HTC One Max vs. Samsung Galaxy Note 3

By admin | Published November 11th, 2013

Samsung got to lead the oversized devices market for the past two years, and for good reason. But now it is facing a new threat from the new HTC One Max that is even bigger than the newest Galaxy Note 3.

Besides the very small size difference from 5.7 to 5.9 inch, does the HTC One Max also have better specs? We’re about to compare the two titans and find out.

Design and build

The size difference of the two devices is quite perceivable when you hold them. Of course, each perception is unique, but the Galaxy Note 3 definitely feels more compact.

The aluminum body of the HTC One Max does make it feel a bit on the heavy side, especially considering its huge size. On the other hand, the plastic body of the Galaxy Note 3 has a nice quality finish to it and feels much lighter.

The One Max has basically kept the basic design of the One, with just a few alterations. These include moving the power button to the right hand side for better access, as well as adding a new fingerprint scanner.  

The Galaxy Note 3 keeps the classic Galaxy physical buttons and has the S Pen which gives the user extra control without having to touch the screen. Overall, although some users will prefer the solid looks of the HTC One Max, the Galaxy Note 3 just feels and looks outstanding.

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A quality display is probably the key element of any great phablet. The HTC One Max comes with a full HD 5.9 inch display at 373 ppi, while the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 packs a Super AMOLED 5.7 inch display at 386 ppi.

Both phones have spectacular color contrast and brightness, but the Galaxy Note 3 seems to do a little better in direct sunlight. However, the One Max definitely has the bigger size advantage going for it, so this is probably a tie. Both of these phablets have premium quality displays.

Power and memory

The Galaxy Note 3 boasts a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor at 2.3 GHz and 3 GB RAM. On the other hand, the HTC One Max packs an older generation quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor at 1.7 GHz and 2 GB RAM. The Galaxy Note 3 is the clear winner when it comes to raw power, as the One Max definitely needed an upgrade to be able to compete in this race.

The Galaxy Note 3 also wins the storage battle, having a maximum 128 GB storage, compared to the maximum 96 GB storage of the One Max.

Battery life

The HTC One packs a 3300 mAh sealed battery, while the Galaxy Note 3 has a 3200 mAh battery that can be replaced by the user. Samsung definitely went for more flexibility here, while HTC definitely scores a bit better in battery life.

The HTC phablet can withstand 81 hours of stand-by time, so you could use it for two to three days before it needs recharging. But the Galaxy Note 3 is not very far behind with 75 hours of stand-by time for its battery.

Interface and software

Both devices run the latest Android 4.3 version, but have very different interfaces. The HTC One Max is more secure due to its fingerprint unlock option. It also features the Sense 5.5 interface centering on the BlinkFeed updates from thousands of news websites. It also offers an improved experience compared to the previous Sense version by being able to link the BlickFeed to your social media accounts and retrieving only relevant information.

However, the Galaxy Note 3 also introduces a similar option which is My Magazine.

The menus also improved on customization. You can quickly get rid of the apps you don’t need and add new ones to your home screen. It also lets you use two apps at a time, including two browsers, a feature that is a definite plus for the Galaxy Note 3. The S Pen feature also gives users extra speed and efficiency. It lets you move between thousands of apps and files with ease, take instant memos and many other cool features. Overall, the Galaxy Note 3 offers more versatility, while the One Max may be more pleasing for the social junkies.  


The One Max features a 4 MP ultrapixel camera with a back-illuminated sensor (BSI), auto focus, digital image stabilization, White balance presets, Digital zoom HDR, among other options. On the other hand, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 has a 13 MP camera with a ton of features, such as: CMOS image sensor, Auto focus, Touch to focus, digital image stabilization, face detection, smile detection, ISO control, burst mode, digital zoom, geo tagging, HDR, self-timer and more.

The One Max camera has a wider field of view which lets you capture more in your photos, and it is known that the ultrapixel helps enhance photos taken in low-light conditions. However, pictures taken with the One Max appear to lack details and are somewhat pixelated. The camera on the Galaxy Note 3 renders more detail and the photos are much sharper. It also does a better job at rendering true-to-nature colors. So the clear winner in the camera department is clearly the Galaxy Note 3.

Bottom Line

Although the HTC One Max is a fierce competitor with a great design and some pretty unique features, the Galaxy Note 3 hit the nail on the head in most areas of interest. It just boasts more power, it’s more versatile and offers a great overall user experience. Not to mention the better camera and great interface. It seems that the One Max will be preferred by customers who love the One, since it seems to just be a bigger version of it.

Apart from a few modifications, you just get the One with a larger screen and fingerprint unlock. Overall, if a user simply wants a better and faster performance, the Galaxy Note 3 is the clear choice.

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