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The HTC One Max (Sprint)

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The new flagship Mobile from HTC The volume of Android phones on the market is growing. Phablets, those devices that merge some of the functionality of a tablet into a smartphone, are clearly here to stay. In the highly competitive arena of mobile devices distinguishing yourself from the competition is vital to survival.

Hoping to make an impression with consumers, HTC has launched a new flagship phone. It is one that they have clearly placed their hopes for more market share. HTC has been something of an “also ran” in the high stakes arena of handset makers. Eclipsed by Samsung and threatened by the iPhone, the Taiwanese company has been struggling to survive.

To stand out, HTC is focusing on styling, construction and multimedia capabilities with the HTC One Max. The initial stand out feature has to be the screen. Measuring 5.9 inches, the 1,920 by 1080 pixel LCD delivers rich accurate colors. Clarity with text is not a problem either. Everything registers sharp and clear. Having something of a reputation for good screens, HTC has managed to continue that tradition. In comparison to its nearest rival, the new Samsung Note 3, in terms of quality and clarity, it really is a draw between the two.

The One Max is one of Sprint’s new tri-band devices; it supports 3G CDMA, 4G LTE and Sprint Spark. With Spark, Sprint is promising down load speeds from 50-60 Mbps, where it is available.Powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor, it packs a 1.7 GHz quad core processor, as to be expected performance is smooth.

On the AnTuTu Benchmark it scored 26712, a decent score. The high points were in multitasking, 2d graphics and supporting larger mobile games. While it scored well in performance, it still has some ways to go before beating out the Galaxy Note 3. The Note 3 carries more Ram and a faster processor. On the subject of specs, the One carries 2 GB of ram, 32 GB of on board total storage, (storage to the end user varies, so anticipate about 24 GB free to work with and the there is room for a micro SD card sizes up to 64 GB storage. The card must be purchases separately.

The devices comes with two cameras. The front facing one is a 2.1 mega pixel and the back camera is 4 mega pixel. Unlike a lot of companies pushing pixel count through the roof, HTC has opted for larger pixels rather than more of them. Picture quality is solid over all. Cameras have been a strong suite for HTC and they have not disappointed here. While it may, or may not, be the best of the breed, images are sharp and colorful.

Where the One Max stands out, in addition to its large screen, has to be sound. Beating out the competition the front speakers are louder than any you may find anywhere. The HTC BoomSound is excellent. Sound is one of the areas this phone excels. Another area that the One Max shines in is outward design.

Composed of metal rather than hunks of plastic, the net effect is that of a very high end phone. HTC always has an eye for solid professional design that is both contemporary without being overly done. The only place where there is weakness is in the small, very small, button that allows you to open the handset. For larger fingers, this control maybe too small to be easy to manage. While you can open the camera for Simm cards and the extra micro SD card, the battery is not accessible to the end user.

Talk time is impressive. As large as the phone is, and it pushes the limit at 6.48” x 3.25” for practicality as a mobile phone, 25 hours of talk time is very good. In my informal tests with the phone it can last full day with regular use without issue. Battery life is always problematic with phones. However, the HTC One Max can hold its own with the competition.

Shipping with Jelly Bean, there is an update that just came out that allows you to have the latest and greatest Android OS, Kit Kat. HTC, naturally, incorporates their HTC sense into the mix adding features not found in the vanilla variety of Android. After working with them, I am simply not a huge fan of HTC sense. It is not obtrusive, but it simply doesn’t add a lot of value. You can turn of the tiles that great you with updates, so that is a plus. I am simply not a fan of data being literally “pushed” at you. But this is a minor complaint. Some may find HTC sense useful.

OVERVIEW

Not being a fan of plastic phones, a handset should not look cheap when it is supposed to be a flagship phone, the HTC One Max is a smart looking phone. Packed with power, an above average screen, superb sound, what few shortcomings this phone has are indeed minor aggravations and not deal breakers. The large screen real-estate is a plus, not a negative. For games, media and the like, the One Max is slightly ahead of its competitor the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. All in all, the One Max is overall a solid phone. While I wished it sported the faster processor of the Galaxy Note 3, and had the incredible useful note taking capabilities that come with it, on its own terms as a media, gaming, audio powerhouse, it is a very high end high performing handset. With the arrival of the HTC One Max, competition for the best mobile phone just got a little hotter. The stakes are high and HTC is proving that they are in the race to win. The HTC One Max is available at www.sprint.com The price: $ 249.99 with a contract

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