HTC One Max review

The One gets supersized - but does it impress?

HTC One Max review
Remember HTC: bigger isn't always better

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HTC has always been excellent at providing the best contact management on the market, and it hasn't let anything drop on the One Max. From high resolution pictures to easy to use dial pads, there's a lot to love here, and anyone coming from another manufacturer's handset will be impressed.

The first thing we love is always the contact integration - sign into the likes of Twitter, Facebook and Google+ and HTC's phones are the most intelligent at being able to work out which accounts belong together.

HTC One Max review

This means that when you turn on the phone for the first time, you'll be presented with a number of suggested contacts to link together, and 99%, if not all, will be correct from the outset. This means that things like Facebook photos and social network updates will be on offer from each contact's profile on your phone.

On top of this, HTC makes a real effort to get high resolution pictureas from the social networks to make sure that when you're phoned by your friends, you're greeted with an attractive shot (providing they've actually used on on Facebook or Google+) rather than a pixellated mess.

HTC has even thought about this in terms of data consumption, and allows you to decide whether to download said high-resolution shots over Wi-Fi or mobile data.

If there is no larger picture to had, then the One Max will artistically add some dots to the image to prevent it looking too low-res - it's a nice touch, and means your handset doesn't look amateur when you pick up your handset.

On top of this, the calling is excellent on the HTC One. For example, there smart dialling on offer, which means that you only need to start tapping out the name of your contact on your dial pad (in the same way as T9 text prediction on the phones of old) and the name will appear as if by magic.

HTC One Max review

HTC has had this feature for years now, but now it's baked right into Android 4.3 directly, which means that you're getting a slick system that bypasses the need to open your contacts book most of the phone.

If this isn't your cup of tea, you can move the dial pad to full screen, but we'd imagine this would be for those with sight issues, as the screen on the One Max is large enough to cope with both smart dialling and making the keys visible.

In terms of call quality, the HTC One Max doesn't seem to have a problem - beyond the fact the phone is so large you'll feel foolish holding it to your face.

Actually, this isn't true in some parts of the world, but it will be a real problem for some, so make sure you're OK with having a handset that could dwarf your head when you want to have a chat with your partner.

The larger dimensions of the One Max do mean that it can sometimes be hard to position the earpiece in the best position to hear the person on the other end of the phone, which can irk also, but a little time spent with the phone will invoke enough muscle memory to sort this.

The HTC One Max comes with noise cancelling microphones, which means that call quality is, on the whole, rather decent; we never had a proble with someone on the other end of the handset wondering where we'd gone.

Signal is generally acceptable as well, although it's not always the most robust. We doubt that this is a problem with the aluminium design, but something like the LG G2, with a plastic chassis, does perform ever so slightly better in the low signal zones.

It's not really something to worry about, but if you live in a house with slightly iffy network connectivity, it's something to bear in mind.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.