January 23, 2018

RED Announces More Hydrogen Smartphone Specs, Keeps the Headphone Jack

RED rolls out more details on their innovative Hydrogen Holographic Android smartphone with modular attachments and dual SIM slots.

When RED first announced their new Hydrogen smartphone last April, details were sketchy, and while we've seen some more info and especially response videos since then, we are finally get some finalized specs and refreshed timeline information that should be comforting to those who put down more than $1,000 to pre-order a device last April on only the earliest of pre-renders. The Hydrogen will be a 2560 x 1440 resolution smartphone (at least in 2D mode), running on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835x processor, which is a powerful unit that drives 4K up to 30fps, in HEVC and H.264, with the plain 835 running both the Pixel 2 and the Samsung S8.

While RED is still promoting the modular system, which will use the external pins to allow for attachments such as a cinema quality camera, the focus of this release is more on how much functionalitity you get out of the base unit. It's described as being thicker and slightly heavier than your average 5.7" phone, though that is fine with us, since they are using that thickness to shove in a 4500mA battery, which should help the phone actually make it through the day, something ultra thing phones have a tendency not to do. In addition, 4V "holographic" capture will be supported natively in the unit without the need for an accessory, and they are working on social sharing features with the major platforms, but they don't have final resolution specs on the format yet though they claim that even on the 2560 display, the way the technology works it appears to have more resolution than 2D, even when it doesn't.

Credit: RED

Frankly, one of the key features here is the remaining headphone jack, and while that might seem like a joke, we don't mean it as one. A lot of old school folks were initially reluctant about the initial RED One because it threw everything out the door: it had great innovations (Wavelet! 4K! Windowing for slow-motion), and then it had those crazy mini-SDI connectors and sold lenses in F-stops instead of T-stops. The headphone jack tells us a lot about RED's ambition for the Hydrogen platform: this is meant to be transitional—to both work as the day-to-day phone you always have with you (where most users frankly still prefer a normal headphone jack), and also to show us the future of screen technology. Dropping the headphone jack has slowed adaptation of the iPhone X and the Pixel 2 (it's amazing the number of people I still see with iPhone 6 and original Pixel units dragging their feet on the upgrade), and by giving users a phone with a headphone jack, RED is making sure there is absolutely no reason not to consider the jump.

Delivery date is still estimated, but RED expects to be showing it off to the public in events in April (curiously, NAB is in April), and hopes to start shipping unlocked pre-order units by the summer, with carrier based phones after that. This is later than the Q1 estimated ship time when the unit was originally announced, but RED has never worried too much about deadlines and they admit that dealing with carriers has been more time consuming than originally expected. Considering the fall iPhone upgrade cycle, we suspect fall shipments for the Hydrogen with carrier support is the goal, and we look forward to seeing the competition play out. We're also curious to see if this fall's iPhone might have some competitive technology of its own.

Tech Specs:

  • Full-sized headphone jack
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 835x
  • Dual Sim Slots
  • 4500 mA battery
  • 2560 x 1440 2D mode resolution, 4V mode resolution built on that

Your Comment

12 Comments

So is this just a phone, or a phone with sweet video capabilities?

January 23, 2018 at 4:14PM, Edited January 23, 4:14PM

7
Reply
avatar
David Prokopchuk
Photographer / Film Maker
189

its a basic phone with a holographic display. its modular so if you want the sweet high end camera you will have to add it as a module. Think of it as a scarlet camera that makes phone calls lol

January 23, 2018 at 4:21PM, Edited January 23, 4:21PM

0
Reply
Nathan T
DP
260

It is NOT a holographic display.

January 30, 2018 at 12:45AM

21
Reply
David Gurney
DP
2007

When RED first announced their new Hydrogen smartphone last April, details were sketchy, and while we've seen some more info and especially response videos since then, we are finally get some finalized specs and refreshed timeline information that should be comforting to those who put down more than $1,000 to pre-order a device last April on only the earliest of pre-renders. The Hydrogen will be a 2560 x 1440 resolution smartphone (at least in 2D mode), running on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835x processor, which is a powerful unit that drives 4K up to 30fps, in HEVC and H.264, with the plain 835 running both the Pixel 2 and the Samsung S8.

While RED is still promoting the modular system, which will use the external pins to allow for attachments such as a cinema quality camera, the focus of this release is more on how much functionalitity you get out of the base unit. It's described as being thicker and slightly heavier than your average 5.7" phone, though that is fine with us, since they are using that thickness to shove in a 4500mA battery, which should help the phone actually make it through the day, something ultra thing phones have a tendency not to do. In addition, 4V "holographic" capture will be supported natively in the unit without the need for an accessory, and they are working on social sharing features with the major platforms, but they don't have final resolution specs on the format yet though they claim that even on the 2560 display, the way the technology works it appears to have more resolution than 2D, even when it doesn't.

Credit: RED

Frankly, one of the key features here is the remaining headphone jack, and while that might seem like a joke, we don't mean it as one. A lot of old school folks were initially reluctant about the initial RED One because it threw everything out the door: it had great innovations (Wavelet! 4K! Windowing for slow-motion), and then it had those crazy mini-SDI connectors and sold lenses in F-stops instead of T-stops. The headphone jack tells us a lot about RED's ambition for the Hydrogen platform: this is meant to be transitional—to both work as the day-to-day phone you always have with you (where most users frankly still prefer a normal headphone jack), and also to show us the future of screen technology. Dropping the headphone jack has slowed adaptation of the iPhone X and the Pixel 2 (it's amazing the number of people I still see with iPhone 6 and original Pixel units dragging their feet on the upgrade), and by giving users a phone with a headphone jack, RED is making sure there is absolutely no reason not to consider the jump.

Delivery date is still estimated, but RED expects to be showing it off to the public in events in April (curiously, NAB is in April), and hopes to start shipping unlocked pre-order units by the summer, with carrier based phones after that. This is later than the Q1 estimated ship time when the unit was originally announced, but RED has never worried too much about deadlines and they admit that dealing with carriers has been more time consuming than originally expected. Considering the fall iPhone upgrade cycle, we suspect fall shipments for the Hydrogen with carrier support is the goal, and we look forward to seeing the competition play out. We're also curious to see if this fall's iPhone might have some competitive technology of its own.

Tech Specs:
Full-sized headphone jack
Qualcomm Snapdragon 835x
Dual Sim Slots
4500 mA battery
2560 x 1440 2D mode resolution, 4V mode resolution built on that

January 23, 2018 at 9:55PM

0
Reply
scott pommier
Director
102

Why did you repost the ENTIRE ARTICLE AS A COMMENT, dumb-ass?

January 30, 2018 at 12:38AM

22
Reply
David Gurney
DP
2007

It's no DJI Mavic Air that was also talked about a wee bit today...

January 23, 2018 at 4:54PM, Edited January 23, 4:54PM

0
Reply
Pat Heine
Producer.
346

The buzz here about this phone is almost deafening! :-D

January 23, 2018 at 6:31PM

6
Reply
Gerard M.
1159

I pre-ordered the phone, but I canceled it after finding out my provider will not support the phone.

January 24, 2018 at 1:10PM

0
Reply
avatar
Walter Wallace
Spokesperson/Entrepreneur
1261

They won't "support" it? In what way?

January 30, 2018 at 12:39AM, Edited January 30, 12:39AM

0
Reply
David Gurney
DP
2007

Still sounds like an unnecessary overpriced bullshit phone.... its a phone ffs.... dont give a hoot what kind of hype they try to spin around. You are stupid if you think an iphone is worth 1000dollars... even more so with this one.

January 24, 2018 at 4:42PM

7
Reply
avatar
Torben Greve
Cinematographer
1016

I cancelled mine in December, the one reason i did so was Reds habit of stringing its users along with typical American hype and promises that deliver 1-2 years later than first anticipated, but the main reason was that i think this thing will only really be a useful tool by adding the additional modules, which will turn your $1500 phone into a $3000+ exercise to have any decent functionality such as a high res camera which is what i imagine most people here will use it for.

January 24, 2018 at 5:09PM, Edited January 24, 5:11PM

8
Reply
Nathan T
DP
260

The "module" idea has been tried for phones and has failed. It's dumb. Anything that a user would want to carry around all the time should be built into the phone.

Anything else should be a separate device. That's essentially what you have after you bulk up the phone with a bunch of crap, which presumably can't be used concurrently anyway because there's only one expansion interface (unless they can be daisy-chained, which creates even more laughable bulk).

January 30, 2018 at 12:42AM

8
Reply
David Gurney
DP
2007