RED Hydrogen One – Really Limitless Smartphone
No, RED is not another iteration of the Apple iPhone like in PRODUCT RED. RED is the digital cameras manufacturer. If you’ve watched any of blockbusters of the previous decade, you’ve seen what their cameras are capable of. Ever dreamed of having one like that? Your dreams may well come true!
RED announced the first ever smartphone produced outside the electronics business. RED Hydrogen One is the first smartphone designed and manufactured outside of the electronic business. But the origin of this handheld is far less amazing than the features RED promises. And they are a holographic display and a full, separate camera module with its own lens and sensor. And you do remember that cameras are the RED’s bread and butter, don’t you?
The company is making a great secret of the new smartphone, but not too great. For instance, it leaked the picture of Brad Pitt having a look at the gadget. An astonished look, or at least a well-acted astonished look for that matter. This week the famous YouTube vlogger Marques Brownlee was the luckiest of all. He got his hands on a prototype.
As you can see in the picture, the Hydrogen One made by the cameras manufacturing company has the look of one. It’s solid, large and has ridges on the edges for a better grasp. While other smartphones are running for the title of the sleekest and slimmest gadget, Hydrogen One seems to have a no-nonsense solid look. The one that brings back to mind the 2000s. The smartphone features the telltale round red logo on the back. The row of metal dot contacts there too means the mobile will get a wireless charging and perhaps a dock.
Now, the feature most rumored of – the holographic display. This is one of the thing I listed in My List of Wanna-Have Magic Things. And as I mentioned there the closest is the Haptoclone prototype from Japan. And the Japanese gimmick is the size of a desktop tower. I just can’t see how RED engineers managed to squeeze the technology into the mobile casing. Again, we didn’t see the display yet. Brownlee blurred the gadget he played with. But as he mentioned, the holographed image was nothing like what we see in sci-fi movies. The motion stuttered and the light bled at the edges of the screen.
And it’s not an interface, it’s a 4D image shot by special cameras. I guess, we lack 4d content right now. Though, the gadget is promised to upscale the ordinary 2D up to 4- and 3D, but we’ll wait and see. Anyway, when we’re in need for 4D vids, the RED will be there to help us with their 4D cams. A huge market, that’s for sure.
Ok, camera. Or a separate camera module with a modular lens system. The module is to be attached to the rear camera thus enhancing its resolution up to 8K. They promise, camera will have CMOS, CCD, or FOVEON sensors, and range from half-inch to full-frame or bigger in size. Moreover, we’ll be able to squeeze a battery or extra hard drives in between the smartphone and the camera module. And we’ll get a full scale Hollywood camera. It’s too much for a short cat video, what do you think?
The smartphone will need something around Snapdragon 845 or A11 and faster to support all these add-ons to say nothing of the internal storage to save the HD video content. But the RED is reticent about the hardware. I doubt they developed their own system-on-chip, it’s simply not their line of business.
So, if other companies roll out phones that can shoot more or less decent video, the RED is going to introduce the camera that can text and make calls. But only time will show if it will be the shut-up-and-take-my-money phone. The price will soar around $1,400, maybe more. And the chances of having the camera module from the box are very slim. So, be prepared to shell out half that sum from the camera add-on as well.