HTC One Max On Sale in Malaysia (with hands-on impression)

For those of you who don’t know, my personal smartphone is the 2013 flagship superphone, HTC One. Voted the Best New Mobile handset, device or tablet at MWC 2013, and a number of No. 1 spots in multiple tech sites like TechRadar here, the HTC One is undoubtedly my favourite smartphone for the year, from my review here as well.

See Also : HTC One User Review

With the success of this 4.7″ metal unibody Android flagship superphone, HTC continued with the hype and launched the smaller and lighter spec-ed version with the HTC One mini in early November this year. So, now you have the regular flagship, a smaller 4.3″ screen brother and now, we have the larger screen big brother – HTC One Max.

HTC One Max Malaysia Launch
HTC One Max Malaysia Launch

After the international launch a few months back, Malaysians were eager to know when this aluminium designed, phablet (phone / tablet hybrid), large screen smartphone will be on sale in the country. A month ago, on 21 November 2013, HTC Malaysia organised a back-to-back Media Launch and HTC Elevate event to unveil the HTC One Max to the Malaysian market.

See Also : HTC One mini On Sale in Malaysia

HTC One Max

The HTC One Max is a supersized,  large screen version of the award winning HTC One that I have, and still love. Here’s a quick specs overview of the device:-

  • 5.9″ Super LCD3 Full HD 1080p Corning Gorilla Glass 3 display (1920 X 1080)(373 ppi)
  • 1.7 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor
  • 16 / 32 GB internal storage (expandable microSD p to 64 GB) + 2 GB RAM
  • Powered by latest Android 4.3 Jelly Bean OS (with HTC Sense 5.5 UI)
  • 4 megapixel HTC Ultrapixel camera (1080p Full HD video with HDR), 2.1 megapixel front facing camera (1080p Full HD video with HDR)
  • 10.29 mm thin, weighing at 219 grams
  • 3,300 mAH non-removable battery (up to 25 hours of 3G talkltime)
  • Connectivity : 4G LTE / HSPA+, WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, IR Blaster (Infrared remote control)
  • Available in Glacial Silver colour (Black colour in Hong Kong, Red colour in Taiwan)

See Also : HTC One available in Glamour Red & #HTChange campaign

Among some of the “killer features” and highlights of the smartphone includes:-

  • Rear-side fingerprint scanner – customisable for up to 3 fingers to unlock your phone as well as launch your favourite apps with the swipe of a finger
  • HTC Ultrapixel camera tools – new camera lens technology for better low light photography, NEW dual capture mode (activate front and rear cameras simultaneously), HTC Scribble (draw on your pictures), Photo Editor
  • HTC Zoe and Video Highlights – Take a moving HD quality of 3-seconds, 20  pictures burst shot for advance editing, and perhaps auto-magically create a 30 seconds video highlight of a mini movie complete with music and effects
  • HTC BoomSound – Dual front facing stereo speakers, polwered by dedicated amplifiers with beats Audio technology integration, just like the flagship HTC One
  • HTC Blink Feed – enhanced home screen with tile based updates pulled from news sites and added social networks support

 

Hands-On with HTC One Max

HTC One Max Malaysia Launch at Elegantology
HTC One Max Malaysia Launch at Elegantology

The launch was held at Elegantology, fashion restaurant, in Publika. It was (seriously) my first time there, after hearing about it for so long and being in Publika so many times, but just never stepped into the fashion boutique-slash-restaurant.

HTC One Max Launch - Display
Multiple HTC smartphones and accessories on display

The same black and neon green on display and demo stations were ever present, similar to the flagship HTC One Malaysian launch earlier this year. Read about it here.

HTC One Max Malaysia Launch - on display
Tadah! Behold, the phablet HTC One Max
HTC One Max
Gorgeoous 5.9″ Super LCD3 display

The screen was on a loop demo video, which shows off the beautiful 1920 X 1080 screen resolution. I played around with the phone and the interface is pretty much the same as the HTC One.

HTC BlinkFeed was slightly improved with better social network support. HTC Ultrapixel camera was good and fast with their photo capture. HTC BoomSound provided me with a loud and crisp  music even in a noisy event venue like this.

HTC One Max - Hardware
Hardware overview of the HTC One Max

Coincidentally, I was reviewing the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 at that time. Being the Korean manufacturer’s flagship phablet at 5.3″ screen, I had to make the side-by-side size comparison…

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs HTC One Max
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs HTC One Max

Evidently, HTC went bigger than Samsung with their phablet. The 0.6″ difference was significant. The HTC One Max is indeed way bigger and likely, not as comfortable for single hand use. But if you’re a fan of large screen smartphones, and/or arfe one of those people who uses a 7″ Android tablet as a phone, then this might be a good device to consider.

HTC One Max (Back) fingerprint scanner
HTC One Max (Back) fingerprint scanner

The biggest feature of the HTC One Max, will have to be at the rear. Well, other than the beautiful aluminium build quality, of course. 🙂

At the back of the device, other than the camera lens and LED flash in the top middle, right underneath is the lens is the small square fingerprint scanner. This, like the “Home” button fingerprint scanner on the iPhone 5S, works a little differently. Instead of placing your finger on the scanner to unlock your phone, you swipe your finger over the scanner instead.

Additionally, you can do more than unlock your phone with the HTC One Max fingerprint scanner. You can customise the phone to perform different actions based on the different fingerprints, up to 3 fingers!!! Other actions, at this moment, is limited to using it as a shortcut to open your favourite apps. There were previously rumours of a patent filing that there might be more functions coming soon. Guess we’ll just wait and see.

Swiping to unlock your phone or launch an app. For example, your index finger to unlock the phone. Your middle finger to launch the Camera app. Then your ring finger to launch Phone app. Handy, right?

This is a great feature, I think. The only downside is the placement of the fingerprint scanner under the camera lens. Understandably, HTC placed it there as it’s easy for single hand access, as your fingers are likely there at the back of the phone. But without looking, when you’re swiping the back of the device, you might accidentally swipe the camera lens instead, causing fingerprint smudges on the lens, or worst – scratches…

Nevertheless, I think the HTC One Max will sell quite alright among the large screen smartphone enthusiasts. Even though, HTC is still kinda struggling with their global brand and sales at the moment.

Unfortunately, I am not quite one of phablets and I’m perfectly happy with my “normal sized” HTC One. Although, I would like to see how I would enjoy (or not) the fingerprint scanner action.

 

Pricing and Availability

HTC One Max is now on sale in Malaysia at a Recommended Retail Price (RRP) of RM 2,499.

I believe this is a little on the pricey side, to be honest. So, if you want to save some dime, Celcom is also offering the phone at a discounted price from RM 1,638 when you signup for their mobile plans HERE.

At the point of writing, there are no other mobile plans for this device from the other mobile operators. 🙁

For more information, tech specs and features, check out the official HTC One Max SEA Product Page at http://www.htc.com/sea/smartphones/htc-one-max/

 

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