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printed October 1, 2014
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Review: HTC One max

Form Performance Basics Extras Wrap-Up Comments  22  

Screen

The max's screen measures 5.9 inches across the diagonal and includes 1920 x 1080p resolution. It's a full HD screen, but not nearly as impressive as that of the One. The One's smaller measurement means the pixels are packed that much tighter. The max's screen is certainly pixel-rich, but they are stretched out over a larger area. The result? It's not as sharp as the One's screen. It is bright, though, and has good viewing angles. I thought the colors were a bit muted. The Note 3's display, which is only 0.2 inches smaller, looks much better. The max has a fine screen, but it is far from the best I've seen.

Signal

I tested the international model on both AT&T and T-Mobile's networks. Keep in mind that the review unit was not optimized for either network, and doesn't support either's LTE 4G network. That said, the max did a decent job of connecting to both networks. It performed on par with other devices when connected to AT&T and T-Mobile's respective HSPA+ networks. More importantly, calls connected on the first dial on both networks in even the weakest coverage conditions. The max didn't drop any calls, either. The international model performed as well as it could have given its lack of U.S. LTE. Data speeds over HSPA+ were acceptable.

Sound

In a word, awful. The earpiece produces more than enough volume for most environments. HTC's BoomSound speakers take care of that. The quality of voices coming through the speaker, however, was quite poor. There wasn't any interference or static, but every call sounded as if it was being passed through a tin can and a sock before it reached my ear. Calls were muffled, flat, and lacking in depth. The speakerphone also produces plenty of volume, but didn't make any improvement in the quality. If anything, voices coming through the speaker were a bit shrill. The ringtones can be set to skull-shaking volumes, and the vibrate alert is bone-rattlingly strong.

Battery

In a word, impressive. The One max has a 3,300mAh battery sealed inside. I had a hard time running the battery down to 50% each day I used it. Moderate use -- some calls, texts, emails, and social networking -- didn't put a dent in the battery. Streaming video from the internet put only a small dent in the battery, but that was the only activity I encountered that had a noticeable impact. Most users should have no problem at all getting through an entire day with the One max, if not much more. If you use HTC's power saving function, which dials down the processor and other features, you should be able to eke out even more life from the battery.

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