HTC One Max is the Taiwanese company's first ever phablet -- believe it or not.

It took HTC almost three years to actually come up with a more or less legit competitor to Samsung's Note phablets and in my opinion, while the end product made the wait rather worth it, it still leaves a lot to be desired.

HTC One Max, HTC One Max Philippines

Just from looking at the HTC One Max's aluminum frame and 5.9 inch Full HD SuperLCD3 display and by simply giving its technical specifications (headlined by the 1.7 GHz Quad Core Snapdragon 600 chipset, 2GB of RAM, 4 UltraPixel camera, Full HD video recorder, and LTE support) a quick glance, it's easy to assume that it's just a larger version of the company's flagship smartphone, the HTC One. But actually, the phablet has a few things that the sub-5-inch device does not and vice versa.

HTC One Max, HTC One Max Philippines

The most obvious or noticeable additional feature (apart from additional screen space, that is) is the fingerprint sensor located at the back, just below the camera module. According to HTC, you can use this sensor, which can recognize up to three unique fingerprints, to unlock the phone and to launch a favorite apps using using a finger swipes. Also, unlike HTC One, you can actually pry open the back cover of HTC One Max to add a microSD card, expanding the 16GB or 32GB internal storage of the phablet.

So what does HTC One have which you won't get on HTC One Max? Optical image stabilization. Basically, this feature compensates for shaking or hand movements while recording videos or taking photos resulting in clearer photos and videos that won't make you feel nauseous when you watch them.

HTC One Max, HTC One Max Philippines

As of writing, HTC Philippines hasn't sent us any PR article the containing official SRP and release details of HTC One Max. Nonetheless, I'm expecting the phablet to land here either late November or early December with price tag of around Php 36,000. At that amount, it will directly compete with the best-selling Samsung Galaxy Note3 and Sony Xperia Z Ultra - both of which are thinner and lighter than HTC One Max while running on a more powerful Snapdragon 800 chipset. Samsung Galaxy Note3 has a smaller 5.7-inch Full HD SuperAMOLED display and a more plasticky construction but has 3GB of RAM (apart from the powerhouse processor), ships with stylus, has a stellar set of note-taking applications and software enhancements, and comes with a bigger 3,450 mAh battery pack. Sony Xperia Z Ultra, on the other hand, has a larger 6.4-inch 1080p TRILUMINOS screen and is IP55 and IP58 certified to be dust and water resistant, but has a smaller 3,050 mAh Li-Ion battery and lacks LED flash.

Update as of October 18, 2013: We've just received the formal press release from HTC Philippines on HTC One Max's availability in the country. According to the Taiwanese electronics company, "The new product becomes available in the Philippines on November 15, 2013 and comes at a suggested retail price of Php 37,790. The 5.9-inch full HD 1080p display phablet brings the award-winning design, functionality and performance of the HTC One to fans of larger handsets. One of its key features is the Fingerprint Scan function, which takes user convenience to a new level of high. Meantime, the other highly acclaimed features of HTC One smartphones (which includes the HTC BlinkFeed, HTC Zoe, and HTC BoomSound) would still be offered in the new phone – this time, however, these features get combined with the new HTC Sense 5.5, a new product feature of the HTC One Max that’s meant to continue providing the best overall smartphone experience for users, albeit now on a larger screen."

TechPinas Smartphone Technical Specs Table (TSTST)
Name HTC One Max
Type Slate Form Factor (Full Touchscreen), Phablet
Price Category High End (Flagship Level)
Dimensions164.5 x 82.5 x 10.3 mm
Weight 217 grams
Available Colors Silver Anodized Aluminum
Operating System Android 4.3 Jelly Bean skinned by HTC Sense 5.5
Display 5.9 inches (~373 ppi pixel density), 1080 x 1920 pixels, Super LCD3, capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Processor Quad-core 1.7 GHz Krait 300 Adreno 320 GPU Qualcomm APQ8064 Snapdragon 600 chipset
RAM 2 GB RAM
Internal Storage 16 and 32 GB options, expandable via microSD card slot, Note that official HTC One model released in the Philippines had 32GB storage
Camera 4 UltraPixels, 2688 x 1520 pixels, autofocus, back-illuminated sensor, and LED flash, 2.1 MegaPixels front camera,
Features: 1/3'' sensor size, 2µm pixel size, simultaneous HD video and image recording, geo-tagging, face and smile detection
Video Capture Full HD 1080p 30 frames per second for both front and back cameras, 720p@60fps mode for main camera
Audio and Video Playback DivX, XviD, MP4, H.263, H.264, WMV, MP3, eAAC+, WMA, WAV, FLAC player
Ports microUSB v2.0, TV-out (via MHL A/V link), 3.5 mm audio jack
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth v4.0 with A2DP, EDR, 3G HSDPA, 21 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps, HSPA+; LTE, Cat3, 50 Mbps UL, 100 Mbps DL, NFC depending on market
GPS Yes, with GLONASS and A-GPS
Network 2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900, 3G Network HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100, 4G Network LTE
SIM Card Type microSIM
Battery Non-removable Li-Po 3300 mAh battery
Uptime Up to 585 hours of Standby, 25 hours of Talk Time
Value-Added Features Full Metal Frame, HTC Sense 5.5, UltraPixel Imaging Innovation, First HTC Phablet
Announcement October 14, 2013
Availability TP Guesstimate: Yuletide 2013
Philippines: November 15, 2013
Price TP Guesstimate: Php 36,000
Official: Php 37,790