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HTC One Max - Call, Sound Quality and Verdict

Andrew Williams

By Andrew Williams

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

7

HTC One Max – Battery Life

With a 3,300mAh battery, it’s no wonder that the HTC One Max is quite as chunky as it is. That is bigger than the battery of the larger Sony Xperia Z Ultra (3,050mAh) or Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 (3,200mAh).

The generous battery shows in day-to-day use too. With regular email checks, some browsing and use of Google Maps, the HTC One Max lasts for a solid day and half. With careful use, and switching-on of the phone’s power-saving mode, you should be able to squeeze two days’ use of out it – you will be running on fumes by the end, mind. And although the back is removable, you get no access to the actual battery unit.HTC One Max 3

The HTC One Max offers a number of sensible power-saving options, all tucked into a separate Power settings menu so they don’t get in the way. You can set ‘sleep mode’ hours, during which the data connection will switch off entirely.

A power saving mode also throttles the CPU, controls brightness, turns off haptic feedback and limits the data connection to when the screen is on. With or without such measures, this is a long-lasting phone.

HTC One Max - Sound Quality

HTC BoomSound speakers are one of the HTC One series’s calling cards. They are stereo speakers that sit on the front of the phone, rather than the back where mobile speakers usually live.

Sound quality is well above average, especially if you’re using the phone held right in front of you – when playing a game, for example. You get a genuine stereo effect, as well as speakers that can go louder without sounding strained.

HTC One Max 9

There is one downside, though – the HTC One Max misses out on the Beats DSP mode seen in the HTC One. We’ve been less than kind about Beats headphones, and the use of DSP modes when wearing headphones, but it does wonders for teeny-tiny speakers like those found in the HTC One Max.

The sound isn’t as rich or smooth as it was on the HTC One with Beats mode engaged. And it won’t be added in an update as the partnership between HTC and Beats ended in September 2013.

Still, speaker quality is well above average.

HTC One Max – Call Quality

The HTC One Max has great call quality. Its earpiece speaker is much better-than average, bringing improved clarity and sound depth compared to a lower-cost phone.

Like most higher-end phones, the One Max uses a secondary microphone to employ active noise cancellation. The tiny pinhole mic is found on the back of the phone, in one of the plastic seams.

There’s only so much you can do with ‘standard’ phone calls, which sound rubbish through the best of equipment, but the HTC One Max has a good go at it.

HTC One Max 2

Should I buy the HTC One Max?

The HTC One Max has the same issue to surmount as other giant phones like the Sony Xperia Z Ultra and Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 – why would you buy it over its slightly smaller cousin?

HTC’s giant phone tries a lot less hard than some to justify its screen size. And while it may have a smaller screen than some, its thicker body ensures it’s still a tricky phone to handle day-to-day.

For gaming and video-watching, the 5.9-inch screen is fantastic. For everything else, we still think the HTC One is a better fit for most people’s lives.

The changes it makes to the HTC One formula aren’t particularly successful, either. Its plastic-based body is less impressive to look at, the look is less simple, the BoomSound speakers are less effective this time around and the fingerprint sensor is – at present – more pain than gain.

The Galaxy Note 3 in particular offers a screen that's only slightly smaller, but is significantly smaller in-hand and is much more successful at adding features that really make use of the extra screen space.

This is a solid phone, but a series of slight disappointments ensure it’s not the perfect smartphone storm that the HTC One was.

SEE ALSO: Top 10 best Android phones

Verdict

The HTC One Max is a strong phone that looks less silly in the hand than a Sony Xperia Z Ultra, but most of the ways it differs from the HTC One detract from the phone, rather than adding to it.

Next, read our top 10 best smartphones round-up

Overall Score

7

Scores In Detail

  • Battery Life 8
  • Calls & Sound 8
  • Camera 8
  • Design 7
  • Performance 7
  • Screen Quality 8
  • Software 8
  • Value 7
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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