A couple of months before the RED HYDROGEN One smartphone launched, I was given a preview of one by Todd Hicks, Fox Racing’s Manager of Sports Marketing, and a consultant for the HYDROGEN One project. On hand at Pala Casino for the 2019 Fox Racing product launch, Hicks pulled me away from the festivities and gave me a sneak peek. RED changed the film game with their pro-grade cinematic video cameras in the past decade, and much of that same technology was crammed into a hand-held device.
The HYDROGEN One had all the smartphone capabilities that you’d expect, and it had a look and feel that you’d expect given that it was invented by Jim Jannard, who also founded Oakley (think: purposely overbuilt and futuristic). When Hicks pressed play on a movie he had stored on the phone and handed it to me, I did a double take. I’ve been to 3D movies in the theaters, but the ridiculous disposable glasses required to enjoy the effects are an annoyance. The version of James Cameron’s Avatar that played on the HYDROGEN One in my hand was 3D (Red calls it 4-View, or 4-V), without glasses!
After I watched the blue alien monkeys prance around on the screen for a few minutes in 3D, Hicks took the phone back from me, snapped a photo of some other journalists who gathered outside of the party and handed the phone back to me. And there they were on the screen…in 3D. It was amazing, but, to be honest, the HYDROGEN One didn’t cross my mind again, as I was enamored with all of the new Fox Racing gear that was unveiled.
It wasn’t until I was working on the December cover feature that the RED HYDROGEN One was brought back to my attention. This time, it was in the pocket of Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki racer Adam Cianciarulo as he ripped up the sand trap on hole three at the Hidden Valley Golf Club on his Kawasaki KX250 while I snapped away. After we had our shot, Adam asked me to shoot a photo of him in the sand for his Instagram, using his HYDROGEN One. And just like the blue alien monkey movie I had watched on Hicks’ phone weeks before, it came out in perfect 3D. Sadly, the image only has this effect when viewed on a HYDROGEN One, and is converted to flat 2D when shared to another type of phone, or the Instagram app.
With the recent launch of the HYDROGEN One, I gave cover boy Adam a call this afternoon to pick his brain about the phone, now that he’s had it for a few weeks. “Its made by RED, which is awesome,” he said. “The HYDROGEN One feels really cool and sturdy in your hand, and it definitely looks very unique. It has a sleek, yet durable design.
“Obviously, the first thing that stands out about it is the camera. It has 3D capabilities and the technology within the screen to see photos and videos in 3D without needing those dumb glasses. Being able to show all your friends and seeing the kick they all get out of it is cool. These days its always good to have something unique.
“The battery lasts a really, really long time! I have yet to come close to running it out. When I wake up in the morning and take it off the charger it’s obviously at 100%, and I go all day on one charge and it will barely be at 25% at the end of the day. And I am a millennial bro…I’m on my phone a lot!
“It was super easy and basic to learn how the phone camera worked, and it is easy to take cool pics and videos. It took a few minutes when I first got the phone, but soon enough I was up and ready to go with it. Of course, the 3D pics and videos don't transfer to non-RED HYDROGEN One phones, but even the normal pics and video quality seem to come out much more clear and crisp than they did on my iPhone.”
Alas, though the biggest drawback of the HYDROGEN One phone seems to be the fact that the amazing 3D images and video can only be viewed as such on one of the devices, I am still intrigued. Will I get one eventually? Maybe. If Adam’s this excited about it, there’s something to it.
Learn more about the HYDROGEN One here.