RED’s first phone, the “Hydrogen One”, takes the modular concept to a whole new level. Images taken from the patent application show what this device will be capable of and how it will probably function. RED is known best for making high-quality cameras, so they are taking advantage of their expertise to bring DSLR capabilities to a smartphone by combining many modules at once.
Like Motorola , RED is thinking of a modular approach to phones: a battery, a speaker, a projector, or a camera. The main difference is that these modules will be the same size and shape as the phone. Users will stack each module to the back of the other, like bricks, to add more functionality. You could add a battery module and a camera module at the same time, and the phone will get bigger but have all the features packed in one device at the same time and being able to switch back is simple. A storage module is also possible, camera modules could be capable of recording up to 8K (or even higher resolutions), so the extra gigabytes will be definitely needed. A DSLR setup might use an extra battery or even two, and a camera module with extra physical buttons. In one of the images, a camera module is shown with what it looks like the ability to switch lenses. In this regard the phone starts to look like a full-size camera, with a big lens on one side and the screen acting as a view finder in the opposite side.
Specifications of the device haven’t been released and it’s well known that patent images don’t always become the actual product. RED is aiming for a revolutionary device targeted at the photography enthusiast customers out there. The concept looks nice and perhaps third party developers could make additional modules to bring even more applications for this phone. With prices starting at $1,195 for the Aluminum version and $1,595 for the Titanium model, it’s hard to know if the Hydrogen One will thrive or struggle in the vast Android phone Universe. One thing is certain though – the RED Hydrogen One is setting a high standard, if not one that seems slightly unattainable. Nevertheless, the device is sure to be intriguing to many and the patent does a good job of depicting what could very well be possible with this device once it launches.