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HTC One Max review

Andrew Williams

By

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

7

Pros

  • Great screen for video and gaming
  • Solid camera
  • Decent speakers

Cons

  • Awkward to use
  • Fingerprint scanner not reliable enough
  • Not as good-looking as HTC One

Key Features

  • Snapdragon 600 1.7GHz quad-core CPU
  • 16/32GB internal memory, microSD slot
  • 5.9-inch 1080p LCD screen
  • Android 4.3 with Sense 5.5 UI
  • Manufacturer: HTC
  • Review Price: £600.00

What is the HTC One Max?

Read the review of the HTC One M8

The HTC One Max is the bigger brother of the HTC One. It has a 5.9-inch screen – way larger than the 4.7-inch display of the that phone. However, it’s also one of the smaller ‘giant’ phones, making it a bit easier to use. Still, the HTC One Max has diluted the design purity of the HTC One a bit too much for it to be considered a smartphone classic.

Related: HTC 10 review

HTC One Max - Design

The HTC One Max is a large phone designed to look and feel as much like the HTC One and HTC One Mini as possible. However, it has added a few bits and bobs to ‘enrich’ the design.

There’s a square fingerprint scanner on the back below the camera lens, there are little metal contacts on the rear to connect a charging dock to and a switch on the side that releases the back panel.

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HTC One Max 4

Unlike the HTC One and One Mini, the back of the One Max pops off to give you access to the SIM slot and – the surprise new addition – a microSD memory card slot. Functionally, the HTC One Max is a more versatile device than the original One. But is this an improvement to, or a dilution of, the original blueprint?

SEE ALSO: HTC One 2 news and rumours

The case for the One Max being an unfortunate dilution is pretty strong. First of all, where the HTC One is a metal phone with some plastic trim, the Max is a plastic phone with metal panels. It has a look similar to that of its brother, but construction-wise they’re quite different.

HTC One Max 7

Does it matter? Not a great deal. The HTC One Max still feels like an aluminium phone thanks to its mostly metal finish, and that the rear metal panel is strong enough to avoid any flexing.

What’s more of an issue is how HTC has traded away some of the HTC One’s good looks. We can forgive the stick-out white plastic rim – which also features in the One Mini, but the obvious and clumsy-looking fingerprint scanner feels as though it has been grafted on by a particularly skilled bunch of phone hackers, not one of the largest phone-makers.

Some of the striking nature of the HTC One-series design is lost here.

However, it’s far from all bad. The HTC One Max feels high-end, and is nowhere near as visually imposing size-wise as some phones in this class. HTC One Max 2

This phone belongs to the relatively young band of super-large phones that aren’t much smaller than tablets and that won’t fit into every pocket. The good news is that, unlike the gargantuan Xperia Z Ultra, it still feels like a phone.

In adopting a slightly smaller-than-average (again, for its class) 5.9-inch screen, the HTC One Max feels much closer to something like the 5.7-inch Galaxy Note 3 than the 92.2mm-wide Sony Xperia Z Ultra. It’s still tricky to use in one hand - not helped by the chunky 10.3mm thickness - but it’ll earn you less ridicule from friends and fewer alarmed looks from strangers. HTC One Max 8

HTC has also made sure the most commonly used physical buttons are relatively easy to access. The soft keys are all (just about) within thumb’s reach, and the power button sits right under your right thumb.

The HTC One Max has the same BoomSound speakers as the HTC One, making it instantly identifiable as an HTC phone. These are stereo front-facing speakers designed to give a much better gaming and movie experience than most mobiles. They come up with the good too, but more on that later (see p4).

Carrier pricing updates & information supplied by WhistleOut

Eric Zachary Ryder

December 30, 2013, 8:57 pm

Totally disagree with half of this review. I just came from a Note 2, and the screen on the HTC One Maxx is better, bigger, and more satisfying to hold in my hand. It's heavier than the Note 3, but it doesn't feel like it is. I think HTC Sense has come a long way and this is the first phone I've had in years where I won't be using the ADW Launcher EX. I love the Blink Feed. The sound is great, though some apps start with a nasty buzzing sound; I may return it and try another unit. I am pissed off that my IT Dept has a stringent security policy that, apparently, won't let me take advantage of the fingerprint scanner - which is half the reason I bought the phone (!!!). So I don't have to enter a password every time I turn the phone on. But... maybe they'll change.

Christian Oswin Pond

January 13, 2014, 4:06 am

That my good sir, is when rooting/romming comes in handy, or you could try to factory reset/RUU it and any corporate blocks will be overwritten :)

Eric Zachary Ryder

January 13, 2014, 5:15 am

Actually, I have rooted my phones many times in the past. Since I wrote this post, I tried an old app I used to use for Exchange email and it worked great; No more forcing me to put in a password every time I turn on the phone. Since, I think protecting a phone is a good idea, I use an app called Disable Lock, (something like that), which lets me use my phone at home all day, connected to my wifi, and only asks for a password when Il eave the house. I also returned and exchanged the phone and have no buzzing sound anymore; So I;'m ah happy camper. :)

powdereddonuts

March 28, 2014, 2:15 pm

Zoes are awesome. Go to an event, snap like 20 of them and then go into the gallery and you have a ready-made video. I've used it quite a bit and friends are always impressed with the videos and the editing quality.

Andrew Puckett

April 21, 2014, 3:58 am

Great Display, i just wander about movie playback

veronicathecow

July 8, 2014, 11:03 pm

Avoid like the plague! In 3 months I have had 5 faults, returned it twice, last time took 21 days! Promised a call by HTC "Escalations" twice and no one has bothered to contact me. Power socket failed, auto brightness not working, speakers distorting, microphone poor, and random crashes followed by it switching itself on when jsut sitting on a desk. Add to that appalling battery life and poor build quality.

Saharish Fida

October 24, 2014, 10:48 am

htc one M8 is best calling phone.Loudspeaker is excellent

Tommy Blayer

November 23, 2015, 12:40 pm

I bought HTC One Max just before one month and With its 4G, WiFi, Bluetooth, and its 16 GB internal memory everything is awesome. HTC One Max is equipped with 1.7 GHz and Android 4.3 Jellybean operating system that is really too good.

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