Red's Hype-Filled Holographic Phone Is Coming to AT&T and Verizon

It's still not precisely clear when the Red Hydrogen One will finally appear. But when it does, the camera-centric smartphone equipped with a holographic display will be available from a couple major wireless carriers.

Both AT&T and Verizon announced today (May 17) that they will carry the Red Hydrogen One when that phone is released. Neither carrier listed a specific launch date, with AT&T saying only that the phone would be available "later this summer." (For its part, Verizon would only it's offering the phone later this year.) Red, which specializes in digital cameras, posted last month that the Hydrogen One's launch had been pushed back to August, though it also said the final date would be determined by its carrier partners.

Another detail missing from the carriers' announcements is how much you can expect to pay for the Hydrogen One. If the pre-order price is any indication, though, prepare for a sizable dent in your bank account. An aluminum version of the phone had a pre-order price of $1,295, while a titanium version was listed at $1,595. (Red is no longer taking orders for the upcoming phone.)

If that seems like a lot to ask for a smartphone, even in this age of the $999 iPhone X, Red believes the Hydrogen One's feature set justifies the price tag. The 5.7-inch phone's major feature is a holographic display that can project 3D images. You'll be able to interact with those images using a set of gestures. And you won't need glasses or an augmented reality headset to view images popping out of the Hydrogen One's display, which also feature a more conventional 3D mode.

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YouTube personality Marques Brownlee saw a prototype of the phone last year and was impressed by the holographic screen despite some rough edges that Red will presumably smooth over before the phone launches. The biggest takeaway from Brownlee's video of the Hydrogen One prototype, though, may be how big the phone is.

Red also says that the Hydrogen One will be a modular phone, capable of adding on accessories — most of which sound like they'll be geared toward adding to the camera's capabilities.

Details of the Hydrogen One first surfaced last July. At the time, Red was looking to launch the phone by early 2018. That date has been pushed back, with the company chalking up the most recent delay to efforts toward improving the camera.

AT&T, at least, has a track record of offering phones that are a little off the beaten path. Last year, it became the exclusive carrier for ZTE's foldable Axon M phone during happier times for that phone maker.

Updated at 10:10 a.m. ET with information about availability from Verizon.

Philip Michaels

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.