HTC One Max review

The One gets supersized - but does it impress?

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Battery life on the HTC One Max is much better than we expected, and perhaps that's being a little harsh on HTC.

After all, this is a brand that looks like it's finally getting a handle on the insane amounts of power its phones were chewing through in recent years, and the HTC One was much kinder to its battery pack with a recent update.

HTC One Max review

Actually, beyond all that, we should have just realised that like Samsung, HTC has used the extra space the larger screen commands to whack a massive battery pack behind it, and the results are much better than we could have hoped for.

The fact that HTC Zoe files now longer create loads of pictures in the Gallery folder does help, as most of us will have these set to auto-upload, which nabs a lot of battery power. On top of that, we noticed that the camera app didn't take as much juice as we expected it might, nor did playing music and video for long periods of time take loads of power out of the system.

GPS tracking was a surprising drain, with nearly 25% of the power going during a one hour run. This was partly due to the screen being turned no more than usual, but we'd have thought the loss would have been in line with what we've experienced throughout the phone.

HTC One Max review

It's not something that most runners will have to think about, as the HTC One Max is just too large to worry about as a running accessory. We doubt that any running pouches will ever be made to hold it.

But it's worth making sure you've got a car charger if you're thinking of using the handset as a sat nav - and you should, as it's an excellent choice with its gargantuan display and clear audio notifications. However, don't go out using it to navigate if you don't have a power pack to back it up.

In terms of raw numbers, the HTC One Max delivers genuine performance while lasting over a day, which is excellent. The 3300mAh power pack is the sort of thing we're used to seeing in high end handsets, and we're happy that HTC has gone with the idea to keep up with the trend in the industry of offering phones with over 3000mAh power packs.

HTC One Max review

There will be many that wonder why it's not removable, which is an obvious question seeing as the cover comes off the back of the One Max. It's because the phone is designed in such a way that the processor, screen and all manner of other innards are packaged together so tightly that a discrete power unit that the user can get their hands on simply wasn't possible with the footprint.

Users should get used to this being an issue, as we can see Samsung following suit soon. A removable battery creates design headaches, and with the way a phone looks becoming ever more important (just as LG, which created a battery that was moulded around the innards) companies will move to inbuilt power packs given most consumers don't ever remove them.

As long as each has a robust returns policy should the battery give up the ghost, this shouldn't be a bad thing.

Extra apps

HTC hasn't gone too hard on the additional apps with the HTC One Max, sticking with the elements it knows and loves.

The main change is the Scribble app, which looks like it wants to be a combination of Evernote and the S Note app found on the Galaxy Note 3.

HTC One Max review

It's a messy, hard to use and fairly useless app in our opinion. Write anything with your finger (the optional stylus isn't coming to Europe or the US) and it gets added in a rather odd shrunken down way. Adding in pictures is a random affair, and there's an option to get "web content" that simply opens the browser.

You can create a neat scrapbook of information if you really, really work at it, but in truth most won't bother doing such a thing when there are far better options on the Play Store.

Google Drive comes pre-installed, and as we we mentioned, you should consider downloading this as soon as possible to make sure you've got the additional storage it brings. You annoyingly have to tap it in the Gallery to start drawing in pictures, but once that's done it's a really helpful way of doing things.

Plus any time you see the share icon, you can then have it upload directly to the cloud server, which is a nice way of saving the things you need.

And let's have a special mention of the HTC Weather app as that's one of CEO Peter Chou's favorites... as well as ours, too. Not only is it better integrated into the system than on any other phone (always displaying at the top of the Blinkfeed list, for instance) but it's also got more data on offer.

HTC One Max review

Want to know the hourly weather in your area? You've got it. The future forecast? You don't need to jump to a separate app.

There's not a lot of pre-installed nonsense on the HTC One Max, and for that we're truly thankful.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported64 GB
Built-in Memory16 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA, UMTS
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationYes
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyOne max
Cellular Generation4G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 1900, WCDMA 2100, LTE 800, LTE 900, LTE 1800, LTE 2600
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution4 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
ColourSilver
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameHTC
Battery Talk Time1 Day
Screen Size15 cm (5.9")
Screen Resolution1920 x 1080
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)217 g
Processor CoreQuad-core (4 Core)
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0
Operating System VersionAndroid 4.3 Jelly Bean
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Pixel Density373 ppi
Front Camera Resolution2.1 Megapixel
SIM Size SupportedMicro
Height164.5 mm
Width82.5 mm
Depth10.3 mm
Radio TunerYes
Battery Standby Time585 Hour
ManufacturerHigh Tech Computer Corp
Product NameOne max Smartphone
Processor Speed1.70 GHz
Processor TypeSnapdragon 600
Product LineOne max
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Gyro Sensor, Digital Compass, Proximity Sensor, Fingerprint Sensor, Ambient Light Sensor
Manufacturer Part Number99HWN005-00
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.europe.htc.com
Marketing InformationThis bundle comes with a free car cradle and charger.

Maximise everything. Massive screen and amped speakers for movies that sizzle. Feature-rich camera gives you artistic photo flair and homescreen posts connect you to real-time news. All powered by HTC's biggest battery to fuel the most demanding user. Introducing the HTC One max; more screen size, more camera, more everything.

Key features:

Maximized imaging tools: dual capture mode frames personal reactions with picture-in-picture results and HTC Scribble feature frees your inner artist.

Maximized bass: dual front-facing stereo speakers and built-in amps create louder bass for booming audio.

Maximized convenience: fingerprint Scan unlocks your phone and launches favorite apps with a simple swipe.

Supersized Camera Tools
Don't look at your photos. Relive them. Dual capture mode displays the photographer's reactions with a mirror view picture-in-picture. HTC Scribble function allows you to draw on your pics, and Photo Editor feature lets you create GIFs. Maximize your wow moments and make every day unforgettable.

HTC Zoe™ Photos: Memories that Move
Group up to 20 photos and automatically create a 3-second HD video for a full-motion photo gallery. HTC Zoe photo also features advanced editing tools you can swipe your way to the perfect shot. Plus, Video Highlights feature combines your photo and video footage for mini movies complete with the themes and music you select.

HTC BoomSound™: Unleashed Sound
Unchain your audio with volume blasting toward you, not away. Serve up your movies, videos, and music with the decibels you deserve from dual frontal stereo speakers boosted with built-in amps. Stop stooping toward your phone and put your content onstage with HTC BoomSound™.

Unlocked Convenience
Users unlock their phones over 20 times a day on average. The HTC One max removes this hassle with a rear-side fingerprint scanner that unlocks the phone as well as launches your favorite apps with a single finger swipe. Up to three fingers can be registered. Forget complicated passwords, with the HTC One max, you're just a swipe away.

HTC BlinkFeed™: Social Intelligence
Enhanced HTC BlinkFeed™ gives you news recommendations when you sign into your social networks based on your likes, for breaking news that matters most*. The HTC One max allows you to customize an HTC BlinkFeed from a wide range of global sources, for more personalized updates.

World-Class Engine
The powerful Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ processor in the HTC One max accelerates performance for lightning-fast apps, downloads, and web surfing. Revved-up graphics processing speed is designed to make gameplay smooth and quick. It enables up to 40% faster battery charging too. With its efficient Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, the HTC One max responds faster, games better, and lasts longer

*Supports select social network sites. See your provider for details.
Package Contents
  • One max Smartphone
  • Car Cradle and Charger
Limited Warranty1 Year
Standard Memory2 GB