The HTC One Max – does the phablet live up to huge expectations?

HTC Max OneIt’s one of the biggest handsets on the market. But will the HTC One Max create a big upset in the technology world?

The Taiwanese manufacturer is aiming to snatch market share from the Samsung Galaxy Note range, and to build on the success of its original One.

And, not only is HTC hoping to snatch potential customers from Samsung, but the firm is also going head to head with Apple, with a fingerprint scanner similar to that on the iPhone 5S.

With a huge 5.9-inch screen, the new HTC One Max is the phablet version of the HTC One. And, it’s going one step further than Apple’s new iPhone, by allowing users to use different fingers to unlock different applications.

A statement from HTC explains: “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.”

But, with the new handset using what is effectively an off-the-peg Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor, security fears have already been raised about HTC’s use of fingerprint technology.

Security expert Alan Woodward from the Charteris consultancy said consumers would need more information before they felt reassured it was safe to use the handset.

“Consumers will always want to be sure it is stored in such a way that if you lose the phone, it is hacked into or there’s some other kind of unauthorised access, that it can’t be readily obtained,” said Woodward.

HTC immediately rushed to allay any fears, saying: “The fingerprint data is encrypted and stored in local memory and can’t be readily accessed or copied. The fingerprint data cannot be easily converted into any other form or used by a third-party.”

The HTC One won over critics but the price of the new HTC One Max could be off-putting to many consumers as the phablet is expected to retail for around £600 in the UK.

And, another slightly jarring feature on the otherwise stylish handset is the removable battery cover, which is handy if you have dual sim cards because of international travel. But, it is fiddly to get back on once you’ve taken it off. It also feels much more unwieldy in the palm than Samsung’s phablet.

But, the HTC One Max is also packed with impressive features and some of the specifications which made the HTC One such a success.

The 5.9-inch screen is expected to particularly appeal to the Asian market, where the phablet concept has really taken off.

And, the display is sure to appeal across the board. While it lacks some of the sharpness of the smaller HTC One, it still has impressive contrast and clarity. The body of the handset itself is also a style feature, with the metal finish giving it an expensive feel, which is much-needed considering the price point of this phablet.

But, despite that, HTC still has its work cut out if it wants to persuade customers to opt for the Max rather than Samsung’s new Galaxy Note 3, which offers a lighter, slightly smaller handset.

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