After over a month of rumours that revealed almost every detail of the device, HTC has officially announced its worst kept secret, the HTC One Max. Set to compete directly with Samsung's popular Galaxy Note range, the One Max has a 5.9in display, a microSD card slot, and includes a fingerprint scanner on the back.
HTC says the One max "shares the same premium design credentials" as the rest of the One range, specifically the original HTC One and the HTC One Mini. The One Max has more in common with the latter, as it shares the same white plastic sides, though the rest of the casing is aluminium. HTC has moved the power button from the top to the sides due to the large size of the handset.
Speaking of size, the 5.9in screen does come at a cost of weight. The One Max weighs a whopping 217g, immediately making it one of the heaviest smartphones on the market. It's also 10.3mm thick, so if you're looking for a thin and light smartphone, this isn't the device for you. The extra weight does mean that HTC's dual, front-facing BoomSound speakers are again present, so this is a positive.
The One Max has a removable back panel that reveals a microSD card slot, a feature you won't find on the regular One or the One Mini. While the 3300mAh battery isn't removable, the inclusion of expandable memory will be a welcome addition to hardened Android fans.
Aside from its size, the most notable new feature on the HTC One Max is a fingerprint scanner. Located on the back of the phone, just below the camera lens, the scanner allows users to unlock or lock the screen, and assign up to three seperate finger prints to launch three user customisable apps. We're not sure this is in the ideal location given the large size of the handset, but we'll reserve our judgment until we get our hands on a review unit.
The HTC One Max is powered by a 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor, has 2GB of RAM and comes with either 16GB or 32GB of internal memory. HTC will also offer One Max users 50GB of additional free Google Drive online storage.
The HTC One Max runs the latest 4.3 Jelly Bean version of Android but is again skinned with HTC's Sense UI, now up to version 5.5. There are a couple of new features including the ability to further customise the BlinkFeed home screen (or remove it if you wish), and an upgraded gallery with new video animations. Unfortunately, the HTC One Max's UltraPixel camera lacks optical image stabilisation (OIS).
HTC will also sell an optional accessory called the Power Flip Case. The case has a built-in 1150mAh battery and can also be folded to act as a stand for the handset. It charges the One Max via three pogo pins on the back of the phone, so unlike traditional battery cases, the Power Flip Case doesn't need to plug into the micro-USB port.
The HTC One Max will go on sale globally later this month, but there's no word yet on when it will be released in Australia.
A promotional video of the HTC One Max can be viewed below.