ZTE on Hawkeye: “We acknowledge our mistake”

The ZTE Hawkeye, previously known as Project CSX, was born in an unorthodox way, and its entire existence so far had little in common with how the mobile industry normally works today. The phone was created by asking the general public to submit their ideas, and out of all submissions, the most peculiar one won. Therefore, the Hawkeye features an adhesive back panel, that allows it to stick to any surface, and eye-tracking software for hands-free use.

After the winning project was selected, ZTE made a prototype that it showcased at CES this month, and launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the phone. However, this is where things turned south. People wanted a revolutionary smartphone, and such a device would come with all the bells and whistles of the mobile industry, such as Snapdragon 835, massive amounts of RAM, and so on. But according to the official specifications by ZTE, its new device was nothing more than a mid-ranger that you can stick to a wall and control with your eyes.

Needless to say, people were not happy with what was offered by ZTE. And the Kickstarter campaign for Hawkeye stalled. At the time of writing this article, less than 7% of ZTE's goal for the device has been funded by merely 182 backers. And with 26 days to go, things are not looking good for Project CSX. So, in a desperate attempt to save its new device, ZTE is turning to its users once more.

In a blog post on ZTE's website, the company says that it acknowledges its mistake. “[W]hen 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,” wrote Jeff Yee, VP Technology Planning and Partnerships at ZTE. Yee continued by saying that the company realized that introducing the adhesive, hands-free concept on a mid-ranger was not a good move. “It was our mistake,” he wrote.

However, considering the nature of Kickstarter, it would be hard for ZTE to deliver a much better product. While the product itself can be changed, the initial price of $199 can't, due to how Kickstarter works. Therefore, ZTE would not be able to deliver a flagship-specced handset without going in the red. The best it can do, would be to upgrade whatever it can while staying in the same budget. And in the spirit of the entire Project CSX, ZTE has created a poll to help it choose what to beef up.

The poll is open to members of the Z-Community, so anyone with a profile can vote. At the time of writing, only 85 people have done so, though. And it appears that the main problem users have with the specs is the CPU, as 47% of the votes call for a replacement of the Snapdragon 625 with the brand new 835. The other votes are distributed as follows:

  • Swap the 3,000 mAh battery for a 3,500 mAh. (11%)
  • The OS would be Stock Android with added software for eye tracking. (13%)
  • Other. (29%)

The “other” option asks people to leave a comment under the poll, and if we're to judge by what users are writing, the second most-requested upgrade is more RAM.

By what we're seeing with the poll and the Kickstarter campaign, Hawkeye's future doesn't look so bright. It appears that there just isn't enough interest in ZTE's new device, or in the brand in general. And quite honestly, with phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S8 and iPhone 8 on the horizon, we can't really blame anyone for taking a pass on Project CSX and its mid-range specs.

source: ZTE via SlashGear



1. DoggyDangerous

Posts: 1028; Member since: Aug 28, 2015

ZTE is playing around like an immature company. Who want a mid range dream phone? It should be a flagship.


Posts: 1168; Member since: Oct 05, 2015

Many people, myself included, submitted ideas for flagships that did not compromise. These ideas didn't make it to the end. For what they offer, though, the price is not bad. It's just that most people wouldn't replace their daily driver for something like this. I'm not sure why every phone released has to be a flagship. I mean isn't that what the Axon 8 is supposed to be?

2. athos07m

Posts: 137; Member since: Apr 22, 2012

ZTE should concentrate on an outstanding Axon 8, not petty clickbait projects.

3. andonia2

Posts: 34; Member since: Jul 26, 2013

the number of ads here omg.

4. nebula

Posts: 1009; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

Just use opera browser blocks akk junk

5. KingSam

Posts: 1448; Member since: Mar 13, 2016

SD 626 for $200 is good. You can't please everyone.

6. tokuzumi

Posts: 1900; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

This phone is experimental, thus the kickstarter campaign. The SD625 will be more than enough to power a person's day to day usage with little issue. I just don't see the purpose of this device. Who has been asking for a device with a back that sticks to vertical surfaces? What happens if you put this phone in your pocket with no case? I just don't see the sticky back lasting very long. Aside from that, it looks to be a decent phone for $200.

7. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

blame themself for hiding the actual specs the time they launching that kickstater.. probably they rushed to bump some spec to attract more backer now actually the specs isnt bad for $199 = SD625, 5.5" FHD, 2GB RAM/32GB ROM, dual back camera.. swap that processor to SD835 and it will be the cheapest flagship, ever... lol... "And quite honestly, with phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S8 and iPhone 8 on the horizon, we can't really blame anyone for taking a pass on Project CSX and its mid-range specs." comparison that totally doesn't make sense since the price gap is huge... $199 vs $749/$849

9. TrackPhoneUser

Posts: 256; Member since: Oct 21, 2015

Didn't their concept page say they were going to use at least a 820? And $200 sound alot better to spend than $700 on an experimental device

10. ShadowHammer

Posts: 204; Member since: Mar 13, 2015

Won't dust and grime also adhere to this sticky back? Unless you can clean it with a damp cloth or something, this seems problematic. Even then, I bet you will have to clean it daily. Such a weird phone request. Kudus to ZTE for following through with it. They must have laughed and then cried, when they realized they had to actually make this thing.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.