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HTC One Max review

The One gets supersized - but does it impress?

Our Verdict

The HTC One Max is almost identical to the One, but with a bigger screen. There's been no attempt to make use of that upgraded size, and given the new features will be appearing on the One in the near future, this means the One Max has very few unique selling points.

Product features

  • Built-in Memory : 16 GB
  • Rear Camera Resolution : 4 Megapixel
  • Battery Talk Time : 1 Day
  • Screen Resolution : 1920 x 1080
  • Processor Core : Quad-core (4 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Larger screen
  • Longer battery
  • MicroSD slot

Against

  • Older CPU
  • Expensive
  • Unwieldy
  • Pointless fingerprint scanner

The HTC One Max takes the same method of capture that we saw on the original One... and to be honest, does very little with it. In fact, almost nothing, except remove the optical image stabilisation which we saw used to good effect on the original.

This won't be a huge problem for some, but anyone looking to create a good Zoe image or two will need to think twice about whether or not they should hold the phone a little steadier.

HTC One Max review

Apart from that, it's still the same 4MP Ultrapixel sensor we were given in the first One - but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Would we have liked HTC to improve the sensor to incorporate more pixels? Yes indeed.

But if it needs to stick at the 4MP level to make sure the snaps are clear and bright - which they always are - then we're happy to wait.

Actually, one of the things we would say is that general, well-lit scenes are actually over-exposed, which means that perhaps there's some wiggle room here.

Ultrapixel technology allows for more than just decent low-light photography (although it should be noted that the competition has really caught up here, with the likes of Apple taking the same approach as HTC and LG using clever image processing to keep things looking bright) as the HTC One has incredibly fast shutter speeds as well as sharper images than a lot of the competition.

There are a few things that irk: for instance, the camera interface is a little cluttered when you drill down into the menu. This is the case for a lot of Android phones, but we're fans of a little more simplicity here, given the camera on the phone is meant to allow users to take images without having to worry too much.

But more options won't be a drawback for many, and it doesn't take long to get your head around them. It's good to have things like Night, Text and Macro mode, as it allows you to really get to the heart of the matter, whatever you're trying to take a picture of.

Zoe mode is a little too standalone in our eyes, as it doesn't allow you to use these fancy modes, which is irritating when some are available for shooting video.

But the upshot of all this is that you get decent, in-focus pictures most of the time with a quick to operate camera. Zoom in too much and the detail disappears, but keep the snaps on your phone or social networks (as most people do) and you'll find a very capable camera indeed. As we saw on the One. Which is a cheaper phone and easier to wield when taking pictures... wait, why do you need a larger screen for snaps? You don't.

Overall, the HTC One Max does a capable job of recording the moments you care about. Does it shoot in 4:3? Does it have the most advanced features? No. But it takes good photos when you need them, and lets you show them down the pub on a the larger screen. Ah, THAT'S why you need the bigger display.

We've compared the HTC One Max to the LG G2 in terms of raw picture-taking ability, with the latter coming with a 13MP sensor and some industry-leading optics and processing technology - see which pictures you prefer.

HTC One Max review
The background looks rather washed out here

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HTC One Max review
This night shot captures both brightness and movement well

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One max review
This was taken from the cover of the Amiga game 'Beavis Pool 1989'

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HTC One Max review
Selfies of idiots

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HTC One Max review
Yes, those shirt sleeves should apparently be rolled up

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HTC One Max review
Good lighting offers decent snaps

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HTC One Max review
Even the cobweb is visible in this close up

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HTC One Max review
The HTC One Max captures detail pretty well

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HTC One Max review
However, the LG G2 does a much better job

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HTC One Max review
This is Tim. He's a cat and a fool.

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HTC One Max review
The HTC One actually captures better than the LG G2 here

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HTC One Max review
The One Max struggled with this close up

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HTC One Max review
The G2 was brilliant in the same conditions

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HTC One Max review
The HTC One offers good brightness and great detail for this dark scene

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HTC One Max review
The G2 has a better picture, but detail is fuzzier at zoom thanks to post processin

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HTC One Max review
An outside shot give the HTC One Max's exposure problems a headache

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HTC One Max review
The G2 is a stellar performer in the same conditions

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HTC One Max review
Focal length is OK on the One Max

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HTC One Max review
However the G2 gets this shot in less than a second, and it's clearly superior

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Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported64 GB
Built-in Memory16 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA, UMTS
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationYes
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyOne max
Cellular Generation4G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 1900, WCDMA 2100, LTE 800, LTE 900, LTE 1800, LTE 2600
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution4 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
ColourSilver
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameHTC
Battery Talk Time1 Day
Screen Size15 cm (5.9")
Screen Resolution1920 x 1080
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)217 g
Processor CoreQuad-core (4 Core)
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Operating System VersionAndroid 4.3 Jelly Bean
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
RealtoneYes
Radio Tuner TypeFM
Call FeaturesCall Log
Pixel Density373 ppi
SIM Size SupportedMicro
Height164.5 mm
Width82.5 mm
Depth10.3 mm
Radio TunerYes
ManufacturerHigh Tech Computer Corp
Product NameOne max Smartphone
Processor Speed1.70 GHz
Processor TypeSnapdragon 600
Product LineOne max
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Gyro Sensor, Digital Compass, Proximity Sensor, Fingerprint Sensor, Ambient Light Sensor
Manufacturer Part Number99HWN005-00
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.europe.htc.com
Marketing InformationThis bundle comes with a free car cradle and charger.

Maximise everything. Massive screen and amped speakers for movies that sizzle. Feature-rich camera gives you artistic photo flair and homescreen posts connect you to real-time news. All powered by HTC's biggest battery to fuel the most demanding user. Introducing the HTC One max; more screen size, more camera, more everything.

Key features:

Maximized imaging tools: dual capture mode frames personal reactions with picture-in-picture results and HTC Scribble feature frees your inner artist.

Maximized bass: dual front-facing stereo speakers and built-in amps create louder bass for booming audio.

Maximized convenience: fingerprint Scan unlocks your phone and launches favorite apps with a simple swipe.

Supersized Camera Tools
Don't look at your photos. Relive them. Dual capture mode displays the photographer's reactions with a mirror view picture-in-picture. HTC Scribble function allows you to draw on your pics, and Photo Editor feature lets you create GIFs. Maximize your wow moments and make every day unforgettable.

HTC Zoe™ Photos: Memories that Move
Group up to 20 photos and automatically create a 3-second HD video for a full-motion photo gallery. HTC Zoe photo also features advanced editing tools you can swipe your way to the perfect shot. Plus, Video Highlights feature combines your photo and video footage for mini movies complete with the themes and music you select.

HTC BoomSound™: Unleashed Sound
Unchain your audio with volume blasting toward you, not away. Serve up your movies, videos, and music with the decibels you deserve from dual frontal stereo speakers boosted with built-in amps. Stop stooping toward your phone and put your content onstage with HTC BoomSound™.

Unlocked Convenience
Users unlock their phones over 20 times a day on average. The HTC One max removes this hassle with a rear-side fingerprint scanner that unlocks the phone as well as launches your favorite apps with a single finger swipe. Up to three fingers can be registered. Forget complicated passwords, with the HTC One max, you're just a swipe away.

HTC BlinkFeed™: Social Intelligence
Enhanced HTC BlinkFeed™ gives you news recommendations when you sign into your social networks based on your likes, for breaking news that matters most*. The HTC One max allows you to customize an HTC BlinkFeed from a wide range of global sources, for more personalized updates.

World-Class Engine
The powerful Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ processor in the HTC One max accelerates performance for lightning-fast apps, downloads, and web surfing. Revved-up graphics processing speed is designed to make gameplay smooth and quick. It enables up to 40% faster battery charging too. With its efficient Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, the HTC One max responds faster, games better, and lasts longer

*Supports select social network sites. See your provider for details.
Package Contents
  • One max Smartphone
  • Car Cradle and Charger
Limited Warranty1 Year
Standard Memory2 GB