The RED Hydrogen One is one of the more unusual smartphones to ship in the past few years thanks to a “holographic display,” a rugged design, and a connector for modular add-ons.
Developed by a company best known for its cameras, the smartphone actually had a built-in camera that wasn’t all that impressive. But RED has been promising to release a cinema camera add-on… which has yet to arrive.
Now RED founder Jim Jannard has posted a bit of an explanation — as well as an outline for what comes next.
In a nutshell, Jannard says that while RED typically makes its camera products in California, the company contacted with an unnamed Chinese ODM (Original device Manufacturer) to prepare the phone for manufacture by Foxconn — and while Foxconn has lived up to expectations, the ODM has not.
So Jannard says it’s been “impossible” to get the ODM to resolve the problems, so RED has instead begun working with a new ODM on a new smartphone called the RED Hydrogen Two.
There’s no word on what thew new phone will look like, what features it will have, or how it will differ from the company’s first phone. But one thing we do know is that, like the Hydrogen One, the new model will work with modular add-ons.
While RED is working with a new ODM on its next-gen smartphone, the company has brought production of its camera module in-house, where it will be developed by the same team that makes the company’s standalone cameras.
The upshot is that Jannard says the Komodo camera
module’s “capability will vastly exceed the originally planned module” and it’ll be compatible with both the Red Hydrogen One and Two smartphones.
At this point, there’s no word on when the camera module or the new smartphone will be available.
Update: Apparently Komodo is not a camera module… but it is apparently something that can be used with a RED Hydrogen One and it’s something that’ll be a $5,000+ piece of photography gear for everyone except RED Hydrogen One owners.
via The Verge and