HTC One max vs HTC One: What's the difference?

The much-rumoured HTC One max has finally launched officially and, as the name would suggest, it is not a small device. It pushes HTC into phablet territory, bringing more inches to the party than before.

The HTC One is one of the top devices of 2013, with stunning design, a great display and a lovely user experience from the Sense 5 software.

READ: Best smartphones 2013: The best phones available to buy today

Here we're comparing it to the original HTC One to see what the differences are, what remains the same, and whether size really does matter.

The HTC One max has a bigger build, obviously

Unsurprisingly, the first major difference is HTC One max's bigger build compared to its smaller HTC One sibling. The HTC One max measures 164.5 x 82.5 x 10.29mm compared to the 137.4 x 68.3 x 9.3mm of the HTC One. Whichever way you look at it, the HTC One max is a big device.

The HTC One max is also heavier, which won't come as much of a shock, tipping the scales at 217g, while the One weighs in at 143g. That's a fair heft, but given how much screen space you're getting, that's to be expected.

Bigger, but not necessarily better display

The HTC One max has a bigger display than the HTC One, measuring 5.9-inches compared to the One's 4.7-inches. That's a considerable difference in screen real estate.

While both displays are the same 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution, the One comes in with a pixel density of 468ppi, compared to the One max's 373ppi. This means the display is sharper on the One because there are more pixels packed in tighter. However the max still sports a beautiful display and like its smaller brother, it's full of colour and vibrancy, with great viewing angles. Both displays are Super LCD3.

Similar design, plus a fingerprint scanner

The HTC One max follows the HTC One family in terms of design, which was to be expected. But while it is finished in aluminium like the HTC One, it brings some of the HTC One mini's looks with it. The HTC One is the better looking device, with it's lovely bevelled metal edges, while the HTC One max has a plastic edge. This is mostly because the One max has a removable back cover, allowing access to the SIM card and microSD card slots within.

You will get the same signature dual front-facing BoomSound speakers but the Max will be the first HTC device for a while to come without Beats Audio. Plug your headphones in and Beats won't fire up on the One max as it does on the One. In reality, that doesn't make a huge difference, but if you like the Beats branding, than the One max lacks it.

The main difference when it comes to design is the fingerprint scanner underneath the rear camera on the HTC One max. Much like Apple's Touch ID addition on its latest flagship device the iPhone 5S, the fingerprint scanner provides additional security and allows you to unlock or launch your three favourite apps directly, programming a finger to each.

The standby button also moves to the side on the HTC One max - essential given the size of the device.

Pretty much the same camera

If you were hoping for a camera upgrade with the HTC One max, you will be disappointed. In fact, the max actually loses out on optical image stabilisation compared to the HTC One, so arguably the older device will be more capable.

Apart from the OIS however, the HTC One max camera is nearly identical to the HTC One, with both devices featuring UltraPixel technology and a BSI sensor along with HTC Zoe features and slow motion video recording with variable speed playback to play with.

READ: HTC One review

The rear snapper on the max has an aperture of f/2.0 and a 28mm lens, while the front-facing camera is 2.1-megapixels and has an 88-degree wide angle lens with HDR capability, just like on the HTC One. Both the front and rear cameras on both devices are capable of 1080p Full HD video recording.

Same processor, same connectivity

When it comes to the general day-to-day running of both devices, you won't notice a difference in terms of speed or connectivity.

Both the HTC One max and the HTC One come with a 1.7GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor and 2GB RAM, meaning everyday tasks are performed with ease, but you won't get the likes of 4K video recording with either device.

All the usual connectivity features are also on board on both devices, including Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, NFC and DLNA, as well as the IR blaster so you won't gain or lose anything in these terms if you pick one over the other.

The HTC One max has had a software update

Although Android 4.3 and Sense 5.5 will eventually come to the HTC One, the HTC One max comes with the new software out of the box.

READ: HTC Sense 5.5 vs Sense 5: New features, tweaks and changes explored

The new software brings with it some refinement to BlinkFeed, a few tweaks to the camera and Gallery, as well as a range of other additions.

The max has a bigger battery and microSD support

In terms of the battery and storage options, the HTC One max takes it up a notch in both areas compared to the HTC One.

The max comes with a 3300mAh battery, compared to the One's 2300mAh. This is a huge step up in capacity and means an extra 85 hours standby time, according to HTC, as well as an extra 7 hours talk time on 3G compared to the One. The max is said to hit 585 hours for standby, and 25 hours for WCDMA (3G) but there's more screen to power.

Perhaps one of the most exciting developments of the HTC One max compared to the HTC One is support for microSD cards up to 64GB. Both devices are available with 16GB or 32GB internal storage options, but the addition of the mircoSD slot goes against the norm for HTC's flagship devices and is a welcomed change.

Conclusion

There are a few differences between the HTC One and the HTC One max, that's for sure, but the majority stays the same. The size is the major difference with the screen growing to 5.9-inches, along with the fingerprint scanner and microSD support, plus the higher capacity battery and its debut with Android 4.3 with HTC Sense 5.5 software.

READ: HTC One max review

It remains a beautiful high-quality design, but it's still trumped in the looks department by the HTC One. If you want big, it will give you what you need but if size doesn't matter to you, you won't be missing out on much by choosing the HTC One.