Mysterious new Garmin device gets FCC approval – but it's not the Fenix 8

Woman checking GPS watch during run in park
(Image credit: Getty Images)

An interesting-looking new device has just received approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), indicating that it has been approved for sale in the US, and sparking suggestions that it might be the long-awaited Garmin Fenix 8 sports watch. However, closer investigation reveals that, despite apparent similarities to the Fenix 7, the new wearable is in fact a GPS dog collar rather than a watch.

Any device that can broadcast radio signals, including watches with Bluetooth connectivity, must undergo independent testing to ensure it doesn't cause harmful interference before it can be imported or marketed in the US. The FCC publishes a list of devices that have recently received the green light, which sometimes gives watch fans an early peek at the details of upcoming releases. The documentation is usually heavily redacted, but it's often possible to read between the lines and work out what might be landing on our wrists soon.

Reddit user huckstero was therefore excited to spot details of a new device on the FCC website, which sounded very much like a sports watch. The device, model number A04674, has Bluetooth, ANT, and (most interestingly) LTE connectivity, which led some excited members of the Garmin subreddit to wonder whether this might be a new version of the company's flagship wearable.

New FCC filed - Garmin Fenix 8? from r/Garmin

The inclusion of LTE is  particularly intriguing, suggesting that this device would be offer mobile data connectivity independently of your phone. So far only two Garmin watches offer this: the Garmin Forerunner 945 LTE and the Garmin Bounce.

The Forerunner 945 LTE (released in 2019) allows wearers to receive support messages from friends during workouts, lets contacts keep tabs on them via Garmin LiveTrack, and allows them to send an SOS message to an emergency contact if they feel unsafe. Watch owners can also send a message to Garmin's Emergency Response Center via a feature called Assistance Plus if they run into difficulty.

The Garmin Bounce (launched in 2022) is a kids' sports watch that allows youngsters to exchange text and voice messages with contacts approved by a parent or guardian. Parents can use an app on their own phones to keep tabs on the child's location, and the child can summon help via an Assistance feature if needed.

Unfortunately for watch enthusiasts, it turns out that although the new device is indeed a wearable, it's not one for humans. Two hours after their initial post, huckstero posted their realization that device number A04674 is in fact an LTE dog collar. The Alpha LTE Dog Collar lets owners track their pet's movements and helps them spot the animal at a distance using color-coded LED lights.

It looks like Fenix fans will have to keep waiting a little longer.

Cat Ellis

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.