What is the Garmin Austin? That's a question I've been asking myself ever since I caught sight of the list of forthcoming Garmin devices published by Gadgets & Wearables earlier this year. At first I was skeptical, but following the release of the Forerunner 955, 255, and 255 Music – all of which appeared on the list – I'm much more willing to give it the benefit of the doubt.
There are a couple of surprises on the list (the Garmin Instinct Analog is a particularly interesting idea), but the biggest mystery is the Garmin Austin. It's not a name associated with any other Garmin device to date, and doesn't sound like any of the company's other devices. If I'd been asked to predict a new range of Garmin watches, I'd have guessed at a set of cycling wearables called Vēlo.
Garmin doesn't appear to have any connection to the city of Austin, Texas, and the city isn't known for its sports; until 2021, it was the largest US city with no club in a major professional sports league. It's possible that 'Austin' might be an internal codename, but why would that be released to a licensed dealer – especially when the names of other watches were listed in full?
I've got another theory, though I should preface it by saying this is purely speculation. I'm wondering whether the Garmin Austin could be a women's watch in the same vein as the Garmin Lily, but with advanced workout tracking.
A sportier sibling
The Garmin Lily is a lovely device (and one I reviewed for Advnture's sister site, TechRadar when it first launched), but it's lacking one very important thing: on-board GPS. It's a serious drawback for the little watch, and makes it hard to justify for a list price of $249.99 / £229.99. That's more than you'd pay for the excellent Amazfit T-Rex 2, which is one of the best GPS watches around today.
It's my theory that the Austin might be the Lily's sportier sibling, with a sleek design but improved workout-tracking chops. Not as feature-packed as the Fenix 7, but accomplished nonetheless. It's listed as an 'outdoors' watch in the list leaked by the supplier, so perhaps it might even be ready to hit the trails.
So where might the name 'Austin' come from? Well, it's a stretch, but there's a maker of women's fitness trackers called Amelia Austin, which focuses on devices that are designed to look more like jewelry than a smartwatch. Garmin has collaborated with other brands before (though mostly with far larger brands like Fiat), and it's possible that it might follow the example of Fitbit, which worked with jewelery designer Gorjana to create a gold-toned bracelet for the Fitbit Luxe in 2021.
Alternatively, I might be completely wrong, and the Austin could in fact be a new watch in the Marq series – or a codename for the Garmin Epix released earlier in the year. We can only speculate for now, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
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Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.