Watch Review: Citizen CZ Smart Smartwatch – 2021 Edition

Watch Review: Citizen CZ Smart Smartwatch – 2021 Edition
Watch Review: Citizen CZ Smart Smartwatch – 2021 Edition

Citizens officially entered the smartwatch game when they introduced their CZ Smart line of smartwatches in 2020. The newest Citizen CZ models feature the same software, features, and options, with the only differences being the new colors of cases and bezels. The Citizen CZ Smart is powered by the latest Google Wear OS and along with the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor, a pleasant performance is offered to the wearer. It is the perfect companion for everyday use, and even better if you are into fitness. You can get your hands on one of the new models of the Citizen CZ Smart line for less than $400, but before that, let us dive into the watch’s features and learn if it is worth it or not. Read on…

Citizen CZ Smartwatch Specs:

  • Manufacturer: Citizen Watch Co. – Type: Smartwatch Model: CZ Smart
  • Powered by: Google Wear OS – Compatibility: iPhone and Android
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth – Built-in GPS: YES
  • Case: 46mm stainless steel – Water Resistance: 30 meters
  • Features: Noonlight, Spotify, Strava, Smart-Battery Modes, Enhanced Phone Dialer App, Microphone & Speaker.
  • Sensors: Heart Rate Sensor, Barometer, Gyroscope, Accelerometer.
  • Health & Fitness: Cardio Fitness Tracking, Fossil’s Wellness App with Sleep Tracking, Steps Counter, Activity Goals Tracking…
  • Preloaded Apps: Google Pay, Google Assistant, Google Play Store, Google Fit, Translate, Timer, Stopwatch, Contacts, Agenda, Alarm, Calendar…

Overall Aesthetics

At this price range, we can undoubtedly admit there are no drawbacks to the new Citizen CZ smartwatch., The 46mm case though, might wear big on smaller wrists. With the new trends, however, and depending on your personal preferences, watches with large case diameters are being more and more preferred. After all, the goal of the new Citizen CZ is to show itself as a sports watch on your wrist and that would not be that appealing on a 40mm case. After explaining this, let us continue with the overall aesthetics of the Citizen CZ smartwatch. 

The watch draws inspiration from conventional dive watches from Citizen’s Promaster Diver range. That can be seen on the retro-looking bezel, case, and the guards around the crown. It meets modern technology with the stylish designs you would expect from Citizen. The smartwatch itself looks good on the wrist. Unexpectedly, it comes with a relatively large bezel which measures a thickness of roughly 14mm. Along with the stainless steel case, the watch feels more substantial while wearing it. 

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Software and Performance

Citizen CZ smartwatch runs on the latest Google Wear OS H-MR2 software update already installed. It is compatible with your base smartphone, Android, or iOS and through it, you can receive all sorts of notifications, calls, emails, and messages. Citizen CZ Smart comes with 8GB of memory, enough to store apps, photos, and music. As almost every smartwatch released lately, the new Citizen CZ comes with the not-the-latest Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor.

Although it doesn’t incorporate the newest processor, the performance of the Citizen CZ Smart is far from being a disaster. You will smoothly navigate through the apps, track workouts, and receive notifications. Thanks to its built-in GPS, you can now take your smartwatch with you outdoors and enjoy hiking or other nature-based recreational activities knowing your Smart Citizen will always return you home. 

Screen and Navigation

The rotatable crown serves as a home-menu-back button and also enables you to navigate throughout the interface of the new CZ Smart. By default, you can use the buttons on the side to access Google Fit and Citizen Watch Face App but that can be reconfigured to quick-access the features you necessitate the most. The microphone-speaker combo allows you to use the voice assistant, answer phone calls, and take advantage of other options like voice typing, and record or play audio. Along with the magnetic charging points, on the case back you will find a two-diode heart rate sensor that performs quite well.

The new Citizen Smart comes with a 1.28 inch. AMOLED screen which provides a sharp resolution with its 416×416 pixels. 

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Fitness Tracking Apps

Citizen CZ Smart comes with Fossil’s Wellness App, which keeps track of steps, workouts, calories burned, sleep, and that comes with low battery consumption. And if you want a more in-depth and intensive approach to your activity data, you can also use the preloaded Google Fit. 

Case and Materials 

As aforementioned, the new Citizen CZ Smart smartwatch comes in a relatively large stainless steel case that measures 46mm in diameter and approx. 14mm in thickness. The most commonly used material in watches has been used this time as well – stainless steel. The watch’s digital screen is protected by a Gorilla Glass crystal and anodized aluminum is chosen for the stationary bezel insert. The Citizen three-piece case construction (the bezel, the middle, and the bottom case) enhances resistance against water and shocks.

Battery Life and Power-Saving Modes

It would be groundbreaking for the whole smartwatch industry to fix the issue of battery life and allow the user to get their hands on the apps and features whenever they need to access them, regardless of the battery percentage. 

What comes to mind is a combination of Citizen’s legendary Eco-Drive technology (watches powered by light sources) built-in a smartwatch like Citizen CZ for example. Hopefully, we are not asking for too much and might see that kind of tech combo in the near future. Until then, you can enjoy 24+ hours using your Citizen CZ after 1 hour for a full charge. 

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This is not bad at all as when compared to Apple Watch 6 (up 18 hours), the Citizen CZ smartwatch battery life is upstanding. And you can further preserve the battery on your new Citizen smartwatch by switching to battery saving modes:

  • Daily Mode: Allows you to use the majority of features daily and charge nightly.
  • Extended Mode: Allows you to use only the essential features and charge every few days.
  • Time Only Mode: Only keep track of time and extend your battery life up to a week. 
  • Custom Mode: Choose only the features important to you by customizing the system settings.

Price, Models, and Availability 

The watch comes with different bracelets and straps to allow you to customize it in addition to the watch faces available. Also, with the newest releases, you can choose from 7 different models in total which come in different colors, straps and bracelets, and bezel color combinations. 

You can buy the Citizen CZ Smart ref. MX0001-12X with a stainless steel case, blue bezel, and rubber strap from Citizen’s official website for $395 USD or get it from Amazon for $349 USD

Bonus Section – Casio vs Citizen Smartwatches 

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Casio and Citizen are both from Japan and these two great watch manufacturers have spent considerable time in developing new technologies and eventually push the wrist technology to the edges. The newest smartwatches to join the market, Casio G-Shock GSW H-1000, and Citizen CZ Smart come at different price ranges and the quality with performance are priced correctly at both brands. 

The race has started long ago since Apple announced to have defeated the entire Swiss industry alone in terms of sales. (courtesy of good marketing). Watch brands got aware of the market potential and they decided to throw their hat into the ring with the Google Wear OS. While features, performance and operating capacity are good in both watches, the best of them is yet to come. 

What we know as watch lovers is that smartwatches are consumables and their lifespan is entirely dependent on the software and the electronic elements inside. This supplies us with an average of 3-6 years of longevity while preventing the watch from becoming a family heirloom as it would happen with a conventional analog watch. 

However, when functionality is into play, a smartwatch offers supreme help to the daily wearer, and their unbeaten health monitoring sensors, along with the fitness apps, serve towards a healthier lifestyle if you put in the work. That said, it is a matter of choice as a smartwatch has its benefits, and analog watches, on the other hand, the well-built ones, can be passed down for generations. It is your choice and if you want to learn more about watches, enjoy surfing through our articles

To Sum Up

Citizen CZ Smart has left home the iconic Eco-Drive technology and the specs that make them so sought-after like professional water resistance to eventually compete in the smart realm with their humble but well-built CZ Smart. We love the watch for what it represents and what it has to offer. 

Primarily, you are getting the technical know-how of the Japanese manufacturer who has been making watches for the past 100 years. With the new Citizen smartwatch, the brand manages to wrap a decent case around the mainstream and uncompetitive Google Wear OS. The battery life is above the average and the wearer is in no way deprived of any function or feature available in the current smartwatch market. It is priced well and the design will definitely grab some attention.