Yes, an assumption like that makes sense. Studies are showing that the demand for smartphones with huge displays – think 5 inches and above – is growing. With the One max, HTC is aiming to enter the phablet segment and meet that demand while it is still on the rise. By the way, as ausnote2 mentioned, HTC once made and marketed an even bigger phone. You can read more about it in our HTC Advantage review.
Both the HTC One max and the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 are very fast and responsive, equipped with a Snapdragon 600 and 800 respectively. They perform equally well when it comes to every-day tasks like checking mail and social networks, browsing the internet, looking up stuff on Wikipedia, and the likes. In some cases, however, be it while playing a very demanding video game or when doing some heavy multitasking, the Note 3 may perform a bit better thanks to its more powerful hardware. Asphalt 8, for example, is one of the games that run noticeably better on the Note 3 than on the One max. The performance gap isn't huge by any means, but it is there and can't be ignored.
Again, the Snapdragon 600 is fast enough for almost any task. However, at this point in time, we'd expect seeing the faster Snapdragon 800 on a smarthpone of this class and price range. After all, the Snapdragon 800 is already used for a number of smartphones by the competition.
The primary purpose of the fingerprint scanner is to serve as a layer of protection, replacing your lock screen PIN or pattern. Also, you can use one finger for unlocking, and two more for launching apps from the lock screen. Sadly, the fingerprint sensor on the HTC One max can be frustrating to use. Read this article to learn why. The scanner itself is accurate, but only if you swipe downwards. If your swipe is at an angle, then the scanner may not recognize your finger.
If there's anything that can give us an indication as to how well HTC is doing on the smartphone market, that would be the company's financial results. And the recent reports weren't pretty.
That depends on where you live. In the US, the HTC One max will be soon sold by Verizon, Sprint, and possibly AT&T as well. Alternatively, it can be found online unlocked and SIM-free. In some markets throughout Asia and Europe, the phone is already on sale, found on the shelves of some carriers and third-party retailers.
The HTC One max does not feel heavy in the hand, but it is definitely too huge for most people. Hope your jeans have large pockets. Here's how the HTC One max looks next to other handsets.
Rumor has it that an HTC One model with a faster chip might launch next year, and that's all we know so far. As for your second question, no other color variants of the HTC One max have been announced yet, and nothing seems to indicate that a black model is in the works.