Last year, veteran camera maker RED announced that it would be entering the smartphone arena. However, rather than building an Android flagship comparable to so many other phones on the market, RED’s Hydrogen One boasts a Titanium body and a holographic display among a few other unique features. Pre-orders kicked off back in July but since the product wasn’t actually finished yet, things went silent after that. Now, RED’s founder has announced that the Hydrogen One is now actually a working device. We also have more details on the phone’s various features.
The $1,195 smartphone’s standout feature is the 1440p ‘holographic’ display. In 2D mode, the display is just as you would expect from any other high-end smartphone. However, in 4-view ‘holographic’ mode, the screen will dim a bit and pop out a 3D image with no glasses required. From the sounds of it, images will pop out of the display, which is different from the glasses-free 3D seen on something like the 3DS, which is more akin to looking in through a window.
The phone includes multi channel spatial sound from the phone’s internal speakers or headphones. Unfortunately much like the display, this is one of those things where you’ll have to try it out to fully appreciate the difference it makes.
Now in terms of other exciting hardware developments, RED’s Hydrogen One will have a modular component system in place, something that many phone makers have been chasing over the last few years. The Hydrogen One uses a ‘pogo pin’ system on the back of the phone. Modules are stackable, so you’ll be able to upgrade things like the battery and camera on the fly.
Finally, under the hood, the phone will be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835x processor. It will still have a headphone jack, USB Type-C charging, a microSD slot and dual-SIM card capabilities. The display will be 5.7-inches but due to the metal body, it will be a bit thicker than other 5.7-inch smartphones currently around.
We still don’t have a specific release date as RED is waiting for various smartphone carriers to certify the phone for sale. However, the company is expecting to be able to begin shipping the phone over the Summer. We are told that “unlocked” pre-orders straight from RED will be available before then but exact dates aren’t being shared just yet.
KitGuru Says: With a price tag well over a grand, I likely won’t have the opportunity to try one of these out for myself but I am very intrigued. At the very least, the tech sounds awesome, even if the price does keep it out of reach. What do you guys think of RED’s Hydrogen One smartphone? Do you believe it can deliver? Or do you think features like the holographic display will fall short of expectations?