The Red Hydrogen One might be one of the biggest smartphone duds in the past few years, seeing several delays before finally being released late last year. Now, Red founder Jim Jannard has announced that a follow-up phone is on the way.
Jannard made the announcement on the company’s official forum (h/t: The Verge), saying the new phone was being designed “virtually from scratch” with the aid of a new ODM (original device manufacturer).
“We also have put into place a new internal execution team along with world class design-partners that we have carefully selected. The Hydrogen Two is being methodically designed and crafted to surprise and exceed expectations… again, just as you would expect from us,” Jannard wrote in the forum.
The Red founder also blamed the Hydrogen One’s ODM for the phone’s initial problems. In fact, Jannard said the manufacturer made it “impossible” to fix the phone’s issues.
“While Foxconn has been fantastic, our ODM, which was responsible for the mechanical packaging of our design including new technologies along with all software integration with the Qualcomm processor, has significantly under-performed,” Jannard noted.
A new camera module is coming
The executive added they were also redesigning the camera module that was supposed to be released for the Hydrogen One, dubbing it Komodo. This new module, which will be handled in-house, will “vastly exceed the originally planned module” and will work with both the first phone and the Hydrogen Two.
Jannard says this module won’t replace Red cameras but will be a “complimentary camera for cinema grade images” at a lower price than its cameras.
The Red founder said Hydrogen One owners can also expect “preferential treatment” for the new phone and module in terms of delivery allocations and pricing.
We were disappointed with Red’s first phone. In his Hydrogen One review, our own Edgar Cervantes criticized the phone’s camera, pixelated display, disappointing battery life, and high price point. Edgar was impressed by the phone’s 3D effects, however, and the clean UI.
The Hydrogen One set a pretty low bar, so we wouldn’t hold our breath for a dramatic turnaround. Would you consider buying a Hydrogen Two? Let us know in the comments.