HTC MAX 4G review: From Russia with love
Phonebook is very good indeed
Contact management is one of the strongest points of Windows Mobile. The number of contacts is unlimited, as is the number of fields.
While storing contacts in WinMo is unlimited, searching for contacts is a few years behind the times. Enter HTC's revamped contact list and you're cruising with thumb scrolling and jumping to names by way of the alphabet column on the right.
Windows Mobile was meant for business people so it has contact fields for every possible aspect you can imagine, and if that's not enough, you can always rename a field.
Telephony is uncompromised
Making calls is usually a priority for any cell phone and that still holds true for smart devices such as the HTC MAX 4G. We are happy to report that we didn't experience any problems when calling on the device.
Since the Phone application offers Smart dialing, you hardly ever need to go to the Contacts list to dial a number.
When you put the 4G to your ear, the display automatically switches off to avoid accidental presses. To do so, it uses a proximity sensor like the iPhone. Just for the record, the HTC Touch Diamond relied on the embedded light sensor instead.
No matter the type of sensor, the downside remains, that once the display has gone off when you pick it up to your ear, you have to press the On/Off key to turn it back on when you need it during the call.
You can also activate the display by taking out the stylus, which automatically starts the notes application. It even puts down the call details (the other party name and the time of call) on the note for you, which is as convenient as you might imagine.
The Call log on Windows Mobile devices offers practically unlimited entries but one of the worst looking interfaces available. Luckily, HTC have sprinkled a little of their magic fairy dust and have also added thumb scrolling.
To conclude the phone part of the HTC MAX 4G review, we measured the loudspeaker performance as part of our reviewing routine. You definitely won't miss any calls with it, as it's loud enough to score the Good mark.
Here's how the 4G ranks along several other smart devices. You can find more details about our test, as well as the results of all other tested handsets here.
|Speakerphone test||Voice, dB||Ringing ||Overall score|
|Apple iPhone 3G||66.1||62.1||71.7||Below Average|
|LG KC910 Renoir||69.7||64.7||70.9||Average|
|Samsung i900 Omnia||70,2||64,8||75,2||Good|
|HTC MAX 4G||70,1||80,6||66.6||Good|
|HTC Touch Pro2||74.6||70.0||78.1||Very Good|
|HTC Touch HD||77.7||73.7||76.7||Excellent|
Messaging is well organized
The HTC MAX 4G supports SMS, MMS and email. SMS and MMS share an inbox and a message editor. Thanks to TouchFLO you can enjoy thumb scrolling in the inboxes and through longer messages.
The email client holds no surprises to experienced WinMo users.
Now seems the right time to elaborate on the input options on the HTC MAX 4G. HTC have equipped the device with a set of home-grown keyboards and keypads, most of which are rather nicely designed. Since the default Windows Mobile is hardly usable for anything we are more than happy with the extra effort HTC has put in.
The first keyboard is a full QWERTY, the second one is a SureType offshoot (QW-ER-TY) and, finally, the third one is a regular 9-key multi-tap keypad.
In the applications where screen auto rotation is enabled, you also get larger landscape versions of those keyboards. Unfortunately, except for the web browser, the auto screen rotation and text input paths never cross on the HTC MAX 4G. It's a real shame since the messaging could really use one of those landscape QWERTYs. There's a fix for that as well, you'll find it later on in the Tweaks&Modding section.