RED Hydrogen One: Expected release date, specs and price

RED Hydrogen One

For smartphone enthusiasts, this is not the first time you are reading about RED Hydrogen One. The phone was first announced back in July 2017 and in fact, it has been up for pre-order for months now, starting at a cool $1200.

RED is best known for its ultra-premium video recording hardware, but the Hydrogen One is the company’s first attempt into the smartphone industry. Even though RED announced the phone and put it up for pre-order, it is still not available for shipping as at the time of this writing. In fact, the press release accompanying it never gave out any details about the phone itself, more specifically the specs.

On the brighter side, we now have new details about the Hydrogen One phone courtesy of RED CEO Jim Jannard and we’ll be sharing them with you in this article alongside other important stuff about the phone. So far, only a select number of people, including the CEO himself, have been able to interact with the Hydrogen One, which means there is still little information in the public domain.

Design and display

Since its launch, we’ve known that the RED Hydrogen One is a modular phone. However, at the moment, we still don’t know what materials have been used to build the Hydrogen One, but whatever it is, it’s said to add 2 more ounces on top of the usual weight of devices with a similar size.

Just like we’ve seen in previous renders and from the prototypes supplied to a few individuals, the Hydrogen One has the traditional 3.5mm audio jack on board alongside the new USB-C port for charging. You get two SIM card slots, but the second slot can also be used for expandable storage. The phone also comes with stereo speakers that will reportedly come with the multi-channel spatial sound system.

RED Hydrogen One

The RED Hydrogen One looks bigger and uninspiringly thicker than you would expect to see on a 5.7-inch handset, but this thickness has a hidden gem – a massive 4500mAh battery unit, which also includes an internal casing. The display screen will feature a QHD resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels when in 2D mode, which means we are talking a 16:9 aspect ratio.

Apparently, the resolution will change when the phone enters 4V (holographic) mode, but there’s still no elaborate explanation of how this actually works. According to Jannard, when the phone switches to 4V mode, the brightness of the screen will dim and “out pops a better-than-3D image” without the need for any glasses.

Specs and features

It was a strange move from RED to put a phone up for pre-order even without the list of specs to expect, especially considering the price. Perhaps RED has a niche market in mind, nonetheless, we finally have some of the specs of the Hydrogen One.

RED Hydrogen One

As you would expect for a phone announced in July 2017, the RED Hydrogen One has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC possibly mated with at least 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage, which as we’ve already seen, will be expandable using SIM 2 slot.

There’s a crazy huge battery of 4500mAh which will be charged via the latest USB Type-C standard and support fast charging. Given RED’s prowess in photography, we expect the Hydrogen One to be one of the best, if not the best, in this category. There’s a dual-lens camera on the back, but we don’t know their specs nor do we know those of the front camera.

As noted earlier, we’ve known all along that the RED Hydrogen One is a modular phone. Here, the system provides bi-directional power and data, which the company says is designed to be “stackable,” with things like cinema-grade camera and battery modules, among others, in RED’s plans.

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Release date and price

Following months of waiting, we can finally say we have a release date for the RED Hydrogen One smartphone. According to the company, the unlocked model will start shipping this summer, one year after pre-orders went live.

RED Hydrogen One

As noted earlier, this is a phone targeting a specific market, perhaps the company’s loyal fans that are used to its premium hardware. The base model will start at $1,195 while the high-end variant, which is expected to rock a titanium body, will set you back a cool $1,595.

3D holographic display and 4V content

RED mentioned that the 5.7-inch QHD display screen can work with the new 4V standard, but the problem is that there is not much content in 4V at the moment. To make things better, the company is setting up a marketplace for 4V content by partnering with the “big dogs” in the industry, whatever that means. Furthermore, Hydrogen One users will be able to shoot, upload and sell 4V content through this marketplace.

That it’s the glasses-free 3F right on your phone is what makes the phone very interesting. We will know more when we get our hands on it, but so far, it may be easily worth the extra camera features pizazz and 2K displays we get on other flagships. This could become a new gold standard if things work out as planned for the RED.

No? After all, some great design and better performance can be easily had even in the budget and mid-range segment, case in point, the Honor 9 Lite ($175), Honor 7X ($200) and HTC U11 EYEs ($499). Check out our review of the very beautiful Honor 9 Lite to know more.

Other things to know

Something else to know about the RED Hydrogen One is its carrier support. According to Jannard, the phone’s carrier support is “unprecedented,” however, the company is unable to reveal any details at the moment. The CEO also pointed out that the phone will have an unlocked variant.

Is it worth the long wait?

Let’s face it. No matter how cool the RED Hydrogen One sounds, it’s not a device meant for most of us. This is a phone targeting the elites, especially the types who only purchase a product for its brand. Looking at the basic specs of the Hydrogen One, it would be easily blown by the spec sheet of 2018 flagships, but we do think that the fans of the company would surely want it over a flagship device that packs better specs and costs less, if RED is able to prove its Hydrogen One’s features are worth it.

RED Hydrogen Prototype Hands-On!

Although it promises a lot, the Hydrogen One seems to have been overtaken by time, especially on matters performance specs and design. But again, you know that it’s not all about specs and design, as the talking point here is 4V and modularity. However, if you have been able to wait for the phone for the past six or so months, you sure can do the next six, right?

On the contrary, if this is the first time you are reading about the phone, well, you might want to look forward to the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ next month then wait for the Hydrogen One later this summer.

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Each one Reach one Teach one. Football Droid. Email: [email protected]