On Thursday, RED announced the Hydrogen One, its first smartphone and the first “holographic media machine” in the world. It will run on Android and cost $1,195 in aluminum and $1,595 in titanium when it launches Q1 2018, but it is available for preorder right now.
In the press release, RED does not get too much into specifics. However, company founder Jim Jannard took to the Reduser blog to clarify some things. The Hydrogen will have internal and microSD storage, a headphone jack, a USB-C port, and of course, a selfie camera and a rear shooter.
Other specs were not disclosed, but the head of RED did address the skepticism surrounding the announcement. Tech journalists have mostly reserved the right to trust in the company, with many outright bashing the camera maker for selling “vaporware.”
The RED Hydrogen One has new display tech and modular features
Several experts have suggested that the much-hailed 5.7 “professional Hydrogen holographic display” will be nothing more than a lenticular autostereoscopic screen like the ones seen on the Nintendo 3DS, LG Optimus, and Amazon Fire 3D devices.
However, Jannard went on to dispel these notions in his post as well, saying its “multi-view (4-view)” holographic display was “technology you haven’t seen before” and that is hard to describe until we actually see it.
RED is working on getting some test devices to skeptics that confirm the breakthrough technology, but the Red Leader says he has already seen a couple of shocked faces in reaction to the display, which is supposed to seamlessly switch between 2D and 3D to view Hydrogen 4-View content.
Speaking of which, this new apparent format from RED does not exist yet, and many have taken its mention in the press release as an announcement as well. So far, the only tie to company hardware it has comes precisely with another of the Hydrogen’s top features: its modular connector.
The camera maker says there will be no devices that couple to the Hydrogen upon launch, but in the future, an attachment for shooting photos and video in .H4v format is expected to come out.
RED has always delivered on its promises, but doubt is reasonable
RED is first and foremost a camera maker. The Scarlet, Epic, and Weapon lineup have been used to shoot films like The Hobbit, Captain America: Civil War, and most recently Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. However, it has never made any smartphones.
To be fair, the company is selling the Hydrogen more like a “media machine” than a smartphone, but the first lines of the press release do confirm that it will be “fully-featured,” run on Android and ship unlocked for all carriers.
Jim Jannard offered “full refunds” to anyone who didn’t like what they got once the first batch of preorders launched, but he also warned users to “be prepared to be surprised on the upside.” RED also reserves the right to change pricing and components at any time from now until launch date.