RED HYDROGEN Two Development Announced – Camera Module Gets New Sensor

July 24th, 2019
RED HYDROGEN Two Development Announced - Camera Module Gets New Sensor

Jim Jannard, RED founder and the main man behind the HYDROGEN project, has announced his team started working on the second generation phone – HYDROGEN Two. They are also redesigning the camera module with a new sensor. HYDROGEN One customers will be able to get the new phone and the camera module earlier and for a better price.

HYDROGEN One – RED’s first smartphone. How will the HYDROGEN Two look like?

First, let me briefly summarize the history of the HYDROGEN project. RED officialy announced their first smartphone – the HYDROGEN One – almost exactly two years ago, in July 2017. Only after having started developement of the phone, RED realized the real size of the project and vast amount of challenges they will have to face. The HYDROGEN One release was postponed few times from initialy promised Q1 2018 to Q4 2018. Some pre-orders shipped by the end of Q3 2018. There were even more issues with the titanium version of the phone, so that one got delivered even later.

As it usually is the case with first generation of any product, the RED HYDROGEN One wasn’t a perfect phone. Many users were complaining about the build quality and reliability of the phone. I noticed that especially the fingerprint sensor was breaking down very quickly. In fact, Mashable called it “The worst tech product of 2018.” Ouch.

RED also promised to bring a complex ecosystem of add-on modules to the phone. Probably the most anticipated was the cinema camera module, which was supposed to turn the HYDROGEN One into a very capable filmmaking device. The modules did not come (yet), though.

Jim Jannard’s post on H4Vuser.net

We are already used to look at RED’s forums – reduser.net and H4Vuser.net –  when it comes to new announcements as that is the way RED decided to communicate with the outside world. This announcement has not been any different. On July 23rd Jim Jannard published the following post on H4Vuser (unedited and in full length):

HYDROGEN has been the single most exciting project I have ever worked on. It has also proven to be the single most challenging program I have ever been a part of.

While Oakley sunglasses and RED cameras were (and are) built in our own factories in Orange County, building a smartphone with challenging and new disruptive technologies at the RED factory just wasn’t possible given the competitive nature of the market. We chose an ODM in China to prepare the HYDROGEN One for manufacture at Foxconn. While Foxconn has been fantastic, 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.

For this reason, after months of vetting a new design to manufacture house, we have begun the work on the HYDROGEN Two, virtually from scratch, at a new ODM that is clearly more capable of building and supporting the product we (and our customers) demand. We also have put into place a new internal execution team along with world class design-partners that we have carefully selected. The HYDROGEN Two is being methodically designed and crafted to surprise and exceed expectations… again, just as you would expect from us.

Additionally, we eventually realized that the original camera module would have to change due to the fact our ODM was not going to competently complete the module that they committed and guaranteed to do. Our best option was to modify the program and bring it back into the RED house. We have completed the new and extraordinary sensor and redesigned the package. Jarred at RED will be posting about Komodo fairly soon. Its capability will vastly exceed the originally planned module. The HYDROGEN One and Two will integrate with this new camera. While it does not replace its big RED brothers, it will certainly be a complimentary camera for cinema grade images at the highest level at lower pricing.

We fully understand the frustrations of our customers since I am one as well. While issues have been the result of our original ODM’s short comings, we also understand that customers solely look to us for their satisfaction. We remain committed to taking care of our customers the best way we can given all the circumstances. To that end, every HYDROGEN One owner will get significant preferential treatment for the HYDROGEN Two and/or new Cinema Camera model, both in delivery allocations and pricing.

HYDROGEN is still the most exciting project I have ever worked on. We continue to be committed to further advancing the “image capture in your pocket” device as well as providing the highest quality image capture devices to more people than ever before.

We are not done…

Jim

There is a discussion about Jim’s post at H4Vuser. If you want to find out more, follow this link.

HYDROGEN One – RED’s first smartphone. How will the HYDROGEN Two look like?

It is interesting to see that RED’s ODM (original design manufacturer) in China is the one standing behind the construction problems of the HYDROGEN One. Jim announced they started working on the second generation of the phone – the HYDROGEN Two – with a different ODM. But as Jim already mentioned, the blame always goes to the name of the manufacturer who ends up on the finished box – RED.

RED is also redesigning the promised cinema camera module. He claims that it will be much better than originally planned (which will be hard to prove as the original one was never released) and it looks like it will be compatible with both HYDROGEN One and Two. It looks like the camera module will be called Komodo, feature new sensor and redesigned package. More news about it are expected from Jarred Land soon.

Last but not least, Jim said that HYDROGEN One owners will be able to get the new HYDROGEN Two and the camera module earlier and at a better price.

What do you think of the HYDROGEN project and what do you expect from the HYDROGEN Two? Do you have the first generation? How are you satisfied with it? Let us know in the comments below the article.

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Matthew Nowak
Matthew Nowak
Guest
September 15th, 2019

I purchased a hydrogen one a couple months ago and have been really happy with it! Sure, its a Brand New technology, so it has some tiny glitches, but overall, works great. The 4V (3d) movies and pictures seem kind of like a novelty to me, but I love the 4V games (especially “Tony Hawk Skate Jam”) So, besides the fact that I may never get any upgraded modules or use the 4V camera very much, this is a Media Machine! 6G Ram I play alot of games and use it to fly my UAV with all the drone APPs. 128G storage is nice as well. Display=Awesome. Sound quality=Awesome. By the way, this is the first phone I have ever had that didn’t mute the person on the other end while I was talking. Result:
I can recite something in unison with someone on the other line. (without crackle)
Also, they must have resolved the speaker-phone issue I heard about, because my speaker-phone is crystal clear to me and the other caller. I would definitely buy it again! I think all the bad press comes from people with overly high expectations because it IS such an expensive phone. This is not a phone for thrifty people.
:-)

Member
July 29th, 2019

Okay I totally get it. You can take your smartphone and attach a 3.77” square lens mount to it so you can use Canon RF lenses to shoot photos and videos. But can’t I already do that now with the plethora of small mirror less cameras? And in a more ergonomic form factor? And for cheaper?

If you gave me RED Raw and a larger sensor INSIDE the smartphone than yeah, I’d be salivating all over it. But if you give me a lens and tell me to use an adaptor to attach it to my iPhone I’m going to look at you like an idiot. And if you tell me it costs 5K I will bop you in the nose.

I’m seriously confused here…turning your smartphone into a monitor/recorder sounds really cool…but turning your smartphone which has a camera into another camera that is inferior in all ways (codec, latitude, price and ergonomics) to a Sony A7S or the new Sigma, etc. makes no sense whatsoever if this jerry rigged camera means you have to use a shitty android phone that weights a ton the rest of the day. And I’m assuming the battery will die after one hour of shooting video in 4K yes? So…new proprietary battery system on the horizon for 1,200 dollars each? I have a box of RED volts that last about 10 minutes or less now. If they still work at all – can i use those please?

Robert Niessner
Robert Niessner
Guest
July 28th, 2019

So, apparently RED tries to steer away the narrative from the RED Mini Mag disaster to Hydrogen Blabla and Komodo Blabla. They want people talking about what those products could be and hope their customers forget how they got and get ripped off with the RED Mini Mags.

Hey Now
Hey Now
Guest
July 25th, 2019

So many stupid ideas in this product. The asinine gimmicks like the lenticular screen and fake “surround” audio processing… All they had to do was deliver a phone with an excellent camera and audio outputs, in a proper (translation: durable-enough) case with a user-updatable OS to beat everyone else.

Modules are stupid. It’s a portable device, which means I want all of its capabilities with me all the time. Otherwise, I’ll just pick up a proper dedicated device for whatever the “module” was supposed to do.

Member
July 29th, 2019
Reply to  Hey Now

yeah man, i don’t get this at all…just make a smartphone with a good sensor. Done, stop there, don’t collect 200 dollars. Shit – smartphones looks so good now they are already making movies…RED could have just partnered with Apple and made a phone with them that would have been the most popular smartphone in the world for YouTubers if it just had audio inputs. Damn they are taking all their profits from RED Cameras and tossing it away on phones.

Chris
Chris
Guest
July 25th, 2019

I guess one complete fail of a smartphone wasn’t enough for them?

Member
July 25th, 2019

I know the last one was a bust, but would actually dig it if the module works out. Some better internal video/phot specs and I’m game. This is also current phone fatigue speaking.

Member
July 25th, 2019
Reply to  Tyler Peck

And wow so many haters. Granted I wasn’t impressed when I played with the first gen, but RED does do some things right. Hoping for the best, expecting the worst.

Matthew Nowak
Matthew Nowak
Guest
September 15th, 2019
Reply to  Tyler Peck

Well said! I love my Hydrogen One! I think that most people are soooo cheap that when they spend over $1000 for a phone, they have unreasonably high expectations.

William Koehler
Member
July 25th, 2019

“We are not done….” – Jim Jannard
“You are so very done” – The Market

Also, I don’t see the point of announcements for a 2021/2022 release. Given their past track record, I think they should zip it until they are ready to ship.

 sam dole
sam dole
Member
July 25th, 2019

Those Red CEOs, such cry babies.

Roberto Mettifogo
Guest
July 25th, 2019

Can I buy it even if I don’t have tatoos ?

James Zsigmond
Guest
July 25th, 2019

Nope!

James Zsigmond
Guest
July 25th, 2019
Reply to  James Zsigmond

It’s for sale to Red Bro’s only!

Member
July 29th, 2019

Can you consider at least wearing a black t-shirt and trucker hat? If you would we would forgo the ink…for now.

– RED Marketing Department, Hipster Division (there is only one division)

Giovanni Remondini
Guest
July 25th, 2019

oooh i cannot wait. Obviusly mk1 issues caused from chinese, right? It’s not your fault, dude. I will buy mk2 for sure. ahahah ?

Marko Hila
Guest
July 25th, 2019

Rebadged Chinese phone mk2 for 2000 low payments of only $1. It says RED. It’s worth it.

Lâm Tran
Guest
July 25th, 2019

Lol @ all the trolls

Joelle Mcneil
Guest
July 24th, 2019

Phones dead. Too little too late.

James Bridges
Guest
July 24th, 2019

Watched Avatar on the first one…looked like a 480p pop-up book

James Bridges
Guest
July 24th, 2019

Ughhh…

Łukasz Karol Kalinowski
Guest
July 24th, 2019

I’m waiting for JinnyMag to rehouse Xiaomi with few less K on price tag ;)

Ramy Daniel
Guest
July 24th, 2019

Red is getting better at rehousing crappie grade products and selling it for a 10 fold the price tag.

Only thing that could save this phone is if it had something more to do with camera rather than competing with high end phones. A larger sensor for example.

Chris Reynolds
Guest
July 24th, 2019

What a pig of a phone. Good idea……awful execution

Rafael Molina
Guest
July 24th, 2019

Bet that phone is a rehoused Huawei. ?

Greg Lassik
Guest
July 24th, 2019

Did anyone ever get the first one??

duke black
duke black
Member
July 25th, 2019
Reply to  Greg Lassik

yes, it was horrible. don’t buy

Manfred Baulig
Guest
July 29th, 2019
Reply to  duke black

still loving it

Matthew Nowak
Matthew Nowak
Guest
September 15th, 2019
Reply to  Greg Lassik

Yes, I love it!

Achille Bigliardi
Guest
July 24th, 2019

A new one? Where was the old one?

Naveen Media
Guest
July 24th, 2019

Man I hope the Two is good.

duke black
duke black
Member
July 25th, 2019
Reply to  Naveen Media

by the noise red made around the hydrogen 1 and now the same for v2 you will be disappointed

Member
July 29th, 2019
Reply to  duke black

I remember the H1 hype…and the professional reviewers were like – “do I have to review this? I don’t want to look like a bad guy, can i just say ‘I REALLY wanted this to be good’ and leave it at that”? Note: RED is NOT saying – WE HAVE TAKEN ALL YOUR FEEDBACK and put it into the new phone. INSTEAD – WE HATE OUR FIRST MANUFACTURER SO WE ARE DOING THE EXACT SAME THING just with another manufacturer that we also do not have any history with. Umm…don’t they know Apple?! Seem to remember they having a package deal to sell Ravens…did they piss off Apple or something?

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