Samsung has long dominated the phablet market with its range of Note devices. But now HTC has made an attempt to break Samsung’s monopoly by releasing the HTC One Max, a 5.9-inch phablet which offers all the same features as the popular HTC One, only bigger.
So what are the differences between the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and the HTC One Max? And how closely to they compare? Here we take a look as the Note 3 and One Max battle it out head to head…
If you take a look at the two devices, it is clear that both phablets look very different in design; the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, like the rest of its Galaxy range, features a plastic chassis and one physical home button. An additional design feature of the Note 3, however, is the stitched design which you can see on the device’s rear casing, giving the phablet a slightly more upmarket, faux-leather feel, which sets it apart from the Note 2 ever so slightly.
On the other side of the ring is the HTC One Max, which, as you might have guessed from its name, looks pretty much identical to the HTC One. It has the same aluminium body which instantly gives it its premium feel, as well as the dual-frontal speakers which encompass the 5.9-inch screen.
Another difference between the two devices is the fact that the HTC One Max is actually 0.2-inches bigger than the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, with a screen size of 5.9-inches vs 5.7-inches.
Another remarkable feature in the HTC One Max’s design is the fingerprint sensor which is located on the rear-side of the phablet. Like the iPhone 5s, this fingerprint sensor allows users to unlock the device (as well as access various features) via the users’ fingerprint. The only difference from the iPhone 5s, however, is that the HTC One Max is activated using your index fingerprint as opposed to your thumb print.
Furthermore, whilst the HTC One Max is only available in silver, the Note 3 can be found in three colours: black, white and pink.
Under the hood, both devices are really quite different. The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 boasts a massive quad-core 2.3GHz processor, compared with the quad-core 1.7GHz CPU powering the HTC One Max.
The Note 3 is also available in 16GB, 32GB or 64GB options, with a huge 3GB of RAM, which Samsung made a point to boast about at the Note 3’s live reveal in Berlin. On the other hand, HTC’s One Max features a slightly smaller memory capacity with just a 16GB or 32GB variety, though for the first time for a top of the range HTC smartphone, the phablet allows users to insert a removable SD card, which will then extend the phone’s battery to 64GB. Although the Note 3 also features an SD card slot, the fact that HTC has finally clocked onto the importance of having such a feature marks a massive progression for the Taiwanese company.
The HTC One wowed the world with its 4MP camera with HTC Zoe, and this is a key feature that HTC was sure to expand on with the One Max. The device features the same UltraPixel lens and HTC Zoe, which really brings your photos to life, and also includes Video Highlights, which automatically creates short movies from all your personal images.
The HTC One Max also includes the Dual Capture Mode, allowing you be in the very same photo that you are taking, which I am trying not to see as a rip off of Samsung’s dual camera feature on the Galaxy S4 and Note 3 devices.
Alongside Dual Shot on Samsung’s latest range of smartphones, the Note 3 camera offers an impressive 13MP camera lens with a great number of additional camera features. Some of these include Sound & Shot, a mode which records a short burst of audio to accompany each of your still images, Animation mode and Eraser, alongside the usual scene modes such as Sunset, Night, Sports, Fireworks and snow.
Although we are yet to get our hands on the HTC One Max, we are assuming that if the HTC One’s camera is anything to go by, it is sure to give the Note 3 a run for its money.
As far as features go, HTC and Samsung both offer a great deal more than just the usual Android experience.
The HTC One Max features an upgraded version of HTC Sense (version 5.5) which allows users to personalise their BlinkFeed more than ever before. HTC BlinkFeed was debuted on the HTC One, and offers users an alternative to the traditional Android interface, with a dynamic home screen filled with your personal updates, interesting news stories and social media notifications.
You can now integrate your Instagram and Google+ feeds into your BlinkFeed, as well as downloading 120 articles for offline viewing.
Samsung, on the other hand, has taken a completely different approach to HTC. Rather than altering the traditional Android interface, Samsung has developed an extensive range of features which really make its devices stand out from the crowd.
Although the majority of these features were debuted on the Galaxy S4 back in March, Samsung has incorporated them into the new Note 3 as well. These features include Drive Mode, which allows you to use your phone in a safe manner while driving using S Voice; Group Play, which amplifies the audio when two or more Samsung Galaxy devices are placed together; and S Translate, which, predictably allows you to translate written or spoken text from one language to another.
The most obvious feature which makes the Galaxy Note range stand apart from the Galaxy S range of smartphones is the Note’s stylus. This pen is subtly concealed within the device itself, and reinforces the devices as a phone for business use, allowing you to write directly onto the Note’s screen as you would a traditional notepad.
Another feature that Samsung has built into the Note 3 is its variety of multi-tasking features such as Pen Window, which allows you to display more than one app on your Note 3’s screen at any one time.
Although the Gear is an entirely separate Samsung device to the Note 3, the smart watch was released in conjunction with the phablet, and is at present the only device to connect to the Gear. HTC doesn’t appear to have any obvious plans for launching wearable tech, so we can perhaps eradicate any possibility of any One Max smart-accessories!
The HTC One Max’s price tag is yet to be revealed, but as the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 sits around the £630 mark, we can expect the One Max to follow in a similar vein.