Hyrdogen ONE smartphone

By: Nick Gambino

It seems like it’s taken just short of forever for RED to release their long-ago-announced Hydrogen One smartphone, and with the recent announcement that they were moving the release date from this summer to November 2nd, we’ll be waiting just a little while longer.

While the new release date is set, it’s not set in stone. “This is a difficult project and there is a remote possibility that something could come up to further affect the schedule,” RED Founder Jim Jannard said in the blog post announcement. “While the odds are pretty low for that happening, it is still possible.”

The camera company is revered in the industry for their quality cameras often used on Hollywood sets. So, plenty of us were excited at the prospect of a smartphone (and the phone’s camera of course) that stands out from the crowd in terms of durability and functionality. Unfortunately, delays are nothing new for the Hydrogen One. I first reported on its development over a year ago.

Let’s look at some of the specs we should see once the Red smartphone hits the market. Marques Brownlee did an unboxing video where he took a look at a developer-only Hydrogen One phone known as “Houdini.” As Marques describes in the video below, the device seems to be more of a camera first and phone second. What else would you expect from a camera company? That is truly the only reason they would even attempt to enter into the mobile field.

One of the highlights of the Hydrogen One is its holographic display which is being called “4-View.” The idea behind the display is that it will create a 3D image without the need for glasses. RED is promoting that you’ll be able to look around and behind objects. As long as this doesn’t come out gimmicky or hokey, this could be pretty cool. Beyond that, here are some other specs we’ll see:

– Android OS
– 5.7-inch screen
– Expandable storage with included MicroSD card
– 3.5mm headphone jack
– A modular set-up that allows for attachments including existing camera lenses
– Works as a touch-screen monitor for RED cameras

That kind of quality won’t come cheap. The titanium Hydrogen One will set you back a reported $1,595, while the aluminum will fetch for $1,295. The November 2nd shipping date only covers the aluminum phone (colors: Black and Shadow). If you want titanium, you’ll have to wait until 2019.


Nick Gambino is a regular script writer and tech beat reporter for NewsWatch. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and daughter.