Making a Splash
HTC One max
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.