There was a lot of hype around the RED Hydrogen One smartphone when it was first announced but later its launch was delayed several times and when the device was finally available in the shops the specs looked outdated, especially when considering the premium price point.
Performance was underwhelming as well, which is especially true for the built-in camera module, causing a lot of disappointment under early adopters. To add insult to injury RED later cancelled an attachable camera module that should have become available some time after the phone’s launch.
In a statement published by RED founder Jim Jannard, the company is now saying that the issues were caused by the Chinese original design manufacturer (ODM) which designed the phone in line with RED’s requirements and specifications.
According to Jannard, both the mechanical packaging and software integration with the Snapdragon 835 chipset were tasks of the ODM and getting them completed was apparently ‘beyond challenging.’
Therefore RED is now working with a different ODM which is ‘clearly more capable of building and supporting the product we (and our customers) demand.‘ The company says the Hydrogen Two will be developed from scratch which means we should probably not expect it to launch this year.
In addition to the new phone RED is planning to release an improved external camera module. It will work with both the Hydrogen One and Two and record ‘cinema-grade images at the highest level at lower pricing.’