AT&T and Verizon are releasing the RED Hydrogen One smartphone this week, more than one year after plans were announced for what’s being called the world’s first holographic smartphone (or, as RED says, “better than 3D without glasses.”) The phone was originally expected to launch earlier this year, but its release date was pushed back numerous times, reports The Verge.
The phone will be available for US$1,295 on Friday, Nov. 2. Those who preordered the device last summer will receive a $100 discount. But is the device worth the price?
The major selling point is the much talked about “holographic” screen and its ability to record in a 3D format. The display is described as “4-view” (4V), which is intended to deliver a hologram-like experience. Those who have reviewed the device have said that while it produces an interesting effect, nothing actually pops out of the phone. The hologram effect appears to relate to screen depth. Users can see different angles of an image depending on how they hold the phone, according to Android Authority.
“Powered by Nanotechnology, the display delivers realistic depth, light and textures bringing content to life in fundamentally new ways,” RED says on its website. “It’s the display the world didn’t see coming and it can’t stop looking at.”
While the 4V technology sounds great, it requires support from other apps and developers to work. For example, users won’t be able to watch regular films in 4V unless they’re made specifically for 4V.
However, RED’s new Hydrogen Network will feature several 4V-compatible movies in the future and plans to include 100 titles. According to AT&T, the first 10,000 consumers who purchase the device and register for Hydrogen Network will have access to 4V versions of Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them and Ready Player One.
It’s unclear how much a subscription to RED’s Hydrogen Network will cost. The service will also offer music and games that support 4V.
The 5.7-inch LCD display with a 2560 x 1440 resolution will allow users to switch between traditional 2D content, multi-view content, 3D content and interactive games, eschewing the need for glasses, goggles, or headsets.
The aluminum device features the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset, Android 8.0 Oreo operating system, and a 4500 mAh battery. The phone reportedly features 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage.