Single biggest USP of the Hydrogen One was supposed to be its holographic display though unfortunately, that seems to be the biggest disappointment with the phone itself.
The Hydrogen One from Red is finally ready for prime time action, with a release date fixed for November 2. That should signal a sigh of relief from eager fans of the company as well as those who have already evinced a strong interest in the device.
The Hydrogen One also is unlike any smartphone anyone might have ever seen to date. And the prime reason for that being its 5.7-inch, WQHD resolution LCD screen holographic display which, the company said would render 3D displays but won’t require the user to wear 3D glasses. Also, its unlike conventional 3D displays where there are 2 separate displays for each eye. Instead, with the Hydrogen One, there are in fact four separate images. That also is the reason Red prefers to call the display as ‘4V,’ or ‘4 View.’
Unfortunately, while the above might sound earth-shattering sort of a thing, the reality is far removed from that. And much of that has to do with the display being blurry most of the times, to the extent that the pixels become visible even from a comfortable viewing distance. In fact, some even complained of feeling dizziness after having viewed the display for some time. The display though works just fine in the standard 2D mode.
That apart, the other specialty with the Hydrogen One happens to be its dual lens front and rear cameras which allows one to capture 3D images and videos right off the phone itself. That again should be hardly surprising considering Red’s immense prowess in the field of digital imaging. For the record, the Hydrogen comes with a pair of 8MP cameras at the front while the rear features twin 12MP cameras.
Another let down with the Hydrogen One is that it is built around a Snapdragon 835 processor. Now that is hardly exciting given that the world has moved on to Snapdragon 845 in between and we have already seen most of the flagship of the year, which means even SD845 is almost passé. In that case, launching a phone with last year’s processor seems somewhat crazy.
That, however, isn’t the only thing that makes the Hydrogen One seem to be at odds. For the phone has been priced a staggering $1300. And paying that much for a phone that still is a work-in-progress thing can be too much of an ask for even the most hardcore of Red fans.
The rest of the specs are however quite impressive. That includes a 6 GB RAM and 128 GB of storage. The phone meanwhile is going to be available in three models – Black, Shadow, and Titanium. Of these, the Black and Shadow versions have been built using anodized aluminum while the Titanium model is built using titanium. The latter is however listed as a highly limited edition model on the company website. Specifications across the models are the same though save for a higher 256 GB storage for Titanium. All three models, however, qualify for 512 GB of the external memory slot.
Power comes from a massive 4500 mAh battery though it would be interesting to see how long it would sustain things given the phone’s unique operational profile. Besides, the phone runs Android 8.1 Oreo at the moment, and there is no word yet as to when the upgrade to Android Pie is forthcoming.
The design, unfortunately, is quite a yesteryear, with the thick bezels all round and the big burly feel that it has to it. The ridged sides do make things look a bit different though that isn’t enough to make one feel nice with the phone as a whole. Among the other positives with the phone include the sound, which the company described as Multi-Dimensional Surround Sound. And that does perform the way it has been described.
Red also promises a whole range of accessories that would attach to the smartphone via the rear mounted connectors though those again are a work-in-progress thing.
In any case, if the Hydrogen One and its price still appeal to anyone they can look forward to the official release of the phone that is slated on Nov. 2.