HTC unveils One max phablet in Dubai
Handset features 5.9-inch screen, fingerprint security, upgraded content
Taiwanese vendor HTC Corp today unveiled its first phablet, the One max, in a Dubai press roundtable.
The HTC One max is a move for the fastest growing sub-segment in the global smartphone market - that of the 5-inch-plus category, now well established as "phablets". The handset's screen is a 5.9-inch full HD1080p display and the device is intended to complete the flagship One range, which, according to Neeraj Seth, senior brand communications manager, MEA, HTC, has won "37 industry awards and counting".
Curiously, the One max comes to market with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor featuring a quad-core 1.7 GHz CPU, while the industry at large has moved on to the 800 model, which powers, for example, Nokia's new Lumia 1520. The reason for this, explained Ian Rea, HTC's EMEA product marketing manager, is that the One max has been in development for some time and the Qualcomm's Snapdragon 600 was in ascendance at design time.
Processor choice aside, the handset lives on a rich feature set. A new Fingerprint Scan tool allows a sensor swipe on the back of the handset and the finger unlock can be tied to particular apps allowing feature profiling. Since the phone can store up to three fingerprints, users can allow their children to unlock the handset and have access to only suitable content.
One series' mainstays HTC BlinkFeed, HTC Zoe and HTC BoomSound are back, and are joined by an enhanced HTC Sense 5.5; each is optimised for the larger screen. Blinkfeed can be further refined by customisable topic categories and new integration with content providers including Instagram and Google+. Up to 120 articles can also be downloaded for offline viewing.
The max features HTC's own UltraPixel camera technology and HTC Zoe mode is included to "bring photos to life". A 2.1MP front-facing camera allows capture of both subject and photographer in a picture-in-picture format. Video Highlights combines photos and videos to create a mini movie complete with a soundtrack and visual theme.
The 16GB or 32GB onboard memory can be expanded via a micro SD card slot, with 50GB of additional free Google Drive online storage being offered exclusively to HTC One max users.
The large 3300mAh embedded battery is designed for intensive use and an optional accessory, the HTC Power Flip Case, offers a 1150mAh battery expansion for the One max.
Other accessories include a subwoofer, to complement the One max's dual front speaker system. The handset breaks down the audio stream and sends only low-frequency outputs to the sub woofer, streaming the other audio through the handset's speakers.
Also on offer is a small, light receiver called the One mini+, which is capable of processing calls and SMS messages. Intended for use when the main handset is elsewhere, it has limited functionality, but negates the need to take the heavy principle device everywhere the user goes.
"The HTC One family has now grown to include something for everyone, with the addition of the new HTC One max," said Mohammed Kais Zribi, regional director, HTC Middle East and North Africa.
"Given how smartphone-savvy the Middle East region is, we have high expectations for the new HTC One max, which is built on the same principles of quality and game-changing innovation as the award-winning HTC One and the HTC One Mini. With an upgrade to HTC Sense 5.5, the HTC One max will offer the best smartphone experience yet, combining the power and size needed to empower users with the ability to do everything they need to and more on a single device."
"Dubai was enamoured with the HTC One when it was launched," Seth added. "This was echoed in the success of the HTC One mini, and now, with the HTC One max, the ultimate smartphone family is complete."
Available in Glacial Silver, the HTC One max will be on sale in UAE retailers by 5 November, for AED2,799, or AED2,999 with Power Flip Case. The mini+ will sell for AED499.