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RED Hydrogen One review: a $1,300 mess of a phone

RED Hydrogen One review: a $1,300 mess of a phone


(techno music) – Here it is. RED has spent the last year hyping this. The HYDROGEN One smart phone
with the holographic display. It looks like no other
phone on the market. Comes from one of the most esteemed names in digital cameras. And has a screen unlike any
other phone selling today. It it unique, it is expensive. And it is a complete mess. So I’ve been pretty
excited for this phone. RED announced it more than a year ago and it’s been talking about this holographic display since then. But the phone kept getting
delayed and pushed back and pretty much no one’s
been able to see it. They’ve shown it to a handful of people. But no one’s been able to film the screen and so we’ve kinda just had to work off of what people were describing it as. And so, I’ve been here imagining
that a holographic screen is kinda gonna float above the display and have this very cool,
you know, hologram. But, that’s not what this is at all. – Oh my God. (laughing) – What? – This is very nauseating. – My question is why? – Maybe the further you hold it, uhhhhh. – Ahhh. – This is kind of hurting my eyes. I can’t imagine using this every day. – My eye are tearing watching this. – There’s really no
elegant way to say this. The screen is just bad. Like really bad. But unfortunately it doesn’t
show up on video very well. So I’m gonna do my best
to describe it to you. We also made this graphic to try and help. You know those lunch boxes or post cards with a lenticular screen that kinda changes as you rotate it side to side? That’s basically what this is. If you’ve ever seen a Nintendo 3DS, it’s pretty much the same thing. I actually think the
3DS is better than this. Most of the time you’re using the phone nothing is quote unquote holographic. Everything is flat, 2D, just normal when you’re on the main interface, browsing the web, using your
regular apps or whatever. RED has a separate app store that includes a very small number of game and movies that work in this holographic format. For whatever reason, RED calls it 4V or 4-View, instead of 3D. Nothing ever pops out at you when you’re seeing a 4-View image or game. But when you’re in those apps you can see a little bit
of depth into the screen. But the depth you see
isn’t that convincing. I wasn’t even sure I was
seeing it half the time. And it works really unevenly. Most things are really bad and look kinda like
flat, gimmicky cutouts. Others, especially video where the depth is much more natural, actually have some potential. But the key thing to know
is that it just looks bad when the holographic mode comes on. The screen looks really blurry, like the whole thing is smudged up and nothing is sharp and clear. I think that’s because there’s
an actual hardware layer in here that’s changing how
many of the pixels you can see. I played a few games this way and I didn’t feel like it
added much to the experience. I think the 4V made the games worse too. Just look at how poorly
the Subway Surfers ripoff staring Paddington works. It gets choppy all the time. The other big deal here is the cameras. There are dual 12 megapixel
sensors on the back and dual 8 megapixel sensors on the front. And both sides can be used for capturing 4V photos and videos. Before I get into that I want to say that as regular 2D cameras they’re actually pretty
good in a lot of cases. Now you’re not exactly getting
RED color science here. RED says there’s just not the horsepower. And you’re not using a RED sensor either. I think it’s probably the same Samsung or Sony stuff that everyone else is using. The colors look rich and natural, though. There’s style without them being stylized. But it can’t match the Pixel
when it comes to dynamic range. I often found that the HYDROGEN One would blow out highlights that the Pixel could clearly capture. It also struggles in low light and the photos often
weren’t very sharp either. The real highlight here
is supposed to be 4V mode where you can capture
3D photos and videos. The photos are pretty skippable. They don’t capture a lot of depth. And eventually I started
making everyone pose in these cheesy ways once I realized that made it look the best. I was surprised, though, the video is, there’s something to it. I can actually see the depth a bit. It a much subtler effect
and it’s kind of cool. It’s still a pain to watch. It’s smudgy and the effect tends to flicker in and out
with a lot of artifacts. Some people said it made them dizzy. But when it works, you
can kind of understand what RED was thinking. Unfortunately you can’t
really share it with anybody. Even if you do get
really into shooting 4V, they won’t be able to see it unless they have another RED phone. It just looks like 2D to
the rest of the world. RED does include an app called Holopix which is sort of their own social network. It’s supposed to be like Instagram for RED phone owners who shoot 4V. But I haven’t actually
been able to test it. Every time I try to log into the app it just crashes when I
press the sign in button. The funny thing is, RED isn’t even the first
company to try this. If you remember back in 2011, HTC actually did this with the EVO 3D. It did the same thing. There was a dual camera on the
back for capturing 3D photos and it had the same kinda screen, where you could tilt it and view it in 3D. Now in fairness to RED it does look better on the HYDROGEN One. It’s a little bit clearer and the photos and videos
do turn out better. But the tech clearly
has not developed a lot in the time since and it kinda says a lot that RED hasn’t meaningfully improved the experience since 2011. So now I want to talk about
the rest of the phone. ‘Cause there is a lot of phone here. I actually dropped it and
injured somebody with it. But props to it for at least trying something different here. I don’t really like the design, but there’s a lot going on and it looks unlike anything else. There are a bunch of textures on the back. There are the grips for
your fingers on the side that don’t strictly make it easier to hold but are interesting. I also like that there’s a
shutter button on the top. Unfortunately its less
interesting on the inside. That’s because it was
supposed to come out last year so it’s running on a Snapdragon 835 whereas the rest of this
years flagship phones all have the Snapdragon 845. There’s one other big
feature on this phone that’s supposed to make it unique. And that’s these accessory
pins on the back. They’re supposed to let you connect all kinds of interesting things. The biggest being a full
on RED camera sensor which you’ll be able to
attach real lenses to. But, that doesn’t exist yet. There’s nothing you can
add onto the phone today. And given that the phone
was already a year delayed, who knows when these
accessories will actually ship. RED hasn’t even offered any details on the sensor’s capabilities
let alone its price. And so ultimately all the big things that RED set out to do here, all the ways it wanted to stand out, they just don’t hold up. And since it’s not particularly
great at the basics, and costs an incredible $1300, it’s just impossible to recommend. I really wish it didn’t go this way. I think it great that someone
is trying something different when it comes to mobile phones. And the concept of a RED
camera in your pocket? That’s really exciting. But it’s not what we got. Right now this tech just isn’t ready and you probably should
pay $1300 to beta test it. (electronic swooshing) Hey, what’s up, we’re filming
on an EVO 3D right now because we can’t actually
export 3D from the RED phone. If you like this video, be
sure to like and subscribe. Please let me know in the comments what you actually wanted
to see from this phone.

100 thoughts on “RED Hydrogen One review: a $1,300 mess of a phone”

  1. it's not fair to compare the camera and screen of the evo 3d with 2018 technology.
    Although. with all the hype about the RED Hydrogen on would expect even better since the price range is a lot higher than the one in Evo's days when the tech was new and pricey.

  2. This will cost less than $200 in a year since nobody will buy it for that ridiculous price. Wait for the fire sale. Think Amazon Fire Phone.

  3. Different design & materials , thinK people are in this Constant UPGRADE Mode year after year & it's gotten Tedious , how Fortunate We are Remember that ". . 🐜

  4. I love the idea of the phone, being a filmmaker, but theres nothing that could tear me from the galaxy note series.

  5. The best way to know if something is a gimmick is when they use holograph it as their main selling point. This is not holographic.

  6. … why didn't they just make a cinema phone. Why would a camera company go into the phone game and not make a cinema phone? It's like if Chromebooks didn't come with any way to run a google search.

  7. How can anyone take this garbage seriously after finding out that the "metal", and "carbon fibre" are cheap stickers. The "huge speakers" are also cheap stickers. A joke!

  8. At least they tried. 😐

    Seeing as everyone seems to have given up on the 3d market. 😕 maybe in the future will get something much much better.

  9. I would of really liked to see a 3d display i hate the fact that tvs stop using 3d i still have one from 2012 and love it

  10. Guess I'll be keeping my HTC M10 for one more year, much to Verizon's dismay I'm sure. There is no 2018 phone that makes me want to give up my Dev M10. Maybe 2019!

  11. I have the phone and it is a great phone and it's durability is key and was the entire reason why I bought the phone I'm very happy with this phone

  12. Probably the best phone i've ever owned! If you a film maker, this is a great tool. It's hard to drop the phone no matter how your're holding it cause of the side grips. Don't know how he is using the phone but the clarity is amazing… Now if you paid 1k for a iphone, then you'll feel stupid when you realize how it doesn't come close to standing up to this phone… You just have to know what your doing.

  13. Maybe it's more of a projection phone but it must have an awesome fast shutter speed to make it holographic.

  14. I wouldn't call it a mess, it just has a bad gimmick. The problem is people thought a company that does not make cellphones, displays or cellphone cameras would make some kind of 3D future phone.

  15. Great gave me allot to think if I do get this phone it will be when the price is over half of what it is no. I'll just stick with my paid for Moto Z another gimmicky piece of tech not all it was cracked up to be.

  16. I guess they figured if you really wanted a RED movie camera and couldn't afford it, this would be the next best thing.

  17. It's actually a freakin awesome phone. Amazing updates. Amazing 3d holographic screen (4 view), amazing 2d photos and vid. Insane battery life. Best phone I've ever owned.

  18. I saw it in person today at the Verizon store in Rockville MD the the screen was rough… For sure I like the interface tho the camera was meh

  19. just like the redone when it came out,it was a mess too, must be the companies mo. Start out with something substandard and fix it with upgrades and bug fixes for years, like they have done since their inception. They call themselves red, it's the same color your face turns from embarrassment when you start to talk about how great they are the camera system is. I went to the premier party for the Redone, First words out of Jim Jannards mouth were "We say it's a 500 asa camera, but it is really 400 asa, and once you do your meta data it's really a 250 asa camera. Lies and misnomers since they started. There is a reason why they are used in film school, can you call it film school still?

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