RED Hydrogen One

A couple of days ago, Jim Jannard of RED has published a long note on He explained the challenges Red has been facing in manufacturing the Hydrogen One. He then announced that a second-generation Hydrogen phone is in the works. Red teamed up with Foxconn for the Red Hydrogen One but wasn’t successful. Many problems were encountered and so the company decided to look for a new ODM to build the HYDROGEN Two. The Hydrogen line is just one of Jannard’s numerous projects. The founder of RED cameras and Oakley sunglasses are not ashamed to admit that Hydrogen One has been challenging and he’s now moving on.

The Red HYDROGEN One was one ideal design but unfortunately, the ODM that was tapped to do the mechanical packaging, in Jannard’s own words, “underperformed”. Red has found a new ODM that will work on HYDROGEN Two. The new phone is again expected to “exceed expectations”.

Hopefully, the implementation of design and manufacturing will be better this time. For one, Red is changing the camera module. Red is modifying the design with a new sensor.

The package has been redesigned as well. Jannard explains both HYDROGEN One and Red HYDROGEN Two will integrate with the new camera. Do note the mobile devices will not replace the RED cameras. The Red Hydrogen smartphones will not replace the shooters, only complement them.

A quick note to HYDROGEN One owners, you will get “significant preferential treatment” if you decide to get a new Cinema Camera or HYDROGEN Two. Red remains to be committed to bringing advancements in digital photography. Expect related announcements will be made in the coming weeks.

One can feel the frustration of the RED executive in his published update. We understand now how things reached this point. Cross your fingers the new ODM will do better this time. RED’s smartphone is too pricey for customers to be dissatisfied.