HTC One Max review: Supersized

Supersized

GSMArena Team, 14 October 2013.

Controls (continued)

The left side of the HTC One Max houses the knob that releases the back panel. The detachable back plate is the other big difference when comparing the phablet to the international version of its One sibling.

HTC One Max HTC One Max
The back panel release

The back of the HTC One Max is way busier than those of the One and One min. You get the familiar cutouts for the 4 megapixel camera lens and its LED flash, but there's more going on this time around.

Right under the camera lens sits the fingerprint scanner. HTC has stayed mum on what makes it tick, but it confirmed that the sensor here operates differently to the Apple's Touch ID. Not that we couldn't have figured that out by ourselves as the One Max requires you to swipe you finger over it, rather than just place it on top.

The good news is that we found the One Max fingerprint scanner to be quite quick to react and accurate enough to be actually usable. We'll pay the feature and its functionality a bit more attention later on.

The other elements of interest at the back are the secondary microphone used for noise cancelling and the pogo pins that are used for attaching the battery-extending Power Flip Case.

HTC One Max HTC One Max
A look at the HTC One Max back

Battery life

Despite featuring a removable back panel, the HTC One Max doesn't grant you access to its 3,300mAh Li-Po battery. All you get underneath are the microSIM and microSD slots. Memory expansion is a feature many have looked for in the One lineup for a while now and it's good to see HTC finally delivering.

We completed the batter test and the ample battery delivered quite impressive numbers. The final score was an exciting 81h, and the endurance in the individual challenges was great too.

HTC One Max
HTC One Max battery test scorecard

You can find the complete breakdown of the One Max battery performance over here.

Gorgeous 5.9" display

The HTC One Max has a brilliant 5.9" IPS LCD screen, that has an image quality quite similar to the HTC One 4.7-incher. The extended diagonal has caused the pixel density to drop to just 373ppi, but at this point the difference is rather hard to spot.

HTC One Max
The 5.9" 1080p screen looks great

HTC has been putting out some excellent screens recently and the One Max's display is just another example of this. The contrast is impressive and the viewing angles are extremely wide - there's no shift in colors and only a slight contrast loss at extreme angles.

Display test 50% brightness 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
HTC One Max 0.14 224 1591 0.40 629 1572
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 0 149 0 379
Sony Xperia Z1 - - - 0.38 580 1513
Sony Xperia Z Ultra - - - 0.47 467 1001
Sony Xperia Z - - - 0.70 492 705
Huawei Ascend Mate 0.23 222 982 0.67 711 1053
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 0.12 160 1364 0.32 440 1379
Samsung I9505 Galaxy S4 0 201 0 404
HTC Butterfly S 0.15 165 1117 0.43 451 1044
HTC One 0.13 205 1580 0.42 647 1541

The screen is laminated too, for a maximum close fit between individual layers, bringing the image as close as possible to the surface of the glass.

The only area of the HTC One Max screen performance that could be improved is sunlight legibility. It's not doing bad by any means, helped by its good brightness levels, but it's not quite up there with the best either.

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Nokia 808 PureView
    4.698
  • Apple iPhone 5
    3.997
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    3.997
  • Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III
    3.419
  • Nokia Lumia 925
    3.402
  • Samsung I9505 Galaxy S4
    3.352
  • Samsung Omnia W
    3.301
  • Samsung Galaxy S
    3.155
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 mini
    3.127
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom
    3.118
  • Nokia N9
    3.069
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    2.970
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    2.950
  • HTC One S
    2.901
  • Samsung Galaxy S II
    2.832
  • Samsung Galaxy S II Plus
    2.801
  • Huawei Ascend P1
    2.655
  • Sony Xperia ZR
    2.672
  • Nokia Lumia 900
    2.562
  • HTC One Max
    2.537
  • Nokia Lumia 720
    2.512
  • HTC One
    2.504
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2.462
  • Samsung Galaxy S III mini
    2.422
  • Motorola RAZR i
    2.366
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    2.307
  • Apple iPhone 4S
    2.269
  • HTC Desire 600 dual sim
    2.262
  • HTC One X
    2.158
  • Nokia N8
    2.144
  • Oppo Find 5
    2.088
  • BlackBerry Z10
    2.051
  • Apple iPhone 4
    2.016
  • HTC One mini
    2.003
  • LG G2
    1.976
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia ray
    1.955
  • Samsung Galaxy Camera
    1.938
  • HTC Butterfly
    1.873
  • Huawei Ascend P6
    1.865
  • Sony Xperia V
    1.792
  • Sony Xperia U
    1.758
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    1.691
  • HTC One V
    1.685
  • BlackBerry Q5
    1.682
  • LG Optimus Vu
    1.680
  • LG Optimus GJ
    1.666
  • HTC Desire V
    1.646
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    1.578
  • Samsung Galaxy Core
    1.563
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    1.552
  • LG Optimus 3D
    1.542
  • Nokia Asha 302
    1.537
  • Sony Xperia M
    1.473
  • Nokia Lumia 610
    1.432
  • Gigabyte GSmart G1355
    1.361
  • HTC Desire C
    1.300
  • Nokia Asha 501
    1.270
  • LG Optimus L7
    1.269
  • LG Optimus L9
    1.227
  • Meizu MX
    1.221
  • Sony Xperia E dual
    1.203
  • Samsung Galaxy Pocket
    1.180
  • Sony Xperia tipo
    1.166
  • Samsung Galaxy mini 2
    1.114

You can find all about our display testing routines here.

Reader comments

  • Rusro

I've had this phone since 2013. I recently purchased the Bolt, n I came back to my first Love. HTC one max is the best phone ever made for me. They stopped sending upgrades a couple of years ago so I'm still operating on kit Kat, but that's fine w...

  • Bars

you messed with charger port. try to fix that and your problem will be solved

  • most

How can I stop this car app from interrupting me when I am using other app, it is just getting me pissoff. Some one please help?