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HTC One max Review

HTC One max 8.3

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With the One max, HTC is introducing an enhanced version of its Sense user interface, dubbed Sense 5.5, which in this case is on top of Android 4.3. Visually, not a whole lot has been changed. UI elements and graphics are minimalist, creating a simple, intuitive, and elegant overlay when combined together. But the alterations aren't merely superficial. In fact, most of the native applications and widgets follow the same design principles, which creates consistency throughout the whole interface. And despite the changes, we notice no degradation in the phone's performance. Good job, HTC!

From a functionality perspective, with Sense 5.5 once can easily add multiple widgets to the lock screen – a feature that wasn't executed well in the UI's previous release. There's also a new and potentially useful “Do not disturb” mode, which turns off the sound and disables incoming calls.

Naturally, BlinkFeed in its newest, most refined form is present in Sense 5.5. For those who aren't familiar with it, BlinkFeed a feature that HTC introduced with the One. Think of it as a news feed aggregator that occupies an entire home screen, putting together stories from hundreds of online sources, as well as from social networks that the user is logged into. On the One max, the number of sources where BlinkFeed pulls news from has been increased. It now works with Google+ and Instagram as well. Up to 120 stories can be saved offline and be read at a later time in case the user isn't connected to the internet. All in all, BlinkFeed is a unique service that gives quick, instant access to up-to-date information. Those who feel like they don't need it, however, are free to turn it off.

Processor and memory

HTC has chosen to stick with the Snapdragon 600 SoC for the One max even though the faster Snapdragon 800 chip is already being used in a number of phones. That gets you a 1.7GHz quad-core Krait 300 CPU with Adreno 320 GPU, backed by 2GB of RAM. In comparison, the 800 model has a better CPU, better GPU, and can be clocked much higher. Deal breaker? Well, not really since the smartphone's performance is top notch. The user interface responds instantly to our input and runs swiftly, without any lag. Games are also handled well, with even the newest 3D titles running at high frame rates. The only downside to having a Snapdragon 600 in the One max is that the smartphone can't be considered as future-proof as many of its rivals.

There is a base HTC One max variant with 16GB of on-board storage, but for those who don't find that enough, the company is launching a 32GB model as well. Roughly 5.5GB of that space is occupied by system files. Thankfully, there's a microSD card slot that accepts cards of up to 64GB in size, so you can use one for storing photos, music, and videos, while dedicating the phone's native storage to applications. Plus, HTC One max buyers get 25GB of free cloud storage for 2 years, courtesy of Google Drive.

Performance benchmarks

Higher is better
HTC One max 12067
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 22270
LG G2 20654
Samsung Galaxy S4 12078
Higher is better
HTC One max 26320
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 31543
LG G2 35376
Samsung Galaxy S4 24701
GFXBench Egypt HD 2.5 onscreen (fps)
Higher is better
HTC One max 39
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 54
LG G2 50
Samsung Galaxy S4 39
Vellamo Metal
Higher is better
HTC One max 762
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 1214
LG G2 1229
Samsung Galaxy S4 704
Vellamo HTML 5
Higher is better
HTC One max 2558
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 2766
LG G2 2951
Samsung Galaxy S4 1702
3DMark Ice Storm Extreme
Higher is better
HTC One max 7067
View all

Dialer and messaging

There's nothing radical about the dialer application on the HTC One max. Accessible from the home screen or via the lock screen shortcut, it puts the call log, the contacts list, and the dial pad under one roof, along with tabs for the user's favorite contacts and groups. It is cool that tabs can be rearranged to the user's liking and that scrolling with 2 fingers allows us to rapidly flick through the contacts list.

The messaging application is extremely simple, but it is not like it necessarily has to be any more advanced than this. Photos, locations, contact information and calendar appointments can be attached to the message, which is very useful.

Thanks to its size, the on-screen keyboard is quite comfortable for two-thumb typing in portrait mode. We find it uncomfortable to use in landscape orientation, however, as the handset itself is too wide for our fingers to effectively reach the buttons in the middle. Single-handed typing is out of the question since the phone's proportions and lack of appropriate keyboard layouts make that impossible.


If you've ever used a calendar application on a smartphone, then you'll be feeling right at home when using the Calendar app found on the HTC One max. Creating an event is as simple as tapping on a date and hitting the “create event” button, after which you pick a name and time range for the event. Highlighting a date gives you a sneak preview of your agenda without opening the entire schedule for that day.

The HTC One max comes with a car mode interface, which provides quick access to features you might need while driving – navigation, voice command, media playback, and the likes. The UI's buttons are huge and easy to press while behind the wheel. Not that you should be using your phone while driving, that is.

With the Kid Mode app loaded by HTC, you can let children play with your One max without worrying that they might mess something up. It restricts access to your personal stuff, allowing kids to launch only the apps you allow them to.

Scribble is another application pre-loaded on the HTC One max. Think of it as an advanced notepad of sorts, where text, photos, and clip art can be combined in a single document. Inserting photos can be a bit glitchy, but as a whole, the app is usable.

Internet and connectivity

Browsing the internet on a screen so large and detailed is a pleasure. What's more, the stock web browser loads pages quickly and has the option to hide the status bar for a true full-screen browsing experience. However, there are a few things about the app that can be a bit annoying. One of them is that text is not inflated automatically, meaning that we still have to zoom in on paragraphs of text in order to read anything. Also, we appreciate HTC adding support for Adobe Flash in its browser app, but it didn't work properly on all pages we tested. Embedded YouTube videos, in particular, do not work in all pages.

When it comes to connectivity, there's pretty much nothing essential that the HTC One doesn't offer. LTE and 4G HSPA+ are on board, along with the mandatory Wi-Fi radio, which is 802.11ac compatible, and Bluetooth 4.0 with AptX support. You also get NFC and GPS with GLONASS compatibility for improved accuracy. Even the humble FM radio with RDS has not been omitted, which we appreciate.

  • 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: 1303; 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

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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

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