While Samsung is still reportedly working on an untethered Gear VR equivalent gloriously codenamed Odyssey, and Google probably put the kibosh on an in-house virtual reality headset to make the most of the Daydream software platform, a tier 2 Android device manufacturer surprisingly rises to unveil one of the world’s first “all-in-one” VR hardware products.
That’s to say the Alcatel Vision (pretty cool name, by the way) doesn’t need a connected smartphone or the guts of a PC to transport you into a parallel universe, featuring its very own dual 3.8-inch AMOLED displays, octa-core processor, 3GB RAM, 32GB storage, Bluetooth, LTE, Wi-Fi, and even 3,000mAh battery.
Basically, instead of an upper mid-range handheld you can slot into a cardboard or plastic shell and awkwardly wear on your head, various cables dangling and whatnot, you get a seemingly thoughtfully-designed standalone VR gadget incorporating said decent but short of stellar phone specs by default. With 120-degree field of view, up from Oculus Rift or HTC Vive’s 110, and exclusive pre-loaded content developed by Jaunt VR, Magic Interactive Entertainment and Fraunhofer.
No official words on pricing yet, though we’re hearing disheartening $600 whispers, with a commercial debut in China slated for this year’s final quarter, followed by an early 2017 US expansion.
Alcatel also has an arguably lower-profile 360-degree camera to showcase at IFA Berlin in rectangular and “ball-shaped” variations, which should be priced around the $100 mark, and attach to the micro USB port of the Idol 4, 4S or Pop 4S to take 360-degree photos and shoot VR videos with dual 210° fisheye lenses.