x PhoneArena is hiring! Reviewer in the USA

HTC One max Review

HTC One max 8.3

Posted: , by



HTC One max Review


HTC One max Review
HTC One max Review
HTC One max Review
HTC One max Review
HTC One max Review
HTC One max Review
HTC One max Review
HTC One max Review
Can you imagine that just a few years ago, the word “phablet” did not exist? It wasn't needed at that time, of course, since even the top smartphones couldn't come close to providing a tablet-like user experience. Yet today, we're witnessing a fascinating phenomenon – the number of handsets that blur the lines between phones and tablets is steadily increasing, and more and more people seem to be quite keen on having one. It is Samsung we have to thank for that – the company that pretty much created the phablet category with its highly-acclaimed Galaxy Note series.

HTC is now also ready to join the party and jump on board the phablet bandwagon. Its first handset of this class is called the HTC One max, and as the name implies, it is based on the company's flagship – the HTC One. Following in the footsteps of the latter, the HTC One max offers an outstanding metallic design and a 4MP UltraPixel camera, combined with a large, 5.9-inch 1080x1920 pixel touchscreen. And to spice things up, HTC has thrown in a few extra perks, including a fingerprint scanner and a slot for microSD cards.

Will all this be enough for the HTC One max to cause an impact in the Samsung-dominated phablet segment? Perhaps a thorough examination will allow us to arrive at a specific answer to that question.

In the box:

  • Wall charger
  • Micro USB cable
  • Wired in-ear headphones with microphone
  • Extra headphone tips
  • Quick start guide


Clearly, the HTC One max is not a phone built with the mainstream consumer in mind. It is for those who just don't find the display on any flagship device large enough for their needs. HTC has chosen to outfit the One max with a gargantuan, 5.9-inch touchscreen, occupying most of its front side. As a result, the One max looks and feels a lot more like a small-sized tablet, rather than a smartphone, which makes it highly suitable for web browsing, watching videos, or playing games. On the downside, the HTC One max is simply humongous. It is not only impossible to operate single-handedly, but also difficult to tuck even into a large pocket, so carrying it around might be an issue.

As for its appearance, the HTC One max can't be regarded as a fresh-looking smartphone since it is, more or less, a super-sized clone of the HTC One. Still, it looks outstanding both on its own and when compared to its rivals. Following in the footsteps of the company's flagship, the stylish One max sports a premium outer shell made of matte aluminum and a plastic trim around the side providing a sufficient amount of grip.

Yet some things have changed and must be highlighted. For starters, the HTC One max can have its storage space expanded with the use of a microSD card – a welcome feature not present on the HTC One. The microSD card slot is located underneath the back cover, which is now removable, providing access to the micro SIM card as well. The battery, however, is off limits and cannot be swapped by the user. You might have also noticed that three terminals are found on the smartphone's back, near the bottom. These are used for connecting the smartphone to the Power Flip case – an official HTC accessory with a built-in rechargeable battery. But the most unusual perk you get with the HTC One max is, without a doubt, the fingerprint scanner, located below the camera. More on it in a couple of paragraphs.

Continuing further with our HTC One max inspection, we find a 3.5-millimeter headphone jack and an infrared blaster placed on the smartphone's top edge. The latter, used for controlling TVs and home entertainment systems among other gadgets, is a neat feature that only a few handsets have to offer. That little latch on the phone's left side is used to release the back cover open, in case you're wondering. HTC's Boom Sound front-facing speakers are present as well, producing stereo sound of quality that no competitor smartphone can match.

We're glad to see that HTC has done the right thing by placing the max's power button on the side, where it is easy to reach. On the other hand, the volume keys are located a bit further from the user's fingers, which renders them a bit trickier to operate. Below the display we find just two capacitive keys, used for the “back” and “home” functions.

HTC One max
6.48 x 3.25 x 0.41 inches
164.5 x 82.5 x 10.29 mm
7.65 oz (217 g)

HTC One max

Samsung Galaxy Note 3
5.95 x 3.12 x 0.33 inches
151.2 x 79.2 x 8.3 mm
5.93 oz (168 g)

Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Sony Xperia Z Ultra
7.06 x 3.63 x 0.26 inches
179.4 x 92.2 x 6.5 mm
7.48 oz (212 g)

Sony Xperia Z Ultra

5.45 x 2.79 x 0.35 inches
138.5 x 70.9 x 8.9 mm
5.04 oz (143 g)


To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page.

Fingerprint Scanner

HTC One max Review
The built-in fingerprint scanner is one of the stand-out features found on the HTC One max. It is meant to be used instead of a lock screen PIN or pattern, thus saving the user time without rendering their phone any less protected against prying eyes. Optionally, using a specific finger can be set to launch a specific app – up to three of these finger-app combos can be assigned. Now, these are both clever ideas, there's no denying that. However, the fingerprint scanner implementation on the HTC One max hasn't been executed in the best possible way, as we shared with you in a recent article.

One of the several things that bother us is the sensor's awkward placement. It is on the back side of the smartphone, right under the camera, and since we don't see it when we try to use it, we often find ourselves swiping the camera lens instead of the scanner. Speaking of swiping, that's how fingerprints are being read by the device, which is unfortunate as this gesture isn't the easiest thing to perform on a smartphone of this size. Why HTC couldn't go with a fingerprint sensor that doesn't require swiping (you know, like the one on the iPhone 5s) is beyond us. Then there's the software integration, or lack of it, to be more specific. It would have been nice if we could authorize Play Store purchases using a fingerprint, yet sadly, the software does not allow that. As for the option to have apps launched depending on which finger is scanned, this feature is pretty much pointless since it works only on the lock screen, and using a lock screen shortcut is both faster and more convenient. So all in all, the fingerprint scanner on the HTC One max is nothing but a gimmick that we don't see ourselves using on a daily basis.


HTC One max Review
A 5.9-inch Super-LCD 3 touchscreen shines on the front of the HTC One max and it looks brilliant . It has a resolution of 1080 by 1920 pixels, which is as high as smartphones go nowadays. This gives us a figure of 373ppi – not the highest we've ever seen, but still more than sufficient for any task imaginable, with tons of fine details in graphics and text. Its viewing angles are also excellent. Even when it is looked at from the side, everything displayed on the screen is clearly legible.

Color accuracy, however, is slightly off. Whites displayed on the screen appear yellowish regardless of how high the brightness has been set. Color saturation is within neutral levels, but still somewhat lacking. The color temperature and contrast ratios, on the other hand, are of excellent values, as our testing goes to show.

With its peak screen brightness of 480 nits, the HTC One max can be used outdoors without much effort. Its low reflectance helps as well since only a fraction of the sun's light bounces back from its surface.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
HTC One max 469
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 360
Sony Xperia Z Ultra 425
LG G2 438
View all

  • Options

posted on 04 Nov 2013, 09:21 9

1. _Bone_ (Posts: 2155; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)

Trying to figure out how did HTC manage to mess up this one. No SD800, no OIS or a better camera sensor, actually worse build than the HTC One and really, really big and not so comfortable design.

posted on 04 Nov 2013, 20:13

14. chocolaking (Posts: 495; Member since: 22 May 2012)

i WANT this bad boy to by my new show off gadget!!!
the most acurate and amazing screen ever for 5+ inches!!

yes, my htc one is gerat. but this beast is on steroid!!!

posted on 04 Dec 2013, 02:32

25. chocolaking (Posts: 495; Member since: 22 May 2012)

Yes, as i said i want it.
then I got it on Friday...

posted on 04 Nov 2013, 09:32 8

2. proto (Posts: 59; Member since: 12 Sep 2012)

HTC One max...everyone who thought this will be killer of Note series...must be disappointed. It is just a big phone with big screen. no added functionality to take advantage of it. That fingerprint scanner...what the ****? why they didn't do it way like apple did? why they removed OIS? why they still think that ultrapixel gimmick is great? why not to use S800? oh damn..HTC why?!
When we will have competition to Note series?

posted on 04 Nov 2013, 10:06 3

4. Taters (banned) (Posts: 6474; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)

LG couldn't get the heat dissipation and battery life to a desirable level using the S800 on the pad 8.3 and that is much MUCH more well designed than this monstrosity. LG is also a much MUCH better manufacturer and engineering company than HTC.

So there was no chance in hell that HTC could use the S800 even if they wanted to. Unless they made it soft touch like the HTC 8x and dumped the all aluminium heat sink.

Apple had to use two large pieces of glass for 1.2 ghz A7.

posted on 04 Nov 2013, 10:11 2

5. Commentator (Posts: 3722; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)

I think you forgot a "MUCH" in there somewhere.

posted on 04 Nov 2013, 10:01 5

3. Taters (banned) (Posts: 6474; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)

How did this get an 8.3? It is so undesirable that it is at Nokia and WP8 level of undesirability. Not a chance it should get an 8.3.

posted on 04 Nov 2013, 10:12 2

6. Commentator (Posts: 3722; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)

Right? HTC's CEO should've been dumped on the spot for green-lighting this thing. It's like they're not even trying any more.

posted on 04 Nov 2013, 10:19 6

7. Jason2k13 (Posts: 1302; Member since: 28 Mar 2013)

htc one max is almost a downgrade from HTC ONE, no OIS, no S800, too big and heavy, lazy programming on the fingerprint scanner, and basically no software difference, no beats audio, no equalizer, bad colour reproduction... only good thing about it is the audio position and battery, i would give it a rating of 7.

posted on 04 Nov 2013, 15:09

10. woodshop20 (Posts: 459; Member since: 14 Sep 2013)

Audio positioning? The top and bottom speakers don't even line up in the first photo.

posted on 04 Nov 2013, 10:37 2

8. csoulr666 (Posts: 116; Member since: 04 Nov 2013)

I don't see how having a Snapdragon 600 processor is a disadvantage. A normal end user wouldn't even know the difference between them, plus people usually change phones in about 2-3 years nowadays, even in that time these processors will have the juice to perform extremely well.

posted on 04 Nov 2013, 15:12

12. woodshop20 (Posts: 459; Member since: 14 Sep 2013)

Yeah, but for the price you expect something better. Paying for less is just like buying an iPhone (or a Moto X, for that matter...)

posted on 05 Nov 2013, 01:33 1

17. stealthd (unregistered)

Paying for less specs, but getting an overall better phone, more like.

posted on 06 Nov 2013, 06:17

22. batman888 (Posts: 37; Member since: 06 Dec 2012)


posted on 04 Nov 2013, 20:26 1

15. scsa852k (Posts: 331; Member since: 16 Oct 2012)

You're right. Snapdragon 600 would still get the job done for most users. But the fact that all of its competitors already released phablets with Snapdragon 800 makes it a disadvantage for One Max.

posted on 04 Nov 2013, 11:02 3

9. fouadqr (Posts: 326; Member since: 21 Nov 2012)

Nokia Lumia 1520 ..

posted on 04 Nov 2013, 15:11

11. woodshop20 (Posts: 459; Member since: 14 Sep 2013)

Why they didn't include a Snapdragon 800 and 8mp camera is beyond me. Instead the design team chose to be lazy, and blow up the One.

I doubt HTC will sell many of these...

posted on 04 Nov 2013, 18:14 1

13. TreyTreyTaylor (Posts: 708; Member since: 21 Dec 2010)

Decent high end phablet. But I still chuckle at the posts a while back like "screw this note 3 i'm getting the max" or "the max is gonna destroy the note 3". How's that working out for you guys.

posted on 05 Nov 2013, 16:38

19. Doakie (Posts: 2227; Member since: 06 May 2009)

I would laugh along with you, but I was one of those people hoping the Max would be a better phone. In the end I bought a Note 3 because of the overall size of the Max being a monster, the Snapdragon 600, and the lack of OIS. But in the end my Note 3 takes blurry pictures because it has trouble focusing. I'll tap the screen and it'll focus up then pop out of focus. I'm still unsure how to get it to improve on this.

posted on 05 Nov 2013, 17:45

20. orielwindow (Posts: 109; Member since: 23 Sep 2010)

Ditto. I was much happier with my Note 2 camera, it "just worked". But I'm struggling with the higher pixel Note 3 camera.

posted on 04 Nov 2013, 22:50

16. sarge77 (Posts: 202; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)

Iquite a few will get this because one thing I dont likr what manufactures are doing is dropping sd cards atleast in my its a quad core and its still a smartphone with descent specs.

posted on 05 Nov 2013, 21:43 1

21. zhangyamysaga (Posts: 6; Member since: 20 Aug 2013)

HTC one, My friend buy it. He told me this smartphone is very perfect ! But for me, yesterday. I bought MYSAGA M2 .But next month, i want to buy HTC one too.

posted on 07 Nov 2013, 09:52

23. Sondae (Posts: 291; Member since: 02 Jan 2013)

I sure hope HTC will work more of there camera and making the battery accessible since you can open the back cover. Finally i have seen Nick T he's cute hehehehe :).

posted on 08 Nov 2013, 03:49

24. aerowild (Posts: 1; Member since: 08 Nov 2013)

Nothing to say more as so mush has already been said, just one thing...
"Why HTC couldn't go with a fingerprint sensor that doesn't require swiping"...Probably to stop accidental misuse of FR.

posted on 26 Jan 2014, 12:11

26. hasank94 (Posts: 4; Member since: 26 Jan 2014)

I'm using my HTC One Max since a month and I've to say that this is the phone, I was always looking for. The design is beautiful like the user interface, the HTC Sense 5.5. I love the highlight features like HTC BlinkFeed, which helps me to get all important news because of my school. My gallery lives thanks to HTC Zoe. It's great to capture in Zoe Mode. I don't need to mention HTC BoomSound! It's just fantastic! I love the sound. No smartphone has such an amazing sound quality and it's also very loud. The battery life suprises my every time. Its 3300mAh battery allows me to use my Max 2 to 3 days. That's just brilliant. HTC, I want to thank you for this amazing phablet! It's the ultimate phone for me. I love my Max! :)

posted on 30 Jan 2014, 10:04

27. usman14 (Posts: 1; Member since: 30 Jan 2014)

I see Htc One Review Very Nixe Sharing Admin
Htc One Max Review

Want to comment? Please login or register.

HTC One max

HTC One max

OS: Android 4.4.2 4.4 4.3
view full specs
Display5.9 inches, 1080 x 1920 pixels (373 ppi) S-LCD 3
Camera4 megapixels
Qualcomm Snapdragon 600, Quad-core, 1700 MHz, Krait 300 processor
Size6.48 x 3.25 x 0.41 inches
(164.5 x 82.5 x 10.29 mm)
7.65 oz  (217 g)
Battery3300 mAh, 28 hours talk time

Latest stories