First there was the One (slick design, gorgeous screen), then came the Mini (smaller screen, smaller price tag). Now HTC are hoping its award-winning DNA can flatten competition in the shape of the Max.
Good: Screen and speakers great for video
Bad: Doesn't dazzle like the original
Price: £599.99 sim free
The One Max inherits all the faults and merits of the standard phablet (that’s a phone crossed with tablet): those of us with smaller digits will struggle to manipulate its 5.9 inch screen with one hand – a second is required should you want to touch something in the top left-hand corner, else the polished body will slip from your grip like a bar of tech soap. It’s also more expensive, and forget about answering a call if it’s in your pocket while sitting down – assuming you’ve pockets to rival Mary Poppin’s travel bag.
But that extra room gives the Max some strong advantages: the battery life is vastly improved, admirably surviving a day of calls and YouTube. The unfortunately tacky backplate can be removed, revealing a microSD card slot to boost your total storage. Plus, those extra screen inches come into their own when watching videos on the commute. For anyone who likes to poke things about with a stylus, the Max is right up your street.
But the Max doesn’t sparkle with quite the same zest as the original One. A poorer pixel density translates to darker images and weaker colours, and though the fingerprint reader has more functionality than the iPhone 5s (you can assign three fingers to unlock to different functions, such as camera or homescreen), we were deeply frustrated by how often it failed to recognise our print.
If you like your tech tall, dark and handsome, the HTC One Max has a lot to offer. For those undecided, it’s smaller brothers are a safer bet.