Citizen CZ Smart jumps head-on into the smartwatch category

For a time, smartwatches were believed to pose a threat to traditional analog watches. That proved not to be the case, especially as those traditional watchmakers started to embrace smart wearable technology and even gave it a hybrid spin. It's not unusual to hear even luxury watch brands trying to leave their mark in that market and Citizen is just one of the latest to join that bandwagon with its first full digital display smartwatch, the CZ Smart.

Some still debate the value of smartwatches, at least until Apple pretty much set a health-centric trend. For some watchmakers, it was enough to simply add a measure of activity tracking and notifications, creating a class of hybrid watches like Citizen's own Eco-Drive Proximity. With the CZ Smart, however, Citizen dives into the world of full smartwatches, particularly those powered by Google's Wear OS.

That means having access to the full collection of apps available on Google Play Store as well as the full capabilities that Wear OS has to offer. That includes the usual culprits like Google Assistant and Google Fit as well as Google Pay, at least in markets where it's supported. It also means having access to customizable watch faces, dials in Citizen's parlance, including those from popular Citizen products.

The watchmaker boasts of the CZ Smart's faithfulness to the company's design aesthetic, specifically its sportier timepieces. That means having thick bezels on a large 46mm body with a variety of materials for straps, including gunmetal ion-plated and silicone.

The Citizen CZ Smart is thankfully powered by at least a Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 and advertises a 24-hour or more battery life, which largely depends on how you use it. The smartwatch sells for $395, which is quite pricey but unsurprising for the brand.