Rumor has it that the HTC One won’t be the only HTC One branded phone that HTC has up its sleeve. An HTC One Mini launch is thought to be imminent, seemingly confirmed by HTC itself, though the new HTC One that buyers likely have their eyes on is the rumored HTC One Max, a larger version of the HTC One that is thought to be coming sometime later this year.
In April, HTC launched its first big smartphone of the year in the HTC One. The device replaced the HTC One X as the face of the company’s smartphone lineup. The device is considered to be one of the best smartphones of 2013 and arguably one of the best smartphones of all time. And while it may not have the star power as the Samsung Galaxy S4 or the iPhone 5, the HTC One has established itself as a top-of-the-line device and a fantastic choice for consumers.
So, it’s no surprise to hear that HTC has more HTC One related phones up its sleeve for 2013, especially when its biggest rival, Samsung, is rumored to have a similar agenda. Samsung recently released a phone called the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, a smaller variant of its popular Galaxy S4 line, for those that don’t need high-end specifications or a steep price tag. Naturally, HTC is rumored to be coming out with a smaller variant of its own dubbed HTC One Mini that should make landfall sometime in the next few days.
Those two devices aren’t flagships though. Both HTC and Samsung are indeed rumored to have two new flagships up their sleeve for 2013 in the forms of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and the HTC One Max, also known as the HTC T6. This will be Samsung’s third rendition of the Galaxy Note while it will be HTC’s first major attempt at a phablet, a name that is derived from its size.
While the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is a hot commodity, the HTC One Max has quickly made itself known, and consumers are likely now interested in the two. That said, here, we want to take a look at the HTC One Max and relay the five biggest things that buyers need to know about HTC’s larger HTC One.
Release Around Galaxy Note 3 Makes Sense
Rumor has it, the HTC One Max will be debuting in September, rather than late in the year as rumors originally suggested. This makes a whole lot of sense, here’s why.
HTC has been taking a beating the last couple of years thanks to the success of Samsung. Samsung’s success hasn’t been thanks to just one device either. No, it has also hinged on a two-flagship approach with the company first releasing a Samsung Galaxy S, and several variants, and then releasing a larger Galaxy Note flagship later in the year.
The one-two punch of the Samsung Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 put to rest any questions about who the King of Android is and it’s clear that HTC is playing second fiddle. That means that HTC needs to be smart about the timing of its device launches and thus far, it has done a good job at taking some of the wind out of Samsung’s sails.
Earlier this year we saw the company release the HTC One around the same time as the Samsung Galaxy S4. This wasn’t in the original script but happened due to supply issues. It wasn’t perfect but it ensured that the company was in direct competition with the Galaxy S, a series that is seen as the more popular of the two.
When it comes to the Galaxy Note 3 and the HTC One Max, the company won’t want to get overshadowed. The Galaxy Note is the most well-known big screen smartphone brand in the world and HTC can’t muck up the launch if it wants to put a dent in Samsung’s sales. In order to do that, it must launch appropriately and a launch several weeks or months after the Galaxy Note 3 could be disastrous.
Instead, the company will want to launch ahead or around the time of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 to keep pace which is why September, which just so happens to be the Samsung Galaxy Note 3′s rumored launch month as well, makes sense.
HTC One Max Specs Are Clear
HTC hasn’t announced the HTC One Max yet but buyers need to know that many of its specifications are already a given.
We know that it will have a large screen, possibly 5.9-inches. We know that that display will have 1080p resolution because all flagship devices now come with that type of resolution. We know it will be powered by a quad-core processor, likely of the Snapdragon 800 variety, because Android flagships use quad-core power. And we know it will likely have a good camera, probably HTC’s Ultrapixel camera, same as the one on the HTC One. We also know that it will more than likely be sporting a metal design. If the HTC One Mini is coming with a metal design, a higher-end HTC One Max will definitely have one as well. Those all seem to be givens.
The two mysteries of course are its software and whether or not it will have a bundled stylus. Rumors originally suggested that it would have some type of stylus, just like the Galaxy Note series, and that it would have Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie.
Problem is, Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie isn’t likely going to be out until October or November. So Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, which is thought to be arriving next week, is more likely. As for the stylus, it’s still a possibility though it’s unclear just how HTC will incorporate it.
Perhaps it will bring the HTC Scribe UI back from the dead but that remains unclear.
Buyers need to know that because this is an HTC device and the first of its kind with no proven track record, there is no guarantee that we will see it launch on every single major carrier in the United States.
Before the HTC One, HTC devices were limited to certain carriers. With the HTC One X, it was AT&T. With the EVO series, it was Sprint. With the HTC One, we saw it arrive on AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile with a launch on Verizon set for summer. A breath of fresh air for HTC fans and regular old consumers. Still, that’s no guarantee that we’ll see the HTC One Max hit all of those carriers.
Devices this size are popular but they still are a bit of a niche so it’s possible that some carriers won’t take the risk, especially if they are going to offer the Galaxy Note 3. Thus far, we’ve seen Verizon rumored as an HTC One Max carrier but we haven’t seen a host of carriers mentioned like we have with Samsung’s device.
So while a widespread launch would be fantastic, buyers will want to temper their expectations for the time being.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 will likely arrive for $299.99 on-contract like its brethren. If it doesn’t, we probably won’t see a price discounted anywhere below $250. The steep price is due to the fact that the Galaxy Note series comes with a bundled stylus called the S Pen, a stylus that takes advantage of unique applications.
If HTC does offer a stylus with the HTC One Max, it will more than likely do one of two things:
- Offer the HTC One Max at $250 or above with stylus bundled.
- Offer the HTC One Max with a more affordable price tag with stylus sold separately.
If there isn’t a stylus attached to the HTC One Max, HTC will more than likely try and undercut the Galaxy Note 3 when it comes to price though we suspect that it will still be more expensive than the 32GB HTC One which runs for $199.99.
Think Twice Before Buying
Buyers need to know that they should think twice before buying the HTC One Max.
As we’ve pointed out numerous times, HTC has yet to prove that it can offer lengthy support for its devices, even devices that are considered to be flagship models. Examples include the promised, but failed software roll outs for the HTC Desire HD and Droid Incredible 2, and the apparent flip-flopping on the Sense 5 update for the HTC One S. Owners of the HTC Rezound will also be quick to point out that their device was left behind even though it sported some of the best hardware available at the time.
Point is, those looking for a phone to last two years or beyond may not find it with an HTC device like the HTC One Max. Something to think about when phones like the iPhone 3GS received updates for three years and devices like the Samsung Galaxy S2 are still going strong.