Citizen CZ Smart review: Good smartwatch fails to capitalize on its heritage

citizen cz smart smartwatch review wrist shirt

“The Citizen CZ Good is a great smartwatch with cast efficiency and battery existence, however the design does not moderately meet what we would be expecting from this type of notable watchmaker.”

  • Top quality stainless-steel case
  • Relaxed strap for a excellent have compatibility
  • First rate battery existence
  • Strangely excellent efficiency
  • Misguided step depend
  • No longer a “Citizen” sufficient design

Citizen has been making watches for greater than 100 years, produces all its elements in-house, and has been a pioneer in a lot of applied sciences, specializing in the usage of mild energy and top levels of precision. It’s latest watch, the Citizen CZ Good, is the corporate’s first touchscreen smartwatch — and in keeping with that heritage, we will have to be interested by it. As keen on the emblem’s watches generally, I used to be very prepared to take a look at it out.

The extra watch manufacturers embody smartwatches, the simpler the designs, convenience, and generation gets, so it’s necessary for corporations like Citizen to get entangled. Does the Citizen CZ Good sign up for Tag Heuer’s Hooked up (2020), Montblanc’s Summit 2, and Alpina’s AlpinerX as some other instance of the normal watch trade getting smartwatches proper?

I’ve been carrying it to determine.


The one query that in reality wishes answering here’s, does the CZ Good feel and appear like a Citizen watch? Sure, it does, however now not up to one of the vital emblem’s extra well-known fashions, and you most likely must be very aware of Citizen’s vary of dive watches to peer the circle of relatives connection. The bezel’s form and design are harking back to the Promaster Diver vary, as are the guards across the crown, as an example. Alternatively, to maximum informal observers, it seems like some other smartwatch, and may also be fallacious for the Fossil Garrett HR.

Andy Boxall/Virtual Traits

Right here’s the place the issue is. I love the way of the CZ Good so much, but it surely’s simply now not “Citizen” sufficient, and it’s a topic that continues within the instrument. Citizen hasn’t exploited its vary of extremely recognizable dial designs for various watch faces both, offering only a handful of reasonably atypical faces to choose between. Why isn’t there a take at the crowd pleasing Skyhawk, or the odd Satellite tv for pc Wave? Tag Heuer will get this side precisely proper, and provides quite a lot of dial designs that have compatibility in with the emblem, or are a part of its ambassador-designed collections. There’s in reality no explanation why Citizen couldn’t have completed the similar.

Andy Boxall/Virtual Traits

It’s unlucky the CZ Good isn’t extra Citizen-like, because the watch seems excellent at the wrist. The bezel is skinny, the blue colour offers it some persona, the 46mm case is comprised of stainless-steel and feels very prime quality, and there’s Gorilla Glass over the display screen for cover. The 22m blue silicone strap could be very at ease and will have to be in reality hard-wearing too. It has a plastic case again regardless that, which is just a little unlucky. In spite of being shut in taste to the Fossil Garrett HR, it seems way more mature, and feels higher constructed as smartly.

Andy Boxall/Virtual Traits

Citizen most probably leaned into its partnership with Fossil to supply the CZ Good. The pair introduced they might paintings in combination on hybrid smartwatch generation a while in the past, however in keeping with the presence of Fossil’s Wellness app and the pre-installation of Spotify right here, it unquestionably seems it is a manufactured from that partnership too. It’s no dangerous factor, Fossil works with many manufacturers on smartwatches, together with Diesel, Micheal Kors, and Skagen. It is aware of what it’s doing.

The Citizen CZ Good seems excellent and it’s very at ease, but it surely doesn’t moderately say “I’m carrying a Citizen smartwatch,” find it irresistible will have to, and it looks like a ignored alternative.

Display and function

The CZ Good has a 1.28-inch AMOLED display screen has a 416 x 416-pixel answer so it’s very sharp, which makes me even sadder there aren’t many nice usual Citizen watch faces that make the most of it. Within is a Qualcomm Snapdragon Put on 3100 processor, now not the more moderen Snapdragon Put on 4100 chip, which makes it technically out-of-date. Unfortunately, Citizen isn’t the one one to accept the growing older Snapdragon 3100 chip, as virtually all different smartwatch producers nonetheless do too.

Andy Boxall/Virtual Traits

It’s now not a efficiency crisis in any respect, fortunately. It zips alongside moderately thankfully when doing the fundamentals, similar to monitoring exercises, receiving notifications, and the usage of apps. It has taken some time, however the chip has been successfully optimized when it’s matched to 1GB of RAM as it’s right here, along side the newest instrument, and is completely usable each day. What it does fail to notice is the larger potency from the Snapdragon 4100. The Mobvoi TicWatch Professional three’s battery lasts a minimum of 3 complete days on a unmarried fee, and the CZ Good can’t moderately set up that.

Andy Boxall/Virtual Traits

How does the battery evaluate? It’s respectable. With normal day by day use and most effective task monitoring the usage of the Wellness app, I were given virtually 3 operating days by way of turning the watch off in a single day. For those who observe the usage of Google Are compatible, get started streaming tune, or use extensive apps like Google Maps, it’ll with reference to do two operating days. The watch has rapid charging, with 80% bobbing up in about 45 mins and 100% in about 70 mins.

Whilst now not exceptional the CZ Good has the efficiency and battery existence to do what I need from a smartwatch each day.

Navigation and instrument

It’s nice to peer the CZ Good has the newest Google Put on OS H-MR2 instrument replace already put in, which surely provides to the moderately higher battery existence and zippy efficiency, plus it introduces new options like an adjustable display screen timeout, and a brand new climate tile.

Andy Boxall/Virtual Traits

One of the welcome options at the CZ Good is the rotating crown to help navigation throughout the Put on OS instrument. It will have to be a typical function on all Put on OS smartwatches, but it surely’s now not, so congratulations to Citizen for including it in right here. The guards across the crown make it much less uncomfortable to rotate along with your thumb too. The buttons on all sides of the crown turn on Google Are compatible and the Citizen Watch Face app, even if they may be able to be reconfigured.

The CZ Good delivers notifications out of your telephone with moderate reliability. That is what I be expecting from Put on OS in most cases, which is nowhere close to as dependable as Apple’s WatchOS when speaking along with your telephone. There are a speaker and a microphone to make and obtain calls at the CZ Good, which is at all times welcome, however there’s no 4G LTE connection so it depends on being hooked up on your telephone. It’s loud sufficient to carry conversations at house.

Health monitoring

Fossil’s Wellness app is on board, which guarantees to trace elementary task — steps, sleep, energy, and exercises, all with out broadly draining the battery. It fits the CZ Good as a result of I will’t see it being worn by way of hardcore health enthusiasts, however by way of individuals who wish to understand how a lot (or how little) they’re transferring about. It’s easy to make use of because it’s all introduced on one display screen, and offers most effective an indoor or out of doors exercise monitoring possibility. It’s short and simple, and suits in with how I consider the watch might be worn. Google Are compatible may be to be had for any individual who needs extra in-depth, data-intensive task monitoring.

Andy Boxall/Virtual Traits

How is the CZ Good while you’re monitoring task? Annoyingly, it sort of feels the instrument wishes optimizing, because the CZ Good over estimates step depend by way of moderately so much. After noticing I used to be supposedly doing much more strolling than was once imaginable throughout lockdown, I when compared it to the Apple Watch Collection 6. I discovered over the process a hectic morning, the CZ Good recorded three,600 steps whilst the Apple Watch counted 2,500 steps.

Whilst the center fee sensor’s effects had been constant, and I don’t suppose any individual who’s in reality involved over monitoring health might be browsing at this fashion, Citizen wishes to mend the step depend accuracy quickly.

Worth and availability

The Citizen CZ Good prices $395, and is to be had now from Amazon and thru Citizen’s on-line retailer. There are 3 other fashions: The blue and stainless-steel model noticed right here, a chrome steel fashion with a black strap and a black/crimson bezel, plus a black stainless-steel model with a black steel hyperlink bracelet. All are the similar value.

Our take

For doing what I need on a daily basis, the Citizen CZ Good is an excellent smartwatch. It’s rapid and the battery lasts for longer than I’d anticipated, plus it’s rather well made and at ease to put on. Alternatively, it’s entering a crowded marketplace, with dozens of identical smartwatches to be had about which you’ll say the similar factor, so it’s unlucky Citizen hasn’t in reality capitalized on its emblem identify and watchmaking experience to make it stand out.

I sought after the CZ Good to have the similar draw as purchasing a Skyhawk A-T, however as an alternative, it’s like purchasing some other Put on OS smartwatch from the previous few years, and because of this, it’s a ignored alternative. Citizen may have in reality taken keep watch over of the watchmaker/smartwatch area right here.

Is there a greater selection?

Sure. If you wish to have a smartwatch on your Android telephone, we propose the Mobvoi TicWatch Professional three. It is probably not the best-looking watch you’ll purchase, however it’s the maximum technologically complex Put on OS smartwatch this present day. The Snapdragon 4100 chip works smartly with Mobvoi’s odd dual-screen design to benefit from the battery, and supply quite a few efficiency.

For those who personal an iPhone and are in search of a smartwatch, the Apple Watch Collection 6 or the Apple Watch SE are for you. It’s now not regularly an Apple product may also be known as a cut price, however in comparison to the $395 Citizen CZ Good, the $279 Apple Watch SE, specifically, is very good price.

The opposite watch to believe is the Samsung Galaxy Watch three. The instrument is more uncomplicated to make use of and extra horny than Google’s Put on OS, and the rotating bezel makes navigation easy. Citizen’s top value for the CZ Good sees it compete immediately with a lot of these smartwatches, with a number of coming in at a lot decrease costs.

How lengthy will it remaining?

Like any excellent smartwatches, the Citizen CZ Good will remaining a minimum of two years earlier than you’d believe changing it. Alternatively, the Snapdragon 3100 chip is already previous, and when extra fashions with the Snapdragon 4100 in the end get started arriving, smartwatches the usage of the previous platform will in reality really feel their age. That mentioned, smartwatches don’t have the similar energy calls for as a smartphone, so equipped you proceed doing the similar issues with the watch as you at all times have, it’ll be a high quality significant other.

The stainless-steel frame, Gorilla Glass, and 3ATM water resistance ranking imply the CZ Good will have to be very hard-wearing. The 22mm strap is thick and difficult, and may be simply changed because of the 22mm dimension and quick-release pins.

Will have to you purchase it?

Unfortunately, no. There are higher, extra up-to-date smartwatches to be had for decrease costs. The unlucky factor here’s, if the CZ Good in reality appeared and felt like a Citizen watch, the decision can have been other.

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