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Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs HTC One Max: Rumored Specs

So far, Samsung had the monopoly of the phablet segment, as there was no real threat for its Galaxy Note and Galaxy Note 2 terminals, but as things are about to change as the phablet market will be very competitive this year. We already know which will be two of the best selling models this year, LG’s Optimus G Pro and Sony’s Xperia Z Ultra, and at least two more are yet to come: the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and the HTC One Max.

Since we already know everything about the LG and the Sony phablets, I though we should talk about the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and HTC One Max and put them into a head to head battle, based on the rumored technical specifications that already hit the web.

The South Korea-based company is set to continue the success of the Galaxy Note line up with the unofficially dubbed Samsung Galaxy Note 3, which will be officially introduced on September 4th during a special Unpacked event. A week ago we were telling you that a Samsung insider confirmed for us that the next-gen Samsung phablet will be launched a couple of days before the IFA Berlin 2013 event will open its gates for the public and that the South Koreans will announce the Unpacked event in August.

Samsung will want the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 to make it on the market around the debut of the iPhone 5S, in an attempt to seal some of the customers that were considering Apple’s iOS-powered flagship as their next acquisition.

On the other hand the HTC One Max will be the first phablet developed by the Taiwan-based phone maker and all the reports are indicating that it will borrow the design lines of the HTC One flagship that was introduced in February 2013. Even though we have no official confirmation regarding the HTC One Max release date, the latest rumors are saying that the phablet will run Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie out of the box, suggesting that the handset will hit the market late November or early December.

Other sources are pointing out that the HTC One Max will be officially unveiled at IFA Berlin 2013 tech fair. If so, then there’s no way we will see the HTC phablet coming pre-loaded with Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie as the next major Android update will not be released sooner than October, when Google will celebrate its mobile operating system’s fifth birthday. Personally, I believe that the IFA 2013 launch is most likely to happen.

The winner of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs HTC One Max battle will be judged after seven different rounds. The winner of each round will score 1 point and, as you’ve probably guessed, the smartphone that scores the most points will be the winner of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs HTC One Max battle. We will be judging the smartphones’ performance when it comes to Display, Memory, Connectivity, Camera, Processor, Operating System, and Design. If you are a regular of the website, you probably know that we are also comparing the dimensions and the battery life of the smartphones in our Versus articles, but since there are no details about the Galaxy Note 3 and One Max size and battery and because these rounds are usually decided by a small margin, we though we shouldn’t include them in the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs HTC One Max battle.

Display

Since we’re talking about phablets we’re talking about 5+ inch display and both Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and HTC One Max will sport one. Moreover, since all the high-end smartphones that made it on the market this year come with full HD displays, in order to stay competitive, the two companies will fit displays with 1080 x 1920 pixels resolution.

While the first rumors were suggesting that the HTC One Max will come with a 5.5-inch display, the latest evidence is showing that the phablet developed by the Taiwan-based phone maker will come with a 5.9-inch Super LCD3 display. Of course, a Gorilla Glass 2 layer will be there to protect the screen against scratches.

Even though the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 was expected to pack a 5.7-inch display, because it was initially thought that the South Koreans will follow the pattern of the previous Galaxy Note launches and increase its display with 0.2 inches, most of the tech publications are reporting that the Galaxy Note 2 follow up will come with a 5.9-inch display.

Of course, we will most likely deal with a Super AMOLED panel, but there are some voices around saying that Samsung is also considering using LCD technology for the Galaxy Note 3 screen, depending on the market the terminal goes on sale. Personally, I don’t believe this will happen as the Asian phone maker will stick to its proprietary Super AMOLED touch panels.

Both the Super AMOLED and the Super LCD displays have their ups and downs. They both come with unrivalled contrast and brightness and almost 180 degree viewing angles, the LDC displays are not so accurate when it comes to reproducing black, while the Super AMOLED units are performing poorly under direct sun light.

Since both the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and the HTC One Max will reportedly come with full HD 5.9-inch displays and because the Super AMOLED and Super LCD technologies are equally matched, this round of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs HTC One Max remains undecided.

Memory

I know that some of you guys like to store your music collection on your smartphones, while some like to take tons of photos and videos or install loads of apps from Google Play Store and for that you will need adequate internal storage capacity.

Just like the flagship devices they are based on, namely the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One, the two phablets will come with the same internal storage options. So, the HTC One Maxx is expected to come with either 32 or 64 GB of flash storage, while the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 should have 16/32/64 GB of storage, expandable using microSD cards of up to 64 GB.

The rumor mill also talks about the amount of RAM squeezed inside the two handsets. According to reports, the HTC One Max will pack 2 GB of RAM, while the latest regarding the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 say that the handset will be among the first to sport 3 GB of RAM, along with LG’s Optimus G2.

It’s pretty obvious that since the Sammy phablet has more storage capacity and a greater amount of RAM, it will be the winner of the Memory round of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs HTC One Max battle.

Connectivity

We’ll be dealing with two devices that want to conquer the phablet world, thus we are expecting both to have connectivity features worthy of high-end smartphones. Moreover, the two devices will definitely have identical connectivity specs because their hardware platforms will be similar, both reportedly being underpinned by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chipset.

In my opinion and according to the latest reports, the Samsung  Galaxy Note 3 and the HTC One Max will come with HSDPA, 42.2 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps; LTE-A, Cat4, 50 Mbps UL, 150 Mbps DL, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, DLNA, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0 v4.0 with A2DP, EDR, LE, NFC module,  microUSB v2.0 (MHL 2), USB On-the-go, USB Host, and an infra red port.

Just like you’ve already guessed this round of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs HTC One Max is also a tie.

Camera

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs HTC One Max battle continues with the Camera round. Because the two phablets will definitely borrow the camera sensors mounted on the back of the flagships launched ahead of them, this will be like a Samsung Galaxy S4 vs HTC One camera battle.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 will come with a 13 megapixel sensor with autofocus, LED flash, Dual Shot, Simultaneous HD video and image recording, geo-tagging, touch focus, face and smile detection, image stabilization, HDR, and full HD video recording support. On the other hand the HTC One Max will sport a 4 megapixel sensor with UltraPixel technology packing autofocus, LED flash, full HD video recording support and 1/3” sensor size, 2µm pixel size, simultaneous HD video and image recording, geo-tagging, face and smile detection, and optical image stabilization.

The real life tests have shown that the 13 megapixel camera of the Galaxy S4 (which, as I was mentioning above, will be shared with the Galaxy Note 3) is outperforming the UltraPixel sensor. The latter one, on the other hand, is showing better results when used in low light condition without the LED flash.

But we shouldn’t forget that the two cameras also come with some specific features. The HTC’s unit comes with Zoe which is a cool family of features. Still, they are not cool enough to outmatch the feature-packed camera sensor used for the Samsung terminal, which brings Dual Shot and Video, Cinema Photo, Sound and Shot, Eraser, Drama Shot, and many other goodies.

This round of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs HTC One Max battle goes to the phablet developed by the South Korean company. +1 Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

Processor

As more companies introduce new high-end smartphones I notice that the smartphone market is currently dominated by two players: Qualcomm, with its Snapdragon 600 and 800 SoCs, and Samsung which is keeping its Exynos 5 Octa chipsets for themselves.

As you probably anticipated the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and HTC One Max will be underpinned by chipsets manufactured by the two aforementioned companies.

While all the reports are saying that the HTC One Max will come with a Snapdragon 800 chipset at 2.3 GHz, there’s a bit of confusion regarding the processing solution used for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

Rumor has it that the South Korean company will ditch its proprietary Exynos 5 Octa chipset over the Snapdragon 800 SoC. My guess is that the Galaxy Note 3 will come in two variants, just like the Samsung Galaxy S4, only that the Snapdragon 600 will be replaced by a Snapdragon 800 unit.

Therefore, depending on the market, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 will be powered either by an Exynos 5 Octa SoC (4 Cortex A15 cores at 1.8 GHz + 4 Cortex A15 cores at 1.2 GHz) or a Snapdragon 800 SoC with quad-core Krait 400 CPU clocked at 2.3 GHz. The latter one will probably be available for the markets with LTE and LTE Advanced support.

Since the two phablets will come with identical processors, this round of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs HTC One battle has no winner.

Operating System

As I was mentioning above, the rumor mill says that the HTC One Max wil run Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie out of the box, but I am sure that this is pure fiction, as the Taiwan-based phone maker won’t wait until the next major Android update is revealed to introduce its phablet. It would be too late for them and they will lose the race on the market against the Galaxy Note 3.

Sine the rumors saying that Android 4.3 Jelly Bean is just around the corner are intensifying, I am confident that that the two terminals involved in the battle will both run it out of the box. As you probably know, both HTC and Samsung have developed their own interfaces for Android, Sense and TouchWiz Nature UX, respectively.

HTC’s Sense is an interesting Android skin, but besides that BlinkFeed function which brings a stream of news on your front page, there’s nothing revolutionary about it. Whether you like it or not, Samsung did a great job with the TouchWiz by introducing lots of features that received positive reviews: Air Gestures and Controls, Smart Pause, Direct Call, Smart Stay, and many other similar goodies.

Because Samsung’s TouchWiz is by far the most innovatory interface of the Android environment, this round of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs HTC One Max battle goes to the Sammy phablet.

Design

All the reports are indicating that both the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and the HTC One Max will borrow the design language introduced by the flagships launched ahead of them.

Even though most of the times the design aspect of a smartphone is a matter of taste, there’s no doubt that the HTC One Max will b e the better looking of the two. In fact, I am expecting it to be gorgeous, just like the HTC One.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 will look like a Samsung Galaxy S4 on steroids, having  a plastic case with a removable back lid (I know that are many of you who appreciate this feature) with an shiny bezel around the edges, looking like aluminium but made of plastic.

The HTC One Max will, as anticipated, look like a fat HTC One, but you can’t say you don’t appreciate the lines of the Taiwanese flagship device. Made of aluminium and screaming premium, the HTC One is the most beautiful smartphone that ever saw the light of day. So will be the HTC One Max. Only bigger. I like HTC’s attention to details, how the camera blends perfectly with the back of the smartphone and how a thick smartphone can look very thin because of its curved design. It’s a masterpiece.

There’s no doubt that this round goes to the HTC One Max.

Conclusions

Here we are at the end of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs HTC One Max battle and we are to see which of the two phablets has won it. I have to admit it, I was expecting a close battle, but not this close.

Out of the seven rounds three were ties, as the two handsets were equally matched when it came to Display (both will have 5.9-inch full HD screens), Connectivity (the connectivity features of the two will most likely be identical), and Processor (both models will use a Snapdragon 800 chipset).

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 was superior in three rounds, courtesy of its higher storage capacity and amount of RAM, better camera sensor, and Samsung’s proprietary TouchWiz Nature UX interface, managing to win the Memory, Camera, and Operating System rounds. That’s three points for the South Korean phablet.

Even though the HTC One Max was equally matched with the Galaxy Note 3 in three rounds, it lost another three, but managed to secure one important point in the Design round.

The final result is Samsung Galaxy Note 3 3 – HTC One Max 1. At least this is our opinion. You may think otherwise, so let us know in the comments section below. Also keep in mind that the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs HTC One Max battle was based on rumored technical specifications, so the result might change when the two terminals are officially introduced. In the meantime, feel free to use the comments section to let us know your opinion.