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You can get a Red Hydrogen One phone early, just don't criticize it online

Red delays Hydrogen One phone again, but if you can't wait any longer you can get a pre-release model early... with some major strings attached.

Published onAugust 7, 2018

Red Hydrogen One with holographic display
  • The Red Hydrogen One smartphone is now scheduled for an October 9 release to pre-order customers.
  • Those looking to get the Red smartphone on contract can do so from November 2.
  • Red is also offering early access to a pre-release “Houdini” model, but they reserve the right to brick your phone if you post about problems online.

The Red Hydrogen One smartphone has received a ton of hype, but it’s also played host to its fair share of delays. Now, the company has dropped in on its own forums (h/t: PhoneArena) to confirm that pre-order customers will get their hands on the device come October 9 and reveal details about a pre-release model that has some fairly major strings attached.

Starting with the final model, if you fancy getting the Hydrogen One from a carrier (AT&T, Verizon or Telcel in Mexico), then you’ll need to wait until November 2, Red CEO Jim Jannard confirmed.

Those hoping to score a titanium model from carriers are out of luck, as Jannard says networks will only get these variants in 2019. The Red founder says pre-order customers will get the titanium model shortly after the standard aluminum version goes out.

Either way, this marks a significant delay from the previous release date target of August 2018. Jannard notes that the “odds are low” for the schedule being affected again.

You can get an early version, but…

The RED Hydrogen One

If you really can’t wait to get your hands on a Hydrogen One, the company is allowing a select few pre-order customers to trade their purchase for a Houdini Developer’s edition device. These models will ship from August 31 to September 11.

The brand also stressed that these Houdini models are pre-release versions with early software and not for people wanting to do a review. “We reserve the right to brick the device if used for any purpose other than giving us constructive feedback. If you are a vocal critic or reviewer, wait until after the launch,” Jannard wrote.

Dissasembeled Red Hydrogen One
The Red Hydrogen One on the FCC website.

The Red CEO notes that you’ll need to let the company know before you post bad images taken with the phone. He adds that it’s “not cool” for Houdini users to post about bugs and other issues either. In fact, the terms and conditions for the developer model go a lot further than “not cool.”

RED Hydrogen One: Is it a more polished Nintendo 3DS?
Red Hydrogen One with holographic display

“You agree not to make a post, communication or disclosure regarding problems, bugs or other issues of the Houdini Device online, by electronic transmission or otherwise. Violation of this Section 3 will cause you to lose all potential future rewards or upgrades and your Houdini Device will become inoperable,” reads an excerpt of the terms.

It’s all rather vague and means you could potentially have your phone bricked for simply troubleshooting an issue on Reddit. Personally, I’d rather just stick to the pre-order model instead of being gagged in such a vague way. Even the request to notify Red before posting a bad image isn’t quite clear-cut. Image quality can be subjective after all, and one person’s saturated mess of a photo is another person’s good quality shot.

What do you make of the restrictions surrounding the Hydrogen One Houdini model? Let us know in the comments section below.