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Garmin Lily vs. Fossil Gen 5: Which should you buy?

fossil gen 5
fossil gen 5 (Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

Fossil Gen 5

Fossil gen 5 Carlyle

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Wear OS is far from perfect but it has made some significant strides Take the Fossil Gen 5, for example. This smartwatch is available in a variety of models, all of which offer essential features. You'll have onboard GPS, heart-rate monitoring, activity tracking, Google Pay, a mic/speaker, and more.

Fossil Gen 5

More features to love

GPS, HRM, NFC
Attractive design
Google Assistant
Mic/speaker
Battery-saving modes
Shorter battery life
Lacks blood oxygen sensor

Garmin Lily

Garmin Lily

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If fashion is your main reason for buying a smartwatch, you can't go wrong with the Garmin Lily. It's small, stylish, and comes in two models. The design is nothing short of dashing, but it also offers key features such as heart-rate monitoring, activity/sleep tracking, Pulse Ox, and Body Battery.

Garmin Lily

The basics with style

Activity/sleep tracking
Heart-rate monitoring
Pulse Ox and Body Battery
Stress tracking
Fashionable design
Lacks color display
No GPS or NFC

Garmin Lily vs. Fossil Gen 5: Different approaches

If you've recently started searching for the best Android smartwatch, you're in luck. There are plenty of options to choose from, including the Garmin Lily and Fossil Gen 5 smartwatch. There's a bit of overlap between these two wearables, but they have two entirely different approaches. There are various factors to consider here, but your decision will be determined by what features matter most to you.

Those who are focused on finding a feminine and stylish smartwatch with basic activity tracking will more than likely prefer the Garmin Lily. Those who want more features and functionality out of their device will have a better experience with a Fossil Gen 5 smartwatch.

The Garmin Lily is a stylish women's smartwatch

Garmin Lily band front

Source: Courtney Lynch / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Courtney Lynch / Android Central)

When browsing the Garmin smartwatch lineup, you'll find a lot of running watches, adventure watches, and lifestyle watches. The Garmin Lily, however, is the first model designed specifically for women. This is evident with the female health tracking feature that can monitor key aspects of both your menstrual cycle and pregnancy. It also boasts a petite, feminine design with a 34mm case that won't take up too much space on your wrist.

There are two models to choose from the Classic and the Sport. Both models are the same size. The Sport variants come with a silicone band and an aluminum bezel that's available in Rose Gold, Cream Gold, and Midnight Orchid. The Classic model comes with a leather band and a stainless steel bezel that's available in Cream Gold, Light Gold, and Dark Bronze. The Lily uses 14mm proprietary bands, so this limits your options quite a bit when you want to swap them out.

Garmin LilyFossil Gen 5
Display1-inch TFT LCD1.3-inch AMOLED
Dimensions34.5x34.5x10.15 mm44x44x12 mm
SensorsHRM, accelerometer, Pulse Ox, ambient light sensorHRM, accelerometer, gyroscope, altimeter, ambient light sensor
Battery life5 days1 day
Water-resistance5ATM3ATM
Onboard GPS✔️
Mobile payments✔️
Mic/speaker✔️
Music storage✔️

Unlike many other smartwatches in this price range, the Garmin Lily doesn't offer a beautiful color display. Instead, you have a liquid crystal monochromatic touchscreen. There are no side buttons on the watch either. You'll do all of your navigating on the touchscreen and the single capacitive button at the bottom of the display. You'll get up to 5 days of battery life out of the Garmin Lily. It also offers 5 ATM water resistance

It might seem as if this smartwatch is all about looks and not much else. However, you do get a nice set of basic activity tracking perks. Some examples include heart-rate monitoring, activity and sleep tracking, stress monitoring, blood oxygen tracking, Body Battery energy monitoring, and more. You're able to store up to seven activities on the watch. You can switch them up at any time through the Garmin Connect app.

So, there you have it. The Garmin Lily is a stylish smartwatch that's great at basic activity tracking. However, don't expect much more than that. You won't have onboard GPS, which means your phone will need to be connected if you want to track your route. Other missing features include a color display, mobile payments, music storage, voice assistant options, a mic/speaker, and Bluetooth calls. If you don't want to miss out, you should consider buying the Fossil Gen 5 smartwatch instead.

The Fossil Gen 5 is a well-rounded Wear OS watch

Fossil Gen 5

Source: Joe Maring / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Joe Maring / Android Central)

The Fossil Gen 5 is a Wear OS smartwatch with a lot to offer, especially in comparison to the Garmin Lily. It comes in a 44mm case and there are a few different variants to pick from. For example, the Carlyle models offer a masculine design in various colors. The Julianna models offer a feminine design that also comes in a couple of colors. Every model has a crisp 1.3-inch AMOLED display with two side buttons along with a rotating crown for easy navigation. The 22mm Fossil Gen 5 bands are interchangeable, so you'll have plenty of options when you feel like making a change.

The Gen 5 is easily one of the best Fossil smartwatches out there. It's not the newest model from the company, but it made some big leaps in performance thanks to the Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor and 1 GB of RAM plus 8 GB of storage. You also have battery-saving modes that help you prolong the battery life of your watch. As you can imagine, some of these modes are rather restrictive. If you don't mind losing access to key features to preserve battery life, it's a handy feature to have.

It might be more sophisticated than the Garmin Lily, but the Fossil Gen 5 isn't an advanced fitness watch by any means. Wear OS is ideal for casual users who want to track their progress and make improvements along the way. You get onboard GPS, heart-rate monitoring, activity tracking, and water resistance up to 30 meters.

Many people will buy this smartwatch for the extras. The Fossil Gen 5 has a built-in microphone and speaker. You can make Bluetooth calls from your wrist and hear Google Assistant's responses. Other bonus features include Google Pay and onboard music storage, and a mic/speaker. If you want to do more with your watch, you'll love the Fossil Gen 5 smartwatch.

Garmin Lily vs. Fossil Gen 5: Which should you buy?

By now, you're probably leaning in one direction or the other. Both of these smartwatches cover a lot of ground, but they're quite different when it comes to what they set out to accomplish. You're going to be content with the Garmin Lily if your main goal is to find a stylish smartwatch. When it comes down to it, that's really what this wearable is all about. You'll have some other perks, like health and fitness tracking, heart-rate monitoring, Pulse Ox, and Body Battery. You won't have GPS, a mic/speaker, mobile payments, or a voice assistant.

That's not to say the Fossil Gen 5 isn't stylish in its own right. More importantly, it's filled to the brim with features that will provide a better wearable experience for those who want detailed tracking and a few bonus perks. You'll get onboard GPS, heart-rate monitoring, health and fitness tracking, battery-saving modes, music storage, Google Pay, Google Assistant, and a built-in mic/speaker. As you can see, it fills a lot of the blanks left behind by the Garmin Lily.