These days, the flagship smartphone market is pretty formulaic with most companies following the same trends each year. Last year we learned that RED would be looking to shake things up a bit with its own smartphone, built out of Titanium and offering a too good to be true ‘holographic display’. We’ve learned a lot more about the RED Hydrogen One over the last year, and while the phone was supposed to launch this month, it has been hit with another delay.
In August last year, YouTuber MKBHD gave us our first on-camera look at the Hydrogen One. In May this year we learned that the phone would be launching on two different carriers in the US, so there are multiple release dates depending on whether or not you plan to pick the phone up via a carrier or pre-order from RED directly. Last week, the device gained FCC approval, but due to an issue during the certification process, RED has had to push its planned launch dates out of August.
In a post on the H4VUser forum, Jim Jannard explains that “a critical part” needed to be retooled, so certification is going through once again. This has had an impact on the Hydrogen One’s planned launch dates, there is a lot to unpack, so here are the dates broken down.
On the 2nd of November, AT&T, Verizon and Telcel (Mexico) customers will be able to get their hands on the aluminium version of the phone. The Titanium version won’t launch with carriers until 2019.
Those who pre-ordered the Hydrogen One from RED directly will start to get their devices shipped out on the 9th of October. The black aluminium version will be the first to ship, with Titanium models following “shortly after”.
Finally, sometime between the 31st of August and the 11th of September, the ‘Houdini Developer’s Model’ will begin shipping out to a small group of people who agreed to test the phone. These Houdini models are pre-release versions of the phone running beta versions of software and apps. Anyone with a Houdini model is expected to provide feedback and report bugs. These pre-release versions of the phone are OTA capable, so updated final versions of the software will be pushed out over the coming months.
KitGuru Says: The RED Hydrogen One is a breath of fresh air for the smartphone market. It’s not a typical ‘safe’ smartphone, with plenty of new ideas being crammed in. Whether or not it ends up working as well as a $1300 phone should remains to be seen.