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RED’s $1,200 smartphone isn’t launching anytime soon

by Danny Zepeda | January 24, 2018January 24, 2018 2:00 pm PST

Back in June of last year, RED teased the Hydrogen Phone. In the ensuing eight months, we’ve only seen a prototype to quench our curiosity, and we’re going to have to wait a little longer for the final pay off. The company on Tuesday announced the device is expected to enter mass production in a few months with a launch this summer.

The announcement came in a forum post by RED CEO Jim Jannard in which he expanded into more detail of his company’s first major smartphone. In the announcement, we get a few new specs and details, including more information about the mysterious holographic display that seems to be the main selling point for the device.

There will be two modes for the display: regular 2D mode (in the standard 2560 x 1440 resolution) and 4V mode for the holographic view. When in 4V mode, the display will slightly dim from its full brightness level to deliver the 3D content. Jannard did not hold back on praising the 4V mode, saying people who have seen it have been awed.

Jannard blissfully boasted about landing major carrier support for the Hydrogen Phone. In his words, “carrier support for the Hydrogen Phone is unprecedented.” But that was followed by a disappointing “we just can’t tell you yet” of the carriers supporting the device. But this is a very good first step. Unlocked versions of the Hydrogen will ship before carrier versions are available.

The Hydrogen Phone will be equipped with a Snapdragon 835x processor. We’re not sure what the “x” means, but it is slightly disappointing. The Galaxy S9, which is expected to arrive in a couple of months, will be equipped with the 845 processor.

One of the more impressive tidbits is the device will launch with a gigantic 4,500mAh battery. That will be the biggest battery any smartphone will feature, handily eclipsing the Razer Phone’s already impressive 4,000mAh battery.

RED has big plans to develop 4V content. The Hydrogen Phone will be able to capture 4V content through its camera. Jannard also mentioned some of the modules that will be available; two he specifically named were the battery module and the cinema grade camera module. The camera module will capture footage in RED’s R3D format. A Hydrogen Network was also briefly touched upon. It’ll essentially be a system to collect all 4V content from major studios and content providers in hopes of putting the 4V mode to good use.

Prototypes of the Hydrogen Phone will be available for display as early as April, but Jannard was coy about elaborating. This is a move to help drum up interest in the already mysterious Hydrogen Phone.

Starting at $1,195, RED’s Hydrogen Phone is already exclusively in a niche category. It’ll be intersting to see how RED’s first smartphone performs even with all it offers.

RED

Danny Zepeda

Born and raised in Southern California, Danny grew up on a steady diet Pixar, Star Wars and Steven Spielberg movies. Unbeknownst to him, this was...

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