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PSA: Do not preorder this $1,200 holographic Android phone

RED Hydrogen One Holographic Phone

The smartphone business is a very competitive landscape, where newcomers have a tough time challenging traditional handset makers. That’s why I’d advise you not to preorder “the world’s first holographic media machine in your pocket” until you actually see one. What’s that you ask? That’s the Hydrogen One, a smartphone made by camera maker RED that doesn’t exist. But RED would still like you to preorder one right now and expect to receive it at some point in the first quarter of the year.

Yes, RED is an established name in the camera business. It is, however, not a smartphone maker. And just because it can make great cameras, it doesn’t mean it can also create great phones. Especially considering it has no history in the phone making business.

Sure, holographic phones sound great. But who would you rather trust with making such devices? Apple, Google, Samsung, or anyone else in the business that proved they can make somewhat dependable phones every year? Or RED, a company that comes out of nowhere with a vaporware device announcement.

The Hydrogen One sounds too good to be true. Whatever you do, you should absolutely not pay $1200 or $1600 for the handset, at least not before RED actually proves this thing exists and works. Even on Kickstarter, where many startups come with interesting ideas, we get to see proof-of-concept devices in most campaigns.

RED, meanwhile, only has the teaser image above for us.

The company claims that its 5.7-inch display will be able to seamlessly switch “between 2D, holographic multi-view mode, 3D content, and interactive games” thanks to a special, nano-coated display technology.

It may all be true. RED may sit on top of ground-breaking technology that will forever change the mobile landscape. But even so, keep hanging on to your money and wait for RED to actually demo this “media machine” before you buy it.

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.