Alcatel is following up last year’s well-received Idol 3 smartphone with two new models: the Idol 4 and Idol 4S. The company says the new phones have faster processors, better speakers and cameras, and other improvements… as well as one unusual new feature: the packaging.

After you unpack your new phone, you can use the box it came in as a Google Cardboard-style virtual reality headset. Just slide your phone into the place holder and you an peer through the focal lenses to interact with 360-degree videos and virtual reality games.

idol 4_00

Alcatel notes that the “VR-in-the-box” packaging will only be available for some models, but like any Android phones, you could always use the new Idol 4 or Idol 4S with your own Google Cardboard headset.

Both phones run Android 6.0 software, have reversible user interfaces (the UI will change to match the way you’re holding the phone, and the stereo speakers will adjust the right and left channels automatically), stereo 3.6W speakers, rear cameras that can focus in under 0.3 seconds and front-facing cameras with wide-angle 84 degree lenses

Here’s a run-down of what you get with each phone:

Idol 4

  • 5.2 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel IPS LTPS display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor
  • 3GB RAM
  • 16GB storage + microSD card reader for up to 512GB more
  • 13MP rear camera and 8MP front camera
  • 2,610 mAh battery with Quick Charge support
  • 4G LTE, 802.11ac WiFi, NFC, Bluetooth 4.2, and FM radio

idol 4_01Idol 4S

  • 5.5 inch, 2560 x 1440 pixel AMOLED display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 processor
  • 3GB RAM
  • 32GB storage + microSD card reader for up to 512GB more
  • 16MP rear camera and 8MP front camera
  • 3,000 mAh battery with Quick Charge support
  • 4G LTE, 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, and FM Radio

Alcatel hasn’t yet revealed the US pricing or release date for the phones, but they’ll be on display at MWC in Spain this week.

Oh, an in case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been referring to the company as Alcatel rather than Alcatel OneTouch. That’s because the subsidiary of TCL in charge of phones has changed its branding, and will now go by the less cumbersome name going forward.

They’ve also got a new logo to go with the new name.

alcatel logo


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