TAIWANESE PHONE MAKER HTC has unveiled its first phablet, the HTC One Max, to challenge the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.
The HTC One Max isn't your average phablet, however, as it's the first smartphone following the launch of the iPhone 5S to feature a fingerprint scanner. Unlike Apple's offering, HTC has placed the capacitive scanner - which is not quite as advanced as that on the iPhone - on the rear of the phone, adding an extra layer of security and allowing users' to open apps by swiping their finger on the back of the device.
The display is also a big talking point, with HTC equipping the One Max with a 5.9in HD 1080p display, 0.2in bigger than Samsung's Galaxy Note 3 smartphone. It doesn't quite match its Samsung rival in processing power though, with the HTC One Max handset featuring a quad-core 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 chip.
Still, the HTC One Max arrives running Google's Android 4.3 Jelly Bean mobile operating system that HTC has skinned with an updated version of its custom user interface, HTC Sense 5.5. This improves features such as Blinkfeed, which HTC tells us 68 percent of HTC One owners are actively using, with better recommendations, offline reading, side swipe for quick shortcuts and Google+, RSS and improved Instagram integration.
Sense 5.5 also enhances HTC Zoe, improves the gallery, adds a Scribe app for notetaking and adds a GIF editor app.
Improving on the HTC One, despite featuring the same metal-clad casing, the HTC One Max comes with a microSD card slot, which means the handset's 16GB or 32GB of internal storage can be expanded up to 64GB. A switch on the left hand side of the phone lets users remove the backplate to access the handset's microSD card slot as well as its battery and SIM slot.
The HTC One Max also features the same 4MP Ultrapixel camera as the HTC One and HTC One Mini smartphones, a 2.1MP front-facing camera, 2GB of RAM, 4G LTE support, 50GB of free Google Drive storage and a 3,3000mAh battery. It also features HTC's Boomsound speakers, but doesn't come with Beats Audio integration.
HTC tells us that the One Max will be available in the UK via Vodafone from Friday 18 October, before rolling out across other operators and outlets. There's no word on pricing yet. µ
Check out our HTC One Max review.
Vodafone has spilled some details on the handset's pricing, revealing that it will be available from £49 on a £47 contract. µ
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