upbeat dance music, The CZ Smart is the first proper smartwatch from Citizen, the Japanese watchmaker, whose eponymous brand just turned 103 years. Old. For me, it’s always exciting to see a traditional watchmaker dip, its toes into the smartwatch space and this one lands. Some predictable wins right out of the box.. The 46 millimeter stainless steel watch head is big, but not too big for an average male risk. Like mine, its eight gram casing substantial but not heavy.. My blue bezeled model here is one of three colorways available and it came with a soft and comfy 22 millimeter silicone watchband to match, as well as a free leather bonus, one that shipped alongside it from Best Buy. Now design is subjective but I’m. Quite a fan of this one, which is big enough to accommodate a striking 1.28 inch AMOLED watch face while also thin enough that it doesn’t tower over the wrist.. Still Citizen found room for two pushers and the active rotating crown that I’ve long called a must have for watches, running Google’s Wear OS platform. Here that rotating side button is flanked by a rarity on smartwatches. A crown guard that combines with the low key bezel markings for a look that’s distinctive without being too flashy.. Another must have is, under the hood, a full gig of RAM which keeps Wear OS humming along at a fairly speedy clip.. Now, despite its long legacy of disappointment, Google’s wearable platform really hasn’t gotten enough credit for the optimizations and refinements it got in 2020, culminating in the MR2 update, here.

, It’s, more responsive and reliable than it’s ever been., And because the CZ Smart builds in a microphone. And surprisingly, loud and clear speaker, you can use it for phone calls and assistant inquiries alongside the usual notifications.. Do I sound all right to you? Could we have a conversation like this and would you be able to live with it? Man, It’s, all fine.. You know at some point man: could we just do this over like a VOIP, app or something It just seems faster.? No, no, because I have to use you in the The rest of the offering is essentially a spec sheet full of familiars, mostly good news. Until we hit the aging Snapdragon 3100 chip set upon which everything else depends. Now most of the smartwatches, I reviewed in 2020, were powered by that same now, two year old system on a chip. So it’s no surprise that the CZ Smart carries over the same key. Failing single day battery life, with my unit taking 24 hours to drop from 100 to 10 charge., When I plugged it in, I was happy to verify Citizen’s claims of fast charging.. It shot back up to full battery in less than an hour. But I was sad to uncover yet another identicality in the process. upbeat rock music, Identical familiar same. I’ve used those words a lot in this review and there’s a good reason for that.. This watch is effectively this watch in a different casing.

See back. In 2018 Citizen announced a multi year agreement with Fossil Group, the timekeeping titan, whose technology power smartwatches from Skagen Diesel, Michael Kors, Emporio Armani Puma, you name it.. Now, at the time that announcement was focused on hybrid watches but included a teaser about bringing future innovation to the smartwatch category. And the CZ Smart would seem to be. The opening salvo. Trouble is there’s, no innovation to be found. Here. Aside from a handful of preloaded apps, the software is pretty much stock, Wear OS. And that’s a huge missed opportunity because we live in a time where traditional watchmakers are starting to offer virtual versions of their watch faces on platforms like Facer.. You know I opened this box with visions of Virtual Promaster. Skyhawk watch faces dancing in my head, just some kind of true exclusives that Citizen fans could really get excited by.. So imagine my disappointment when what I got was four fairly forgettable faces.. Also, this magnetic puck charger uses the same ring and pin contacts that have been known to fail in other Fossil Group watches, and only time will tell if Citizen honors its two years. Smartwatch warranty claims in as convenient a manner as Fossil does at its retail stores.. But the final nail in the coffin is this. Spec for spec. This watch is effectively identical to Fossil’s own Garrett, HR, which I first saw a year ago at CES 2020.. They even look similar.. That watch can be had for 179.

. The CZ Smart costs almost 400. That’s, where the problem comes in. For all the pomp and circumstance surrounding that traditional coming of age moment. I remember another rite of passage just as clearly. Walking into the Marine supply store, at which I worked on the day after prom. With leftover prom money and laying down that wad of cash for the first ever wristwatch, I would buy as an adult the Stars and Stripes edition of the Promaster Navisail from Citizen.. This watch lived on my wrist through some of the most pivotal moments of my early twenties. And when I would later lose it to the ocean only to have my father surprise me with this identical replacement, my emotional attachment to it only compounded. That attachment to the Brand is what Citizen presumably is hoping you’ll pay for. Now, in the case of the Stars and Stripes, the monetary investment paid off, because this is a 20 year old watch that still runs., And so the emotional investment that I put into it is justified.. This watch will not last 20 years., That’s, just the nature of mobile technology.. An old watch is an heirloom., An old smartwatch is e waste. And when you can get essentially the same thing for over 200, less in the Fossil Garrett, HR well there’s, just nothing here beyond the name to justify that splurge., Even as a Citizen super fan I’d. Rather splash a little more and get something truly iconic, not just another.

Google watch in a good disguise. Folks, we’re, expecting a ton of smartwatches powered by the Snapdragon 4100. This year. smartwatches that finally stand a chance at being really great. Subscribe to The Mr. Mobile on YouTube. So you don’t miss him, and if you want a preview of the kind of performance we can expect from them check out my review of the one watch running that silicon so far the TicWatch Pro 3.. This review was produced following three days with a Citizen CZ. Smart purchased by Mr. Mobile. I reached out to Citizen and Fossil Group for comment, but as always, no previews were given. No compensation was provided for this coverage and no editorial input was offered.. Mr. Mobile works for you not the manufacturers.. I did get a free premium. Account from Facer though. Thanks to them for their continued support.