Maybe the title for this post is a touch dramatic, but we’ve been talking about this for a while now. HTC is at the beginning of their trek to rebuild their brand identity. While all Android manufacturers make a variety of handsets, you can usually count on a Premier line of handsets that consumers can identify with. Samsung has been branding “Galaxy” into our brains for years now for example.
This is only the first year of devices where HTC has badged “One” across all carriers. Even Sprint’s fetish for “Evo 4G LTE Pro Touch 3D LMNOP” product names has finally succumbed to the fact that consumers shopping an alternative handset to the iPhone or Galaxy S4 wanted the One. Not something JUST LIKE the HTC One. Nope. Just the HTC One please and thank you.
While the One Mini hasn’t performed as well as many would’ve hoped, it still succeeds in continuing the brand message of a unified platform, a family of devices you can count on HTC to continue supporting and producing. Now they’re adding another One to the line up, the HTC One Max.
It’s all about recognition. You can spot an iPhone from a mile away. We understand that look. HTC is trying to create the same visual identity. Aluminum construction, front facing stereo speakers, and a large Aperture-Science-style “eye” of a camera on the back. That is the look of a “One” device. The One Max continues in this aesthetic, adding a larger screen to the line up and a fingerprint reader under the camera.
The 5.9″ 1080p screen is slightly larger than the 5.7″ job on the Galaxy Note 3, an interesting role reversal as the Galaxy S4 had a slightly larger screen than the regular HTC One. The One Max is larger in every dimension than the Note 3, not only because of the larger screen, but those Boomsound stereo speakers add to the overall length of the phone.
Interestingly enough the One Max is powered by the Qualcomm 600 series quad-core found in the OG One, and not the 800 series chipset which is popping up in the LG G2 and Note 3. From hands on time, the 800 is more powerful, though it’s hard to see much of a performance advantage in day to day tasks. Whether to balance the larger screen, or to provide better power management, some might find that processor choice a little curious. The 600 is a very solid performer, and it’ll be a long while before it struggles with future apps or games. Phablets are audacious devices though, and you want to be able to talk about bleeding edge hardware, high end specs and numbers and benchmarks. HTC’s processor choice here is entirely reasonable, but it means they lose out on a talking point.
The fingerprint sensor below the camera thankfully doesn’t add any additional bulk to the face of the phone, and it allows users to unlock their handset with a swipe. I’m fairly sure this style of security will prove as defeatable as the iPhone 5S proved to be, but as a consumer deterrent, it could be handy.
While the 4MP UltraPixel sensor from the One is returning, the One Max sadly the camera lacks optical image stabilization. It’s that feature in my opinion, more than ANY other (including resolution), which improves the camera experience. The HTC One still has my favorite camera on any Android handset, but when playing with the One Mini, I didn’t enjoy video or photo output nearly as much. That’s somewhat understandable on a mid-range handset, but it’s cringe inducing on a premier phablet. Lacking OIS, I fear camera performance on this beast will be closer to the One Mini than the One.
The battery built in is 3300 mAh, and when paired with the slightly less powerful processor, should mean very good battery life. I would expect to see HTC’s Power Saver controls on board as well, which should improve run time for those who wish to manage that. The back cover is now removable, allowing access to a memory card slot. I’m really happy to see this return. The One Max tops out at 32GB of storage built in, but that can get eaten up quickly these days by power users, especially with HD video, which is gloriously watchable on screens this size. Adding another 64GB via MicroSD card for movies, music, photos, and other media means your on board storage should stay safe for huge games and apps.
Also announced is a handy new flip cover case. The power case protects the huge screen, and also folds up to act as a stand for the phone. Pogo pins connect the One Max to a built in 1200 mAh battery which should add another 30% to the phone’s run time. It’s a power user affair though, as the phone is already large, and adding the case means squeezing in a hair more bulk. Probably not a combo which will look flattering in a pair of slacks.
Lastly, when purchasing an HTC One Max, HTC will throw in 65GB of Google Drive storage for two years free. It’s always handy having a little extra cloud to fall back on for storing files, backing up photos, videos, and docs while on the go.
And that’s the jam folks. HTC has re-joined the phablet wars. While I think this is definitely a win from a branding and marketing perspective, visual consistency and familiar software, the phone itself seems like an interesting set of compromises. The most obvious competitor to compare it to is of course the Note 3, but HTC will also have to face down phones like the Optimus G Pro, and soon Nokia will be walking into the large screen arena with the Lumia 1520. The One Max’s initial release will be on Sprint and Verizon, and we’ve not heard anything official about GSM carriers AT&T or T-Mobile. No exact dates or prices, but you should be able to get your hands on one later this month.
Full PR and specs list after the jump!
THE HTC ONE® GETS SUPER-SIZED WITH
THE HTC ONE MAX
World’s best smartphone now in 5.9” with new and improved
HTC Sense 5.5® experience
Taoyuan, Taiwan — October 14, 2013 — HTC, a global leader in mobile innovation and design, today announced the HTC One max, a super-sized smartphone that brings the award-winning design, functionality and performance of the HTC One to fans of larger handsets. A new Fingerprint Scan feature takes convenience to a new level, and acclaimed features including HTC BlinkFeed™, HTC Zoe™ and HTC BoomSound™, combined with the new HTC Sense 5.5, are all enhanced to continue delivering the best overall smartphone experience, now on a larger screen.
“The addition of the HTC One max means that we now have an HTC One phone for everyone. The family has been built on quality and game-changing innovations and the HTC One max is certainly no exception,” said Peter Chou, CEO of HTC Corporation. “The upgrade to HTC Sense 5.5 will provide our most amazing mobile experience yet, with the HTC One max delivering the size and power required to do everything you want, and more, without compromise.”
Big and powerful
The HTC One max’s 5.9-inch full HD1080p display is perfect for enjoying photos, videos and movies on the go. Smooth and efficient performance comes courtesy of a quad-core Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 600 processor featuring a 1.7 GHz CPU that enables jaw-dropping performance, ultra-vivid videos and booming sound. Whether you’re watching videos in HD, playing games or checking out what’s hot online, the HTC One max sounds amazing, looks sharp and keeps working when you need it.
The 32GB onboard memory can be expanded, thanks to a microSD™ card slot with a massive 50GB of additional free Google Drive online storage being offered exclusively to HTC One max owners.
The large 3,300mAh embedded battery means this level of performance will last and last. Even the most intensive users will find the HTC One max is up to the challenge with the optional HTC Power Flip Case, a stylish 1,150mAh battery expansion for your HTC One max, which offers both protection and extra juice when you need it most.
Maximum convenience at your fingertips
The average person checks their phone multiple times a day, so the HTC One max’s built-in Fingerprint Scan feature welcomes a new era of convenience and advanced functionality. Located on the back of the device, the fingerprint scanner allows users to lock or unlock the screen and quickly launch up to three favorite applications by assigning an individual finger to each.
More content than ever before
The HTC One max’s Sense 5.5 upgrade comes with a more social, personalized
HTC BlinkFeed that you can further refine by customizable topic categories and new integration with premium content providers, including Instagram and Google+. Up to 120 articles can also be downloaded for offline viewing, making BlinkFeed even better for snacking on information wherever and whenever.
Featuring HTC’s UltraPixel camera technology, HTC Zoe mode, that brings your photos to life, and a 2.1MP front-facing camera, the HTC One max will capture stunning photos and full HD 1080p videos whether you’re the photographer, the subject or both. Dual Capture means you can now snap memorable moments and your reactions to them in one extraordinary photo or video by simultaneously shooting with the front and rear cameras.
Improved imaging is also introduced through Video Highlights, which combines your photos and videos to create a mini movie complete with the soundtrack and visual theme of your choice. And with the HTC One max, your Video Highlights can now be any length you want.
Design at its Best
Available in Glacial Silver, the HTC One max shares the same premium design credentials as the rest of the HTC One family, providing an all-around exceptional experience.
The HTC One max will begin shipping across the globe as early as mid-October, and it will be available in the United States from Sprint and Verizon Wireless this holiday season.
Founded in 1997, HTC Corp. (HTC) is the creator of many award-winning mobile devices and industry firsts. By putting people at the center of everything it does, HTC pushes the boundaries of design and technology to create innovative and personal experiences for consumers around the globe. HTC’s portfolio includes smartphones and tablets powered by the HTC Sense® user experience. HTC is listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE: 2498). For more information, please visit www.htc.com.
For more information on HTC BlinkFeed’s content partners, visit the HTC Blog.
- SIZE:164.5 x 82.5 x 10.29mm
- DISPLAY:5.9 inch, Full HD 1080p
Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 600 processor
1.7GHz quad-core CPUs
Android™ with HTC Sense™ 5.5
SIM CARD TYPE
2G/ 2.5G – GSM/GPRS/EDGE:
- 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
3G – UMTS/ HSPA:
- EMEA: 900/1900/2100 MHz with HSPA+ up to 42 Mbps
- Asia: 850/900/1900/2100 MHz with HSPA+ up to 42 Mbps
- Sprint: 1900/2100 MHz with HSPA+ up to 14.4 Mbps
- Verizon: 850/900/1900/2100 MHz with HSPA+ up to 14.4 Mbps
3G – CDMA
- 800/1900 MHz for Sprint and Verizon
4G – LTE:
- EMEA: 800/900/1800/2600 MHz
- Asia: 900/1800/2100/2600 Mhz
- Sprint: 1900 MHz
- Verizon: 700 MHz
Total storage: 32GB, available capacity varies
Expansion card slot supports microSD™ memory card for up to 64GB additional storage (card not included)
- Internal GPS antenna + GLONASS
- Digital compass
- Gyro sensor
- Proximity sensor
- Ambient light sensor
- Fingerprint scanner
- 3.5 mm stereo audio jack
- Bluetooth® 4.0 with aptX™ enabled
- Wi-Fi®: IEEE 802.11 a/ac/b/g/n
- DLNA® for wirelessly streaming media from the phone to a compatible TV or computer
- HTC Connect™
- Support consumer infrared remote control
- micro-USB 2.0 (5-pin) port with mobile high-definition video link (MHL) for USB or HDMI
- connection (Special cable required for HDMI connection.)
- Dual frontal stereo speakers with built-in amplifiers
- Sense Voice
- HTC UltraPixel Camera
- BSI sensor, Pixel size 2.0 µm, Sensor size 1/3′
- Dedicated HTC ImageChip™ 2
- f/2.0 aperture and 28 mm lens
- Smart Flash: Five levels of flash automatically set by distance to subject
- 1080p Full HD video recording with HDR video
- Front Camera: 2.1 MP, 88° wide angle lens with HDR capability
- Front Camera: 1080p Full HD video recording
- HTC Zoe™ with Sequence Shot, Always Smile and Object Removal
- Gallery with Video Highlights and HTC Share
- Continuous shooting and VideoPic
- Slow motion video recording with variable speed playback
Audio supported formats:
- Playback: .aac, .amr, .ogg, .m4a, .mid, .mp3, .wav, .wma (Windows Media Audio 9)
- Recording: .amr
Video supported formats:
- Playback: .3gp, .3g2, .mp4, .wmv (Windows Media Video 9), .avi (MP4 ASP and MP3)
- Recording: .mp4
Capacity: 3300 mAh
Embedded rechargeable Li-polymer battery
- Up to 25 hours for 3G
- Up to 585 hours for 3G
- Voltage range/frequency: 100 ~ 240 V AC, 50/60 Hz
- DC output: 5 V and 1.5 A