TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 7 December 2013
I also have an HTC One and my husband has an HTC One Mini. I also have tried several Samsung phones over the years and a couple of iPhones. I must say that the HTC One Max is the best of all.
Professional reviewers complain that it doesn't have the latest Snapdragon 800 processor, that there is no optical stabilisation for photo taking. Both are true but a) the Snapdragon 600 is more than sufficient: this phone runs even better than the HTC One, and the HTC One is the smoothest phone I have ever had (no lag as with the Samsung Galaxy) and b) a slightly lower speed means that battery use is also lessened. After a full day of heavy use (I spend half my life checking emails, looking at work documents, browsing the internet etc, it seems!) I still had 55%. That has never happened to me before with any phone. And I haven't noticed any difference with photo taking, even in low light.
At the end of the day, what matters most is not technical specs, it is the comfort of use, and for this, the One Max is unbeatable (by contrast, for ex, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 has significantly higher specs, but it stutters, just like the S4 itself). So here are the strong points of the HTC One Max from a heavy user's perspective:
- wonderful screen, clear and crisp, and so much space! It makes reading, browsing, watching films, videos, looking at photos so much easier. Your photos don't look like blown up stamps anymore, you can actually see (and edit) details. It also means that the keyboard is a little bigger, which makes for better typing. The native keyboard is good but do yourself a favour and get Swiftkey...
- size: yes, it takes space, but it is SO worth it. I am a woman and I don't like handbags, so the only way I can carry the Max with me all the time is at my belt (but that's what I did with my HTC One anyway). But if you get a holder with a belt clip (PDair does good ones) and then the size and relative weight are no inconvenient, while the benefits are so significant. You can fit more apps on the larger screen (and so need fewer screens), every thing is more spacious and comfortable. By contrast, even the One (4.7 inches screen) looks crowded.
- Productivity: it is the first time in my life that I don't cringe at the thought of looking at yet another Excel or Word document on a tiny screen. Then are actually legible, comfortably so. If like me you do a lot of work on the fly, it's invaluable. Also the Kindle app now looks like a small book, it's so nice to read and you don't need to turn the pages so often. In case you wonder, I also have a Samsung 7'' tablet, so fairly similar in size. But it is not half as well designed, nor half as fast, and I don't like working with it (plus the slightly bigger size makes a big difference when it comes to carrying the device around: I can still carry the Max on my belt, and my male friends were more than eager to slip it in their jeans pockets (front pockets, though)!)
- design: like the One it fits in the hand very well due to its thin edges, curved back and generally excellent ergonomics. And I have small hands (glove size 6), so if I can hold it comfortably, almost anyone can. And it's beautiful.
- software: Sense 5.5 is fast, intuitive, and aesthetically very pleasing. None of the terrible colours and design of the Samsung TouchWiz. And you can turn off Blinkfeed. Sense is now streamlined and has lots of very helpful little tweaks. For some reason it runs even better on the One Max than on my (updated) One. No bugs, just the pure pleasure of an intuitive and pleasant to look at interface. There is also an incredibly useful transfer tool which allows your old phone to push all its contents to the new (that's true of all HTC One phones). You get everything, contacts, photos, gallery, videos, music (etc) and most importantly system settings, down to the name of your phone, in about 10mn (I have a LOT of stuff on my phone).
- It has a slot for an SD card. Quite rare for HTC phones. It's not a deal breaker because you also get 25GB of free space on Dropbox but it's handy nevertheless.
- smoothness of operation: everything just runs so well in the background you don't notice anything except what you're doing, which is ideal. Nothing interferes with your work or enjoyment.
- sound: it doesn't have Beats but with Poweramp and a few equaliser tweaks you get an even better result (Beats tends to overemphasise the bass). Needless to say it blows any other phone out of the water, it's one of the features that everyone who has listened to it agrees on, even die-hard fans of other brands. That's with serious comparisons, ie same tracks, same headphones (or rather same set connected to both phone).
- clarity of calls: the new technology really work, it dims background noises and emphasises the clarity of voices.
- great photo gallery. Zoes are really useful (3s short films which the software will decompose in 20 frames to allow you to select and save the best pictures). I don't use 'Highlights' so much but it's quite fun.
I could sit here writing for ages but I'm going to stop here. If this doesn't convince you nothing will! In short, the One Max is the best combination of form and function in a phone (or phablet) that I have seen since I started using them, and I still remember the times when these devices were slow and clunky. The weight remains very reasonable (243g) and the plastic edge that reviewers complain so much about actually makes the phone easier to hold. Yes, the One Max is pricey. But it is SO worth it!
PS: for UK users: there is a super deal with Phone4you at the moment (Dec 8, 2013), you get the Max free, 3GB data and 4G for £26 per month.