Alcatel 4-inch E Ink display works as a reader companion for your phone

Alcatel has demoed a new 4-inch E Ink companion device for its 6-inch Hero smartphone launched at IFA in 2013.

The new device, called Magic Flip, was announced at CES in Las Vegas this week and is designed to let you read information from your phone that is static, like a shopping list or boarding pass.

The device which connects to the phone via Bluetooth, means you can leave your phone in your pocket or your bag without draining the power, but use the E Ink display touting device to keep checking back to the information you want.

A spokesman for the company said that the new device was really handy when shopping from a list in a supermarket as the display never changes or powers down, and for sharing things with others as you don't have to give them your phone. You can also use the display for reading, although be warned the small size means you'll be flipping pages pretty often.

In the flesh and treated to a behind closed doors demo of the new device, we can see it being really handy if you love your to do lists whether that's taking a drinks order to the bar or at the airport and reluctant to hand over your phone. It's also light and small enough not to really add extra bulk to what you have to carry. 

The E Ink accessory is just one in a huge range of accessories for the phone that goes beyond the usual smart cases.

Other accessories for the phone include a pico projector that snaps on to the phone via a magnet drawing its power and technological wizardry from the phone itself. That's handy for a couple of reasons, but ultimately means that you won't have to worry about charging the projector in addition to your phone as it takes its power from the source unit.

A quick demo in a very bright room suggests it will be good enough for most pop-up business presentations, and while we saw it display around a 20-inch projection from about a foot away, Alcatel says it could go up to 100 inches (8ft) because of the autofocusing tech included. It's very clever. 

If a projector or E Ink companion device sounds a little crazy, there is an illuminating case so you can see when you get a message without opening the flap and a smaller Bluetooth handset, similar to the one HTC launched in 2013 for its HTC One Max, that lets you make and receive calls without having to hold a phablet to your head.

The new phone and accessories will be making its way to the UK within the next three months, although Alcatel has yet to detail pricing.