Yes, RED is actually making the Hydrogen One phone

Remember when camera maker RED seemingly randomly announced it was making a $1200 phone, the Hydrogen One, back in July? Yeah, it's actually doing that for real. And to bring people up to speed, it handed a few prototypes to Marques Brownlee (A.K.A. MKBHD), one of the biggest RED fans out there, to show it's the real deal.

So surprisingly, RED went from only showing a super dim, stealthy promotion render back in July to giving Marques a prototype that has a near-final hardware design. As expected, it's big, bulky, and filled with a variety of robust materials across the back and sides. It's bigger than a OnePlus 5 and iPhone 7 Plus, despite having just a 5.5-inch display — but all it takes is one glance at this thing to tell it isn't even trying to be svelte.

Hey, at least we know it's not complete vaporware.

Unfortunately, we don't get to see the phone actually working, which is the big thing everyone is skeptical about. Marques was able to see it but not show it — including the crazy holographic display that RED is touting as the feature that will separate it from the industry. We also just get a little tease of one of the camera-focused modular attachments, which is the other core selling point of the phone.

We're going to have to wait at least another month before RED can pull together the separate prototypes into something that's both near-final in hardware and also fully operational. Maybe Marques will be able to give us another look at the Hydrogen One then.

Andrew Martonik

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.