Initial Impressions of RED's $1300 Smartphone are Out

Posted by alphaatlas 11:47 AM (CDT)

Monday October 29, 2018

While some benchmarks seem to be under some kind of NDA, initial impressions for RED's ambitious Hydrogen One smartphone are out. Generally speaking, reviewers are praising the phone's tank-like build and the dual camera setup, but the 3D "holographic" LCD display is a mixed bag. All of that is soured by the phone's rather outdated Snapdragon 835, a $1300 starting price and the lack of any of the promised modular camera attachments at launch. While phones should already be shipping to some, those who want to order though AT&T or Verizon can do so on November 2.

We cannot advise buying a $1,300 phone that is full of bugs and is missing key differentiators. RED could very well fix a lot of the bugs we saw with the promised software updates coming on or around launch. But 3D, 4-view, or whatever you want to call it, is a weak gimmick that should have been left in 2012, and the thing we expect from a RED phone-a truly epic video camera-simply isn't here. I see a vision in this phone. It's the vision of a go-anywhere, pro-quality connected movie camera that effortlessly captures massive files and uploads them easily, probably using 5G. I know RED's Jim Jannard shares this idea, because at the phone's launch he said that he wants his phone to be used as a second-unit camera on shoots. The back of the Hydrogen One says "media machine." As we use more 4K TVs and 8K displays-don't think home TVs, but think projectors and billboards and industrial signage-we're going to need more super high-resolution, super high-quality content, and those huge file sizes will drive 5G adoption. That content is going to need to be stable, bright, and in an 8K industry standard format, not in some proprietary 3D format.