There's an Ultrapixel camera with 4MP of resolution on the back of the HTC One max, and we're not overly thrilled by that fact. After all, the HTC One, on which HTC's Ultrapixel tech made its debut, never managed to impress us with its photographic skills. What's even more underwhelming is that the camera on the One max lacks optical image stabilization, unlike the HTC One's Ultrapixel snapper. Samsung has picked a 13MP camera for its Galaxy S4 smartphone. The cam may not have a fancy name attached to it, but it can take outstanding photos, as we know from first-hand experience.

Launching the camera app on the HTC One max brings us to an interface with dedicated photo and video shutters on the right, meaning that you don't have to switch between photo and video modes back and forth. There's no shortage of useful camera modes, including Sweep panorama, Night, HDR, and Anti Shake, adding software image stabilization to the shot. The settings menu, however, lists these modes and all the rest of the camera settings in a single menu list with sub-menus. Because of that, getting to the option you need might take longer than it should. The camera UI on the Galaxy S4 is not perfect either, but it feels a bit better organized once you get used to its layout. It provides quick access to its plethora of shooting modes and we like the option to have shortcuts to frequently used camera settings.

Looking at these two phones' photos side by side, it becomes clear that the Samsung Galaxy S4 can take better photographs. Thanks to its higher camera resolution, it captures much more detail in photos, allowing us to crop them to our liking or to examine each shot from up close. The HTC One max, on the other hand, preserves less detail in its photos, and what makes matters even worse is the heavy presence of digital noise when light conditions aren't optimal. On top of that, shots from the One max often turn out underexposed, while the ones from the S4 are clearer and as bright as they should be. Thankfully, we found a remedy – tapping on the object being photographed with the ONE max makes a huge difference as doing so sets the exposure properly. Indoors and at places where light is scarce, the camera on HTC One max does a fairly good job, but again, the Galaxy S4 will often yield better results, with more details and livelier colors in its photographs.

Taking a pic Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec) Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
HTC One max 3.3
No data
Samsung Galaxy S4 3.4

As any other high-end smartphone, the HTC One max and the Samsung Galaxy S4 can capture 1080p video with their main cameras. Again, we are more satisfied with the quality of the footage shot by the S4 as it is brighter, more detailed, and with clearer sound. Moreover, the Galaxy S4 can take smoother videos in dim light.

Both smartphones come with 2MP front-facing cameras. The quality of their images and videos is acceptable, which makes them suitable for video chats and occasional self portraits. With its wider field of view, the front snapper on the HTC One max makes it easy to fit a buddy or two within the frame.


Naturally, both these smartphones have what it takes to give a portable MP3 player a run for its money. With their pre-loaded music player applications, one can enjoy quality audio in a multitude of file formats. However, we find the Samsung Galaxy S4 slightly more suitable for the purpose. It has a ton of options for sound enhancement, including a special mode you won't get on a competitor's smartphone – called AdaptSound, it can adjust the phone's audio reproduction in a way that matches both the user's earphones and hearing. The HTC One max lacks Beats Audio support, unlike recent HTC smarthpones. On top of that, it has no equalizer or any options for altering the sound reproduction at all. Of course, one is free to use Google's Play music player instead, or any third-party music player from the Play Store.

An awesome perk you get with the HTC One max is its pair of front-facing speakers. They don't just sound good. They produce better audio than what any other smartphone can deliver, save for the One and One mini, of course. On the back of the Samsung Galaxy S4 we find a single speaker, which is loud enough, but inferior when compared to the max's.

We can probably spend hours watching videos on the HTC One max. Its 1080p screen is definitely large enough for the task and its high quality makes the experience even more enjoyable. But we'd advise you to get a good video player from the Play Store as the One max lacks support for some video formats. Of course, the Samsung Galaxy S4 can play high-definition videos as well and we wouldn't mind using it to check the newest FAIL compilations on YouTube.

Unlike most Android smartphones out there, the HTC One max and Samsung Galaxy S4 have been equipped with infrared emitters (IR blasters), which are used to control electronic appliances. Yup, these two handsets can serve as remote controls for your TV or stereo. What's more, both smartphones have TV guide apps, listing shows that are on air in your area. (Not available in all countries.)

Headphones output power (Volts) Higher is better
HTC One max 0.65
Samsung Galaxy S4 0.38
Loudspeaker loudness (dB) Higher is better
HTC One max 79
Samsung Galaxy S4 77



1. emadshiny

Posts: 1144; Member since: Dec 05, 2012

Wasn't it better to compare Nexus5 and Z1 instead of this pointless comparison? Have you forgot that Z1 is among the best phones right now? You have compared Nexus even with Moto X and HTC One but not with Z1. Go get life PA!

5. lifeyourlive

Posts: 126; Member since: Aug 23, 2013

Shut up tard, peoole want to know the differences!

7. emadshiny

Posts: 1144; Member since: Dec 05, 2012

F*ck off assh*le You must be so stupid not to understand the differences between two devices which are from different classes. Educate yourself then come and write bullsh*t. Oh, I see you're hungry for those green thumbs.

9. zzweber

Posts: 1; Member since: Jan 02, 2014

Like he said ... Stop being a tard so we can see the differences!

2. silencer271

Posts: 254; Member since: Apr 05, 2013

umm this should be compared to the phbalets out there and of course the iphone 5s since apple has no phablets. Comparing with an "older" phone and a phone that is not in the same category is like someone paid you to make the htc maxx look good... hmmm

3. uvaman

Posts: 45; Member since: Jan 14, 2013

PA You are a joke of mobile media. You didn't add proper HTC One max vs. Note 3 but you are doing 4 pages vs. S4. LoL

4. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Why are you comparing a 6" phone to a 5" phone? Compare it to the Note 3 or the XZU PA...

6. Slammer

Posts: 1515; Member since: Jun 03, 2010

Well, it appears my point of aluminum vs polycarbonate, was not in vain. My friend had an HTC ONE and it suffered early battery death. Everything he had done on his phone was almost lost and panic set in. He is one of the many consumers that didn't even think about the accessibility when he purchased his phone. He went for anesthetics. Once he got everything ironed out, he received his replacement and then sold it on Craigslist then purchased a Galaxy S4. He has now joined forces in an effort to write congress for examining the practice of the possible anti-consumer motive to slave the consumer into paying top dollar for battery replacement out of warranty. When I showed him this article on build quality of aluminum as being premium, he mimicked my point. "What good is premium if I'm without a phone due to battery issues? I could've repaired the problem myself without worring about all my activities done on my phone being possibly lost." John B.

8. tiara6918

Posts: 2263; Member since: Apr 26, 2012

Htc one already won against the s4 so obviously one max is the clear winner here except for people who don't like a huge phone or want a slightly better camera

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