in the Lily by giving the Lily 2 an updated look and extra features. The idea was to retain the design as much as possible while squeezing in whatever was missing from the previous model. That included things like sleep scores, Garmin Pay contactless payments and more fitness choices. There will even be dance fitness activity thrown in, like Afrobeat, Bollywood, EDM, hip-hop, and Zumba. It will also try to lure you out of being too sedentary through reminders and suggested movements to get the blood flowing again.

There is also a Lily 2 Classic measuring at 35mm, so a smidgen bigger than the regular 34mm Lily 2, and has a more standardized lug to simplify switching straps—great for wearing the watch for different occasions. Garmin Pay is also exclusive to the Classic and not available on the standard Lily 2. Naturally, both variants have the same women’s health tracking features like menstrual cycles and pregnancy.

They work with both iOS and Android, and will also connect with Garmin’s Connect app, which itself should be much better after the latest overhaul. The standard Lily 2 will come in lilac, cream and coconut, both with silicone bands. The Lily 2 Classic will come with nylon bands in cream gold/coffee, silver/sage grey or leather bands in cream gold and dark bronze.

Look for these new Garmin smartwatches that are available soon as well. For more on what Garmin can do to keep you active, check out the full array of gear here.

Ted Kritsonis
Editor Cellular/Mobile Technology
I’m a fortunate man in being able to do the fun job of following and reporting on one of the most exciting industries in the world today. In my time covering consumer tech, I’ve written for a number of publications, including the Globe and Mail, Yahoo! Canada, CBC.ca, Canoe, Digital Trends, MobileSyrup, G4 Tech, PC World, Faze and AppStorm. I’ve also appeared on TV as a tech expert for Global, CTV and the Shopping Channel.

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