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HTC One Max review: Too cumbersome and expensive to be relevant

Price

56490

Tech2 Rating

5.5

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The most expensive HTC yet!
2
By Roydon Cerejo /  21 Feb 2014 , 17:15:08

Before HTC unveils their new crop of flagships for this year, we thought we’d finish off the last remnant of the current line-up. The One Max is currently the most expensive offering from HTC which commands a high premium for its larger display and the addition of a fingerprint sensor. Given the fact that the rest of the phone isn’t too different from the original, does this have any place against today’s competition? Let’s find out.

Design and Build

The One Max has a sturdy build just like its smaller siblings and the design is a mash up between the One mini and the One. It looks nearly identical to the HTC One from the front and back but the sides have the same white, plastic trimming like the mini. There are stereo speakers on the top and bottom for BoomSound, along with the sensors and front-facing camera.

The one (and only) distinguishing feature of the Max is the fingerprint sensor
The one (and only) distinguishing feature of the Max is the fingerprint sensor

The rear cover is removable and is held in place with a latch on the side. Below the camera, we have the fingerprint sensor which is used to unlock the phone or even launch a designated app.

The HTC One Max manages to pack in a larger battery thanks to its larger dimensions, which should help with better standby time. The One Max is a single SIM phone and also features a microSD card slot for memory expansion.

The removable back cover reveals the SIM and microSD card slots
The removable back cover reveals the SIM and microSD card slots

Leaving the good build and aesthetics aside, it’s hard to ignore the fact that the phone is not the easiest to live with. It’s quite heavy at 217g and with a near 6-inch screen, a bit too big for most hands.

Features

The Super LCD3 display never fails to impress. The One Max still retains a pixel count of over 320ppi so text and images are sharp and vivid with no visible pixilation around icons. Colours and punchy and the viewing angles are very good as well.

The very familiar Sense v5 UI makes a comeback
The very familiar Sense v5 UI makes a comeback

The One Max comes with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean onboard and Sense UI v5.5. The look and feel of the interface is very similar to the past HTC One handsets. BlinkFeed is the default home screen but this can be changed to a regular one as well.

The fingerprint sensor is fairly easy to setup. You can register up to three fingerprints and also select which app should be opened as soon as you unlock the phone. The sensor does its job and the whole process is pretty straight forward.

The setup for the fingerprint sensor
The setup for the fingerprint sensor

The One Max is powered by a Snapdragon 600 quad-core SoC, running at 1.7GHz. There’s also 2GB of RAM accompanying it which results in to smooth operations for the UI and apps. Performance is similar to the HTC One so you won’t notice any major difference in app loading times and gaming performance.

Media

There’s Beats Audio for the earphones and the speakers for richer audio. The stock audio and video player are pretty capable of handling most file types so there’s no real need for third party apps. You get 16GB of in-built storage, which can be expanded by up to 64GB. Audio quality is very good through a good pair of IEMs as well as the stereo speakers.

The media player experience is good, thanks to Beats Audio
The media player experience is good, thanks to Beats Audio

Connectivity

The One Max is well catered for when it comes to connectivity options. There’s support for LTE, 3G and GSM networks, along with Wi-Fi ‘ac’, Bluetooth v4.0, IR blaster, GPS, GLONASS and NFC. We didn’t face any issues with call reception even in crowded spaces and the ear piece was loud enough even in noisy environments.

Camera

The 4MP Ultrapixel camera makes another comeback. The feature set is virtually identical to the HTC One and you get the whole slew of features like Zoe mode, various scene modes, etc. The One Max does a good job at lowlight photography but due to the low resolutions, the pictures are mostly good for just sharing on social networks.

Image quality is not too shabby for indoor shots
Image quality is not too shabby for indoor shots

Battery Life

The One Max has the privilege of a much larger battery as compared to the One. With 1000mAh more, the 3300mAh battery on the Max will easily last you an entire day, and more. The phone easily sailed through our loop test with 35 percent battery to spare.

Verdict and Price in India

The official price of the One Max is Rs 56,490 but you can find it online for a little under Rs 50,000. This is a very high price for a phone that’s just a larger version of the HTC One with a fingerprint sensor. Not only that, the Max is also very inconvenient to live with everyday due to its large size and weighty body. Even of the phone does get a major price cut in the future; we wouldn’t recommend it since it’s a task to live with and HTC will be unveiling its successor in just a couple of days.


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