The "1-Minute" Review
With the buzz building about the latest generation of phablets, HTC has decided to join the fray. At 5.9-inches, the display on this phone is one of the largest currently available. Not only is it large, Sharif Sakr of Engadget says HTC's Super LCD 3 panel is “still the best in its class, and the best on the whole market if, like us, you prefer the natural colors of an LCD display to the over-saturated appearance of an AMOLED panel.” Vlad Savov of The Verge goes on to say that the screen is a “pleasure to behold.”
However, if you’re looking for one of these behemoth devices, screen size is far from the only consideration. Fortunately, the phone offers performance, storage and utility in abundance as well. Sophie Charara of Stuff says “a rebooted version of our favourite Android skin, bags of storage available via microSD and an all-day battery life and it looks like the Galaxy Note 3 could be in trouble.” It appears that many of the common complaints of the HTC One are being addressed in this new member of the One family.
One of the leading concerns with many of these new large-screen devices is battery life. With a 3,300-mAh battery, Engadget says that the battery life is “something to celebrate” while Stuff describes it as “beastly.” Their tests show the battery depletes 2-4% slower than the competing Note 3. Engadget’s tests showed that even under heavy use, the device lasted all day with plenty of battery to spare. Under light use, a full charge yielded 40 hours of use before hitting the 10-percent remaining mark. For those needing maximum battery life, an optional 1,200-mAh battery cover is available as well.
However, there are few potential issues to note on the phone. First is a lack of real multitasking features. Sony, LG and Samsung have offered a variety of ways to maximize their large screen offers when it comes to multitasking. While the recent apps display on the has been refreshed, there is little new to see on the larger screen. Engadget says “the most obvious change is that the home screen now offers an extra line of icons both vertically and horizontally, but that's as far as it goes in terms of making use of the larger display -- there's no particular feature that enhances single-hand usage, nor is there a multi-window mode to allow true multitasking.”
There is also the fingerprint scanner. Stuff and The Verge had lackluster opinions of the new feature. Vlad Savov of The Verge says “As it is, the fingerprint scanner implementation here is clumsy, awkward, and comfortably in line with the long history of failed attempts at making this technology work.” While Engadget reported slightly more success, they still questioned how many users would leave the feature enabled on their devices.
The final consideration is the sheer heft of the device. At 0.41-inches thick and weighing nearly 227 grams (8 ounces), all of the review sites have noted that the phone is a bit more cumbersome than competing devices. What you gain in battery life and screen quality, you lose in one-handed functionality and comfort. This added weight, at the removal of optical image stabilization, also lead to less than stellar reviews of the 4-megapixel UltraPixel camera on the device.
Engadget provides a summary of the device by saying “the One Max should still attract a few buyers. It will especially appeal to someone, such as a frequent flyer, who wants a big screen and big battery specifically for the purpose of consuming video and music, at the expense of other requirements.”
The Good: Class-leading screen quality, excellent battery life, powerful speakers and microSD card support.
The Bad: Heavy, thick, weak camera and tricky fingerprint scanner.
Prices (Where to Buy)
HTC released the One max on November 21, 2013.
The One max price will vary depending on retailer, age, special offers and whether or not it's purchased with a service plan. If purchased with a 2 year service contract for example, you would likely pay much less for the phone itself up front. You can compare HTC One max prices from around the web here on The Informr.
We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the HTC One max user manual here.
HTC backs up the One max with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.
If your One max has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact HTC support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find HTC's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.