[CES 2017] ZTE unveils pair of affordable smartphones

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ZTE USA has announced a pair of new affordable smartphones for the U.S. market.  The first, dubbed Hawkeye, is being crowdsourced on Kickstarter, while the second has the ZTE Blade smartphone series coming stateside with the Blade V8 Pro.

ZTE Hawkeye

The ZTE Hawkeye started out as Project CSX back at CES 2016, and in October of last year the winning concept was chosen. The ZTE Hawkeye will be a device that includes eye-tracking capabilities and an optional self-adhesive case.

“Project CSX has been a groundbreaking process and the Hawkeye device sets the stage for us in 2017,” said Lixin Cheng, chairman and CEO of ZTE USA. “As we move forward with this smartphone, we’ll look to continue to integrate consumers every step of the way.”

ZTE Hawkeye

Features of the ZTE Hawkeye include:

  • Scrolling based on Eye-Tracking: by recognizing movement of the eyes, pages can scroll automatically up-down or left-right based on movement. Voice commands can be used to navigate between pages.
  • Stick to Walls and Surfaces with Self-Adhesive Case: with an optional case, the phone can be mounted to a vertical surface, freeing up the need to hold the phone.
  • Unlocked, 2 SIM slots for multiple band support (The phone will support common 2G and 3G bands around the world, and is expected to have LTE (4G) bands most common in North America.)
  • 5.5″ FHD display
  • Dual rear cameras with enhanced image and zoom capabilities
  • Hi-Fi audio
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Large battery with quick charging capabilities
  • Expandable memory
  • Android Nougat operating system (+ upgradable to latest versions)

Interested backers can head over to Kickstarter and fund the ZTE Hawkeye for an exclusive Kickstarter price of $199USD with shipping expected in September of this year.

ZTE Blade V8 Pro

The ZTE Blade V8 Pro aims to pack high-end features into a smartphone at an affordable price and includes a fingerprint sensor, dual-lens camera, dual SIM slot, expandable storage, and more.

“First launched in Asia, the Blade series has expanded to countries throughout Europe and Mexico due to growing consumer demands,” said Lixin Cheng, chairman and CEO of ZTE USA. “The Blade series hasn’t gone unnoticed here in the US as consumers and partners have continually asked about it so we’re excited to kick off 2017 by giving them what they want with the Blade V8 Pro.”

ZTE Blade V8 Pro.

Features and specifications of the ZTE Blade V8 Pro include:

  • Dual Camera: A feature typically found on more expensive phones, two 13 MP rear cameras offer more choices when editing photos, including the popular bokeh effect
  • Fingerprint Sensor: A fast-detecting and accurate fingerprint sensor located on the home button of the phone bridges security and ease of use
  • Battery: The large 3140mAh battery is designed to handle all your social media, texting and web-surfing needs. With Qualcomm® Quick Charge™ 2.0 and battery optimization capabilities, the Blade V8 Pro can last all day and charge quickly when you need it.
  • Large Screen: 5.5 inch Full HD display with Gorilla Glass 3.0 allows you to maximize your viewing experience for streaming movies, watching TV shows, playing games and more
  • Powerful Processor: Powered by the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 625 processor with X9 LTE, the Blade V8 Pro can handle all your surfing, streaming and swiping needs
  • Expandable Storage: Choose either a second SIM card or microSD up to 128GB to expand storage, never needing to fear limits
  • Dual SIM: A feature not typically found on affordable smartphones, the dual SIM slot allows users who travel the ability to switch carriers as needed
  • Operating system: Android M
  • Memory: 3GB RAM/32GB ROM
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.2, mobile hotspot, NFC, 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi
  • USB: Type-C 2.0
  • Music: HiFi with 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Front Camera: 8MP

The Blade V8 Pro will be sold unlocked for GSM/UMTS/LTE networks and is available for pre-order today through B&H.com, NewEgg.com, and zteusa.com for $229.98USD and is set to start shipping on January 18th.

Let us know what you think about the ZTE Hawkeye and the Blade V8 Pro in the comments below or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.


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