First Look at RED’s Hydrogen Holographic Smartphone

This prototype teaser gives us a little more info, but keeps the “holographic” features a mystery.

High-end camera manufacturer RED has been working on a brand new smartphone device supposedly designed to crush current smartphone camera technology. Labeled the RED Hydrogen One, the upcoming device has remained a mystery since its initial reveal in July. The company provided only a name, a conservative first-look photo and a steep price tag of $1200.

Did we also mention that they hyped this up as a VR, AR, and mixed reality game-changer?

Well, thanks to prominent YouTuber Marques Brownlee, we now have a much better look at the mysterious device in an exclusive hands-on with several prototype models. In the video shared today, Marques plays around with several different prototypes provided directly by RED themselves.

These different variations include a non-working model meant to represent what the final phone will look like (minus a few minor tweaks), one that demonstrates the device’s highly-anticipated “holographic display,” and a third model that shows the phone with one of its many camera add-ons.

The phone is big, like really big.

“This will turn into a two-handed phone for a lot of people,” Brownlee says in his video.

But all that size has its benefits, including a massive 5.7” display and plenty of room for the high-end technology RED is looking to stuff inside it. A metal finish mixed with Kevlar panels give it a sleek, modern look while obvious providing a high-level of protection; something I’d definitely want on a phone this pricey.

Bottom pins on the back of the device mean support for a wide variety of planned attachments, including a lens mount for various RED-brand lenses. Representatives at RED have already made it clear that this device will be the future of “small form factor cinema.” The smartphone’s Hydrogen system is also Helium-based, meaning it should already outperform other mirrorless and small DSLR cameras in terms of video quality.

Unfortunately, one of the smartphone’s biggest selling points—its much-talked about holographic display—was not discussed very much in the reveal. The advanced “four-dimensional” display is said to provide a deeper look into video, reportedly providing an experience similar to that of the Nintendo 3DS. In Marques’s video we are given footage of just his reaction, which is less-than informative. He describes the technology as providing a “crazy, deep, sort of 3D look.” During the hands-on demonstration he viewed both footage shot specifically for “holographic” viewing as well as 2D content converted into the three-dimensional video.

He did note several issues during the experience such as bleeding at the edges and occasional frame stutter, but was quick to note that this was still merely a beta demo with many features subject to change. The device using the holographic technology is also blurred in the video, but this is most likely to avoid confusion as that particular model’s appearance will be different from that of the final product.

Image Credit: Marques Brownlee

About the Scout

Kyle Melnick

Kyle is a writer for VRScout also working in new media production. He's also a part-time bounty hunter.

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