Citizen is the latest watch brand to explore the potential of smartwatches, with the announcement of the CZ Smart. It’s the company’s first full touchscreen smartwatch, and it has chosen to partner with Google and use the Wear OS software, along with choosing Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear platform for power.
There are three CZ Smart watches. All have a 46mm case made from stainless steel with an aluminum bezel, with the differences coming in bezel color, case color, and the strap. The first model has a blue silicone strap matched to a blue bezel and stainless steel case, and a second stainless steel model has a black strap and a red and black bezel design. Finally, there’s a stealthy ion-plated gunmetal stainless steel model with a matching bracelet.
Two buttons flank the crown, which is protected by two guard pieces on either side, but it’s not clear whether it’s an interactive crown to speedily move through the Wear OS menus. The bezel’s edge has a neat design, and you can buy different straps for the CZ Smart directly through Citizen’s online store.
On the front is a 1.28-inch AMOLED screen with a 416 x 416-pixel resolution, meaning it should look very sharp, and the watch itself shouldn’t overpower regular-sized wrists. It’s all good news up to this point, and the Citizen design does look really great, but sadly the technical side disappoints. Citizen has put the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 chip inside the CZ Smart, which has been superseded by the Snapdragon Wear 4100 chip, and doesn’t always provide the level of performance needed to drive Wear OS in a satisfactory manner.
Continuing on the tech side, the CZ Smart has a heart rate sensor, GPS, NFC for Google Pay, a speaker and a microphone to deal with calls, 8GB of internal storage space, and a water resistance rating of 30 meters.
Outside of the Citizen name and design, there’s little to separate the CZ Smart from many other smartwatches, particularly those made by Fossil. Although it has not been stated in the press details, Citizen and Fossil entered a partnership to produce hybrid watches in 2018, and the CZ Smart may be a continuation of this agreement. Citizen charges more for the CZ Smart than Fossil does for many of its watches, and it’ll cost you $395 to put one on your wrist.
The CZ Smart is available to buy through Citizen’s online store now.
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