“The Citizen CZ is a good smartwatch with smart solid performance and battery life, but the design is not quite complete to what we would expect from such notable watchmakers.”
High quality stainless steel case
Comfortable strap for a good fit
Battery life decision
Amazingly good performance
Wrong step count
“Citizen” not enough design
Citizen has been manufacturing watches for over 100 years, produces all of its components in-house, and has been a leader in a wide variety of technologies, focusing on the use of light power and high degree of precision. This is the latest watch,, Is the company’s first touchscreen smartwatch – and based on that legacy, we should be excited about it. As a fan of the brand’s watches in general, I was very keen to try it out.
More watch brands embrace smartwatches, will achieve better design, comfort, and technology, so it is important to include companies like Citizen. Is Citizen CZ Smart, Tag Heer’s Connected (2020), Montblanc’s Summit 2, and Alpana’s AlpinerX just another example of the traditional watch industry gaining smartwatch rights?
I have worn it to find out.
The only question that really needs to be answered here is, does the CZ look and feel like a smart citizen watch? Yes, it does, but not as some of the more well-known models of the brand, and to see Family Connection you need to be very familiar with the range of civilian dive watches. For example, there are guards around the crown, the shape and design of the bezel, reminiscent of the Promaster Diver range. However, to most casual observers, it looks like any other smartwatch, and may even be mistaken for the Fossil Garrett HR.
Where is the problem here. I like the style of CZ Smart a lot, but it’s not just “civil” enough, and it is an issue that continues in software. Citizen has not tapped its range of incredibly recognizable dial designs for different watch faces, leaving just a handful of simple faces to choose from. Why it has nothing to do with the eye-catching skywalk or the unusual satellite wave? The Tag Heuer finds this aspect quite right, and features a variety of dial designs that fit with the brand, or are part of its Ambassador-designed collection. There is really no reason why citizens could not do this.
It is unfortunate that the CZ Smart is not more civilian, as the wristwatch looks good. The beige is thin, the blue color gives it some character, the 46mm case is made of stainless steel and feels very high quality, and the screen has gorilla glass for protection. The 22 meter blue silicon strap is very comfortable and should be really stiff. However, it has a plastic case, which is a bit unfortunate. Despite the fossil being closer to the style of Garrett HR, it looks far more mature, and looks better built.
Citizens likely leaned into their partnership with Fossil to produce CZ Smart. The pair announced that they would be working on hybrid smartwatch technology together some time ago, but based on the presence of the Fossils wellness app and pre-installation of Spotify here, it certainly appears that this is a product of that partnership is also. This is not a bad thing, Fossil works with many brands on smartwatches, including Diesel, Mitchell Course and Skagen. It knows what it is doing.
The Citizen CZ Smart feels good and is very comfortable, but it doesn’t say “I’m wearing a Citizen Smartwatch,” at all, and it should feel like a missed opportunity.
Screen and display
The CZ Smart has a 1.28-inch AMOLED screen, with a 416 x 416-pixel resolution, so it is very sharp, which makes me even more unhappy, not many great standard civilian watch faces that take advantage of it. Inside is a Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor, not the new Snapdragon Wear 4100 chip, making it technically outdated. Sadly, the aging Snapdragon 3100 is not the only citizen of the chip, as almost all smartwatch manufacturers still do.
This is not a performance disaster at all, thankfully. It happily accompanies when doing the basics, such as tracking workouts, receiving notifications, and using the application. It has taken some time, but the chip has been effectively optimized when it matches 1GB of RAM, as it is here with the latest software, and is fully usable on a daily basis. What it misses is the increased efficiency from the Snapdragon 4100. The Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 battery lasts at least three full days on a single charge, and the CZ Smart cannot manage that.
How does battery compare? It is decent. I got about three workdays by turning off the clock overnight, with normal daily usage and just tracking activity using the Wellness app. If you track using Google Fit, start streaming music, or use a deeper application like Google Maps, it will do just two workdays. The watch has fast charging, with 80% at about 45 minutes and 100% at around 70 minutes.
While the CZ is not outstanding on the Smart, everything I need from a smartwatch on a daily basis is performance and battery life.
Navigation and software
It’s great to see that the CZ Smart already has the latest Google Wear OS H-MR2 software update installed, which is no doubt a better battery life and zippy performance increase, plus it’s a The tile introduces new features such as adjustable screen timeouts and a new weather tile.
One of the most welcome features on the CZ Smart is the revolving crown to aid navigation through the Wear OS software. This should be a standard feature on all Wear OS smartwatches, but it is not, so congratulations to Citizen for adding it here. The guards around the crown make it less uncomfortable to move around with your thumb. Buttons on either side of the Taj activate the Google Fit and Citizen Watch Face apps, although they can be added again.
CZ Smart sends notifications from your phone with average reliability. This is what I usually expect from Ware OS, which is not as reliable as Apple’s WatchOS when communicating with your phone. The CZ Smart has a speaker and a microphone for making and receiving calls, which is always welcome, but does not have a 4G LTE connection, so it depends on when you are connected to your phone. It is loud enough to negotiate at home.
Fossil’s wellness app is on board, promising to track basic activity – steps, sleep, calories, and workouts, all without eliminating mass batteries. It suits CZ Smart because I can’t get it worn by hardcore fitness fanatics, but people who want to know how much (or how little) they are running. It is simple to use because it is all presented on one screen, and only offers an indoor or outdoor workout tracking option. It is quick and easy, and fits with how I imagine the watch will be worn. Google Fit is also available for those who want more in-depth, data-intensive activity tracking.
How is CZ smart when you are tracking activity? Rarely, it seems that the software needs to be optimized, as CZ calculates the smart over estimates to a large extent. After seeing that I was potentially moving too much during the lockdown, I compared it to the Apple Watch Series 6. I found that during a busy morning CZ Smart recorded 3,600 steps, while Apple Watch counted 2,500 steps.
While the heart rate sensor results were consistent, and I don’t think anyone who is really concerned about tracking fitness will be looking at this model, Citizen needs to fix step count accuracy soon.
Price and availability
Citizen CZ Smart is priced at $ 395, and isAnd through Citizen’s online store. There are three different models: the blue and stainless steel version seen here, a stainless steel model with a black strap and a black / red bezel, a black stainless steel version with a black metal link bracelet. . All are the same price.
Citizen CZ Smart is a very good smartwatch to do what I want each day. It is fast and the battery lasts longer than I expected, plus it is very well made and comfortable to wear. However, it is coming to a crowded market, with dozens of similar smartwatches available that you can say the same thing about, so it is unfortunate that Citizen has really tried out their brand name and watchmaking expertise to see it Have not used
I wanted the CZ Smart to be the same as buying the Skywalk AT, but instead, it’s like buying any other Wear OS smartwatch from years past, and for this reason, it’s an opportunity to miss. Citizens could actually control the watchmaker / smartwatch location here.
Is there a better option?
Yes. If you want a smartwatch for your Android phone, we recommend Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3. It may not be the best looking watch you can buy, but it is the most technologically advanced Wear OS smartwatch at the moment. The Snapdragon 4100 chip works well with MobiOV’s unusual dual-screen design to maximize battery use, and provide plenty of performance.
If you own an iPhone and are looking for a smartwatch, then the Apple Watch Series 6 or Apple Watch SE is for you. It’s not often that an Apple product can be called a bargain, but compared to the $ 395 Citizen CZ Smart, the $ 279 Apple Watch SE, in particular, is excellent value.
The other watch to consider is the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3. The software is easy to use and more attractive than Google’s Wear OS, and the rotating bezel simplifies navigation. Citizen’s high price for the CZ Smart directly competes with all of these smartwatches, with many coming at a lower price.
How long will it last?
Like all good smartwatches, Citizen CZ Smart will last at least two years before you want to replace it. However, the Snapdragon 3100 chip is already outdated, and when more models with the Snapdragon 4100 finally debut, smartwatches using older platforms will actually feel their age. That said, smartwatches do not have the same power demand as smartphones, so you keep doing the same things with the watch that you always have, it would be a good companion.
The stainless steel body, gorilla glass, and 3ATM water resistance rating mean that the CZ Smart must be very hard-wear. The 22 mm strap is thicker and tighter, and is easily replaced due to the 22mm size and quick-release pins.
Should you buy it
Sadly not. Better, more up-to-date smartwatches are available for lower prices. The unfortunate thing here is that if the CZ Smart really looked and felt like Citizen Watch, the decision could have been different.