I love watches! I don’t even particularly care what kind of watches they are—Quartz, mechanical, automatic, digital, smartwatch, whatever! I enjoy each different type for what it offers rather than what it lacks. And that’s exactly why I was excited to hear I’d be getting the chance to test and review the Citizen CZ Smart 46mm Smartwatch with Heart Rate Monitor. This brilliant new smartwatch from Citizen, which comes in 6 different styles, is available now for pre-order at Best Buy and will officially arrive on December 28th. But I’ve got my hands on one right now, and in today’s blog I’ll tell you all about it. Read on for full details!
But before we go any further, please take a few minutes to check out my brief video overview of this fun smartwatch. In it I show the watch up close, discuss its key features and benefits, and offer a few thoughts and early impressions:
Citizen CZ Smart smartwatch features & benefits
The Citizen CZ Smart Smartwatch is a very cool watch with a number of great features. Not only does it run on the full-featured Wear OS platform (from Google) that can connect to your Android or iOS based smart phone so you can receive notifications of things like incoming texts, calls, and emails, but it’s also a very attractive watch aesthetically.
Featuring a 46mm stainless steel case and bracelet (both have an ion-plated gunmetal finish and feel well made and durable), this Citizen watch lives up to the the brand’s well-established reputation of providing quality watches at reasonable prices. The bracelet (shown above) has a bit of a tinny rattle to it, but this is not uncommon in watches from non-luxury brands like Citizen. It also feels nice on the wrist and looks good on my 7.25-7.5 inch wrist even at its 46mm size.
Getting back to the operational features of the watch, this model has 8GB of memory with which to add and store apps, photos, music, and more. It also provides a ton of pre-loaded apps. These include, but are not limited to, the Google Assistant, Google Pay (with built-in NFC technology for contactless payments), Google Fit, Google Play, Spotify, a stopwatch feature, an alarm, a calendar, an agenda, and your contacts.
Additionally it offers smart battery modes, a translate feature, an enhanced phone dialer, a wellness app (with sleep tracking), a menu of customizable dials, and a battery-optimized activity mode—just to name a few.
Aside from its pre-loaded apps, the Citizen CZ Smart also has built-in GLONASS GPS (to help you track things like your location and distance traveled when on the move), its own speaker so you can take phone calls right on the watch, Bluetooth connectivity (so you can connect it to your headphones), and a full-colour AMOLED touchscreen display (416 x 416) that makes it easy to read the time and everything else.
With this watch you can track your heart rate, your activity, your cardio, your steps walked, your sleep, caloric intake, elevation, and various other data that’s useful for helping you to achieve your health and fitness goals. When else in history has a single watch been able to do all of that?
Wearing and testing the Citizen CZ Smart
Before I could test the CZ Smart, I had to both charge it up and get it set up in the Wear OS App. Neither thing took very long to do, and setting it up in the app was super easy. Note that the charging time of the watch is just 40 minutes, but that will only fetch you about 24 hours of use (depending on how much you use the apps, etc.). The charging cable (shown above) that comes included with the watch has a USB port on one end and a magnetized disc on the other that clings to the back of the watch (shown below) during charging.
I had experienced the Wear OS App once before on a previous smartwatch review, so the app was already in my phone anyway. At first I was surprised to find that the same smartwatch app that Citizen is using was also being used by another brand; then I realized that this would likely be the same for many smartwatches. This may actually be advantageous for those wanting to upgrade or change between watches, as well as collectors that might want to have more than one smartwatch in their watch box.
One thing I was amazed at about the Citizen CZ Smart was just how light it felt. Though it is listed as weighing 150 grams, it certainly doesn’t feel like it. It wore light and comfortable on my wrist, though it did come with two too many links installed for a snug fit. These are easily removed with some inexpensive watch tools, or you can have your local jeweller do it for you on the cheap.
The clasp, which is the standard fold-over style, also has 3 micro-adjust holes for fine-tuning the fit. Based on my own wrist size and the overall length of the bracelet with all links in place, I suspect that this watch could comfortably fit up to an 8.5 inch wrist—maybe even bigger. If your wrist is much smaller than 6.5″ though, you might find the face of the watch a bit big. For some people that sort of thing is a total deal-breaker, while others couldn’t care less. To each his (or her) own I say!
As for the features of the watch, everything I tried worked just fine, though I don’t really have much use for some the features myself. Still, notifications were coming through of texts, e-mails, calls, and even from Youtube, and I really got a kick out of features like “Find my Phone” and being able to make and receive calls and talk to people right through the watch. That feature worked great! The battery also performed as promised, and it was easy to do things like shift from one custom look to another and search through the various menus. Overall, this watch worked exactly as advertised, and that works for me!
I think that the Citizen CZ Smart is a great smartwatch for anyone who wants to have a watch that can basically do anything and everything a smart phone can do. I’ll be honest: after testing a couple of smartwatches now, I don’t really think I’m much of a smartwatch guy. But that’s only because I really have an affinity for old-school watchmaking, so anything without a mechanical movement isn’t a true watch to me. Even so, I might have room in my life for one smartwatch someday. You just can’t beat the functionality of these things, and if this particular model wasn’t just a little bit bigger than I like for watches to be (which totally clashes with my wish for everything on the display to be the same size as it is on my phone), I’d be very tempted to get one. I guess I’ll see how I go.