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HTC One Max review

The One gets supersized - but does it impress?

The HTC One Max comes with the same package as the One in terms of being able to shoot Zoe footage, a mode on the camera that takes 0.6 seconds of HD footage before you press the shutter button and three seconds afterwards, meaning you get a 'moving photo' to give all manner of information about what's actually been happening.

In reality, it's more of a quirky feature that does at least take on the notion that you have to have still images in the gallery all the time, as instead of loads of people staring blankly at you from a grid of snaps, the gallery is an orgy of motion as cats bounce about, people walk out of shot and blinking brings a tidal wave of eyelids.

HTC One Max review

It's a cool idea though, although one big issue is that you have to hold the camera up for a while to capture the Zoe properly, and while many people are used to posing for a while for a cameraphone snap, three seconds feels like an eternity while you wait for that red bar to fill up while the image/movie is captured.

There are some good points with the HTC One Max compared to the system that launched on the One. The main problem that the One had was that Zoes are fairly large, and could take up a lot of space on the limited internal storage.

This is mitigated now by the microSD slot, which really helps when a single Zoe is around 30MB for three seconds' footage. The other improvement is that the Zoes are now no longer stored as hundreds of individual shots, so only the primary thumbnail is shown. This makes it much easier to keep Zoe mode on and still auto-upload onto Dropbox or similar.

The downside of the One Max is that without optical image stabilisation the performance of the Zoe can be quite juddery, which makes your shots look a lot more amateur. Steady hands are definitely a requirement, although that's even harder with this larger device.

HTC One Max review

Now, let's get onto the good stuff, and that's the ability to see your memories in a really fun 30 second video highlight reel. The HTC One Max will look at your snaps and auto-create the short video based on a date or location for the photos being taken (if you've enabled geo-tagging of your snaps).

The results are really rather pleasing, meaning a few pointless snaps of a cat or your Mum being, frankly, hilarious are turned into something that looks a lot more professional.

There are now loads more themes to choose from, and you can extend the footage over 30 seconds and add in your own music too. It's quite a powerful little package now, and HTC has certainly come good on its promise to bring these elements into the Zoe family.

Finding said video highlights is a lot easier too, as when you open the gallery, items are sorted by events (around dates, time, or location if the data is tagged) or just grouped by camera or cloud storage.

From here a side swipe takes you to the video highlights section, where you can choose content, themes and music. It's a world apart from the orinmginal Zoe editor, and we're glad HTC has put some real thought into it.

Zoes are a really, really neat feature, and being able to share them to Facebook with a simple tap is nice. You still have to go through the rigmarole of uploading the video to HTC Share, where there's only 250MB of free space. Why you can't use the 50GB of free Google Drive, we don't know, nor why you can't find a video file once saved and then upload that to YouTube.

A Zoe is no use if you like to share specific snaps, as you'll need to go into the short video and choose a frame to save as the photo - only have the Zoe idea turned on if you like making highlight reels.

It's a good system, and it's an improved one – but it's still a little complex for some people and all the features aren't easy to understand.

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