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HTC One Max review

The One gets supersized - but does it impress?

HTC's big content discovery engine has gone through something of an overhaul - but it's not necessarily to the benefit of the handset. For the uninitiated, Blinkfeed is a mass of tiles that includes everything from social networks to news content to upcoming calendar appointments and gallery entries.

It's a really nice UI, allowing the user to swipe up and down through large tiles to see a variety of different topics and snack on things as they see fit. It debuted on the HTC One but has been improved to include new features on the One Max, although not all of them work.

HTC One Max review

Let's start with the positives: The UI is now much nicer, and you can pull through images from Instagram and posts from Google+ now too. When you first use the service, Blinkfeed will ask you whether you want to search for content through Facebook or Google+ - we urge you to use the former.

The reason is that the One Max will then shoot off and scan your social profile for topics you're interested in, and offer up a selection for you to add to your list. Given Facebook is more likely to represent your actual interests and it turns out you can only use one, we suggest you start there.

In terms of available topics, there are absolutely reams to choose from - plus you can choose different international versions, too. So if you're an international from New Zealand living in the UK, you can get news from your homeland fed into the Blinkfeed so you always know what's going on back there.

Using this method should allow you to have content only tailored to your chosen country, but we noticed a lot of American Football creeping into the UK feed.

We are fans of the new quick-launch bar, which is available by swiping from the left. This means you can choose to see topics from only one area, and makes it much easier to navigate through your Feed without having to scrabble around to get the things you're most interested in.

Plus you can easily turn off and on the things you want to see, meaning that very quickly you'll make Blinkfeed your own. We were skeptical of the service at first, but now it's used all the time and has even usurped Flipboard.

There was one big feature we were excited by, but sadly it hasn't lived up to expectations: the ability to add in your own custom feeds to the mix.

HTC One Max review

The reason this wasn't allowed right from the start was that HTC wanted to preserve the visual experience of Blinkfeed, making sure that all the content it served was vetted to have the right resolution of picture and the correct headline.

While thankfully the brand has realized that consumers want to be able to bring their own feed to the mix, sadly, it hasn't done it in the way we'd have hoped. You can't import your own feed list (something that RSS lovers would have loved); instead you have to search for a specific topic and then either subscribe to its Twitter or YouTube channel.

HTC One Max review

So a search for TechRadar would show our Twitter and YT feeds, but also the option to have it all mashed together as "Blinkfeed content."

What this means is you're essentially subscribing to all tweets, mentions and other articles around the web which mention TechRadar, rather than just the feed of content that most would have probably wanted.

Given the One Max can see said feed within the mix, it's infuriating that you can't choose to just follow that name.

There is a workaround: If you find the feed online and click it, then you're taken straight to Blinkfeed (if you don't have any other feed readers installed) and you can follow it that way. But it's a stupid way of having to do something obvious.

But overall, Blinkfeed is much better than before - more customization options, no matter how poorly put together, are always a great move from a company, and we're glad to see them here to help boost one of HTC's flagship areas.

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