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HTC One Max review

Bigger, but not better, than its flagship predecessor
Mon Oct 14 2013, 14:21

Product HTC One Max
Specifications 5.9in Super LCD 1080x1920 resolution touchscreen, quad-core 1.7GHz Snapdragon 600 processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB or 32GB internal storage expandable via microSD card, 4MP Ultrapixel rear-facing and 2.1MP front-facing cameras, GSM/EDGE/HSPA+/HSDPA, 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, microUSB port, headphone jack, Android 4.3 Jelly Bean mobile operating system, HTC Sense 5.5, fingerprint sensor, 165x83x10.3mm, 219g
Price £49 upfront plus £47 per month from Vodafone; SIM-free pricing to be announced

ALREADY HAVING REDESIGNED the HTC One for those who like pint-sized smartphones with the HTC One Mini, HTC has now made its first foray into the 'phablet' market with the 5.9in HTC One Max smartphone.

Not only is it bigger, HTC is also touting the HTC One Max as better, improving on the original HTC One with its fingerprint scanner - which HTC has rather oddly placed on the rear of the phone - its microSD slot and its bigger battery pack.

There is no denying that the HTC One Max is a huge smartphone. Of course, with a 5.9in screen the device is going to be big - but it's also quite a chunky device by today's standards, measuring 165x83x10.3mm and weighing 219g. In comparison, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 measures 151x79x8.3mm and tips the scales at 168g.

HTC One Max has an aluminum casing and removable backplate

This means that the HTC One Max is not ideal for those with small hands, and we found our wrists starting to ache while using the device for prolonged periods of time. We also tried fitting the device into a pocket, and perhaps unsurprisingly it was a very tight squeeze.

While in our opinion the HTC One Max is too large and weighty, we do like the way the handset looks, perhaps apart from when we have the handset held up to our face. The device echoes the design of the HTC One and HTC One Mini smartphones, with the HTC One Max clad in the same high-end aluminium casing.

Unlike on its predecessors, the back of the HTC One Max can be removed using a switch on the left-hand side of the phone. This is good news for those who like to have access to their phone's battery, and those who would want to expand on the handset's 16GB or 32GB storage, although it also caused some issues during our weekend with the handset. We often struggled to get the backplate securely back onto the phone after removing it, although HTC told us that this is an issue isolated to pre-release models.

Like the HTC One Mini, the HTC One Max features a plastic band around its edges, which as we said in our review of the pint-sized smartphone detracts from the handset's high-end look.

Beyond its built-in fingerprint sensor, perhaps the HTC One Max's most notable feature its its 5.9in HD 1080p Super LCD touchscreen display.

HTC One Max has a 5.9in 1080p HD display

Thanks to its Super LCD technology and its 1080x1920 resolution at 373ppi, the display is, despite its size, just as impressive as that of the flagship HTC One. Although the pixel density doesn't quite match, colours are vibrant and blacks are deep on the HTC One Max, and the 5.9in real estate makes for a pleasant browsing and gaming experience. It's also great for things like Netflix, making our iPhone 5C look petite in comparison.

Of course, given the size of the screen, it's almost impossible to operate one handed, but for those after a giant smartphone for watching films and playing games, the compromise is probably worth it.

Next: Performance, fingerprint sensor.


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