RED Hydrogen One Evaluate

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RED Hydrogen One Evaluate

Hyping a product naturally does nicely to generate curiosity, particularly when it is one thing so totally different and bold. However the RED Hydrogen One has been going via a rollercoaster experience ever because it was first revealed again in July 2017, and a number of delays saved on pushing again its launch. RED, for these not acquainted, is an organization that focuses on making skilled video cameras – as in cameras used to shoot precise, feature-length motion pictures, cameras that command a 5-digit price ticket. 
The discharge of the RED Hydrogen One is lastly right here, and understanding what RED and its cameras stand for, we’re desperate to see what this telephone’s dual-camera system is able to. Nevertheless, this isn’t a telephone following the developments, so it might need a more durable time capturing the curiosity of customers, except they’ve a style for the unconventional. Let’s have a look at what the deal is.

Within the field:

  • RED Hydrogen One
  • Wall Charger
  • USB Kind-C charging cable
  • Startup Information


Immediately’s developments are inclined to favor telephones with skinny frames and slick aesthetics that attraction individuals at first look. Effectively, that’s not what the RED Hydrogen One is all about, because it towers over in the present day’s smartphones favoring utility greater than aesthetics. It’s a beastly sized factor that’s not afraid of displaying off its girth, one which’s packing a significantly giant body with some severe weight behind it as nicely.

Whereas the telephone itself is cumbersome, the aluminum and Kevlar body makes it really feel constructed like a tank – in a position to endure some brutal punishment! The scalloped grips round its sides point out once more the telephone’s choice for utility with its design, permitting for added texture for greedy tightly onto the telephone. We do like the way it would not have the identical type of fragileness that accompanies in the present day’s all-glass telephones. Regardless of the tank-like development, the telephone has no waterproof properties. Nonetheless, in an period of glass-covered smartphones, the steel/Kevlar development of the RED Hydrogen One is a refreshing change of surroundings.

Different standouts with the design embrace its energy button/fingerprint sensor combo, twin front-firing audio system, 3.5mm headphone jack, devoted digicam shutter key, and a helpful, easy-to-access SIM/microSD slot that doesn’t require any pin instruments to entry. That is nice for these trying to shortly switch pictures and movies captured by the Hydrogen One to their PCs and laptops.

Modular design

Identical to Motorola and Important, RED is hoping to seize curiosity with the modular side of the Hydrogen One, which is achieved via the pin connectors positioned on the again of the telephone. Little or no has been revealed regarding the lineup of attachments we will count on to see the RED Hydrogen One supporting, however just one has been previewed – the cinema digicam module.

Although we haven’t checked it out for ourselves, it’s a module that lovers are positive to be enthusiastic about as a result of it’s talked about to incorporate a devoted, high-quality picture sensor and a lens attachment permitting customers to make use of lenses with it from Canon, Nikon, Sony, Leica, and different manufacturers. That is little question distinctive within the area, nevertheless it’s one thing that diehard digicam lovers are positive to be receptive of in relation to fruition.

For now, the pins on the again of the Crimson Hydrogen One will stay there unused till we get phrase from RED in regards to the mods. Given how the telephone is shaping out to be hyper-focused on leisure, the lineup might develop into selective.


Packing fairly a little bit of unconventional tech, the RED Hydrogen One’s largest standout must be the “4-View” holographic show it’s rocking. Naturally, the very first thing to come back to thoughts after briefly checking it out had been the glasses-free 3D shows we noticed in telephones just like the HTC EVO 3D and LG Optimus 3D (Thrill 4G) a number of years again. Not surprisingly, that pattern was comparatively shortlived, primarily as a result of it was extra of a novelty than the rest.

Realizing that historical past, you might be questioning how the 5.7-inch QHD (1440 x 2560) 4-View holographic show within the Crimson Hydrogen One performs. For starters, it is actually cool seeing it in motion for the primary time when photos, video, and different content material created particularly on this format “come out” on the telephone’s holographic show, which is ready to obtain the phantasm of depth with out the necessity for glasses. Higher but, there’s no eye fatigue in viewing holographic content material for lengthy durations of time. Now, it’s value noting that the 4-view mode is simply enabled for sure content material – so don’t count on to navigate via the interface in 4-view.

Though it undoubtedly brings the wow issue while you present it off to individuals, it’s nonetheless novel at finest for almost all of customers, however this area of interest characteristic will definitely strike a nerve for these within the VR/360-degree neighborhood. As for the show’s precise traits, it’s not one to essentially catch our consideration over different shows due to its extraordinarily chilly coloration temperature, inaccurate coloration replica, and visual distortion at angles. The one vibrant spot is its robust 519 nit output, which makes it seen below direct daylight.

Interface and performance

RED doesn’t meddle all that a lot with the interface, seeing that it’s working a clear Android 8.1 Oreo expertise out of the field. The one level of competition for some customers often is the bloatware that AT&T provides with the telephone, that are merely among the provider’s apps. Past that, anybody conversant in the Android 8.1 Oreo expertise will discover themselves at house instantly.

In an effort to emphasize the telephone’s cool 4-view holographic show, RED packages a number of apps that present related content material to essentially encapsulate customers. Take for instance the Hydrogen Community app, which affords a number of movies, motion pictures, and quick clips which have been tailor-made to showcase the 4-view holographic show. One other app, the RED LeiaLoft, is a portal the place we will obtain apps and video games which have been optimized to assist the show. We tried out Asphalt 8, Flippy Knife, and Trendy Fight 5, which all translate easily to the holographic show.

In an effort to view 4-View holographic pictures and movies captured by the telephone’s twin cameras, the “RED Participant” app is the one one to point out the content material in holographic kind, seeing that Google Images doesn’t do it. It’s a minor annoyance, however we hope that the choice will likely be one thing accessible down the street.

Processor and Efficiency

As a result of telephone’s lengthy improvement and quite a few delays, there was no working round to switching out the processor to match its contemporaries. It’s working the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC coupled with 6GB of RAM, which suffices sufficient even now for all the fundamental issues, however the chipset is with out query dated at this level. If you assume how nearly each main flagship is accompanied with the Snapdragon 845, having final yr’s {hardware} doesn’t do a lot to justify its value over these choices. Sure, the telephone’s efficiency continues to be responsive, nevertheless it doesn’t supply the identical type of split-second responses we’ve seen in telephones just like the OnePlus 6 and the brand new Pixels.Our explicit mannequin is boasting 128GB of inner storage, a beneficiant tally little question, particularly when there’s growth courtesy of its easy-to-access mixture SIM/microSD slot. This accessible slot doesn’t require assistance from a pin ejection device that almost all telephones implement, which is nice as we detailed already as a result of it offers customers that additional layer of flexibility.

Digital camera

As one would count on from an organization identified for its high-end video manufacturing cameras and kit, there’s an enormous deal with the digicam expertise with the Hydrogen One. Talking of that, sure, the telephone is customary with a dual-camera system within the rear, nevertheless it’s additionally rocking a pair across the entrance! The rear combo breaks right down to a pair of 12.3MP “stereo” cameras, whereas the entrance shooters are a pair of 8.3MP cameras. The twin-camera implementation permits each the entrance and rear cameras to supply stereoscopic photos and movies, in addition to portrait photographs that blur backgrounds and retain deal with the topic.Nevertheless, the neat-o issue right here is in how the 4-View holographic show takes the content material and delivers these holographic views. When switching to 4-View mode, the holographic show kicks in to supply us with a real-time take a look at the composition. In our expertise, there are particular elements that contribute to reaching one of the best outcomes with depth with these holographic content material – just like the distinction of the principle topic from the background, lighting circumstances, and textures. In some cases, photos come out wonderful, however in others, the sensation of depth is missing.

Contemplating RED’s fame in filmmaking, we’re a bit disenchanted by the digicam interface as a result of it’s missing in lots of regards. For one, it does take an extended period of time to seize content material, however that is clearly as a result of processing that’s vital to supply holographic content material. Secondly, the digicam’s handbook mode solely permits modification to the shutter velocity and ISO, which is a far cry from the wealthy controls provided by the competitors. We’re advised although that updates are on the way in which to reinforce the taking pictures expertise, however as of proper now, it’s critically underperforming – even in opposition to what some mid-range telephones supply!

Picture High quality

RED might have the expertise and fame within the cinema world, however in relation to smartphones, it’s fairly indicative that they nonetheless have an extended strategy to go earlier than being remotely thought of a contender. Sure, these 4-View holographic pictures are cool and slick, however once they’re considered as 2D photos, they’re missing wonderful particulars and are sometimes tender. Should you’re on the lookout for higher outcomes, simply keep on with the 2D mode. When there’s ample lighting, pictures come out with extra element and neutral-toned colours. Nevertheless, HDR provides a little bit of enchancment by boosting the shadows and saturating the colours by somewhat bit. The downsides, nonetheless, are that it takes an excellent longer period of time to seize HDR photos, and lots of of them end up blurry, particularly in low mild.

The front-facing digicam really performs slightly nicely when the circumstances are appropriate. Not solely does it seize some stable particulars, nevertheless it’s complemented by its robust dynamic vary and sharpness. The tip outcomes look fairly sharp when there’s nice lighting round! Even portrait photographs handle to do properly as nicely, because the cameras are in a position to distinguish our face from the background – permitting it to correctly add the suitable quantity of blur across the edges of our face.

There’s nothing fairly to take a look at with the digicam’s efficiency below low mild, as predictably so, it ends in very muddy-looking photos void of element. It additionally struggles with dynamic vary, seeing that highlights are sometimes blown out to the purpose that particulars are absent. Moreover, there’s simply an excessive amount of noise within the shadows when there’s little lighting round.

Video High quality

When your model is famend for capturing cinema-grade video, you’re going to be scrutinized much more. Sadly, the RED Hydrogen One fails to ship any substance with its video-recording efficiency. At 1080p decision, visuals seem extraordinarily tender – missing any type of wonderful particulars. On the most decision of 3840 x 2176 (4K, roughly), video does look good, however not any higher than what you’d get out of another high-end telephone. Moreover, the video stabilization makes issues seem very wobbly and jittery, particularly at night time. Over on the audio facet, the mics are simple to cowl accidentally and sound is mediocre basically. To inform you the reality, all the factor makes for a really forgettable expertise!

The choice to shoot in 4-View (RED’s personal holographic 3D video format) is there as nicely, which kicks on the second the icon is pressed on display screen and is captured on the decision of 3840 x 2160. Now, the good factor about that is that you simply get a real-time preview of what the composition seems like – so it’s in a position to ship a plausible stage of depth within the scene. Once more, the novelty of taking pictures on this mode is one thing we admire, however the unlucky factor is that you simply actually can’t share these movies with anybody else. As a substitute, you’ll be able to solely view these movies with the RED Hydrogen One’s holographic show. And sure, it’s cool how some issues come out in these movies, nevertheless it’s actually powerful to discern the precise video’s high quality due to the distortion that comes into play with 4-View mode is on.

For all of the notoriety, it’s slightly disappointing that the RED Hydrogen One can’t even ship common outcomes with its video-recording efficiency. Certain, the 4-View holographic seize is neat-o trying with its capability to outline depth within the video, nevertheless it’s nonetheless a novel characteristic at finest for now. We’d desire to have an excellent 2D video efficiency firstly.


Because of its 4-View holographic show, the RED Hydrogen One definitely is an leisure gadget that’s positive to garner consideration. Movies and pictures pop actually properly in 4-View holographic mode, which is even made higher after we can view the display screen for considerably longer durations of time with out feeling fatigued. And better of all, there aren’t any particular glasses or something required! What’s actually intriguing is how a lot better this expertise is than the 3D motion pictures performed at theaters, primarily as a result of the sensation of depth is much extra outstanding right here. It’s not merely distinguishing foreground and background parts, it’s ready so as to add in a number of extra in between to essentially heighten that feeling of depth.

Over on the audio facet, enabling the 3D impact applies this type of spatial mode with the built-in audio system, however the total quantity output is slightly weak. Compared, it will get a bit louder when the mode is off, reaching a peak output of 73.Three dB, nevertheless it’s nonetheless underperforming in opposition to the competitors. Then once more, we’ll give it kudos for persevering with to make use of a headphone jack for the comfort.

Battery life

If there’s one factor going proper for the RED Hydrogen One, it’s with out query its long-lasting battery life. That’s attributed to its huge 4500 mAh battery, which in our day-to-day use manages to get us nearly a few days from a full cost. By the tip of the primary night time, it was nonetheless hovering across the 45% mark! In our battery benchmark take a look at, it reaffirms our real-world expertise, because it topped out at 11 hours and 10 minutes – simply breezing previous many of the flagship competitors!

Recharging can also be speedy utilizing the included charging adapter, which takes 129 minutes to completely recharge again to full capability. As hinted by the aluminum development, there isn’t any wi-fi charging choice on board.

Name High quality

Regardless of the distortion that’s evident in voices via the earpiece, it’s nonetheless okay sufficient to deal with telephone conversations. Quantity is not less than potent via the earpiece, which makes it nonetheless simple to discern voices – whereas on the opposite finish of the road, our callers didn’t face any main points in making an attempt to make us out. Nevertheless, the lackluster quantity output of the speakerphone just about prevents it from being utilized in noisy circumstances.


These trying to decide up the RED Hydrogen One should shell out some severe dough to snag it, particularly on the charge of $43.17/month for 30 months via AT&T, which brings its value of possession to a staggering $1295.10! We’re all accustomed to seeing smartphones within the $1000 vary, however all of them typically have confirmed to be well-rounded performers. That is not notably the case right here with the RED Hydrogen One which, for a basic smartphone, can’t even come near competing in opposition to the present high telephones within the area.RED’s formidable method undoubtedly must be applauded regardless, simply because they’re daring sufficient to take a gambit on innovation – even when everybody else has seemingly settled on following the developments. Certainly, the 4-View holographic show and digicam seize are distinctive within the area, however identical to the short-lived 3D shows and 3D recording that smartphones went via a number of years in the past, it’s a novelty that shortly wears off. Nevertheless, the RED Hydrogen One does possess one imposing characteristic which will probably win the hearts and minds of lovers – the cinema digicam module.

Whereas most customers is probably not enchanted by this, we definitely know that digicam buffs are digging the prospect of with the ability to connect their present lenses to this telephone. Nevertheless, we nonetheless don’t have a direct timeframe for its launch, nor a value level at that, which suggests yet one more substantial out-of-pocket value to the consumer. Nonetheless, it’s one thing that we really feel has extra objective in the long term than the 4-View holographic show. Except you’re a diehard cinema buff, you might wish to make investments your cash elsewhere.

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