HTC One Max
HTC One Max
HTC’s (Unbranded Beats?) In-Ear Headphones
USB Cable and 3 Pin UK Wall Charger
User Manual, Quick Start Guide and Warranty Card
Amazing Battery Life
Removable Rear Cover
Finger Print Scan
The HTC One Max has been described by many as being “far too big” and it’s also been said that there is no place on the market for a phone like this so when I got my hands on the device a little under 2 month ago I had mixed emotions about it, before I even opened the box.
Was this device that would finally have me backing up the comments of others and finally admitting that there is a size that should be classed as too big to be a phone or would I be blown away by the HTC One’s bigger family member?
Will I ever be able to stop comparing the HTC One Max to the HTC One? All will be revealed in my review below.
At first glance you could easy mistake the HTC One Max for an oversized HTC One however there are some very big differences between the HTC One and the HTC One Max.
Looking at the front of the device there is little difference at all between the two handsets and the differences aren’t really found until you look at the side of the device where you will notice that the bezel has been swapped out for an HTC One Mini styled plastic one. HTC have also moved the power button to just below the volume buttons giving way to a dedicated IR-Blaster on the top of the device alongside the 3.5mm headphone port.
Flipping the device over reveals the biggest difference between the HTC One and HTC One Max which is the removable back cover. Despite there being no removable battery there is space for the sim card and a removable micro-sd card.
The back of the device reveals more interesting changes from the HTC One with the shift of the LED Flash to the left hand side of the camera and the introduction of a fingerprint scanner below the camera as well as POGO pins at the bottom right hand side of the device (more on those later).
The HTC One Max comes with Android 4.3 right out of the box along with HTC’s Sense 5 overlay. You’re instantly greeted by HTC’s Blinkfeed page and a simple side swipe will return you to the standard Android home screen.
The main difference between the HTC One and HTC One Max on the software side of things is the introduction of fingerprint scan which lies within the settings menu of the device and allows you to set your finger print scans and quick actions based on those.
Like most oversized devices the colour clarity on colours like black ends up very much lost in the screen. At low level brightness you can clearly identify that black is 100% black however at maximum brightness, the black colour is far from black and struggles to blend in with the black border which surrounds the screen itself.
For most people (myself included) the colours look great on the device and when it comes to watching HD movies in a dark room it’s very much like having your very own home cinema.
The HTC One Max is as easily rootable as any of HTC’s latest offerings through the HTC Dev website. There are also discussions on XDA Developers for the handset though the ROM availability is slightly poor simply because of the niche market that the handset appeals to.
More About The Negatives
I guess there has to be a bad thing with every device right? Well on the HTC One Max there are 2 items that I consider to be bad and they are listed above.
You may be questioning why I have listed the speaker grills, well as the photo below shows, the grills are a little too easy to dent and sadly the fix requires a whole new front end which makes me very very sad. I have a lovely looking device that sadly a design flaw has managed to ruin.
Buggy Brightness, where to start with this… Rather than say why it annoys me or why I consider it bad let’s just try to replicate it and then you can add comments below to say why I listed this item.
- Put the phone on auto brightness
- Open the camera button on anything and then without taking a photo hit back
You will now notice that you have the sun in your eyes. The brightness has returned to its native Super Bright status despite being on auto.
At the start of this review I asked if the HTC One Max would cause me to say that there really does come a point when a devices size is simply too big to be a phone and to answer that question I’ll simply say no. The HTC One Max, despite being 5.9 inches, quickly becomes very “the norm” after a week of useage and going back to devices like the HTC One proves to be an annoyance. With that said, I do (on occasion) still feel slightly embarrassed when the phone rings and I have to pull the handset from my pocket (yes it fits) to reveal what can only be seen by others as a tablet.
I’ve spent the best part of this review comparing the phone to it’s smaller family member the HTC One which could be considered as unfair considering the popularity differences and not least the form factor differences however comparing it to any other handset (such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 or Sony Xperia Z Ultra) would also be unfair as the handset (in my opinion) is so far out of the leagues of other handsets in its range. I had considered reviewing it on its own merits however again, the HTC One Max simply is too close to the HTC One not to compare it.
Overall my experience with the HTC One Max has been a very positive one and so much so that the handset is now my daily driver.