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Red says its $1,595 Hydrogen smartphone is 'world's first holographic media machine'

  • Red is billing its Hydrogen smartphone as the "world's first holographic media machine."
  • It has a 5.7 inch holographic display, but did not give further details about what this would mean.
  • It runs Google's Android operating system with a $1,195 price tag for the "Aluminum" model and $1,595 cost for the "Titanium" version.

Red, a company that makes high-end cameras to shoot blockbuster films, has launched an expensive smartphone which it is billing as the "world's first holographic media machine".

The Hydrogen One smartphone has a 5.7 inch holographic display and runs Google's Android mobile operating system. According to a press release by Red, the handset's screen can "seamlessly" switch between traditional 2-D content and holographic 3-D content such as games.

It will support so-called "Hydrogen 4-View content", a file type that Red has produced. Content will be stored via the Red Channel, which allows users to stream holographic games and movies.

The Red Hydrogen smartphone which it is billing as the “world’s first holographic media machine."
Red
The Red Hydrogen smartphone which it is billing as the “world’s first holographic media machine."

"With one fell swoop … the future of personal communication, information gathering, holographic multi-view, 2-D, 3-D, AR/VR/MR, and image capture just changed forever," Red said in a press release.

AR refers to augmented reality which is the overlaying of digital images on the real world. VR is virtual reality, which requires a headset to view 360-degree experiences.

Red is charging $1,195 for the "Aluminum" model and $1,595 for the "Titanium" version.

It's a hefty price tag for an unproved smartphone maker, especially as it competes with market leaders like Samsung and Apple.

"This is a somewhat baffling device," Ben Wood, chief of research at CCS Insight, told CNBC by email.

"Red has a reputation of delivering high-performance camera technology and that is undoubtedly one of the anchor elements of the device together with the holographic screen, but until more concrete details emerge it is difficult to judge".

The company is known for its professional cameras which it says have been used to shoot films like "The Martian" starring Matt Damon.

Red said that it could struggle to fill orders of the phone "due to display production limitations" and the prices displayed may not be the actual cost when the phone is released officially. Red said that it is targeting to ship the device in the first quarter of 2018.