RED cancels Hydrogen phone project as RED Digital Cinema Founder Jim Jannard retires

by | Oct 30, 2019 | News | 0 comments

RedhydrogenonePer an announcement on, the official website for the RED Hydrogen mobile device, Jim Jannard is shelving the Hydrogen project.  He credits “a few health issues” for shutting down the project and for his impending retirement.  First announced in 2017, the $1,295 RED Hydrogen One was the first smartphone from the company; a second phone was planned, but never materialized.  RED is the same company that helped to revolutionize the motion picture camera industry with the development of the RED One in 2007.  It had the ability to record a compressed 4K raw image from a single S35 size sensor.  It was also offered at a more affordable price as compared to the more established motion picture or even broadcast cameras.

HydrogenLensMountThe phone was billed as a “Holographic Media Machine” and featured a “holographic display,” a high-end camera system, an array of modular attachments to expand the phone over time, and integration with RED cinema cameras such as the soon to be release Komodo 6K. A large on-line library of entertainment content transcoded into the H4V format for viewing on the device was also planned.  After a series of delays the phone was eventually released in October 2018, but missing some of its promised features.  As with their cinema cameras, the company never released sales figures so it is hard to accurately assess the project’s success.  However, the MSRP was recently slashed in half, down to $645, apparently in an effort to liquidate the remaining stock ahead of the cancellation of the program. Jannard’s post does promise that “Hydrogen One will continue to be supported in the future” for those early adopters than invested in the phone.

Jannard yaksCropped

Jim Jannard, (pictured above addressing the crowd at the Hydrogen launch event at RED Studios,) may have stumbled in the mobile device business, but he enjoyed tremendous success in building the designer sunglasses company Oakley, and he has definitely left his mark on the motion picture industry.  We wish him well in his retirement, especially in regard to any health issues.  See his full statement here:


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