First look at RED’s $1,200 modular phone: Hydrogen One

RED provided a first look at their Hydrogen One smartphone on Tuesday with a hands-on video courtesy of Marques Brownlee, a.k.a. MKBHD on YouTube. The tech reviewer went over three prototypes that show different features of the upcoming device.

When the camera makers revealed the Hydrogen One last month, the phone was met with skepticism since all the press materials provided were obscure, scarce, and somewhat contradictory at times. Only one darkened picture of the device was attached to the announcement publication.

RED has amended that error with an in-depth look at what’s next from them. The company is trying to break into the smartphone market with a big entrance that is also expected to come with a hefty price tag of at least $1,195.

RED gave us a first look and hands-on experience with a Hydrogen One prototype. Image: YouTube

The RED Hydrogen One is large, sturdy and durable

By far, the most impressive out of the three prototypes showed in MKBHD’s video was the first, and it was actually the one we truly got to see from every angle. This device was designed to exhibit the materials, dimensions, and finish of what would be the Hydrogen One.

Brownlee said the back of the phone was composed of three panels, with the top and bottom being made out of a Kevlar-like material and the central, larger panel out of metal. This part, as well as the front casing, are what people speculate will come in aluminum or titanium when it launches.

The Hydrogen One is larger than the iPhone 7 Plus. Image: YouTube.

The side notches are also present and not as ugly as some people expected based on the renders. There is a power button that doubles as a fingerprint reader on the side, volume controls on the opposite side, and a dedicated camera button at the bottom right.

RED’s much hailed holographic display was non-functional on this prototype, but in another one tested by MKBHD, the results were “impressive” according to him. He was not allowed to show it just yet, but he did confirm that users will be able to switch from regular 2D to 3D content if they so desire.

Modular attachments will greatly enhance the Hydrogen One

Of course, another aspect worth noting about the Hydrogen One is the fact that it is a modular phone and that, as Brownlee puts it, the ones developed by RED will be “like Moto Mods on steroids.”

RED’s Hydrogen One modular attachments will step up the mobile camera game beyond known limits. Image: YouTube.

The video gives us a quick glance at “the future of small form-factor cinema” with an attachable lens mount that protrudes slightly from the back and adds a better sensor, f-stop controllers, shutter, and focus controllers right in the back of your hand.

Interestingly enough, the device with the modular attachment did not rely on the pins and magnets strip, but instead, it was screwed into the Hydrogen one using the top screws and other ones on the central panel. It remains to be seen how these will work in the final version of the Hydrogen One.

Source: YouTube