Well, this is a surprise. It was only July when Jim Jannard, founder of RED, announced that the RED Hydrogen 2 smartphone was on the way, after blaming the original Hydrogen One’s failures on their Chinese device designers. Now, citing age and health issues, Jannard has announced that he’s stepping down from RED and Oakley and retiring. Oh, yes, and he’s cancelled the Hydrogen 2.
The promotion leading up to the release of the RED Hydrogen One was largely a hype-fuelled campaign that ended up disappointing a whole lot of people. Particularly people who’d actually put money down to buy one. After delays, and even giving out freebies, it still wasn’t enough to keep people happy, so RED seemed to quietly pull the plug.
Now it seems, though, that RED is up for round 2 and taking another crack at the smartphone market with the RED Hydrogen 2. A post from RED (and Oakley sunglasses) founder Jim Jannard on the H4VUser website admits the issues with the Hydrogen One and announced the commencement of work on the Hydrogen 2.
After a pretty abysmal launch, the RED Hydrogen One had one possible saving grace that might help see it succeed and allow RED to redeem themselves in the eyes of their customers. Not to mention the entire smartphone-buying public. That one thing was its expandability. Modules that allow the user to enhance the functionality of the device.
Now, RED seems to have silently scrapped those modules, including the camera module, after removing all traces of them from the Hydrogen One website. The change was spotted by Reddit user ReipasTietokonePoku, where it sparked off quite the discussion between owners of the phone.
The release of RED’s new Hydrogen One holographic smartphone is drawing ever closer. We’ve known about its modular connectivity through the pogo pins on the back, but very little has been said about what they’re for. It’s been suggested that we’d perhaps see battery packs or small camera modules to use “real” lenses and that it may offer communication with RED’s range of cameras.
Well, the first of those cameras has been announced. RED has teamed up with a 3D VR camera company, Lucid on an 8K prosumer 3D camera. A camera not only shoots holographic content that can be viewed on the Hydrogen One but a camera which also uses the Hydrogen One as its “viewfinder” while shooting.
It seems that RED has gone from prototype to production. The RED Hydrogen smartphone was announced last July with pre-orders starting at $1,195. Delivery was pushed back until August this year, pending carrier certification. It appears to have now passed that certification and will be coming to AT&T and Verizon this summer.
What makes the Hydrogen One stand out from other smartphones, RED says, is its 5.7-inch 4V “holographic display”. They haven’t let it be seen by the cameras yet, though. Their justification is that cameras simply can’t do it justice, so they’d rather real-world first impressions get out the first.[Read More…]
Teasing us with specs always seems to get us a little excited, especially when it comes to something new and different. Sure, smartphones aren’t exactly new, but the RED Hyrdrogen One sure appears to be. The world’s first phone with a holographic display that doesn’t require any kind of glasses. Now RED have let out a few more specs on the phone, as well as an approximate shipping date.