(Pocket-lint) - The HTC One pleased many with its design when it hit the market at the beginning of this year and was followed by a mini sibling, the HTC One mini. We liked both devices, offering a refined Sense experience in a package that was powerful and well put together.
Now a bigger brother is rumoured to be joining the HTC One family: the HTC One Max.
There's been no official word from HTC that the One Max is coming, but the internet and our sources suggest otherwise. Here, we have rounded up all the facts, rumours and information so you can see what you can expect from the HTC One Max.
HTC One Max release date
While HTC has yet to officially announce the device, the rumours were pointing to a September release to compete with the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, which has gone on sale. The company released a video on both Instagram and Vine featuring Robert Downey Jr, who is said to be the new brand ambassador for HTC. It was thought the title "Big things ahead" could indicate the release of a larger HTC device, but it could simply refer to Mr Downey Jr's involvement.
We are now in October, IFA has passed and there was no word in September. But we expect you will see a HTC One Max device appear this autumn, given the gaggle of excitement around this device. The HTC One is also getting old now, with last-gen hardware, so a refresh in a more powerful, larger device, doesn't sound impossible. HTC pulled a similar stunt with the HTC Sensation XL back in 2011.
Phone Arena has published that a source has mentioned a release date of 15 October for the HTC One Max, and a number of sources familiar with HTC's plans have confirmed to Pocket-lint this date is accurate for the phablet's launch, however said it won't be available to buy until later in the month.
Given that the HTC One comes with a 4.7-inch display, the HTC One Max will logically be bigger.
According to rumours, the Max will include a 5.9-inch display with a 1920 x 1080 resolution, 373ppi. Other rumours have indicated the screen will come in at 6.4-inches with a Full HD resolution spitting out 342ppi, but the sources familiar with HTC's plans have indicated to Pocket-lint the Max will be coming with a 5.9-inch display. Given HTC's preference for LCD, we'd expect to see a great quality LCD3 panel in place.
In phablet comparison, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 features a 5.7-inch 1920 x 1080 Super AMOLED display, and the Sony Xperia Z Ultra has a 6.4-inch Full HD 1920 x 1080 display, so the Max would certainly be playing with the big boys in this department.
There have been several photos leaked of the device since the rumours began, showing not only its design but also how large it is in comparison to other devices. HTC was quick to call out some of these images as fake.
As you would expect, it seems the Max will be coming with the same front design as the HTC One and HTC One mini, sporting the popular front-facing speakers. This would mean it will be coming with HTC BoomSound, built-in amplifiers and Beats Audio if the rumours are correct. We expect the design will replicate that of the HTC One, which has been extremely popular.
READ: HTC One review
There could be a slight shake-up in design on the back of the device however, as rumours have pointed towards a fingerprint scanner underneath the rear camera. With Apple releasing its iPhone 5S featuring a fingerprint reader, and Pantech also announcing a smartphone using fingerprint tech, it could be that HTC has jumped on the bandwagon.
If the leaked images with the fingerprint reader are accurate, it would also see a change to the Beats Audio branding, with the Max losing the red colour and the Beats logo moving further to the edge of the device, making the branding more subtle.
A person claiming to be a tester for the device confirmed that the small square talked about in previous HTC One Max leaks is indeed a fingerprint sensor, much like the one found on the front of the iPhone 5S. He reported that the sensor works well in testing. "Recognition rate is very high, there was no awkward situation," he said.
More recently, some images have appeared on Android Central's forum, which show the device with Verizon's logo on the front and compared to an iPhone 5.
The images were posted by Jeremy Kessous, who has a friend who works for Verizon and claims to have access to the handset. Kessous accompanied his post on the forum with some additional details from his friend, saying: "He just confirmed to me as well that the back does in fact have the fingerprint scanner. The back is also "removable"."
When it comes to the camera, the same UltraPixel technology used in the HTC One is expected to be employed. The front-facing camera is said to be 2.1-megapixels which would be in line with the HTC One.
Recent rumours have suggested the company is planning to improve the camera software for the HTC One Max. According to the same tester who confirmed the fingerprint reader, the new software will feature "Beauty Face" which will enable you to correct blemishes, as well as a sport panoramic mode. A HDR video recording mode was also highlighted, but that's present in the current HTC One.
Processor and memory
When it comes to processor, you might expect the HTC One Max to have more power under the hood than the original HTC One and many rumours have suggested the Max will sport a 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, which is the latest chipset from Qualcomm.
If those claims were true, it would also mean a step up from the HTC One which comes with a 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor, and a double step up from the HTC One mini which comes with a 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, so you should expect a pretty rapid device with the Max, as well as the ability to play 4K video, but we're left wondering if it will get hot like some other SD 800 devices. It's expected to come with 2GB of RAM.
However, Pocket-lint's sources have suggested the HTC One Max will be running on the same hardware as the current HTC One, so don't hold your hopes too high for the faster Snapdragon 800 processor.
READ: HTC One mini review
Rumours suggest 32GB or 64GB internal storage, and there have also been reports of 16GB internal storage along with a microSD slot for further expansion, although HTC has avoided microSD cards on flagship devices in the past.
It seems the HTC One Max would come to market running on Android 4.3 and Sense 5.5 UI if rumours are to be believed. It is also thought you can expect it to be powered by a 3200 to 3300mAh battery, which is in the same league as the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and slightly higher capacity than the LG G2.
Keep checking back as we will update this feature with any rumours we hear, along with any facts that appear in the run up to the HTC One Max launch.