Red’s first phone has a holographic display and a price tag worthy of the brand

New video clip shows design of Red's crazy futuristic Hydrogen One phone

Red Hydrogen One
Professional digital imaging firm Red is mostly known for cinema cameras, but now it has turned it attention to a different kind of product. The company has unveiled the Hydrogen One, an Android-powered smartphone that is unlike any other we’ve seen.

The party piece here is the screen. Red calls it a “professional hydrogen holographic display,” and what it does is enable on-the-fly switching between 2D content, stereoscopic 3D content, and holographic Red Hydrogen 4-View content. While we’re not exactly sure what that last one could possibly look like in action, the point is that the Hydrogen One is able to deliver all these kinds of media formats without the need for glasses or any additional accessories. It’s kind of like the Nintendo 3DS in that way, but with a much more advanced screen.

While we haven’t received any more details about the device since its announcement in July, Marques Brownlee was recently able to go hands on with two prototypes: one non-functional mockup showing off the exterior fit and finish, and another working device which Red is still keeping under wraps.

From the looks of the design prototype, the Hydrogen One is a big phone with a very industrial aesthetic. The phone is cloaked in a mix of metal and Kevlar, with a notched, grippy surface on the sides to make it easier to hold. An arrangement of pin connectors break up the bottom Kevlar panel, and they’ll support modular components like the lens mount seen at the end of the video. For the first time, we can see the front of the device, which is rather spartan compared to the back. There are stereo front-facing speakers flanking the holographic display on the top and bottom.

Brownlee had the opportunity to watch holographic content on the functional prototype, and said he was impressed with the results — though Red still has some work to do tuning the tech before launch. Additionally, the final exterior design is subject to slight changes.

Red calls the device “the world’s first holographic media machine,” rather than simply a smartphone. The display itself is 5.7 inches in size, though the company has not stated the resolution of the display, nor the underlying tech — be it LCD, OLED as the upcoming iPhone is rumored to feature, or something perhaps completely different. Red hasn’t answered our request for clarification.

But there’s more that differentiates the Hydrogen One than just the screen alone. Red has fitted its first phone with a proprietary audio algorithm that it says converts ordinary stereo into multidimensional sound. Interestingly, it doesn’t seem to require custom accessories hardware either, meaning ordinary headphones will still be able to provide the depth effect.

Finally, Red says the device allows for a certain degree of modularity as well, to support future attachments for shooting higher quality video, still images, and holographic content. Strangely however, the press release doesn’t elaborate as to the on-board imaging tech.

We can see the bezeled camera housing in the lone promotional image we have of the device, but as for other details — megapixels, aperture, sensor size, whether there’s a dual-camera system in play, and so on — there’s no information provided. However, Red does mention a specialized app and content hub called the Red Channel where users can download and upload holographic content, indicating you should be able to record such video out of the box.

There are still many more details about the Hydrogen One that have yet to be confirmed. We don’t know what processor is powering this phone for example, or how much memory it’s packing. We can see a USB-C port and 3.5mm headphone jack, but as for everything else, lots of questions remain. We’ll update this article as we hear more.

We do, however, know the price — and it appears all that next-generation media doesn’t come cheap. The Hydrogen One can currently be pre-ordered in two configurations: an aluminum model for $1,200, and a titanium one for a whopping $1,600.

Red says that pricing is also subject to change, as are the design and specs before the phone launches sometime in the first quarter of 2018. The company is very clear that it can’t guarantee those prices upon the release date; once the pre-order run is all spoken for, the Hydrogen One could end up being even more expensive.

Update: Added video of Hydrogen One prototype.

Mobile

OnePlus 6T vs. Honor View 20: We compare the cameras in these ‘flagship killers’

For less than $600, you can buy either the OnePlus 6T or the Honor View 20, two extremely capable smartphones with plenty of exciting features. But which one has the best camera? We found out on a recent trip to France.
Gaming

These Xbox One exclusives are the definition of quality over quantity

Xbox One has a prestigious collection of handpicked titles that you can't play on other consoles. Here are the latest and greatest Xbox One exclusives, including some that are also available on PC
Gaming

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.
Mobile

10 common problems with the Samsung Galaxy S8, and how to fix them

Despite being one of Samsung's flagship phones, some users are facing problems with the Galaxy S8. Thankfully, there are fixes and potential workarounds for those struggling. Our troubleshooting tips are easy to follow.
Cars

Keep your driving record squeaky clean with these top-flight radar detectors

Nobody likes getting a speeding ticket, but these gadgets can help. Check out our picks for the best radar detectors on the market, from the likes of Valentine One, Escort, and Beltronics.
Mobile

Save space on your iPhone by turning off Live Photos in the camera app

If you want to save storage space on your iPhone or reduce the size of your backup for iCloud, then you should think about turning off Live Photos in the camera app. Find out exactly how to do it with our easy guide.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Grow veggies indoors and shower more efficiently

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Mobile

The best Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus cases to keep your titanic phone safe

The new Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus is a gorgeous device, with one of the best dual-lens cameras we've ever seen. Keep your titanic device safe and scratch-free with the best Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus cases.
Deals

Amazon slashes prices on Fitbit Versa smartwatches for Presidents’ Day

Amazon is offering a solid $30 discount on this great fitness tracking smartwatch right now. So if you're looking for a wearable that can help you track steps, sleep, and activity, now is a great time to pick one up for less.
Mobile

How to perform a reverse image search in Android or iOS

You can quickly use Google to search, and reverse search, images on a PC or laptop, but did you know it's almost as easy to do in Android and iOS? We explain how to do it here, whether you want to use Chrome or a third-party app.
Mobile

The best Honor View 20 cases to keep your midrange beauty intact

With power to rival flagships, great looks, and a stunning camera, the Honor View 20 is an excellent phone -- but it still needs protection from hazards. Here are some of the best Honor View 20 cases.
Mobile

Be careful who you bokeh, jokes Apple’s latest iPhone ad

With iPhone sales under pressure, you'd think there wouldn't be much to laugh about at Apple HQ. But the company has seen fit to inject some humor into its latest handset ad, which highlights the camera's Depth Control feature.
Mobile

Samsung's Unpacked draws near. Here's what we know about the Galaxy S10 so far

It won't be long now. With 2019 underway, the Samsung Galaxy S10 is almost here. Before it arrives, here's absolutely everything you need to know about all three of Samsung's next flagships.
Mobile

Gorilla Glass 6 will cover the Xiaomi Mi 9's AMOLED screen

Xiaomi's next major smartphone release will be the Mi 9, and the company hasn't held back in giving us a good look at the phone, revealing the design, the camera, and a stunning color.