Oct 16, 2013

Hello Friends,

Announced earlier this week, HTC's latest smartphone is a phablet with a huge 5.9-inch display that features HTC's industrial design and a fingerprint scanner. But is this the handset to get given there are plenty of other high-end options such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, the LG G2 and the Sony Xperia Z1?


If you love big-screen handsets, the One Max delivers this in spades. The large 5.9-inch screen packs a full-HD 1,920x1080-pixel resolution, which gives it a pixel-per-inch value of 373ppi. That's none too shabby, which means text on screen will be sharp.

Apart from the obvious giant display, the One Max features HTC's industrial design found on its earlier flagship, the HTC One and the HTC One Mini. The One Max comes clad in aluminum, and has a removable back cover. However, the only use for removing the back cover is to access the microSD card slot -- the battery is non-removable.

Another new thing that we've previously seen on the Motorola Atrix and more recently, the Apple iPhone 5S is a fingerprint scanner. Unlike Apple's TouchID sensor though, the one found on the One Max requires you to do some swiping with your finger (instead of just holding it there).

Besides using it to unlock your phone, the One Max's fingerprint sensor lets you use three different fingers to open apps. This should make it useful for quickly getting to your favorite app, or even turning on the Ultrapixel camera.

Like the HTC One, One Mini and Butterfly S, the One Max sports a 4-megapixel UltraPixel camera. This will mean that great low-light shots, but the lower-megapixel count will result in smaller pictures as well as a lack of details when compared with pictures taken with an 8- or 13-megapixel shooter.

HTC will also be making accessories for the One Max, and this includes a Power Flip case that adds an additional 1,210mAh battery and a BoomBase speaker cube. The HTC Mini (a phone-shapped Bluetooth accessory) also makes a return in the form of the updated Mini+ and there's also a new Bluetooth tag that alerts you if you leave your phone behind.


There's such a thing as being too big, and one of the reasons why I liked the HTC One was that it stayed under 5 inches and could be reasonably used with one hand. The One Max may appeal to those who like watching videos on their handsets, but those who want to type one-handed on a crowded train will have issues stretching their thumbs.

While you have a removable back cover this time around, there's no having access to the battery means you won't be able to swap it out when it runs flat. The 3,300mAh battery should mean that it will last for at least a day, though.

Unlike other flagship handsets, the One Max comes with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor clocked at 1.7GHz. This is unlike the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and the Sony Xperia Z1 with their Snapdragon 800 chips. If you ask me, the One Max feels like a handset that should have made its debut earlier in the year.


While pricing has not been announced for the region, the One Max will be available globally from mid to end October. There's no word on specific availability just yet for countries here in Southeast Asia, but it seems the phablet will hit Malaysia sometime in November. Given its lackluster specs (compared with other flagships) and lateness to the market, the HTC One Max may not get the warm reception that it needs for the Taiwanese company to make a dent in the phablet category.


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