RED blames Chinese manufacturer for problems with Hydrogen One smartphone

US camera maker RED says the problems with its Hydrogen One smartphone are the fault of the Chinese manufacturer that hired the company. RED comes with a new model, the Hydrogen Two, which will be made by a different manufacturer.

RED founder Jim Jannard says in a user forum that the ODM the company hired to make the smartphone isn’t doing a good job. The Chinese manufacturer was responsible for assembling the mechanical parts and software integration with the Qualcomm processor. According to RED, the ODM underperformed in these tasks. The ODM would not have completed the promised features and not fix known bugs. According to Jannard, it has proved impossible to have the problems solved by the manufacturer.

In addition to the unnamed ODM, RED also collaborated with Foxconn for the production of the devices. According to the American manufacturer, the collaboration with Foxconn was excellent. Meanwhile, RED has found another ODM that would be more capable. There will be a new smartphone, the Hydrogen Two, which has been built almost ‘from the ground up’. RED states that it is working with new partners to ensure that the second device is a success. Details about the new smartphone are not yet known.

RED had planned to release a camera module for its Hydrogen smartphone, but that is no longer coming, because the Chinese ODM cannot make it as promised, according to RED. RED will develop a new camera module itself, containing its own sensor from the American company. The code name for the module is Komodo and more information about it should be released soon. The module will work with both the Hydrogen One and Two and is said to be better than the previously announced module.

Due to the issues, customers who have purchased a Hydrogen One will receive “significant preferential treatment” when purchasing the new model, both in terms of price and availability. It is not yet known what that new model will cost, when it will be released and how much discount current owners will receive.

RED is an American manufacturer of high-end film cameras for cinema productions. The company announced its first smartphone two years ago. The Android device had to distinguish itself with a so-called ‘holographic’ screen and the possibility to record video images in a special 3D format. The $1300 device came out in November last year in the US and was not received enthusiastically. The Verge gave the Hydrogen One a score of 3 out of 10 and wrote that the screen was low. The lack of the promised modules was also a point of criticism. Mashable called the device the worst tech product of 2018 in its review.