HTC One Max review

  • $990

The One gets supersized - but does it impress?

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HTC has kept the same Sense UI design for the One Max as we saw on the One, but has upgraded things to Sense 5.5 to bring a number of intriguing tweaks. However, let's take a little run through the user interface for those that might not have seen it before, since HTC has brought one of the best Android skins to the market.

The HTC One Max comes running Android 4.3, which should please those who are desperate to have the latest software from Google. In reality, it only means that Bluetooth connections are improved, as most of the features Google brought to the party were already in HTC's platform.

The set up is very simple on the One Max, as you can not only import most of your content easily from other Android phones, BlackBerry, Windows Phone or even the iPhone, but you're also talked through the process simply. HTC is touting its ability to let you set up your phone before you even turn it on, but we've not seen much in the way of take up of this feature.

HTC One Max review

Once you've opened up the One, it's best to sign into your myriad accounts, as these will be displayed throughout various elements of the One Max. Two to particularly watch out for: Instagram is now included in BlinkFeed (more on that in a moment), and once you've signed into Google and opened the pre-installed Drive app you'll be given 50GB of online storage, which is particularly useful for storing snaps from your camera.

There are only two buttons to play with on the front of the One Max - both capacitive, they allow you to either go back or to the home screen.

The home button actually has many functions: by default, a double tap will open up the more tile-based multi-tasker, and a long press will start Google Now. However, you can alter this to mean a swipe up will open Google Now, and a long press will act as a menu key, which will placate some that still love such an option.

HTC One Max review

The interface itself from HTC is very different from the rest of the market. For example, the Sony Xperia Z1 offers a more stripped back experience, while the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the LG G2 both come with vastly more complicated offerings, designed to reward the user that likes to have a dig around.

HTC's approach is also more inclusive. For instance, if you want to have fewer icons on the grid in the app menu, you can, or you can disable the BlinkFeed option altogether (by pinching inwards on any homescreen and clicking the checkbox at the top).

The idea is that those who are new to Android will be able to get on board simply, and it's a good ethos. However, if you're coming to the HTC One Max from a feature phone or similar, then we tip our caps to your bravery.

The rest of the interface is simple: The notification bar HTC uses is simple, yet elegant, which means you can easily see what's going on in your world.

We miss the quick toggles that allow you to easily turn off things like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth directly from this area (a common feature on most other phones), and HTC's decision to allow quick access to these using a two-finger downward swipe will be missed by many.

However, it's a simple method and it's nice to see that HTC is thinking here.

HTC One Max review

The app menu still annoys some, moving as it does vertically rather than horizontally as in many other handsets. It does mean that it's harder to scroll through using just one hand, and we hope HTC alters this in the future.

It's also not easy to add items from the menu to the home screen, as you'll need to long press, drag them to the top to the area market shortcut and then drop the icon on the home screen of your choice.

It's almost like HTC wants you to simply use the homescreen for Blinkfeed, and we'd hope for better, as it means widgets and the like (one of Android's strong points) are harder to use.

Another new feature for the HTC One Max is the ability to set widgets on the lock screen. You can now swipe right to get to a "+" icon, which allows you to choose elements like calendar or music player and have them accessible without unlocking the phone. It's a neat touch, but one we've been used to with Android 4.3 for a while now.

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