What does a crowd-sourced smartphone look like? How does it differ from one that’s created after years of research and development?
It seems like a once in a lifetime opportunity to provide input in the design process of a phone, but after seeing what’s become of ZTE’s Hawkeye, aka Project CSX, we might want to leave smartphone design to actual designers.
ZTE has unveiled the specs for its crowd-sourced device, which you can currently order through Kickstarter for $199, and they’re underwhelming to say the least. An estimated launch date of September 2017 is currently being promised by ZTE.
Here are the specs:
- Android Nougat
- Dual camera: 12MP + 13MP with optical zoom
- 8MP front-facing camera
- 5.5-inch 1080p display
- Snapdragon 625 processor
- 3GB of RAM
- 32GB of storage (microSD support up to 256GB)
- 3,000mAh battery
- USB-C, Quick Charge 2.0 capable
- Rear-mounted fingerprint scanner
That sounds like the majority of mid-range devices on the market, and it’s not expected to ship until fall of this year. With so many other great affordable phones, I don’t really see the appeal. Still, it’s compelling that ZTE allowed consumers to provide input in the design process.
It does have two cool features
While the ZTE Hawkeye appears fairly humdrum, it will sport a few features as voted on by consumers. According to ZTE, consumers wanted the Hawkeye to be a hands-free experience, so it will include an eye-tracking feature and a self-adhesive case, allowing owners to stick it to any surface.
How these features will actually work in the real world remains to be seen. For what it’s worth, the Kickstarter has raised just over $30,000 of its $500,000 goal as of this writing, so a lot of work still needs to be done. We’ll find out more when/if the ZTE Hawkeye launches later this year.