HTC One Max: A specifications review

HTC’s One Max is the company’s answer to Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 and the Sony Xperia Z Ultra. All three come with massive displays and as such are niche products. While the One Max borrows a lot from the HTC One, it does have a few flourishes of its own that make it a worthwhile proposition. Here’s a closer look at the specs.

User interface
It’s great news that the latest Jelly Bean powers the HTC One Max, but we suspect that most users won’t know about it thanks to the heavy Sense overlay. Sense has been updated to version 5.5 and brings the same BlinkFeed experience seen in the One. This time around you can switch off BlinkFeed for a more regular Android homescreen experience. Besides Twitter and Facebook, there’s now Google+ integration for BlinkFeed. If you have used and liked the HTC One’s UI, you will feel right at home with the One Max too.

Cellular connectivity
The One Max brings LTE connectivity, but unfortunately it doesn’t have support for India’s 2300 MHz frequency. This means it will be able to surf the net on HSPA+ speeds, but nothing more in India. The One Max employs Micro SIM cards.

HTC One Max shows off the fingerprint scanner

A hulking display


Undoubtedly the headline grabber of the One Max is the large 5.9-inch display with full HD resolution. Just like the One, this phone has a Super LCD3 panel. The pixel density of around 373 PPI is nothing to mock, but it’s dwarfed by the One’s 4.7-inch full HD display. In any case, at this resolution you won’t be able to spot individual pixels.

Form factor
This could turn out to be the One Max’s biggest downfall. At 217 g, the One Max easily bests the likes of Note 3 and Z Ultra in terms of weight. That wouldn’t have been such a bad thing if not for the fact that at 164.5 x 82.5 x 10.3 mm, it’s too big even as phablets go.

Aside from the bulky dimensions, the One Max gets the same metal threads that the One wore. The brushed aluminium casing lends it a premium feeling. The power button is mercifully moved to the side rather than the top. Once again, if you have held an HTC One, the Max is just like an oversized cousin.



A new feature is the fingerprint sensor on the back, which lets users unlock the phone with a touch. It's not known how far the capabilities of this sensor go and whether it can be used to authenticate users in other apps.


The fingerprint sensor is on the back

The fingerprint sensor is on the back




The One Max gets the absolute best when it comes to wireless connectivity. Wi-Fi is supported up to the latest ac band. The usual suspects of Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot are also present, just like one would expect.

Chipset and graphics
HTC has thrown in the Snapdragon 600 chipset into the One Max, instead of the S 800 chipset. That’s the same CPU that was used in the LG Optimus G Pro and the HTC One. Performance will still be great, but not benchmarks won’t be besting the Snapdragon 800’s scores. The Snapdragon 600 features a quad-core processor clocked at 1.7GHz. Expect the One Max to power through most tasks and even not-so-everyday tasks. If only there were enough apps in the market to take advantage of all this processing power. The powerful SoC will be complemented by 2GB RAM and an Adreno 320 GPU.

Internal storage
The One Max comes in two configurations – 16GB and 32GB. For a change, HTC has included a micro SD card slot that supports cards up to 64GB in size. Plenty of storage for all those movies the One Max’s large display will undoubtedly be used to view.

From Mini to Max - the HTC One family

From Mini to Max - the HTC One family


Retaining the UltraPixel camera first seen in the One, the One Max gets camera software that has been slightly tweaked. The UltraPixel camera is essentially a 4-megapixel sensor with enlarged pixels that capture more light and enhance details of a photograph. You will find a BSI sensor with each pixel measuring 2.0 microns, larger than those in the iPhone 5s, Galaxy S 4 and Lumia 1020. The Ultrapixel camera comes with the same OIS, Smart Flash (Five levels of flash automatically set by distance to subject), HDR mode in video recording, continuous shooting and slow motion video recording with variable speed playback as the One. It can shoot 1080p video at 30fps. A new feature is the dual-shooting mode, which lets users shoot a picture or video using both the front and back cameras.

Speaking of the front camera, it’s a 2.1-megapixel unit which is also capable of 1080p recording.

Nothing new here. The One Max gets an accelerometer, a gyro sensor, a proximity sensor, and a compass sensor. Like the HTC One, there’s a IR blaster in the Max.

HTC has added GLONASS support as well as Assisted GPS in the One Max. Lack of GLONASS would have been a glaring omission in this day and age.

The HTC One Max has an NFC chip like its smaller sibling and should play nicely with speakers that have this technology. It can also be used to programmable tags to perform actions when brought in contact with the phone.


The battery pack accessory is also a cover

The battery pack accessory is also a cover


Given the specs of the phone, the 3300 mAh battery seems quite healthy. HTC has an optional cover accessory that adds another 1200 mAh, so we expect great battery life from the One. Of course, we are yet to see how HTC have gone about the power optimisation in the phone, so the final battery life is still up in the air. We would have ideally liked to see a removable back cover, but no such luck with HTC’s insistence on an embedded battery.

The bottom line
The One Max is shaping up to be a great option for those looking at buying a phablet. However, the dimensions of the phone could make it cumbersome to use, especially considering the Note 3 and G Pro’s size. And finally, we have the price factor. HTC has routinely priced its phones much higher than competition. Take the example, of the Butterfly S or the HTC One Mini, which are priced way ahead of their rivals. Let’s hope the One Max gets a more palatable price tag, because the specs themselves are very tempting to say the least.

Published Date: Dec 24, 2013 09:26 am | Updated Date: Dec 24, 2013 09:26 am