Citizen CZ Sensible evaluate: Good smartwatch fails to capitalize on its heritage

“The Citizen CZ Sensible is an efficient smartwatch with stable efficiency and battery life, however the design would not fairly meet what we would count on from such a notable watchmaker.”

Excessive-quality stainless-steel case

Snug strap for a great match

Respectable battery life

Surprisingly good efficiency

Inaccurate step rely

Not 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 wide range of applied sciences, specializing in the usage of gentle energy and excessive levels of precision. It’s latest watch, the Citizen CZ Sensible, is the corporate’s first touchscreen smartwatch — and primarily based on that heritage, we needs to be enthusiastic about it. As a fan of the model’s watches generally, I used to be very eager to strive it out.

The extra watch manufacturers embrace smartwatches, the higher the designs, consolation, and expertise will get, so it’s essential for corporations like Citizen to become involved. Does the Citizen CZ Sensible be a part of Tag Heuer’s Related (2020), Montblanc’s Summit 2, and Alpina’s AlpinerX as one other instance of the standard watch business getting smartwatches proper?

I’ve been carrying it to seek out out.


The one query that basically wants answering right here is, does the CZ Sensible appear and feel like a Citizen watch? Sure, it does, however not as a lot as a number of the model’s extra well-known fashions, and also you most likely need to be very accustomed to Citizen’s vary of dive watches to see the household connection. The bezel’s form and design are paying homage to the Promaster Diver vary, as are the guards across the crown, for instance. Nevertheless, to most informal observers, it appears to be like like every other smartwatch, and will even be mistaken for the Fossil Garrett HR.

Andy Boxall/Digital Traits

Right here’s the place the issue is. I just like the type of the CZ Sensible quite a bit, nevertheless it’s simply not “Citizen” sufficient, and it’s a problem that continues within the software program. Citizen hasn’t exploited its vary of extremely recognizable dial designs for various watch faces both, offering only a handful of moderately strange faces to select from. Why isn’t there a tackle the eye-catching Skyhawk, or the bizarre Satellite tv for pc Wave? Tag Heuer will get this side precisely proper, and affords a variety of dial designs that slot in with the model, or are a part of its ambassador-designed collections. There’s actually no motive why Citizen couldn’t have finished the identical.

Andy Boxall/Digital Traits

It’s unlucky the CZ Sensible isn’t extra Citizen-like, because the watch appears to be like good on the wrist. The bezel is skinny, the blue coloration provides it some character, the 46mm case is constituted of stainless-steel and feels very top quality, and there’s Gorilla Glass over the display screen for defense. The 22m blue silicone strap may be very comfy and needs to be actually hard-wearing too. It has a plastic case again although, which is somewhat unlucky. Regardless of being shut in type to the Fossil Garrett HR, it appears to be like way more mature, and feels higher constructed as nicely.

Andy Boxall/Digital Traits

Citizen seemingly leaned into its partnership with Fossil to supply the CZ Sensible. The pair introduced they might work collectively on hybrid smartwatch expertise a while in the past, however primarily based on the presence of Fossil’s Wellness app and the pre-installation of Spotify right here, it actually seems this can be a product of 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.

Citizen’s Dashboard watch face Andy Boxall/Digital Traits

Citizen’s Neo watch face Andy Boxall/Digital Traits

Citizen’s Retro watch face Andy Boxall/Digital Traits

The Citizen CZ Sensible appears to be like good and it’s very comfy, nevertheless it doesn’t fairly say “I’m carrying a Citizen smartwatch,” prefer it ought to, and it looks like a missed alternative.

Display and efficiency

The CZ Sensible has a 1.28-inch AMOLED display screen has a 416 x 416-pixel decision so it’s very sharp, which makes me even sadder there aren’t many nice customary Citizen watch faces that make the most of it. Inside is a Qualcomm Snapdragon Put on 3100 processor, not the newer Snapdragon Put on 4100 chip, which makes it technically out-of-date. Sadly, Citizen isn’t the one one to accept the growing old Snapdragon 3100 chip, as nearly all different smartwatch producers nonetheless do too.

Andy Boxall/Digital Traits

It’s not a efficiency catastrophe in any respect, fortunately. It zips alongside fairly fortunately when doing the fundamentals, similar to monitoring exercises, receiving notifications, and utilizing 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, together with the newest software program, and is completely usable each day. What it does miss out on is the elevated effectivity from the Snapdragon 4100. The Mobvoi TicWatch Professional three’s battery lasts a minimum of three full days on a single cost, and the CZ Sensible can’t fairly handle that.

Andy Boxall/Digital Traits

How does the battery evaluate? It’s first rate. With normal day by day use and solely exercise monitoring utilizing the Wellness app, I bought nearly three working days by turning the watch off in a single day. Should you observe utilizing Google Match, begin streaming music, or use intensive apps like Google Maps, it’ll nearly do two working days. The watch has quick charging, with 80% arising in about 45 minutes and 100% in about 70 minutes.

Whereas not excellent the CZ Sensible has the efficiency and battery life to do what I need from a smartwatch each day.

Navigation and software program

It’s nice to see the CZ Sensible has the newest Google Put on OS H-MR2 software program replace already put in, which little question provides to the marginally higher battery life and zippy efficiency, plus it introduces new options like an adjustable display screen timeout, and a brand new climate tile.

Andy Boxall/Digital Traits

Some of the welcome options on the CZ Sensible is the rotating crown to help navigation by way of the Put on OS software program. It needs to be a typical function on all Put on OS smartwatches, nevertheless it’s 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 both facet of the crown activate Google Match and the Citizen Watch Face app, though they are often reconfigured.

Andy Boxall/Digital Traits

Andy Boxall/Digital Traits

Andy Boxall/Digital Traits

Andy Boxall/Digital Traits

The CZ Sensible delivers notifications out of your telephone with common reliability. That is what I count on from Put on OS typically, 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 on the CZ Sensible, which is at all times welcome, however there’s no 4G LTE connection so it depends on being linked to your telephone. It’s loud sufficient to carry conversations at house.

Health monitoring

Fossil’s Wellness app is on board, which guarantees to trace fundamental exercise — steps, sleep, energy, and exercises, all with out extensively draining the battery. It fits the CZ Sensible as a result of I can’t see it being worn by hardcore health fanatics, however by individuals who need to understand how a lot (or how little) they’re shifting about. It’s easy to make use of because it’s all offered on one display screen, and gives solely an indoor or out of doors exercise monitoring possibility. It’s fast and straightforward, and matches in with how I think about the watch will likely be worn. Google Match can be out there for anybody who needs extra in-depth, data-intensive exercise monitoring.

Andy Boxall/Digital Traits

How is the CZ Sensible while you’re monitoring exercise? Annoyingly, it appears the software program wants optimizing, because the CZ Sensible over estimates step rely by quite a bit. After noticing I used to be supposedly doing much more strolling than was doable throughout lockdown, I in contrast it to the Apple Watch Collection 6. I discovered over the course of a busy morning, the CZ Sensible recorded three,600 steps whereas the Apple Watch counted 2,500 steps.

Whereas the guts charge sensor’s outcomes had been constant, and I don’t assume anybody who is admittedly involved over monitoring health will likely be this mannequin, Citizen wants to repair the step rely accuracy quickly.

Worth and availability

The Citizen CZ Sensible prices $395, and is out there now from Amazon and thru Citizen’s on-line retailer. There are three completely different fashions: The blue and stainless-steel model seen right here, a stainless-steel mannequin with a black strap and a black/purple bezel, plus a black stainless-steel model with a black metallic hyperlink bracelet. All are the identical worth.

Our take

For doing what I need every day, the Citizen CZ Sensible is an excellent smartwatch. It’s quick and the battery lasts for longer than I’d anticipated, plus it’s very nicely made and cozy to put on. Nevertheless, it’s coming right into a crowded market, with dozens of comparable smartwatches out there about which you’ll say the identical factor, so it’s unlucky Citizen hasn’t actually capitalized on its model title and watchmaking experience to make it stand out.

I wished the CZ Sensible to have the identical draw as shopping for a Skyhawk A-T, however as a substitute, it’s like shopping for every other Put on OS smartwatch from the previous few years, and for that motive, it’s a missed alternative. Citizen may have actually taken management of the watchmaker/smartwatch area right here.

Is there a greater different?

Sure. If you’d like a smartwatch in your Android telephone, we advocate the Mobvoi TicWatch Professional three. It might not be the best-looking watch you should buy, however it’s the most technologically superior Put on OS smartwatch in the intervening time. The Snapdragon 4100 chip works nicely with Mobvoi’s uncommon dual-screen design to take advantage of the battery, and supply loads of efficiency.

Should you personal an iPhone and are searching for a smartwatch, the Apple Watch Collection 6 or the Apple Watch SE are for you. It’s not usually an Apple product might be known as a discount, however in comparison with the $395 Citizen CZ Sensible, the $279 Apple Watch SE, particularly, is superb worth.

The opposite watch to think about is the Samsung Galaxy Watch three. The software program is less complicated to make use of and extra enticing than Google’s Put on OS, and the rotating bezel makes navigation easy. Citizen’s excessive worth for the CZ Sensible sees it compete immediately with all these smartwatches, with a number of coming in at a lot decrease costs.

How lengthy will it final?

Like all good smartwatches, the Citizen CZ Sensible will final a minimum of two years earlier than you’d contemplate changing it. Nevertheless, the Snapdragon 3100 chip is already previous, and when extra fashions with the Snapdragon 4100 ultimately begin arriving, smartwatches utilizing the previous platform will actually really feel their age. That stated, smartwatches don’t have the identical energy calls for as a smartphone, so supplied you proceed doing the identical issues with the watch as you at all times have, it’ll be a wonderful companion.

The stainless-steel physique, Gorilla Glass, and 3ATM water resistance score imply the CZ Sensible needs to be very hard-wearing. The 22mm strap is thick and difficult, and can be simply changed because of the 22mm dimension and quick-release pins.

Do you have to purchase it?

Sadly, no. There are higher, extra up-to-date smartwatches out there for decrease costs. The unlucky factor right here is, if the CZ Sensible actually appeared and felt like a Citizen watch, the decision might have been completely different.

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