The first smartphone from high-end camera maker RED Digital Cinema is set to be the company’s last.
A year after releasing the RED Hydrogen One, company founder Jim Jannard has announced that he’s retiring… and shutting down the Hydrogen project.
Jannard says RED will continue to support the Hydrogen One and that development of “Komodo” continues. That’s expected to be some sort of high-end camera designed to work with the Hydrogen One also continues.
But it doesn’t seem like RED has any plans to launch a second phone, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the company stops selling the Hydrogen One after it runs out of stock.
It’s probably not a coincidence that the phone recently got a major price cut — at launch, the Hydrogen One sold for about $1300 and up. Today you can pick one up for $645… although you probably shouldn’t.
The RED Hydrogen One generated a lot of buzz in the year or so before it was launched. RED makes some fantastic cameras, and the company promised to bring its expertise to the mobile space with a smartphone that could support modular add-ons like cameras with interchangeable lenses.
But RED never actually released any of those add-on cameras, and the phone’s built-in camera system is nothing to write home about.
The phone’s other stand-out features include a Kevlar-backed body with ridged sides, a glasses-free 3D display that RED calls a “4V” or “holographic display,” and… that’s about it really.
The RED Hydrogen One has a 5.7 inch, 2560 x 1440 pixel LCD display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, dual 12MP rear cameras, an 8MP front-facing camera, and a 4,500 mAh battery.
The phone does have a few things you don’t find on a lot of today’s flagships including a microSD card reader and a 3.5mm headphone jack. But those aren’t really good reasons to spend $600+ on this phone in 2019, especially since RED is probably never going to release the camera add-ons that made the idea of a RED phone exciting in the first place.
And while Jannard says RED will continue supporting the phone, he didn’t say how long the company would commit to doing that.
Earlier this year, Jannard announced plans to overhaul the production process for its Hydrogen smartphone program, a few months ago the company suggested that a second-gen phone was in the works. But now that Jannard is retiring, it looks like the company is giving up on the project altogether/
via /r/Android and The Verge