Mak­ing a Splash

HTC One max

HWM (Singapore) - - Lab Test -

While the One Max is the larger vari­ant of the One it’s not sim­ply up­sized. There are some dif­fer­ences, such as the thicker poly­car­bon­ate strip that runs along the sides of the de­vice, which make the sides of the One Max feel not as cold as the bare alu­minum sides of the One.

HTC fi­nally shifts the power but­ton, orig­i­nally on the top left cor­ner of both the One and One Mini, to the right side. This makes it more con­ve­nient to ac­cess.

An­other note­wor­thy ad­di­tion is the mi­cro-SD card slot. The One Max is the only mem­ber of the One fam­ily (2013) to come with a mem­ory card slot, which sup­ports cards up to 64GB in ca­pac­ity. In ad­di­tion, you get 50GB of free Google Drive on­line stor­age space for two years.

Weigh­ing 217g and measuring 10.29mm thick, the One Max is the heav­i­est and thick­est ph­ablet in the mar­ket de­spite hav­ing nei­ther the big­gest dis­play nor battery. We find its form fac­tor too bulky, al­though the con­toured back makes it rest solidly and com­fort­ably in the hand.

Sport­ing a 5.9-inch Ful­lHD dis­play, the One Max has one of the best screens you can find. It de­liv­ers nat­u­ral and bal­anced col­ors with ex­cel­lent view­ing an­gles.

The One Max is also one of the few phones in the mar­ket to im­ple­ment a fin­ger­print scan­ner. Aside from help­ing to se­cure the phone, HTC lets you setup the fin­ger­print scan­ner to launch up to three dif­fer­ent apps us­ing three dif­fer­ent fin­gers. As the fin­ger­print sen­sor works uni­di­rec­tion­ally and you need to ex­e­cute a swipe ges­ture to make it work, the user ex­pe­ri­ence is not as good as that of the iPhone 5S. The lo­ca­tion of the fin­ger­print scan­ner on the back also means that you ei­ther have to pick it up to swipe your fin­ger or key in the pass­word to un­lock it.

Be­sides An­droid 4.3 Jelly Bean, the One Max ships with the lat­est Sense 5.5 user in­ter­face, which has new fea­tures such as the op­tion to dis­able BlinkFeed, more con­tent in BlinkFeed, off­line view­ing, dual-cap­ture and panorama+ in the cam­era app. It’s odd that HTC did not add one-handed op­er­a­tion for the One Max since most de­vices of its class of­fer one-handed sup­port for un­lock­ing, the di­al­pad, key­board and cal­cu­la­tor.

Pow­ered by a Qual­comm Snap­dragon 600 quad-core 1.7GHz pro­ces­sor and 2GB RAM, the bench­mark scores of the One Max are ob­vi­ously lower than the Snap­dragon 800-tout­ing Galaxy Note 3 and Xpe­ria Z Ul­tra. How­ever, this does not mean the user ex­pe­ri­ence is in­fe­rior. In fact, we find nav­i­ga­tion on the de­vice to be smooth and fluid.

The One Max is equipped with the 4-me­gapixel Ul­traPixel rear cam­era with BSI, ded­i­cated HTC ImageChip 2 pro­ces­sor, and 28mm F2.0 lens. The im­age qual­ity is fine for shar­ing on so­cial me­dia, but the lack of im­age de­tail is ap­par­ent when view­ing on the desk­top.

In our stan­dard battery test, the One Max lasted an im­pres­sive 10 hours and 26 min­utes which is by far the best we’ve seen from a HTC de­vice and ranks sec­ond be­hind the Galaxy Note 3. Un­der nor­mal us­age con­di­tions, the One Max stayed pow­ered-on for about 26 hours.

Priced at $1,028, the One Max will ap­peal to con­sumers who pri­or­i­tize design, build qual­ity and dis­play above all other as­pects. How­ever, the One Max faces very stiff competition from the Xpe­ria Z Ul­tra and Galaxy Note 3, which in some cases, of­fer bet­ter fea­tures and per­for­mance.

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