HTC just announced the One Max this morning, a new 5.9-inch version of the HTC One. It offers a few changes, however, including Android 4.3 with Sense 5.5 out of the box, a fingerprint reader, expandable storage thanks to a removable aluminum back cover (though, oddly, you can’t remove the battery), and more. We’ve had a chance to play with the One Max for a few days now — we’ll be bringing you our full review shortly — though we wanted to provide you with our first impressions of the device.
The 5.9-inch screen may be fantastic, but it just feels way too big. While the Note 3 manages to be large without being too cumbersome, the One Max is heavy and more prone to slipping, so we were constantly afraid we would drop it. Also, while there’s going to be a stylus available, there isn’t any special use case for it like the Note 3 and its S Pen. HTC also didn’t provide any place to store that stylus within the device, which means it’s more likely you’ll lose it or leave it behind anyway.
The camera features the same Ultrapixel technology as the HTC One, though the company opted to skip optical image stabilization on this version, which is a really weird omission. We did take some pretty awesome shots, though, so we’re still relatively pleased with the camera performance.
HTC Sense 5.5 is a minor update, though it adds some nice new features. We like that it’s now super easy to customize your highlight reels, which include photos, videos and Zoe shots, and that you can now add your own music to them. Additionally, BlinkFeed has been updated with RSS feed support (finally!) and can now pull in news sources you might be interested in based on your Facebook “Likes.” There are other neat features scattered around, such as front/back camera picture support within the camera software, a new “Read Later” option inside BlinkFeed for storing stories offline, an improved camera gallery and more.
Again, stay tuned for our full review. In the meantime, enjoy our hands-on images in the gallery above.