A new Wear OS 3 watch is getting recalled with serious issues

Citizen Gen 2 CZ Smart held in hand
(Image credit: Derrek Lee / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Citizen will remove the Gen-2 CZ Smart from sale following withering early reviews and complaints. 
  • Noted problems with the Wear OS 3 watch include performance lag, rapid battery drain, and proprietary apps not working.
  • Android Central's Derrek Lee, who is currently testing the Gen-2 CZ Smart, experienced some of the same issues, especially with terrible battery life and freezing screens.
  • This product recall affects the CZ Smart touchscreen models, not the CZ Smart Hybrid.

Citizen placed its Gen-2 CZ Smart touchscreen watch on sale in April, but its launch flew under the radar because it didn't send out review units until about a month ago. Now, based on reviewers' comments to Citizen, the company is "temporarily suspending sales on touchscreen models while we pinpoint the source of the issue."

"We have identified a technical software issue that is affecting the Gen-2 CZ Smart touchscreen models listed below and are working with our quality control team to resolve it," a Citizen representative told Android Central.

Wired's Julian Chokkattu first reported the news, describing a myriad of serious issues with the Wear OS 3 smartwatch. MrMobile's Michael Fisher tweeted that Citizen made this decision after he spoke with the Citizen US president before he could publish a "scathing" review of the watch. 

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Citizen says that the following models will be recalled, and that CZ Hybrid watches don't have the same issues:

  • MX1003-71X
  • MX1000-28X
  • MX1000-01X
  • MX1000-52X
  • MX1005-83X
  • MX1002-57X
  • MX1018-06X
  • MX1017-50X
  • MX1010-59X
  • MX1011-05X
  • MX1016-28X

Chokkattu and Fisher's problems with the watch included "laggy interface, poor battery life, inaccurate heart rate data, inaccurate sleep tracking, the watch freezing on specific screens, and Citizen’s proprietary YouQ features not working."

YouQ, for reference, was a unique app co-designed by NASA engineers that was supposed to give you a "Power Score" based on your sleep recharge — similar to Garmin Body Battery or Fitbit Daily Readiness. Only problem is, it doesn't work.

Android Central's Derrek Lee — who would have written this post himself if he weren't traveling — tells me that he experienced many of the same problems while testing the Citizen Gen 2 CZ Smart for himself. 

He initially liked its "sexy as hell" design but quickly discovered that the "battery is so bad I haven't really been able to use it consistently," making it hard to even notice some problems. 

When it wasn't prematurely dying, the CZ Smart had "hit or miss" performance with occasional freezes — definitely worse than what you get with other great Android smartwatches from Google, Samsung, or Mobvoi.

He also noted that the performance is about on par with a Fossil Gen 6, and that he suspects that Fossil must have "some form of partnership" with Citizen. Both the Citizen companion app and wellness app are "carbon copies" of what Fossil offers; plus, the CZ Smart offers Google Assistant like Fossil, while other brands are still struggling to add it to Wear OS 3.

Citizen plans to recall Gen 2 CZ Smart review units for now, and says it will take the watch off market. Currently, it's still available on Amazon, where it has a 3.1-star rating and reviews harping on the battery life and software bugs.

Michael L Hicks
Senior Editor, VR/AR and fitness

Michael is Android Central's resident expert on fitness tech and wearables, with an enthusiast's love of VR tech on the side. After years freelancing for Techradar, Wareable, Windows Central, Digital Trends, and other sites on a variety of tech topics, AC has given him the chance to really dive into the topics he's passionate about. He's also a semi-reformed Apple-to-Android user who loves D&D, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings.

For wearables, Michael has tested dozens of smartwatches from Garmin, Fitbit, Samsung, Apple, COROS, Polar, Amazfit, and other brands, and will always focus on recommending the best product over the best brand. He's also completed marathons like NYC, SF, Marine Corps, Big Sur, and California International — though he's still trying to break that 4-hour barrier.