ZTE’s Hawkeye smartphone was born out of a daring idea – ask the community to come up with an atypical phone prototype and then make it happen. ZTE even asked fans to help name the device, but when the company finally announced the handset the masses were gravely disappointed.

But what happened? The eye-tracking, self-adhesive phone’s specs were only middle-range and as it turns out the community expected more – it expected a flagship device.

Hence ZTE’s Hawkeye Kickstarter campaign proved quite disastrous. Now according to new information coming our way via Engadget, ZTE has finally admitted defeat and cancelled the campaign for its $199 handset.

The company’s CEO, Jeff Yee explained ZTE took the decision to make the Hawkeye a mid-range affair, so the phone could become available to a wider audience. But the company is only now discovering what the community truly wants.

It’s a bit puzzling that ZTE didn’t think to poll users on Hawkeye’s specifications before making the announcement, when it did about (almost) everything else. Yee now says users still seem to be interested in the device’s main features – which can only mean self-adhesion and eye-tracking – so the company hopes to be able to release it on the market until the end of the year.

Here are the Hawkeye’s current specs:

  • OS: Android 7 Nougat with OTA updates
  • CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 (Octa-core 2.0GHz)
  • Display: 5.5″ FHD 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • Camera (Rear): Dual Lens 13MP + 12MP with optical zoom and OIS
  • Camera (Front): 8MP
  • Memory: 3GB RAM / 32GB ROM (expandable with additional 256GB microSD)
  • SIM: Dual SIM slot
  • GSM: 850/1900/900/1800
  • UMTS/HSPA: 850/1900/AWS/2100
  • LTE: B2/B4/B5/B7/B12/B13/B66 CAT6
  • Battery: 3000 mAh
  • WIFI 802.11 b/g/n/ac 2.4GHz/5GHz • BT4.2 / HFP1.6
  • Other Features: Fingerprint sensor, Senseye Hi-Fi audio, NFC, USB Type C, Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0, Voice Navigation

For the time being, ZTE is talking to fans so it can get a better idea of their expectations, but so far it seems the Hawkeye will get at least a Snapdragon 820, if not a Snapdragon 835. The latter option would be a better idea, especially if ZTE plans to postpone the launch of the phone for later in 2017.

So far 47% of the users taking the poll on ZTE’s website have voted for a Snapdragon 835 processor, while 19% said the OS should be Stock Android with added software for eye tracking.

Would you consider the ZTE Hawkeye if it were launched as a premium device?

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