The RED Hydrogen One: Disappointing, Overpriced, and Mediocre

RED is a company that's known for making some of the best cinema cameras currently in production. They're known for producing super-high-resolution cameras, but they're also known for their eye-watering price tags. RED has recently produced their first ever smartphone, and so far, the reviews don't look great. 

For a company know for producing an 8K full-frame cinema camera, many were expecting great things from their smartphone. There was a lot of hype last year, and people were anticipating a cinema-type mobile device. A smartphone that could potentially produce cine-ish video, however, maybe we expected too much. Their RED Hydrogen ONE has been met mostly with disappointment. With a price tag of almost $1,300, even without it being a RED device, you'd expect it to be pretty good. Unfortunately, it's being described as a "mess of a phone" and confusing. The most disappointing thing about this smartphone for me is that the camera sensors seem to be off-the-shelf Sony sensors. This means they probably won't produce anything unique or special other than what most current smartphones can produce. 

In the video above, Marques Brownlee does discuss how there is potential for the phone in that it could offer modularity. There's mention of how a new camera module could be installed into the camera and this could possibly mean better video capabilities. For now, however, it's a mediocre phone with dated internals and a ridiculous price. 

Check out the full video to see what Brownlee thinks. 

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9 Comments

Wes Jones's picture

A shame that it isn't quite ready for prime time. Maybe next generation...

Stephen Kampff's picture

If anybody wants to try it out for a couple days, people are renting them out on ShareGrid. Nice idea since you have to see the screen in person to get the full effect.

I wouldnt bother going through all that trouble. I had the phone in my hands last week. Hugely disapointing, the in-camera video is pretty darn bad and noisey. The consumer brands do a much better job here.

The "3D" screen is akin to those Holostickers that look 3D-ish when you shift the angle of your gaze. For $1k? No thanks. Go get an iPhone, or a top of the line Samsung instead.

RED botched this release big time. They should not have released this phone without those modules ready for purchase. Buy, or even rent at your own risk.

Apparently it's harder to produce tiny cameras and phones than big professional cinema level cameras.

This is not their space or market. They should have pulled in industry folks in this space. Had they done that, I think we would be seeing a way better product right now.

If you actually used the phone your opinion would be a bit more educated. This is an amazing phone.

Usman Dawood's picture

I haven't presented my opinion though, have I?

These are opinions of people who have used the phone. Also why do you think it's an "amazing" phone that's quite a claim.

I've used it and it sucks, not a little, but a lot. As a device without the advatange of those rumored modules this phone literally has no market appeal over the other more experienced manufacturers in this space. If you're willing to drop $1k for this pos, god love ya. Then again, most likely you're a RED loyalist used to dropping major buck on their products.