Two years have passed since RED, best known as a specialist in the imaging field, first announced its premium smartphone which would later be branded as the Hydrogen One. Unfortunately, the release of the aluminum version of the phone was delayed until October 2018, while the titanium version only became available for sale in April this year. RED also found itself in the spotlight when it removed all mention of modular accessories for the Hydrogen One from its website, which may have left some buyers feeling a bit cheated.
Now, RED's Jim Jannard has announced that it has gone back to the drawing board with the development of the Hydrogen Two smartphone with the support of a new original device manufacturer (ODM) in conjunction with a new "internal execution team". In parallel, the company has taken on the task of designing the cinema camera module itself, dubbed "Komodo", that will be compatible with both generations of Hydrogen smartphones. While it won't be putting its dedicated camera brethren out to pasture, the module is said to be "a complimentary (sic) camera for cinema grade images at the highest level at lower pricing".
With respect to why the Hydrogen One smartphone fell short of expectations, Jannard said:
"... our ODM, which was responsible for the mechanical packaging of our design including new technologies along with all software integration with the Qualcomm processor, has significantly under-performed. Getting our ODM in China to finish the committed features and fix known issues on the HYDROGEN One has proven to be beyond challenging. Impossible actually. This has been irritating me to death and flooding our reactor."
While existing owners of the Hydrogen One may have been left feeling neglected since the launch of the device, RED has indicated that it will look after these customers by offering "significant preferential treatment for the HYDROGEN Two and/or new Cinema Camera model, both in delivery allocations and pricing."
Of course, it remains to be seen as to when the new handset and the Komodo camera module will become available, let alone further details and specifications, but it is expected that news regarding the latter will be available "fairly soon".