The latest Alcatel smartphone will ship in a virtual reality headset

the latest alcatel smartphone will ship in a virtual reality headset aot 930x523
Evan Blass/VentureBeat
Most companies aren’t all that creative when it comes to packaging. In the best case scenario, you can expect a cardboard box decorated with some uniquely crafted art that might look pretty on a shelf. Going where few tech makers have before, Alcatel is making itself an exception by shipping its latest smartphone, the OneTouch Idol 4S, in a box that doubles as a Virtual Reality viewer.

This news comes from VentureBeat, who says the Alcatel OneTouch Idol 4S will be encompassed by a hard plastic box that can be used as a VR viewer in a similar vein as Google Cardboard. With it, you’ll be able to slip your phone into a fitted slot and look into its eyepieces to see into virtually rendered worlds. A single button located on the side of the device can be used to interact with the various games and apps supported.

While this can easily be deemed innovative, the OneTouch Idol 4S itself is little more than your basic mid-range smartphone. With a 5.5-inch Quad HD AMOLED display, an eight-core Snapdragon 652 SoC, 3GB of RAM, and 16GB of built-in storage space, it might be impressive if it had arrived a few years prior. At least if it’s stuck in the past, however, it’s stuck with expandable microSD storage too. Its photography capabilities are a little more impressive, though. The rear camera captures a sharp 16-mexapixel image using an f/2.0 aperture lens while the front-facing camera can manage 8 megapixels and even features flash.

Alcatel is targeting a price-point of under $400 for the OneTouch Idol 4S when it arrives in May, which should make up for the less-than-impressive tech specs. The combination of a low price point for the phone, a QHD display, and a package that doubles as a VR headset could make the OneTouch Idol 4S a poor man’s GearVR.

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