In 2018, several phone companies released new smartphones but out of all the new ones, none created as much of a buzz as the Red Hydrogen One.
The Hydrogen One created as much disappointment as it did excitement because it under delivered where it was expected to shine and shone in areas not many expected. The phone is powered by Android and has its own RED skin design over the Android OS, but in the large part is much closer to the stock android. Seeing as you are probably familiar with the main features of android OS, let me begin with the good bits of the Hydrogen One.
Unlike the ultra-slim phones that the big name manufacturers are going for this year, the Red Hydrogen One is not slim. The build of the phone is somewhat bulky but in a good way. With the 5.7 inch screen, the body that accompanies it is nothing close to slim. But it fits well in the hand almost like a Galaxy Note phone would except it has more grip thanks to the grooved edges on the side.
This makes the phone good to hold and hard to accidentally drop. Because of the thick and bulky build, the phone looks like it can survive several falls. Also, it does not have a notch on the screen.
This phone comes with a 4,500 mAh battery which by all standards is good, no it’s epic.
The guys at RED fitted the phone with a feature called 4 View technology or 4V for short. This tech is designed to create a holographic 3D like effect on the screen without the need for 3D glasses.
According to the makers, 4V works with content that is designed for it just as 3D screens will show the 3D effects only with 3D movies. It is because if this very reason that 4V is hard to show in a 2D image or 2D video. You just have to see it to understand and enjoy it.
However since not a lot of content is available in 3D the screen also displays ordinary 2D and does so quite well even though it is an LCD and does not have the superior quality of an OLED display
When the world’s best camera manufacturer makes a smart phone, you can expect that the camera will be good and in the most part, it is. The phone is equipped with an 8 MP front facing selfie camera and two 12 MP rear facing cameras.
This is where the camera starts to stand out. While the other phone makers that have two cameras create two different cameras at the back with one helping to enhance zooming and focusing, the RED hydrogen’s two cameras at the back are exactly the same which is a bit like looking through a binoculars.
This creates a uniquely good quality image. It also helps that both the rear and front facing cameras are able to record 4K video so you won’t have to look far to put that 4V screen to use.
The design of RED’s cameras is modular, meaning that the device is made of smaller components that you can put together to make a complete camera. Modular tech is good because you don’t have to buy a new device just so that you can enhance the quality of the one you have.
If you wish to have a stronger lens for your camera, you just buy a lens and attach it to the device without. This is the tech of the future for personal devices and companies like LG and Google have tried their hand at it and failed. The RED hydrogen now looks like it could be getting it right.
At the back of the phone is what appears to be a set of metallic chips which people can only speculate are meant to be for attaching modules to the phone. The company has not confirmed it but going by the camera tech, modules for the phone are possible.
This seems like a contradiction of the good bits about the phone, but the camera is by far the largest disappointment on this phone. While many people, myself inclusive were expecting the RED Hydrogen One to have a phone camera that is as epic as the other cameras it is known for, this one is not close to that grade.
The depth of the phone’s camera is nothing compared to the RED cameras that have made the company a huge success and yet people expected that having the phone would be like having a mini red camera in your pocket, but this is not the case.
However, it is a little too early to judge because this is the very first phone and there is room for improvement. Maybe on the next one the camera will be better.
I will say this plainly, the phone costs about USD 1,300 (4,873,180.00 Ugandan Shillings) which is pretty steep for a phone that hits below the mark on highly anticipated features. But then again, when have RED’s products been cheap?
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Author: Daniel Odaka
Daniel is a writer and communications expert with a love for tech, science and cars. He believes tech is a lifestyle and we all live it in the way we communicate, work, move and go about our lives. To maintain a lifestyle you need to keep on top of it and that’s where he comes in. Don’t forget to check out his blog too Elite Torch