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article imageHTC One Max takes on Apple's fingerprint scanner

By Milton Este     Oct 15, 2013 in Technology
The much anticipated HTC One Max is finally here and it adds a nice surprise, which leaked rumors about this upcoming device failed to capture.
Without further ado, let's jump into the specifications. The HTC One Max phablet features a whopping 5.9 inch 1080p Full-HD multi-touch display. It runs Android 4.3 and will be the first phone to run HTC Sense 5.5. This phablet will be powered by a 1.7GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor and 2GB of RAM. It will ship in both the 16GB and 32GB models with an additional 50 GB of cloud storage provided by Google Drive. Its wireless connectivity options include Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 LE (low energy), GPS, and NFC. Finally, this phablet will be equipped with HTC's Ultra-Pixel camera, BSI sensor, and the dedicated HTC ImageChip to provide 4 MP front and 2.1 MP back plus 1080p video recording capabilities.
Aside from the standard specifications, the HTC One Max is giving Apple and the iPhone 5S a run for its money. The massive 5.9 inch phablet is equipped with its own fingerprint scanner. However, unlike how Apple positioned their scanner, the One Max is positioned on the back of the phone, slightly under the camera. This has faced quite a bit of criticism and many believe it will fail to be any use.
The Motorola Atrix featured a fingerprint scanner, which failed miserably. It lacked reliability and convenience. Positioning the fingerprint scanner on the back proves to be an awkward dilemma for authentication as it either requires the user to flip the phone over or feel around until the user's finger hits the spot. It looks like HTC is attempting this once again. Some critics compare HTC's fingerprint scanner to Apple's and it looks like Apple is coming out on top:
Vlad Savov of The Verge:
As it is, the fingerprint scanner implementation here is clumsy, awkward, and comfortably in line with the long history of failed attempts at making this technology work.
Chris Hall of Pocket-Lint:
We’ve had about a 90 per cent success rate with the One max’s scanner over the week we’ve been using the phone, but it takes some getting used to and we know that some others who had the device prior to launch didn’t have such success.
Much as we hate to say it, the fingerprint scanner on the iPhone 5S is much better when it comes to unlocking: you press the button, it scans, and you’re in. It’s one process. On the HTC One max, we suspect that some will find it fiddly from the off, and disable the feature in favour of regular on-screen security.
Gareth Beavis of TechRadar:
The HTC One Max’s fingerprint scanner will be as unused as that on most laptops and the Motorola Atrix, which is sad as it could have been a really nifty feature if it was in an easier to reach place.
Alex Doble of Android Central:
So we suspect a majority of One Max owners will try the fingerprint scanner once before ultimately turning it off and ignoring it. For us at least, it’s an oddity, not a value-adder; as always, your mileage may vary.
Another issue not mentioned in several reviews, but in an hands-on YouTube video is the case. While the back of the phablet is aluminum, the One Max lost its full uni-body aluminum design. The back is now removable allowing access to the micro-SIM card slot and micro-SD memory. However, the 3,300 mAh battery is neither removable nor upgradable. Of course, serious modders can still unscrew the inner battery enclosure and replace the battery. The video brought up another issue, which is the battery cover. After opening up the back cover and putting it back in place, the corners flare out. It becomes loose with no locking mechanism holding it in place. In other words, the back cover is secured, but yet not fully secured.
This issue has not been addressed by HTC yet, but the removable back cover was by design. HTC will be releasing a back battery cover later on allowing users to swap out the current cover with the battery cover for an energy boost up to 4,500 mAh.
More about HTC, HTC One, One, Max, HTC One max
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