Currently, the HTC One and the Samsung Galaxy S4 are battling for the attention from consumers in the market for a new smartphone. However, later in the year, HTC and Samsung are likely to tangle several more times including in the phablet sector as HTC is rumored to be trying to tackle the rumored Samsung Galaxy Note 3 with a large-screen smartphone of its own, the HTC T6 also known as the HTC One Max.
Last year, Samsung replaced the original Samsung Galaxy Note phablet with the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, a much-improved successor that not only boasted significant software and hardware upgrades but also landed on a multitude of carriers in the United States. The launch has propelled the Galaxy Note 2 to huge sales numbers and it remains one of the choice options on the Android platform.
And while it’s a fantastic phone, one of the reasons it remains dominant is because there haven’t been any true competitors that have emerged to challenge it. The LG Intuition on Verizon tried and failed and while it looks like a fantastic device, the LG Optimus G Pro isn’t likely to fare much better, especially with rumors of a Galaxy Note 3 swirling.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is rumored to be coming later this year. However, unlike last year, it’s rumored to have some serious competition from someone other than LG.
HTC, Samsung’s main rival on Android, is thought to be harnessing a phablet device of its own, a larger version of the HTC One called the HTC T6, also thought to be called the HTC One Max. The device has surfaced in rumors over the past few weeks and on paper, it’s looking like it’s not just going to be device that HTC throws into the wind.
No, it appears that this will be a well-crafted effort by HTC to not only expand the One brand but to also challenge Samsung’s supremacy in the large-screen smartphone market.
So how will this match up play out? It’s impossible to say at this point, but here are the five most important things to know about the impending battle between the HTC One Max and the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.
Release Dates Will Be Close to Each Other
The HTC One and the Samsung Galaxy S4 release date were very close to each other. The release dates of the HTC One Mini and the Samsung Galaxy S4, both rumored for summer, should be in close proximity of each other. Seeing a pattern here?
With both devices seemingly months away, it’s impossible to say exactly when they will be arriving. The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is rumored for September which could mean an arrival in October or November in the U.S. The HTC One Max still doesn’t have any kind of timing attached to it but consumers should expect an arrival in that time frame. Why?
The holiday shopping season of course. Last year’s Galaxy Note 2 emerged just ahead of Black Friday and the core of the holiday shopping season. This was not an accident. This was planned by Samsung and the carriers that hosted the Galaxy Note 2. We expect Samsung to do something similar with the Galaxy Note 3. Allow the Galaxy S4 its time in the sun and then add another device into the mix.
Look for HTC to take a similar approach with the HTC One Max so that it can maximize sales while also taking away attention from the Galaxy Note 3.
Hardware Will Match Up
Hardware specifications for these devices remain unconfirmed but consumers should know that they will more than likely match up, almost identically. Here is how the hardware rumors break down thus far:
Samsung Galaxy Note 3.
- 5.9-inch 1080p Display
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 Quad-Core Processor/Exynos 5 Octa
- 13MP Camera
HTC One Max (HTC T6).
- 5.9-inch 1080p Display
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 Quad-Core Processor
- Ultrapixel Camera
- 16GB Storage
- 3,300 mAh Battery
We expect the Galaxy Note 3 to have at least 16GB of on board storage space and it to have at least a 3,300 mAh battery. The Galaxy Note 2 had a 3,100 mAh battery on board and with the size of the display thought to be getting bigger, we expect it to have a larger battery on board. Just how big is unclear at the moment but it should be comparable to 3,300 mAh.
So while the specs aren’t set in stone, many of them still unknown, consumers should know that they will both feature top of the line specifications and likely won’t be separated by much.
Metal vs. Plastic
There will though, be two key differences between the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and the HTC One Max. The first, their designs. While Samsung has opted to keep its plastic designs around, HTC has made it a point to offer something a bit different. While the Galaxy S4 is made of plastic, the HTC One is comprised of beautiful metal with a zero gap design that ensures that the texture remains constant throughout.
It’s a design that is on par with the iPhone 5 design and it’s a feature that is one of the HTC One’s biggest selling points. People love a sturdy, modern looking phone.
Rumors suggest that the two companies will be using metal and plastic designs with the HTC One Max and Samsung Galaxy Note 3 respectively which means that consumers are likely to once again have to decide between the pitfalls of plastic and metal.
With metal, consumers get a well-built, $200 feeling design but it also increases the chances of a removable back and microSD card slot being absent. A sketch, which is purportedly of the HTC One Max, shows what appears to be a microSD card slot but it’s up for interpretation.
A plastic design all but assures Galaxy Note 3 owners a microSD card slot and a removable back for an extended battery or wireless charging. And while Samsung has taken strides to improve its plastic designs, it’s still going to feel much cheaper than a full metal form factor.
Those holding out for these devices can get a better idea about what to expect be checking out the current HTC One and the Galaxy S4 models.
Software Will Be The Key Difference
The other major difference between these two devices will be the software. Perhaps, they will both be running Android Key Lime Pie, but what’s going to separate them and be the key factor in their success are the on board user interfaces.
Samsung recently introduced its new TouchWiz Nature UX software that brought along a host of new features for the Galaxy S4. Many of those features will likely emerge on the Galaxy Note 3. Unlike the Galaxy S4 though, the Galaxy Note series sports an S Pen stylus that can take advantage of a number of unique applications. Samsung also has introduced powerful multitasking to the Galaxy Note series as well.
The Galaxy Note 3 will almost assuredly have new and improved S Pen software and it should also have some powerful new multitasking functionality that takes full advantage of the device’s massive display. Multi-Window View was likely just the start.
The software on board the HTC One Max will likely make or break it for consumers. The HTC One Max is said to have a stylus though as of right now, it’s unclear if it has any unique software on board. If it does have a stylus, we have to imagine that it does, and perhaps, it could be the revival of HTC’s Scribe interface.
Scribe was decent enough but HTC will need to remarkably improve it in order to keep pace with Samsung who has been refining its Galaxy Note software for years now.
HTC did an admirable job with Sense 5 so there is potential but if HTC plans to truly take on the Galaxy Note 3, it will need some fantastic software to back up its hardware. Whether it can do that or not is unknown and it’s something that prospective buyers need to be aware of.
Competitive Pricing, Carriers
Finally, consumers should know that pricing and carrier options should be relatively familiar. While we have no confirmations yet, a Galaxy Note 3 launch on anything other than the five largest carriers in the United States would be shocking. AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Verizon have all had success with the Galaxy Note 2 and now, the Galaxy S4. Know that that trend will likely continue.
HTC this year branched off from exclusive carriers to a multi-pronged approach as the HTC One arrived for the four largest service providers in the U.S. There is talk of carriers being interested in the HTC One Max and that should come as no surprise. The HTC One is a great phone and it, in larger form, presents a solid option for consumers. Know that it will likely come to several different carriers as well.
Pricing is going to be competitive for both of these devices. $299.99 is where the Galaxy Note has launched in the past and we can see both of these devices using this price tag as their starting point.
At this point though, know that both devices will be more expensive than the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 thanks to their screen sizes.