RED’s impending smartphone will assault your senses with nanotechnology… for $1,600


posted Thursday, July 6, 2017 at 1:40 PM EDT


RED, the company known for making some truly outstanding high-end cinema cameras, is set to release a smartphone in Q1 of 2018 called the HYDROGEN ONE. RED says that it is a standalone, unlocked and fully-featured smarphone "operating on Android OS that just happens to add a few additional features that shatter the mold of conventional thinking." Yes, you read that right. This phone will blow your mind, or something - and it will even make phone calls.

In a press release riddled with buzzwords broken up by linking verbs, RED praises their yet-to-be smartphone with some serious adjectives. If we were just shown this press release outside of living on RED's actual server, we would swear it was satire. Here are a smattering of phrases found in the release. We can't make this up:

  • Incredible retina-riveting display
  • Nanotechnology
  • holographic multi-view content
  • RED Hydrogen 4-View content 
  • Assault your senses
  • Proprietary H3O algorithm
  • Multi-dimentional audio

Those are snippets from just the first three sections, of which there are nine. I get hyping a product, but this reads like a catalog seen in the background of a science-fiction comedy, meant to sound ridiculous - especially in the context of a ficticious universe. 

Except that this is real life. 

After spending a few minutes removing all the glitter words from this release, it looks like it will be a phone using a display similar to what you get with the Nintendo 3DS, or what The Verge points out as perhaps better than the flopped Amazon Fire Phone. Essentially, you should be able to use the phone and see 3D content without 3D glasses . Nintendo has already proven that can work, however it can really tire out your eyes. As an owner of three different Nintendo 3DS consoles, I can say that I rarely use the 3D feature because of how it makes my eyes hurt. It's an odd sensation. It is probalby why Nintendo has released a new handheld that has the same power as the 3DS, but dropping the 3D feature altogether.

Anyway, back to the HYDROGEN ONE, RED says that it will work in tandem with their cameras as a user interface and monitor. It will also display what RED is calling "holographic content," which isn't well-described by RED in this release. We can assume it is some sort of mixed-dimensional view that makes certain parts of a video or image stand out over the others. 


There are two models of the phone, which run at different prices. The Aluminum model will cost $1,195, but anyone worth their salt is going to go for the $1,595 Titanium version. Gotta shed that extra weight, you know?

Strangely, the press release moves away from the impersonal format and adds a a direct voice. The release states explicitly that, "I can also assure you that after this initial release, we will NOT be able to fill all orders on time due to display production limitations. We will NOT guarantee these prices at the time of release. Taxes and shipping not included in the price." So like, better buy it now I guess.

The image of the phone is not final, as RED also states that the design may change, and that "specs and delivery dates can also change anytime for any reason." Luckily, should you choose to put money down on this completely unproven and unseen product, "payments are fully refundable for any reason prior to shipping."

Yes, I'm being hard on this product. I am not taking it seriously. Why? Because the release is totally ridiculous. The amount of marketing alphabet soup being thrown into this makes a prime target for my sarcasm gland, and certainly hard to take with any semblance of seriousness. Tech products, especially phones, fail all the time; even ones from well-known companies. Trusting a high-end professional camera company to make an expensive consumer device is already something to inspire a healthy amount of skepticism, but when it's compounded with hype-heavy adjectives and made-up words, I am just put even further on the "wait and see" side of these tracks. 

But if RED can produce, I'll be happy to eat my own words and have my "SENSES" "ASSAULTED" by a $1,600 titanium phone powered by "nanotechnology."

Via The Verge