By: Mike Maizel

It seems these days you can’t be taken seriously unless you’ve got a phone on the market. Companies like Apple, Samsung, Google, Windows, HTC have all created their own products. Even Amazon had a Fire phone. I’m just waiting for Dannon to announce their version of the convenient pocket device that comes with a free yogurt.

RED is known for their heavy-duty state-of-the-art cameras that are often used on big studio films and the like. Now it appears the camera company is getting in on the action by releasing a smartphone with a holographic display.

The holographic smartphone is called the HYDROGEN ONE. Not much is known about the souped-up Android phone but what we do know is the tech involved apparently hasn’t been used before. At least in a smartphone.

Amazon and LG have both tried their hand in 3D or holo-phones to little success. But they used lenticular tech which RED Founder Jim Jannard in a forum post calls “inferior tech in every way.”

He offered some limited details. “It is multi-view (4-view) as compared to stereo 3D (2-view). Watching shocked faces light up when people see it is really motivating. There is no good way to describe it until you see it. Hopefully we will get some skeptics’ eyes on it soon…they can tell you.”

The HYDROGEN ONE allows for viewing of content with “look around depth” right in the palm of your hand. No glasses or other headset needed.

The holographic display comes in at 5.7 inches. They are a using an algorithm to convert usual stereo sound into “multi-dimensional audio” for a more immersive experience. Smart move. If you release an unbelievable image-based device with sub-par sound it’ll detract from the whole thing.

Much like the Moto Z lines, the HYDROGEN ONE will allow for modular attachments so you can do a bunch of cool additional things with the phone and camera. For example, the right attachment will allow you to capture holographic images. The phone will also work in line with RED cameras as a user interface and as a monitor.

Other details include a USB Type-C port, MicroSD slot, headphone jack and replaceable battery.

Now unfortunately they announced that they won’t be able to fill all orders on time when it’s released early next year. This is due to “display production limitations” They also “will NOT guarantee these prices at the time of release.”

Those prices they speak of? $1195 for the Aluminum and $1595 for Titanium. Not cheap by any stretch of the imagination but if it delivers on the level it claims to then it’s definitely worth it.

What are your thoughts on RED’s new holographic phone? Do they have what it takes to deliver?


Mike Maizel is a regular tech beat reporter and producer for NewsWatch. He loves all things tech, and can regularly be found outdoors in the mountains of Colorado.