RED Hydrogen One

Equipment: The Verge Gets Their Hands on RED's Hydrogen One

Posted May 24, 2018
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The most anticipated phone in the professional video world for the past few years wasn't the iPhone X, Pixel 2, or Galaxy S9, but rather a new smartphone from camera maker RED: The Hydrogen One. After much anticipation, the phones are almost here and some "RED Pioneers" are getting their hands on the smartphones already. One of whom, 

RED is known for making some of the best, and most expensive, cameras in the world. When it was announced that they were going to produce a smartphone specifically designed for the growing professional smartphone video industry people were both excited and surprised. At that point, while many professionals were using smartphones to create video, it wasn't thought in to be a serious endeavor by industry professionals, rather something for people to do Facebook live and Instagram videos with. Since then, smartphone video production has become far more legitimate and respected with whole Hollywood films being produced on them. Now RED wants their phone to be the standard bearer for professional video production on smartphones, and while we're inclined to think they are going to produce an amazing phone capable of getting amazing shots, will it be worth the price-tag and will it get people to switch from their Androids or iPhones?

Aside from an expected stellar camera system, the phone features 3D and holographic features which may be cutting edge or a waste of time. We'll just have to wait and see.

From The Verge review: 

The company better known for high-end 4K cameras with names like “Weapon” and “Epic-w” isn’t entering the smartphone game simply to sell you a better Android phone (though it does have both Verizon and AT&T signed on to support it). No, this phone is meant to be one piece of a modular system of cameras and other media creation equipment. The company claims it will be “the foundation of a future multi-dimensional media system.”

To that end, it has a big set of pogo pins on the back to connect it to RED’s other cameras and also to allow users to attach (forthcoming) modules to it, including lens mounts. If it were just a modular smartphone, we’d be talking about whether we really expected the company to produce enough modules to support it. Other phones have had mixed results in that department: Moto has released a bunch; Essential has not.

RED is planning to start with a module that is essentially a huge camera sensor. The company is not ready to give exact details, but the plan is definitely more toward DSLR size than smartphone size. Then, according to CEO Jim Jannard, the company wants any traditional big camera lens to be attached to it. Answering a fan question, he joked that support for lenses will be “pretty limited,” working “just” with Fuji, Canon, Nikon, Leica, and more.

The Hydrogen One is very big. The prototype we looked at was larger than an iPhone 8 Plus, complete with a USB-C plug, stereo speakers, and a headphone jack. It is also very much a RED product, so it’s incredibly industrial-looking. It comes in either aluminum (preorder price: $1,195) or titanium (preorder price: $1,595), and it is not shy about the metal on either model.

It’s covered in metal fins and ridges. The sides have “scallops” to make it easier to hold in one hand, and the power button on the right is where you’ll find the fingerprint sensor. The company’s camera may be called “weapon,” and it definitely feels like you could do some damage with this thing.

Read the full review here.

See more gear news in our Equipment Section.


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