So when the RED Hydrogen One smartphone hit the market back in 2018 it was almost pre-disposed to fail. Enormous hype, a high price tag and a late delivery meant that expectations were high but potential buyers were only ever part of a minority group.
Jump forward a year and the project has been drastically scaled back (plans for additional hardware for the camera’s docking port have stalled)
… as a result these phones are now available on the secondhand market at extremely reasonable prices!
Against this backdrop I picked an unlocked US model up on EBAY at a total cost of around £150 and my intention is now to sell on my current smartphone (a Samsung S9+) and pocket the difference with the H1 becoming my “daily drivers” for smartphone and 3d camera in one neat package!
What is it?
For anyone with an interest in 3d (or VR) this phone has a unique setup of twin (ie stereoscopic) cameras at both the front and back which are more than capable of rivaling the quality of last years “A lister” smartphones while also bringing users in to the wonderful world of 3D and “shooting for VR”! The display enables a “glasses free” 3d image in both portrait and landscape (something that was never possible with older lenticular based displays) . What actually happens behind the scenes is the generation of additional versions of the images taken with the camera to provide a superior viewing experience. 3D video can also be taken at up to 4K resolution at a number of differing frame rates including the “movie like” 24p as an option for 2d video (principal 3d options are shown below)
There are also options for capturing photos in the widely used “side by side” mode with no loss of resolution – this makes transferring to existing editing packages relatively straight forward and also means that images taken in this way are immediately viewable in virtual reality!
The phone also comes with a number of freely downloadable apps:
Hydrogen Network – a number of 3D movies have been adapted to be viewed on the 4V display and look fabulous! (Very limited in the UK unless you are a little naughty and use a proxy)
Holopix – A great place to share your own and view other’s images.
H101 – a dedicated app tells you everything you might want to know about the Hydrogen One universe
Holochat – Chat with your H1 owning friends in wonderful 4V!
CLAY – allows you to sculpt your own 4V clay models.
World 4V – a 4V map of popular cities similar to Google Maps
Aura – Allows 4V drawing in 3d space
Red Leia Loft – All the above, along with a number of other games and apps are available via the phones own marketplace
More information on this fabulous camera (OK, it’s a smartphone!) is available here – where it can also be bought brand new at a significantly reduced price to that of it’s launch!
Variants of this phone can be unlocked using the procedure outlined here