HTC One max vs Samsung Galaxy Note 3
Interface and Functionality
The HTC One max and Samsung Galaxy Note 3 feature Android 4.3 Jelly Bean with the Sense 5.5 skin on the HTC phone and the TouchWiz custom UI on the Note 3. There is quite a big difference in the actual looks and skin functionality. HTC’s Sense skin favors neutral charcoal colors all around while the Galaxy Note has a cartoonish, colorful appearance; icons in Sense are rather flat while in TouchWiz we have playful, rounded icon art. Some people like the more business-y and universally appealing looks of the HTC, others - the playful TouchWiz, but at the end of the day it’s a matter of personal preference.
The actual functionality of the two skins is also very different starting from the way you unlock the device (you have to pull from the bottom up on the One max while a swipe anywhere in any direction works easier on the Note 3) to more subtle differences. The notification dropdown on the One max is similar to that of stock Android in its clean looks and the fact that to access some basic settings like screen brightness, Bluetooth, airplane mode and others you have to first tap on the small 9-box icon on the right or do a two-finger swipe from the top. TouchWiz in contrast puts all these settings right in the notification dropdown. The app drawer in HTC’s skin scrolls vertically while on the Note 3 it scrolls horizontally. In this new version of Sense you have the choice to remove the BlinkFeed news aggregator that was previously glued to your home screen. On the Galaxy Note 3 you have the option to swipe up from the bottom to bring a similar ‘magazine’ feature bringing together interesting media content.
Samsung also packs a bunch of additional features that the One max lacks. These include Split Screen multitasking that allows you to view two apps at the same time, Air gesture for just waving your hand in front of the screen to say flick between photos, Smart scroll to navigate webpages with eye movement and Smart pause to pause videos when you're not looking.
The S Pen now also enables the Air Command feature once you take it out and it's a smarter way to select things and draw shapes with the pen. We won't go into much detail about this as we've already covered it in our review, but it's worth mentioning features like Action Memo that allows to convert and save parts of a hand-written memo like contact details to the phone book, and Scrap Booker that adds more information for things you've clipped (for instance, it adds a browser URL to content clipped from the browser).
Both skins however have their peculiarities and little quirks. In Sense for instance, adding shortcuts is unnecessarily complicated and changing the wallpaper is a daunting challenge (you have to go into settings and then - Personalization). In TouchWiz you cannot actually set an image as a wallpaper from the gallery, you have to long hold on your home screen and only then select an image. We consider these slight niggles worth mentioning, but looking at the bigger picture the core apps like dialer, messages and mail work perfectly fine on both.
The messaging apps on both devices work as expected supporting group texts and attachments to the messages (you can send your location for instance). When it comes to texting, though, the large size and lack of single-handed software optimizations make the One max less convenient. We like the large keys in HTC’s stock keyboard but for such a large device it would make sense to have an additional row for numbers and it’s missing. The Note 3 is much better optimized for texting. In addition to the standard edge-to-edge keyboard, it also supports single handed optimizations (the whole keyboard can be made smaller and aligned to the left or right) and has a separate row of numbers right above the keyboard.
Processor and Memory
The HTC One max has just launched, but - quite puzzlingly - it has the half a year old Snapdragon 600 system chip. The Galaxy Note 3 in contrast uses the latest and more powerful Snapdragon 800. In daily use both devices feel smooth and you won’t notice a huge difference just navigating around the menus. Surprisingly in the browser the HTC One max was actually quicker to load and render pages. That’s a strange thing since the Note 3 has the faster processor (2.2GHz Krait 400 vs 1.9GHz Krait 300 on the One) and the more RAM (3GB versus 2GB on the One). We don’t know whether it’s skin optimizations or something else to blame, but we pleasantly surprised by the actual speediness of the One max.
It’s still clear, though, that the Snapdragon 800 SoC is without a doubt faster and this will best be felt in games. You won’t have trouble playing most recent graphically intensive games like Asphalt 8 and Dead Trigger on both devices, but the Note 3 is more future proof. The One max comes with the weaker Adreno 320 graphics accelerator, while the Galaxy Note 3 features the new Adreno 330 GPU.
Internal storage starts at 16GB for the basic model of the One max whereas even the cheapest Galaxy Note 3 model has double that, or 32 gigs of internal storage. Both devices support memory expansion via a microSD card slot accepting up to 64 gig cards.
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 22270
HTC One max 12067
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 31543
HTC One max 26320
GFXBench Egypt HD 2.5 onscreen (fps)
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 54
HTC One max 39
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 1214
HTC One max 762
Vellamo HTML 5
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 2766
HTC One max 2558
Internet and Connectivity
Browsing the web on these two large-sized phones is a pure joy not just because of the large screen size, but also because of 4G LTE connectivity support on both. There are two browsers on each. Samsung bundles in mobile Chrome and its own custom solution, while HTC also has Chrome paired with its own browser. We like the custom versions for their extended feature set, and HTC’s one even supports Adobe Flash to some extent. Mobile Chrome however feels even snappier and we appreciate its cross-device syncing capabilities. It also loads pages almost instantaneously on both devices. Zooming around and scrolling web pages is stutter free, but the HTC phone is more responsive.
Other connectivity options include dual-channel Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS with Glonass and NFC.
1. danwatson (Posts: 102; Member since: 03 Jan 2012)
I just picked up the Note 3 and while it pushes the limits on size for me, it makes up for it in additional functionality with the pen and other features. The HTC One Max is just a big HTC One with really no additional functionality other than a huge screen. I use my Nexus 7 When I want a consumption device and want something a bit more portable in my pocket and was willing to go a bit larger than I would normally for the additional functions and features.
12. chocolaking (Posts: 461; Member since: 22 May 2012)
I prefer the One Max over the Note 3 in any way.
So i upgrade my one to ONE max..
just comparing the screen of One max and note 3..
MAX is a total win over the LEDs...
13. nasznjoka (Posts: 351; Member since: 05 Oct 2012)
phonearena app on playstore Get it herehttps://play.google.com/store/
3. N.Reynolds (Posts: 257; Member since: 15 Feb 2011)
As big of an HTC fan as I am I have to say Note 3 all day. And with the Original note coming out just over 2 years ago your second sentence in the conclusion is wrong. I know its very minor but you'd think someone that writes articles for a living would have an eye for detail. But what ever. Either way NOTE 3!!!!!
4. poping (unregistered)
i prefer note 3... it has true slim bezels.. htc one max has fake slim bezels... ends up as the bigger device but smaller screen...wth htc...
14. chocolaking (Posts: 461; Member since: 22 May 2012)
Smaller screen ? Sir! are you stupid ?
5. TreyTreyTaylor (Posts: 313; Member since: 21 Dec 2010)
Note 3. But I want the One Max to do well.
7. papss (unregistered)
Not even close.. Note 3. Also I don't like the one's design when it's big. Doesn't look all that sexy
11. Bioload25 (Posts: 213; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)
PA, how the HTC One Max can have a higher pixel density than the Note 3 (considering that both have the same screen resolution but HTC OM having a larger screen)?