It appears there’s a new member coming to the metal-wrapped HTC One family, with the brand announcing what looks like its first official phablet, the HTC One Max.
Coming in with a whopping 5.9 inch screen size, this device appears to be going straight for the people already intrigued by bigger devices like the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 (which is 5.7 inches) and the Sony Xperia Z Ultra (which is 6 inches).
HTC’s own big smartphone will offer a Full HD (1920×1080) 1080p display in that 5.9 inch size, which in turn shows 373 pixels per inch of clarity. Not quite the same 468 the company had in its Full HD 4.7 inch screen on the One, but still higher than Apple’s “Retina” screens.
Past that screen, HTC is loading in a Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 quad-core processor clocked at 1.7GHz, which isn’t quite the speed demon that either LG’s G2 or Samsung’s Note 3 has in it, as they use Snapdragon 800 chips. That said, it should still be pretty speedy, and will include 2GB RAM to work alongside this, either 16 or 32GB of storage, and in a first for the HTC One flagships, a removeable back with a microSD slot underneath, something we wished this year’s One had.
Pretty much every other feature, though, is pure HTC One, basically just upsized, including that UltraPixel camera with HTC Zoe, the front-facing speakers of BoomSound, Bluetooth 4 with AptX, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, GPS, Near-Field Communication, metal casing, and support for 4G.
Android is also present in the One Max, though we’re not sure if HTC is using 4.2 or 4.3 here — we’re assuming the latter — and what we’re told is a newer version of HTC’s Sense overlay with some changes to Blinkfeed. Here’s hoping they make that Flipboard-like news service a little more customisable than the current incarnation.
One thing has also been added to the equation though, and that’s a fingerprint scanner, located just under the camera on the back, and said to be used in a similar capacity to what’s on Apple’s iPhone 5S, which means it can be used to unlock your smartphone.
But while there’s one really new feature, another has been taken away, and in this phone, there is no Beats Audio, which also probably means there won’t be any big Beats headphones bundles coming, either.
Pricing and availability for Australia has yet to be announced — we’re sure we’ll hear something about it later today, and will update this page accordingly — but we’ve heard there is a TD-LTE version of this handset being made, which means Optus could pick it up, or we could just see the regular ‘ol 4G version go to the other carriers.