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The box for Alcatel's new smartphone is actually a VR headset

The box for Alcatel's new smartphone is actually a VR headset

Alcatel's launched a duo on new flagship Idol handsets at MWC 2016 in Barcelona, and while the phones themselves are unlikely to worry the likes of Samsung, LG and co. - they do pack a rather intriguing party trick.

It's not the handsets themselves which are the main attraction though, it's their packaging which holds a surprise. The box transforms into a pair of VR goggles.

The phones come pre-loaded with the OneTouch VR Hub, which has a host of VR content ready for download, although the selection, pricing and quality of the offerings are currently unknown.

Alcatel Idol 4

Here comes the Boom key

Both handsets also pack a 'Boom key', a button which Alcatel claims enhances everything from the UI and sound to the camera and gaming.

Boom button usage includes triggering burst capture from the camera without having to unlock the phone and boosting bass, volume and clarity of audio during music playback.

Alcatel Idol 4

The Idol 4+ comes with a 5.2-inch full HD display, 13MP rear camera, 16GB of internal space and a 2610mAh battery. Meanwhile the larger Idol 4S boasts a QHD 5.5-inch AMOLED screen, 16MP rear camera, 32GB of internal space and a 3000mAh power pack - resulting in a better VR experience in our opinion.

You also get the latest Snapdragon 820 processor, 3GB of RAM, 8MP front camera, a microSD slot and Android 6.0 Marshmallow on both handsets.

There's currently no word on release date or price for either, but keep an eye out for our hands on reviews.

John McCann

Global Managing Editor

John got his first phone aged 12 and since then he's been fixated on all things mobile. Previously Phones Editor, John now looks after the day-to-day running of the site. When he's not got his head buried in mobile tech, you'll find John sitting behind the wheel in his regular TR Drives column.