The launch of the original Samsung Galaxy Note a few years ago kick started a growing trend for larger sized displays on smartphones with a number of different company’s joining the party, and today we have an HTC One Max review as we are handling the massive.
A few months ago HTC launched its supersized version of the HTC One with the added Max moniker, and with it we saw the Full HD display increased up to 5.9-inches with a fingerprint scanner thrown in for good measure.
As soon as you take the HTC One Max out of the box you realise how big this device is, and how heavy it weighs in the hand. For the record the device measures 164.5mm x 82.5mm x 10.3 mm weighing 217 grams, which compares to the 5.7-inch Galaxy Note 3 at 151.2mm x 79.2mm x 8.3 mm and 168 grams.
The original HTC One was loved for its premium build quality and the Max does share some of the aluminium build but the rear cover is removable to allow the expansion of the handsets memory via microSD card. On our review unit the rear cover doesn’t seem to fit very well inside the plastic frame with a small gap between the two surfaces.
The addition of the removable rear cover seems a waste considering the battery is not accessible and could have meant a thinner smartphone. The device we were using was running the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean operating system along with the HTC Sense 5.5 overlay, and provided a good user experience.
Watching video content or playing games were a joy on the large 5.9-inch Full HD display that is surrounded by the twin front facing stereo speakers, and is certainly a feature that other OEMs should think about adopting to improve the audio on smartphones.
Images on the rear facing camera were OK and fine for sharing on social media or emailing, but were still lacking when compared to other flagship handsets such as the Galaxy S4. The fingerprint scanner is on the rear of the device and in a somewhat awkward position, and you can store up to three fingerprints to unlock a variety of features on the handset while choosing which fingers you want to use for the feature.
Occasionally the scanner wouldn’t recognise my fingerprint as I swiped down across the rear of the device, and it’s a shame you can’t use the feature to wake the device from standby. Call quality was good for those either end of the line, and despite its size the handsets battery life lasted most of the day with moderate use.
I am not sure about the HTC One Max and whether it’s a handset I would actually want to purchase, as I can see the appeal of having such a large display and doing away with the need of carrying around a smartphone and a tablet.
The size and weight of the device could become tiresome with prolonged use away from a desk and it is rather large for putting in a trouser or coat pocket, and it would be nice if the device had some sort of built in stylus.
In short I would rather consider the replacement for the HTC One that is due for release in the coming months, especially if we see an increase in size of the display to around the 5-inches mark.