The bigger the phone, the harder it is to hide. After a slew of detailed leaks, HTC is finally ready to announce the HTC One Max: an enlarged version of the original One that boosts the size of the 1080p LCD panel up to 5.9 inches while attempting to keep the One's classy aluminum look and feel. This attempt is made regardless of the impact on general portability -- the One Max weighs 217 grams and is over 16 centimeters long and 10.3mm thick, thanks in part to the front-facing BoomSound speakers. And the phablet only gets phatter if you squeeze it into something like HTC's $90 power case, which contains a bendy 1,200mAh battery to add to the capacity of the built-in (and non-removable) 3,300mAh battery.
Aside from its size, the One Max brings other big changes, including a fingerprint scanner on its rear side. We've had the chance to use the scanner and, while it isn't as neat as the iPhone 5s's, it does the basic job of letting you log in with a swipe of your fingertip. We'd have happily swapped it out for optical stabilization on the UltraPixel camera, however.
The back cover is now removable, letting you expand the 16GB or 32GB of onboard storage with up to 64GB more via microSD -- a feature that was missing on the One and on the One X before that. The One Max sticks with a Snapdragon 600 (with 2GB of RAM) for processing, rather than the superior Snapdragon 800 used in rival devices like the Sony Xperia Z Ultra and Samsung Galaxy Note 3. The supported bands suggest healthy support for LTE networks in Europe and Asia, and as well as for Verizon and Sprint in the US, and HTC says global availability will start rolling out as early as this week.
On the software side, we're looking at a significantly revised version of HTC's Android skin, Sense 5.5, which runs on top of Android 4.3 and provides a new level of customization for the BlinkFeed news-glancing widget, as well as a list of other features that are summarized in the press release and spec sheet below. Check out the gallery below too, and standby for our review coming very shortly.
PLATFORM: Android™ 4.3 with HTC Sense™ 5.5, HTC BlinkFeed™
MEMORY: Total storage: 16GB/32GB, RAM: 2GB, Expansion card slot: Supports microSD™ memory card for up to 64GB additional storage (card not included)
CONNECTIVITY: 3.5 mm stereo audio jack, NFC, Bluetooth® 4.0 with aptX™ enabled, Wi-Fi®: IEEE 802.11 a/ac/b/g/n, DLNA® for wirelessly streaming media from 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
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
REAR CAMERA: 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 with five levels of flash automatically, 1080p Full HD video recording with HDR video,
FRONT CAMERA: 2.1 MP, 88° wide angle lens, Front Camera: 1080p Full HD video recording.
CAMERA APP: 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.
Video playback supported formats: .3gp, .3g2, .mp4, .wmv (Windows Media Video 9), .avi (MP4 ASP and MP3). Recording: .mp4
BATTERY: Embedded rechargeable Li-polymer battery, Capacity: 3300 mAh. Talk time: Up to 25 hours for WCDMA. Up to 28 hours for CDMA. Standby time: Up to 585 hours for WCDMA, Up to 393 hours for CDMA
GPS: GPS/AGPS, Digital Compass
Show full PR text
THE HTC ONE GETS SUPERSIZED WITH THE HTC ONE MAX
World's best smartphone now in 5.9" with new and improved HTC Sense 5.5 ® experience
London, October 15, 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 while acclaimed features including HTC BlinkFeed™, HTC Zoe™ and HTC BoomSound™, combined with the new HTC Sense 5.5, which are all enhanced to continue to deliver 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" 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 quad-core 1.7 GHz CPU enabling jaw-dropping performance, ultra vivid videos and booming sound. Whether you're watching videos in stunning 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 16GB or 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 3300mAh embedded battery means that this level of performance will last and last. Even the most intensive users will find the HTC One max is up to the challenge thanks to the optional HTC Power Flip Case, a stylish 1150mAh 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 welcomes a new era of convenience and advanced functionality thanks to a built-in Fingerprint Scan feature. Located on the back of the device, the fingerprint scanner allows users to lock or unlock the screen and quickly launch up to three favourite 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, personalised HTC BlinkFeed that can be further refined by customisable 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 you are.
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 reaction 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 round exceptional experience.
The HTC One max will begin rolling out across the globe from mid - end October. See specific regions for details.
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Popular on Engadget
The best consoles, games and accessories for students