This accomplished anniversary in New York City, Red founder Jim Jannard stood afore a awash army of tech journalists, foolishly authoritative the case for his dream phone: the Hydrogen One. It’s a big, abundant buzz that looks little like the glassy handsets that boss today’s sales, congenital with a absolutely altered set of priorities than we’re acclimated to seeing from boilerplate OEMs. At a time aback alike Motorola looks like it’s accident affection for modular hardware, Jannard and the Hydrogen One are acquisitive to embrace it. And while we anticipation 3D screens on phones had died over bisected a decade ago, Jannard and his babyish abiding appetite to argue us there’s activity in them yet.
How did this camp buzz appear to be? Blessed with the success of his Oakley sunglasses fortune, Jannard aboriginal redirected his passions adjoin photography. Having experimented with hundreds of cameras personally, he acquainted an crawling to accomplish accouterments that was clashing that actuality produced by accepted manufacturers. And admitting that meant actuality an abstinent name activity up adjoin some abundant hitters, his Red cameras accepted to absolutely bell with the beginning agenda cinematography movement.
Now with the Hydrogen One, Jannard intends to analogously agitated the smartphone market. He feels acerb that abounding phones don’t abode users’ absolute needs; booty cases, for example. Instead of affairs bodies a super-thin buzz and seeing them ultimately blanket it in a beefy shell, he’d rather aloof accord the Hydrogen One a robust, grippy exoteric in the aboriginal place.
That’s the array of abstraction that would apparently get attempt bottomward in lath with a lot of smartphone companies, but the Red buzz is appropriate in aloof how abundant of it is dictated by Jannard’s own vision.
This “the blade stops with me” mentality may be both the phone’s greatest absolution and its bigger liability. It’s absurd to see the Hydrogen One as annihilation but a affection activity — so abounding of us brood about all the awe-inspiring actuality we’d do if we were anytime able to architecture our own “dream phones,” but Jannard has the assets abaft him to absolutely accomplish that happen.
Is that a acceptable thing, though? Alike the architect seems able-bodied acquainted of the accident he’s taking, as he jokes about one of his bigger assets actuality a assertive cluelessness (or conceivably stubbornness) as to aback his admirable account are activity a bit off the rails.
It feels about like Red is throwing those account at a dartboard and seeing what sticks. Indeed, Jannard doesn’t affirmation to be authoritative a buzz area everyone’s activity to like aggregate about it; instead, he says he’ll be blessed if users acquisition aloof one affection that absolutely speaks to them.
That presents some catchy business realities, though, as shoppers are still advantageous for all those accretion and whistles, whether or not they adulation them all — and with a sticker bulk advancing in able-bodied over $1,000, that’s a lot to ask bodies to pay for a buzz if they’re not on lath with all its features.
In all fairness, some of those appearance do complete appealing compelling. Aback the phone’s modular camera add-on arrives it promises to action a absolute Red-quality cinematography experience, complete with abutment for able lenses. And while I’m activity to accept to authority aback on my qualitative appraisal of the 3D awning for my abounding Hydrogen One review, I will accept that Red seems to be demography accomplish to ensure that AT&T users accept a acceptable bulk of agreeable to absorb on it, including free Fantastic Beasts and Ready Player One downloads address of a affiliation with Warner Bros.
Jannard says he’d accede the Hydrogen One a success if it can advertise one-half of one percent of the aggregate Samsung sees — and while that sounds like it ability be a appealing low bar, we’re still talking a acceptable 1.5 actor handsets.
Honestly, that’s apparently a boxy ambition to hit. Admitting Red absolutely has abundant cast acceptance in cinema circles, it’s not a name anyone’s (yet) activity to accessory with adorable phones. Factor in the abrupt price, awful abnormal design, and beatnik affection set, and it aloof seems added and added difficult to argue shoppers to booty a adventitious with the Hydrogen One, rather than aces up the latest Galaxy or Pixel area they apperceive appealing able-bodied what to expect.
It feels like Jannard and Red apperceive this, but aloof accept to booty a attempt and see if this agrarian arrangement can work. Will they accomplish area companies like Essential struggled? I’ll accept a bigger assumption afterwards spending a few added canicule application the Hydrogen One for myself.
Stay acquainted for our abounding advantage of the Red Hydrogen One’s release. In the meantime, edge your blare a little with this leaked accouterments overview, acquaint a few canicule aback by director/cinematographer Phil Holland:
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