Why it matters: Red’s Hydrogen One is one of the more intriguing smartphones of 2018 for the simple fact that it comes from a company with an excellent pedigree in the photography industry. Its $1,200 asking price will keep most mainstream buyers away but if it proves popular among enthusiasts and niche buyers, it could be the first of many phones we see from Red.
Red, the premium camera company behind the highly anticipated Red Hydrogen One, announced in August that its first smartphone would miss its intended summer launch window. Instead, the handset will debut at AT&T and Verizon on November 2.
Those who pre-ordered the device will get theirs a bit earlier on October 9 and as Red outlined last month, some were able to trade in their pre-order release model for a production sample “Houdini” edition with pre-release firmware and software.
Delivery of this extremely limited model kicked off at a special event at Red Studios Hollywood on August 31 and YouTuber Marques Brownlee was among the first to take delivery. Naturally, he posted an unboxing video for everyone to enjoy.
As you’ll see, the bundle includes a complementary 128GB microSD card, an extended warranty, a Red medallion and of course, the phone itself. Brownlee only briefly touches on the phone’s specs and features – it’s truly an unboxing video rather than a full-on review. Red is discouraging people from reviewing or even saying anything bad about the Houdini model until after the launch and will go as far as to remotely brick your device if you go against their special terms and conditions.
Brownlee said only 300 of the Houdini models are being made (his is number eight).
Unless Red seeds early samples to media outlets, it looks like we’ll have to wait until mid-October for the first reviews of the consumer version to hit the web.