One of the biggest things that could have redeemed the RED Hydrogen One was the promise of additional modules that would attach to the back and offer expanded experiences for using the phone. The modules were originally promised for a release later in 2019, but the company has quietly updated its website to strike all mention of the modules, (as spotted by Reddit user u/ReipasTietokonePoju).
The removal spawned a forum thread from phone owners looking for an official update. The updated eventually came: “We are currently in the middle of radically changing the Hydrogen program,” responded RED founder Jim Jannard in a new forum post.
The original (and currently deleted) section of the site promised modules that would attach to the pogo pins on the back, providing extra battery life, more storage space, and most importantly, a RED-made camera sensor complete with a lens mount that would have allowed users to attach real lenses. Jannard made some big promises about that camera attachment at release, too, telling The Verge, “If you were shooting an 8K Weapon on set as your A camera, this could certainly be your B camera, no question.”
RED founder Jim Jannard explained late Monday that the drawings were taken down because the company is “currently in the middle of radically changing the Hydrogen program.” According to Jannard, “A series of obstacles and then new discoveries have given us the opportunity to significantly improve the entire program, not only for Hydrogen but also for RED.”
Among those changes are that “the RED team, lead by Jarred Land, as of now will be fully in charge of the professional image capture program for Hydrogen,” which Jannard says should lead to “new opportunities to better satisfy the professional image capture customers as well as the casual consumer.” Details are still slim however, although more information is promised “soon.” Jannard also notes in his post that Hydrogen customers will be “obsolescence obsolete,” in regard to the new camera system, a lofty promise to make for a mobile device.
There’s still no word as to the status of the other modules RED’s website previously promised, including those for increased storage and battery life.
Update March 11th, 11:05PM ET: Article updated with comments from RED founder Jim Jannard.