RED jumped into the smartphone game last June with the announcement of the Hydrogen One phone. Since then, the smartphone has been mired in secrecy with only one video from YouTuber MKBHD actually showing off the hardware. Originally, it was set to be released in early 2018, but four months into the year, the company’s founder has revealed it won’t be out until August.
In an April forum post first spotted by CNET, Jim Jannard opened up about why the device hasn’t been released and why it’s being delayed by several months.
The first reason is the camera. The company has been busy perfecting the two camera system on the main shooter and the front-facing module, in particular the real time 4V mode it has been busy advertising ahead of the Hydrogen One’s release.
A few months ago we added 3D cameras front and back to HYDROGEN so you could shoot 3D and convert to 4V without a module. Processing to 4V needed the cloud, your computer or was done VERY SLOWLY on your phone. Much better than a module but still not ideal. Now, with a lot of hardware and software work (which created a good portion of the delay)… you shoot 4V realtime on the phone both sides.
Second, Jannard pointed to the big challenge of coming to agreements with carriers. None of the carriers RED is working with were revealed in the post, but it did say the process has been “pretty tricky.”
RED is hosting an event in May in Los Angeles, likely to quell angst over the delay of the Hydrogen One, in which it will show off some content played in 4V along with the aluminum and titanium models of the smartphone. Hopefully after that we’ll have a better idea about whether or not the device is vaporware or not.