ZTE Hawkeye fails to inspire crowdfunding, many complain about design

ZTE’s Hawkeye phone has disappointed a number of its backers for the fact that the company didn’t adhere to the original concept design as proposed in its Project CSX competition.

The concept, as presented by a group named “Team One Technology,” was for a hands-free reading phone with a unique adhesive back surface design that could be used to stick the device to a wall. It also had a specially polarized screen to maximize privacy and eye-tracking sensors to automatically scroll any given page.

When the Chinese manufacturer pushed pre-orders for the final design on Kickstarter, the company decided to move the adhesive aspect off to a case eschew the “Hawkeye” look. What didn’t help was its mid-range specifications set and a price of $199.

“I checked your material poll. All designs are very generic and boring like the cheap plastic phones nowadays. WE WANT THE OLD DESIGN,” one Andrew commented on the Kickstarter campaign.

“You asked your customers to sound their opinions in CSX project, and we did, but you didn’t listen,” said Renee.  “You now came up with a very different product.”

As of this post, the crowdfunding campaign raised just over $35,000 out of a $500,000 goal in its first two weeks of availability and has until late on February 18 to be fully funded.

ZTE has spread a response out emphasizing its “transparency” on the project and claims that with a mission of accessibility, it decided to set and stay on a $199 price target.

During the concept phase of Project CSX, there were many submissions for flagship phones with detailed specs such as using the next Snapdragon processor or using Stock Android.  These all received high votes, but when the Eye-Tracking, Sticky phone went on to win Project CSX, we lost sight of what many of you submitted and voted upon as competing submissions. We wanted the Project CSX phone (with the hands-free feature) to reach the masses around the world, which meant mid-range specs for a mid-range price that most users could afford.

The company is polling its Z-Community users on one major change it could make to the Hawkeye — options include a larger battery, shoehorning the eye-tracking feature into stock Android or upgrading the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 chipset inside to a Snapdragon 835.

With regards to the design and as a function of that price bar, ZTE claims that the original design will be imprinted into the adhesive case that will be bundled with the phone. A poll on which color the phone should take on is ongoing.

Does the price bar seem arbitrary to you? Or does it make sense?

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About The Author
Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.