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ZTE's crowdsourced phone gets a name and a Kickstarter campaign

Say hello to Hawkeye.
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It's only been a few months since ZTE tapped the wisdom of the masses and started work on its first crowdsourced device: an eye-tracking, self-adhesive phone. No, seriously. A surprising number of people thought we should be able to stick our phones onto walls and navigate through websites and menus just by glancing all over the place. While the phone itself is far from finished, ZTE did give us a few new details here at CES: it's called the Hawkeye, and you'll be able to pre-order one on Kickstarter starting today for $199.

Gallery: Hands-on: ZTE's Hawkeye prototypes | 14 Photos

That early-bird price might be final, but very little else about the Hawkeye is. ZTE is still locking down the final specs so the chipset, camera, and RAM and storage configurations are still totally unknown. (As you can tell by the photos, it will have a rear fingerprint scanner.) That said, ZTE did let us fiddle around with some near-final design mockups and they're sleeker than that all-too-reasonable price tag would suggest. If these choices stick around, we'll be looking at an all-plastic body that comes in a variety of colors and texture finishes -- naturally, Kickstarter backers will be able to vote on which ones make the final cut. That said, I actually like the choices ZTE has tentatively cooked up: there's a smooth, deep navy with a zig-zag pattern that's only visible up close, a lenticular finish with a blue-to-black gradient and a wavy lime green look that sort of looks like a zen garden.

Before I get too hung up on looks, I should point out that these preliminary bodies feel great too. They're slim and light without feeling cheap, and they speak to how good ZTE has gotten at crafting attractive devices. There's one caveat you should be aware of, though. Rather than baking the adhesive directly into the back of the phone, ZTE has decided to build an adhesive case for the phone. That's not exactly in keeping with the winning proposal, but hey -- since you can remove the clingy bits, you won't be stuck with a smartphone that sticks to the inside of your pockets all the time. We'll take it.

Click here to catch up on the latest news from CES 2017.

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