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HTC One Max - Screen Quality and Fingerprint Sensor

Andrew Williams

By Andrew Williams


Our Score


Review Price £600.00

HTC One Max – Fingerprint Sensor

The HTC One Max’s most eye-catching feature is the fingerprint sensor on the phone’s back. This is just the second super high-profile mobile to use such a sensor, having been implemented in the iPhone 5S.

Is this just a ‘me too’ effort, or something worthwhile? We don’t think too much of it.

The HTC One Max uses a capacitive sensor that maps out the conductive properties of your digit – it’s a fingerprint, but not one of curvy lines and an optical CSI-like image. Unlike the iPhone 5S you have to run your finger across the sensor rather than placing your finger on it. If you haven’t used the iPhone’s sensor before, you simply need to place your digit onto the Home button to unlock the phone. HTC One Max 5

Although the security of fingerprint sensors like the HTC One Max’s have been discussed at length, what they are really about is convenient. And the Max’s one isn’t.

More often than not, the HTC One Max failed to correctly recognise the finger, and it forces you to enter a pre-determined password after three attempts. It’s not a finger-friendly password either, but a keyboard-entered one.

Part of the issue is that for the sensor to accurately map your finger, it needs to pass straight down the middle of the sensor panel. That you’re always doing so ‘blind’, and that the phone isn’t the easiest to wield at the best of times makes this easier said than done in real-life use. You shouldn’t have to try to use something like this.

HTC has done its best to make the One Max’s sensor more useful than the iPhone 5S’s, though. It can be used from the lock screen to launch any app you fancy, rather than just unlocking the phone. And you can ‘train’ the phone to recognise three different fingers.

It’s a great idea, but it highlights two more problems. First, you can’t use it outside of the lock screen – even though it would make sense as a quick app launch function (it’s far too high up the body to be swiped accidentally). Second, only your index fingers are remotely comfortable to use with the sensor thanks to the size of the phone. Swapping hands to launch a different app once again wipes out the convenience benefit.

The fingerprint scanner is ultimately a misfire.

HTC One Max – Screen Quality

The HTC One Max has a 5.9-inch 1080p screen. That’s the same resolution as the 4.7-inch HTC One, stretched over a much, much larger area.

However, sharpness remains excellent. The mobile phone market is currently a bit obsessed with the pixels-per-inch rating of screens, and in this sense the HTC One beats the Max – with 468ppi to the Max’s 373ppi. Like most obsessions, though, it’s not healthy. There’s little different in perceptible sharpness between the two phones.

HTC One Max 1

The HTC One Max uses an LCD-type display, and it’s a good-quality panel. Contrast is good, black levels are decent and colours are fairly vivid without oversaturating reds in the way AMOLED screens like the Galaxy S4’s often do. They do appear slightly cooler than the very best screens out there, though.

That a phone this high-end has a great screen is no surprise. Phones and tablets currently lead the way in terms of screen development, having pushed public expectations much more quickly than TVs.

A more interesting question to ask is – does the size of the One Max’s screen add that much?

In day-to-day use, we found the 5.9-inch screen to be more of a pest than a bonus. It makes navigating the phone and typing one-handed a pain, and HTC hasn’t done a great deal to force the HTC Sense UI to make the most of the screen inches.

When it is a blessing, though, is while playing games, browsing the web or watching film. Playing Real Racing 3 is so much more immersive on an HTC One Max than an iPhone 5S. It’s much closer to playing a game on a small tablet like an iPad mini or dedicated gaming device like a PS Vita – and without anywhere near as much of the inconvenience of a tablet.

As we half-expected of a phone this large, top brightness isn’t quite on-par with the HTC One. However, as there’s a solid anti-reflective coating on the One Max’s display, we never found outdoors use to be much of a problem.

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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. :)


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


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.

To know more visit - http://www.amazon.in/gp/produc...

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