In the beginning of July, Red announced The Red Hydrogen One on their forums to create a hype, which it sometimes does for a new product line or a new product. Pioneering in making high-end cameras, Red has now made a phone. The hydrogen telephony, also the world’s first holographic android phone, will be sold at $1,200 (and that’s just a starting price).
As the company says, “THE HYDROGEN ONE is a stand alone, full-featured, unlocked multi-band smartphone operating on Android OS that just happens to add a few additional features that shatter the mold of conventional thinking.”
Red gave out only one photo of the phone (below), and there is the order page. To be exact, enthusiasts will pay $1,195 for the aluminium version, and $1595 for titanium. There is also a PDF file which includes additional specs of the phone.
It’s an interesting looking phone, quite unusual to a standard phone with a simple back and metal or glass chasses. Red says that it will be a ‘…5.7” professional hydrogen holographic display’. This is really the biggest question of them all because there have never been such a display and consumers don’t know what to expect. Most of the tech watchers are expecting to have a really advanced 3D experience.
Another interesting aspect is that the phone will be glasses free. As far as the claim goes, you won’t need any cinematic goggles because of the phone boats true 3D output. There is a headphone jack at the bottom and a camera up top, a pretty unusual size for a cell phone camera. Then again, Red could implement some additional features; after all, it is a camera manufacturing company.
At the bottom, we can see the new USB-C port, ensuring that it will be future-proof. The back also seems quite unusual; the lines almost represent a heat sink, housing the Red logo in the middle. This phone is definitely going to be thick.
On the right side of the Hydrogen One, there’s an SD card slot, a rare feature as companies are starting to remove SD card slots and headphone jacks. Besides all these features, Red is also advertising the next level, multi-dimensional audio to go along with the multi-dimensional display. As no speakers are visible at the bottom or the back, they could possibly be at the front, if not around the logo. Kind of like HTC’s ‘boom sound’, this must be amazing.
At the lower end of the back, there’re some pin-connectors, much like the Moto Z line-up of phones. This may manifest see some modularity in the cellphone. Worth mentioning here that Red already has modular cameras using pins for the most part, which come with different modules that one can build from the base to their liking. It’s an awesome system but also a really expensive one because Red makes all of those accessories and they get to control how much it costs because who else is going to make Red accessories.
Not just that, the Red patents have some interesting information as well. (https://goo.gl/m7jp8F) The figures 13A to 17B shows how the Red Hydrogen One looks when attached a lens mount or a sensor mount. The speaker is housed at the bottom front of the phone. There are still some interesting modules showing additional ports like HDMI and some additional pins.
The Hydrogen One will be much like the Amazon Fire phone, back in 2014 which boasted a ‘3D’ display that was more of a gimmick than a really useful feature. The phone might be similar but four years later and four years better. Basically, Red is claiming that one would be able to look around and experience real depth with this display, which has not been possible yet, either in laptops or in any other device to date! Not really sure if they’re using the word ‘holographic’ correctly, it would be a major let down if it were just a money-grab marketing scheme. Then again that is a norm in market, misleading marketing and overpriced product.
If Red’s claims were true, one would actually be able to capture and share these .H4V files, which are going to be brand new and optimized for this experience.
Being the leading company for professional cameras, Red is now venturing in the world of smartphones infested with giants like Samsung, Apple etc. focussing on an average consumer. Red, however, has a different aim for customers.
Personally, I think Red is trying to make an affordable camera, which happens to be a smartphone, and has holograms to gain attention. This phone will basically be a cheaper Red camera for enthusiast photographers and videographers. Since it is really hard to bring something new to the smartphone game nowadays, companies are struggling to keep up and bring better, newer features and gimmicks both. Red has set the bar high for itself and its competitors. The shark tank is brimming with vociferous appetite.