HTC Unveils One Max Smartphone With 5.9-Inch Screen

The new device is one of a growing number of phablets Samsung and others that are bringing larger displays to smartphones.

HTC officials are coming out with their One Max oversized smartphone a day early, showing off an Android device that comes with an oversized screen and fingerprint scanner.

The company reportedly unveiled the device Oct. 14 after details of the One Max were released early on the Internet. HTC officials were expected to launch their latest offering Oct. 15 during a press conference in China.

Despite a change in the release date, HTC executives were buoyant about the new device, which helps move the company into the burgeoning “phablet” space and round out the company’s lineup of HTC One mobile devices.

"The addition of the HTC One max means that we now have an HTC One phone for everyone,” HTC CEO Peter Chou said in a statement. “The family has been built on quality and game-changing innovations and the HTC One max is certainly no exception."

HTC officials are hoping the One Max will help the company regain more solid financial footing after a fiscal quarter that saw HTC post its first losses ever. HTC, which has a reputation for making solid products that continue to have difficulty competing with Apple’s iPhone and mobile devices from Samsung, lost $101 million during the most recent quarter and has had to deal with news stories in which anonymous company executives pointed to Chou’s management style and vision as key contributors to the company’s financial issues.

HTC also has become the subject of various rumors about its future—most recently speculation that Lenovo, the world’s top PC maker, was interested in buying the company, and that officials were talking with Microsoft about possibly expanding the operating systems it supports and offer Windows-based devices in the future.

Despite all that, HTC executives are hoping the One Max will propel the company forward, with Chou saying the new features—from the fingerprint scanner to the larger screen size to the addition of the new HTC Sense 5.5 user interface software—will enable the phablet to deliver “the size and power required to do everything you want, and more, without compromise.”

The device, powered by Qualcomm’s ARM-based 1.7GHz Snapdragon 600 chip, includes a high-definition 5.9-inch screen, 32GB onboard memory that can be expanded, and HTC’s BlinkFeed (home screen), Zoe (photos) and BoomSound (audio) features. The built-in fingerprint scanner is located on the back of the device and is designed to make it more convenient for users who tend to check their phones multiple times during the day. Users can lock or unlock the screen using the reader, and quickly launch up to three favorite apps by assigning an individual finger to each one.