The world’s first glasses-free holographic phone is coming, and it’s not from Apple
RED, the company that makes professional digital cameras for shooting Hollywood movies, is making a “holographic” phone called the Hydrogen.
The company is touting the Hydrogen as the “world’s first holographic media machine” and says it doesn’t require glasses to see the supposed holograms.
The 5.7-inch phone runs Android, and pre-orders are available in two tiers: It costs $1,595 for the “Titanium” high-end version and $1,195 for the “Aluminum” slightly lower-end version. The phone ships in Q1 2018.
According to RED’s announcement, the Hydrogen has a “professional hydrogen holographic display,” which “seamlessly switches between traditional 2D content, 3D content, and interactive games.”
The screen is, according to the company, capable of displaying “holographic RED Hydrogen 4-View content (H4V),” “stereo 3D content” and “2D/3D VR, AR (augmented reality) and MR (mixed reality).”
High-quality audio is another feature to drool over, with a special algorithm that can reportedly convert stereo sound into 5.1 surround sound.
Like the company’s modular cinema cameras, the Hydrogen is all about attaching accessories. You can attach camera extras like “future attachments for shooting higher quality motion and still images as well as Hydrogen format holographic images.” The caveat: These accessories won’t ship at launch.
Additionally, the Hydrogen can be connected to the company’s Scarlet, EPIC and Weapon cameras as a separate control input and camera monitor. And that’s basically it. We have no idea what processor it has, or how much storage, or RAM, or anything else about the camera (is there even a selfie camera?).
The teaser image clearly shows a headphone jack, USB-C port, and a rather big (and serious) looking camera protruding out of the backside. RED’s website says it’ll have a microSD card slot, though.
There’s also a prominent red-colored record button on the side, and what looks like indentations for you to possibly grip the phone. It’s a weird design that’s very industrial-looking just like RED’s cinema cameras.
Below, you can find a brightened up version of the teaser image, which reveals more of the design.
Is the phone overkill? It sure looks like it, but that hasn’t stopped YouTubers like MKBHD from using RED’s cameras to shoot 8K-resolution videos.
The Hydrogen is clearly not for everyone and aimed squarely at the RED camera fanbase and other camera nerds. That rear-facing cam better be excellent because for the $1,200 price, it’s definitely not a phone made for the average joe.
The Hydrogen One will also allow modular attachments, similar to features seen on the Moto Z and the yet-to-ship Essential Phone. Unlike those phones, the Hydrogen One will put its focus on image capture, working with RED’s digital cinema lineup.
RED will offer two versions of the Hydrogen One — one in aluminum that starts at $1,195 and an even pricier titanium version that costs $1,595.
Some caveats about the phone: The preliminary design that accompanies the press release is subject to change. And RED says its initial price quote may not hold up by the time Hydrogen One hits store shelves. Despite this statement, RED is taking pre-orders for the Hydrogen One, which is set to reach the public by early 2018. However, RED said it won’t be able to fill all orders on time “due to display production limitations.” Modular attachments won’t be available at launch, either.
If the price tag doesn’t scare you away, the Hydrogen One sounds like an impressive smartphone for photography and cinema fanatics. Though exact specs have yet to be announced, YouTube vloggerMarques Brownlee tweeted that the phone will offer a textured grip-friendly design, headphone jack, USB Type-C and microSD ports.