ZTE took to the stage at CES 2017 to announce two new devices coming to the US market. The first is a phone we’ve seen previously released in Asia, Europe, and Mexico and that is the Blade V8 Pro. The second is a device that ZTE crowdsourced called the Hawkeye. Both devices are fairly inexpensive and come unlocked — but are either of them worth your time?
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The first phone that we looked at was the ZTE Blade V8 Pro. ZTE previously launched the Blade V8 in other markets, but as the company launches it in the US, it is adding the “Pro” branding to it. This handset is running a Snapdragon 625 processor, 3GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage. In the hand, the devices fits nice in the hand with the 5.5-inch 1080p display and narrow bezels.
One of the most disappointing things about the Blade V8 Pro is the fact that it is still running Marshmallow out of the box. ZTE attempts to make up for that with a dual 13MP camera setup, which is similar to what is found on Honor and Huawei devices. The two sensors work simultaneously to help make your images look better while also allowing you to create different bokeh effects.
The second phone that we got to look at was the ZTE Hawkeye. The Hawkeye was the winning concept out of ZTE’s Project CSX, a venture which crowdsourced ideas from ZTE’s community. While the winning submission looked incredibly different than the model that was shown off, ZTE did keep two features that were a part of the winning design: a sticky back and eye tracking.
There isn’t too much known about the Hawkeye other than the two features previously mentioned. The phone should begin shipping sometime in the third quarter of this year so we should know more about it soon.
If you’re interested in picking up the ZTE Blade V8 Pro, you can pre-order it now for $230 and have it shipped to you starting on January 18. The Hawkeye is currently on Kickstarter with pledges to purchase the handset starting at $200.