HTC One Max vs. Samsung Galaxy Note 3: Heavy hitters

GSMArena team, 28 October 2013.
Pages: 1234567891011

Display

The HTC One Max and Samsung Galaxy Note 3 are both built around large displays, but the Max comes out on top in terms of sheer size. Both have 1080p resolution and tack-sharp densities of 373ppi and 386ppi respectively (though at this point those are just numbers, there's no perceivable difference in sharpness).

HTC One Max vs. Samsung Galaxy Note 3 HTC One Max vs. Samsung Galaxy Note 3 HTC One Max vs. Samsung Galaxy Note 3
5.9" Super LCD3 on the HTC One Max 5.7" Super AMOLED on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3

The difference between a 5.9" screen and 5.7" screen (both with 16:9 aspects) is around 7%. Since both phones have hardware keys rather than on-screen ones, all of the screen real estate is used for content and that 7% does make a difference (unlike the 5.2" LG G2 vs. 5" phones like the Galaxy S4). It's a small difference though, considering the overall size.

Both displays have spectacular image quality - contrast is amazing even on the LCD screen of the One Max, colors look beautiful and viewing angles are very wide. AMOLEDs get bad rep for their extra saturation, but the Galaxy Note 3's screen modes allow it to achieve perfect sRGB (or keep the extra saturation if you prefer).

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One area where the HTC One Max screen has a clear advantage is brightness - it goes up to 629nits, which is impressive considering the relatively low black levels (which means excellent contrast too). The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 maxes out at about half that, 379nits.

Display test 50% brightness 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
HTC One Max 0.14 224 1591 0.40 629 1572
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 0 149 0 379
Sony Xperia Z1 - - - 0.38 580 1513
Sony Xperia Z Ultra - - - 0.47 467 1001
Sony Xperia Z - - - 0.70 492 705
Huawei Ascend Mate 0.23 222 982 0.67 711 1053
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 0.12 160 1364 0.32 440 1379
Samsung I9505 Galaxy S4 0 201 0 404
HTC Butterfly S 0.15 165 1117 0.43 451 1044
HTC One 0.13 205 1580 0.42 647 1541

Despite the extra brightness, the reflectivity of the One Max screen works against it in direct sunlight and the phablet has only average sunlight legibility, while the Galaxy Note 3 screen is among the best we've seen in this category.

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Nokia 808 PureView
    4.698
  • Apple iPhone 5
    3.997
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    3.997
  • Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III
    3.419
  • Nokia Lumia 925
    3.402
  • Samsung I9505 Galaxy S4
    3.352
  • Samsung Omnia W
    3.301
  • Samsung Galaxy S
    3.155
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 mini
    3.127
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom
    3.118
  • Nokia N9
    3.069
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    2.970
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    2.950
  • HTC One S
    2.901
  • Samsung Galaxy S II
    2.832
  • Samsung Galaxy S II Plus
    2.801
  • Huawei Ascend P1
    2.655
  • Sony Xperia ZR
    2.672
  • Nokia Lumia 900
    2.562
  • HTC One Max
    2.537
  • Nokia Lumia 720
    2.512
  • HTC One
    2.504
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2.462
  • Samsung Galaxy S III mini
    2.422
  • Motorola RAZR i
    2.366
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    2.307
  • Apple iPhone 4S
    2.269
  • HTC Desire 600 dual sim
    2.262
  • HTC One X
    2.158
  • Nokia N8
    2.144
  • Oppo Find 5
    2.088
  • BlackBerry Z10
    2.051
  • Apple iPhone 4
    2.016
  • HTC One mini
    2.003
  • LG G2
    1.976
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia ray
    1.955
  • Samsung Galaxy Camera
    1.938
  • HTC Butterfly
    1.873
  • Huawei Ascend P6
    1.865
  • Sony Xperia V
    1.792
  • Sony Xperia U
    1.758
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    1.691
  • HTC One V
    1.685
  • BlackBerry Q5
    1.682
  • LG Optimus Vu
    1.680
  • LG Optimus GJ
    1.666
  • HTC Desire V
    1.646
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    1.578
  • Samsung Galaxy Core
    1.563
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    1.552
  • LG Optimus 3D
    1.542
  • Nokia Asha 302
    1.537
  • Sony Xperia M
    1.473
  • Nokia Lumia 610
    1.432
  • Gigabyte GSmart G1355
    1.361
  • HTC Desire C
    1.300
  • Nokia Asha 501
    1.270
  • LG Optimus L7
    1.269
  • LG Optimus L9
    1.227
  • Meizu MX
    1.221
  • Sony Xperia E dual
    1.203
  • Samsung Galaxy Pocket
    1.180
  • Sony Xperia tipo
    1.166
  • Samsung Galaxy mini 2
    1.114

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 screen has a couple of hidden extras - the digitizer that allows it to work with the S Pen and the regular capacitive digitizer that can detect fingers from a distance or through gloves (great for winter).

Winner: Tie. The HTC One Max has size and raw brightness going for it, but doesn't do too well in the sun. The Samsung Galaxy Note 3, wins on the sunlight legibility test and thanks to its color profiles gives you the best of both worlds (either extra punchy or very accurate colors). The high sensitivity is also worth a point for the Galaxy Note 3, helping it even the scores here.

Battery life

The HTC One Max has a 3,300mAh Li-Po battery, which is sealed inside the phablet's body. The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 has a user-replaceable battery but it's a Li-Ion unit of slightly lower 3,200mAh capacity. Then there's a difference in chipsets - Snapdragon 800 vs. 600 - and more crucially display tech. LCDs and AMOLEDs have strong and weak points in the various tests.

The first one, the call test, is decided by modem efficiency as the chipset and screen do virtually nothing. Here the HTC One Max lasted a little over 22 hours on a single charge, an impressive 4 hours more than the Galaxy Note 3. That's more than the 100mAh difference can explain, meaning more efficient modem on the One Max.

Talk time

  • Sony Xperia Z1
    26:53
  • Huawei Ascend Mate
    25:12
  • LG G2
    25:01
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    24:23
  • Huawei MediaPad 7 Vogue
    22:16
  • Nokia Lumia 1020
    22:13
  • Motorola RAZR MAXX (ICS)
    21:18
  • HTC One Max
    22:13
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    20:45
  • Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX
    20:24
  • Motorola RAZR i
    20:07
  • BlackBerry Q10
    20:00
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3
    19:54
  • Sony Xperia SP
    19:49
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    18:12
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    18:03
  • Sony Xperia ZR
    17:48
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 mini duos
    17:33
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II N7100
    16:57
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 Active
    16:40
  • Sony Xperia Z
    16:03
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom
    15:32
  • LG Optimus G
    15:30
  • Sony Xperia ZL
    15:22
  • Nokia Lumia 720
    15:17
  • BlackBerry Q5
    14:31
  • Huawei Ascend P6
    14:17
  • Oppo Find 5
    14:17
  • Google Nexus 4
    14:17
  • Moto X
    14:06
  • HTC One
    13:38
  • HTC One X+
    13:31
  • Nokia Lumia 520
    13:33
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 mini
    13:10
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand Duos
    12:45
  • LG Optimus GJ
    12:39
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 GPE
    12:37
  • Huawei Ascend P1
    12:30
  • Sony Xperia L
    12:30
  • HTC Butterfly
    12:18
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    12:14
  • HTC One mini
    12:04
  • HTC Desire 600 dual sim
    11:58
  • Samsung I8530 Galaxy Beam
    11:58
  • Samsung I8262 Galaxy Core
    11:52
  • HTC Desire 500
    11:31
  • Samsung Galaxy Premier
    11:30
  • Asus Padfone 2
    11:20
  • Acer Liquid E2
    11:07
  • HTC Droid DNA
    11:07
  • HTC Windows Phone 8X
    11:07
  • Samsung Wave 3 S8600
    11:07
  • Samsung I9105 Galaxy S II Plus
    11:06
  • HTC Desire X
    11:03
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa)
    11:01
  • Apple iPhone 5s
    10:46
  • HTC One X (AT&T, LTE)
    10:35
  • Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III
    10:20
  • Apple iPhone 5c
    10:18
  • Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III (JB)
    10:15
  • Samsung Galaxy Xcover 2
    10:03
  • HTC One V
    10:00
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    10:00
  • Samsung Galaxy Express
    10:00
  • HTC One X
    9:57
  • HTC One S
    9:42
  • Samsung I9103 Galaxy R
    9:40
  • HTC Sensation XL
    9:30
  • Nokia Lumia 810
    9:05
  • Nokia Lumia 710
    9:05
  • Acer CloudMobile S500
    9:05
  • Motorola Atrix HD
    9:04
  • HTC Vivid
    9:02
  • Nokia Lumia 920
    8:56
  • Nokia Lumia 610
    8:51
  • HTC Rhyme
    8:48
  • Apple iPhone 5
    8:42
  • LG Optimus 3D Max P720
    8:42
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia neo V
    8:41
  • Meizu MX
    8:39
  • Samsung Galaxy S II
    8:35
  • Samsung Galaxy S Duos
    8:28
  • Nokia Lumia 800
    8:25
  • Samsung Galaxy Nexus
    8:23
  • Nokia Lumia 510
    8:22
  • Samsung Galaxy Fame
    8:21
  • BlackBerry Z10
    8:20
  • HTC Desire V
    8:20
  • Samsung Captivate Glide
    8:20
  • Sony Xperia T
    8:15
  • HTC Rezound (LTE)
    8:10
  • Samsung Galaxy Note (LTE)
    8:02
  • LG Optimus Vu
    7:57
  • Gigabyte GSmart Maya M1 v2
    7:42
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    7:41
  • Apple iPhone 4S
    7:41
  • Samsung i937 Focus S
    7:25
  • HTC Evo 4G LTE (LTE)
    7:21
  • Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G
    7:14
  • Nokia Lumia 820
    7:09
  • Sony Xperia acro S
    7:09
  • Samsung Rugby Smart I847
    7:09
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia Pro
    6:57
  • Nokia N9
    6:57
  • HTC Radar
    6:53
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace Duos
    6:53
  • BlackBerry Curve 9380
    6:52
  • Sony Xperia E dual
    6:42
  • Samsung Galaxy S III mini
    6:22
  • Samsung Galaxy Pocket
    5:54
  • Nokia Lumia 900 for AT&T (LTE)
    5:53
  • Sony Xperia ion LTE
    5:52
  • Sony Xperia P
    5:33
  • Nokia 808 PureView
    5:16
  • LG Nitro HD (LTE)
    5:16
  • HTC Titan II (LTE)
    5:10
  • BlackBerry Bold 9790
    5:00
  • Pantech Burst
    4:46

The web browser test is particularly stressful for the devices and, once again, the HTC One Max has a significant advantage over the Galaxy Note 3. The One Max scored over 11 hours, which is close to the best we've seen, while the Note 3 time is solid but still two hours less than the its rival managed.

Web browsing

  • Acer Liquid E2
    12:39
  • LG G2
    11:22
  • HTC One Max
    11:20
  • Sony Xperia ZR
    11:20
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 mini duos
    10:10
  • BlackBerry Q5
    10:04
  • HTC One
    9:58
  • Apple iPhone 5s
    9:58
  • Apple iPhone 5
    9:56
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 mini
    9:47
  • Motorola RAZR MAXX (ICS)
    9:12
  • Apple iPad mini
    9:05
  • Apple iPhone 5c
    9:05
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    9:04
  • ASUS Nexus 7 (2013)
    9:03
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom
    8:51
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II N7100
    8:48
  • BlackBerry Q10
    8:42
  • Nokia Lumia 810
    8:20
  • Asus Padfone 2
    8:20
  • Moto X
    8:17
  • Huawei Ascend Mate
    8:17
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3
    8:17
  • HTC One mini
    8:12
  • Nokia Lumia 610
    8:01
  • HTC One X+
    7:56
  • Sony Xperia E dual
    7:42
  • Samsung Galaxy S III mini
    7:38
  • Nokia Lumia 720
    7:37
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 Active
    7:35
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    7:24
  • Huawei MediaPad 7 Vogue
    7:23
  • Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX
    7:23
  • HTC Radar
    7:17
  • Nokia Lumia 520
    7:15
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 GPE
    7:13
  • LG Optimus GJ
    7:11
  • Gigabyte GSmart Maya M1 v2
    7:10
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand Duos
    7:09
  • Samsung Galaxy Express
    7:09
  • Nokia Lumia 625
    7:07
  • Motorola RAZR i
    7:06
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa)
    6:58
  • Apple iPhone 4S
    6:56
  • Samsung I8262 Galaxy Core
    6:54
  • HTC One V
    6:49
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    6:40
  • Samsung I9105 Galaxy S II Plus
    6:40
  • Sony Xperia L
    6:40
  • HTC Droid DNA
    6:40
  • Samsung Galaxy Premier
    6:40
  • Motorola Atrix HD
    6:40
  • BlackBerry Curve 9380
    6:40
  • Sony Xperia Z
    6:37
  • Samsung Galaxy Xcover 2
    6:35
  • HTC Desire 600 dual sim
    6:34
  • HTC Desire 500
    6:31
  • Huawei Ascend P6
    6:30
  • BlackBerry Z10
    6:27
  • Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III (JB)
    6:27
  • HTC Butterfly
    6:24
  • Sony Xperia SP
    6:18
  • Samsung i937 Focus S
    6:15
  • Nokia Lumia 510
    6:13
  • Sony Xperia ZL
    6:04
  • HTC Windows Phone 8X
    6:01
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    5:59
  • Sony Xperia ion LTE
    5:56
  • Samsung Galaxy Fame
    5:55
  • Samsung Rugby Smart I847
    5:53
  • Pantech Burst
    5:51
  • Nokia Lumia 1020
    5:50
  • Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G
    5:45
  • HTC Desire V
    5:44
  • HTC Evo 4G LTE
    5:41
  • Nokia Lumia 920
    5:40
  • Samsung Wave 3 S8600
    5:34
  • Oppo Find 5
    5:33
  • Sony Xperia T
    5:33
  • Samsung Captivate Glide
    5:33
  • Samsung I8530 Galaxy Beam
    5:28
  • Samsung Galaxy Note LTE
    5:24
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    5:23
  • Samsung Galaxy S Duos
    5:23
  • HTC Sensation XL
    5:20
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    5:19
  • Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III
    5:17
  • Sony Xperia acro S
    5:16
  • HTC Rezound
    5:16
  • HTC Desire X
    5:16
  • LG Optimus G
    5:15
  • HTC Rhyme
    5:08
  • Samsung I9103 Galaxy R
    5:07
  • HTC One X (AT&T)
    5:03
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia Pro
    4:50
  • LG Optimus Vu
    4:49
  • HTC Vivid
    4:46
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace Duos
    4:45
  • Meizu MX
    4:35
  • Google Nexus 4
    4:34
  • Nokia N9
    4:33
  • Acer CloudMobile S500
    4:32
  • Nokia Lumia 820
    4:24
  • Samsung Galaxy S II
    4:24
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia neo V
    4:20
  • HTC One X
    4:18
  • Nokia 808 PureView
    4:14
  • LG Optimus 3D Max P720
    4:10
  • Nokia Lumia 900 for AT&T
    4:10
  • Nokia Lumia 800
    4:07
  • HTC Titan II (LTE)
    4:05
  • HTC One S
    4:03
  • BlackBerry Bold 9790
    4:02
  • LG Nitro HD
    4:00
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    3:59
  • Sony Xperia P
    3:59
  • Nokia Lumia 710
    3:51
  • Nokia Lumia 620
    3:50
  • Samsung Galaxy Pocket
    3:47
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    3:35
  • Huawei Ascend P1
    3:23
  • Samsung Galaxy Nexus
    3:01

Video playback is the one area where the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 outlasts the HTC One Max, but only by 20 minutes. Both phablets posted impressive times of over 13 hours.

Video playback

  • Motorola RAZR MAXX (ICS)
    16:35
  • Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX
    14:17
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    13:32
  • Nokia Lumia 1020
    13:12
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 mini
    13:12
  • HTC One Max
    13:11
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 mini duos
    12:52
  • Apple iPad mini
    12:51
  • Samsung Galaxy Premier
    12:51
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 GPE
    12:32
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    12:30
  • BlackBerry Q5
    12:28
  • Huawei Ascend Mate
    12:18
  • LG G2
    11:51
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa)
    11:29
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II N7100
    11:27
  • BlackBerry Q10
    11:15
  • Apple iPhone 5s
    10:31
  • Apple iPhone 5
    10:12
  • HTC One
    10:02
  • Moto X
    10:01
  • Samsung Galaxy Express
    10:00
  • Samsung I9105 Galaxy S II Plus
    10:00
  • Nokia 808 PureView
    9:53
  • Samsung I8530 Galaxy Beam
    9:42
  • Samsung Rugby Smart I847
    9:34
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom
    9:30
  • HTC One S
    9:28
  • Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III (JB)
    9:27
  • Apple iPhone 4S
    9:24
  • HTC Evo 4G LTE
    9:07
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    8:45
  • BlackBerry Z10
    8:44
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    8:40
  • Nokia N9
    8:40
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3
    8:34
  • HTC Butterfly
    8:28
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    8:25
  • LG Optimus GJ
    8:15
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand Duos
    8:11
  • HTC One X+
    8:11
  • Motorola RAZR i
    8:11
  • Samsung Galaxy S II
    8:00
  • Samsung i937 Focus S
    7:55
  • Samsung Wave 3 S8600
    7:52
  • HTC Desire 500
    7:50
  • Samsung Galaxy S III mini
    7:46
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia neo V
    7:45
  • Apple iPhone 5c
    7:41
  • Asus Padfone 2
    7:38
  • Huawei Ascend P1
    7:38
  • Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G
    7:33
  • Acer Liquid E2
    7:30
  • Samsung I8262 Galaxy Core
    7:30
  • Sony Xperia ZR
    7:30
  • HTC Droid DNA
    7:30
  • Samsung Galaxy Note LTE
    7:30
  • Samsung Galaxy Xcover 2
    7:30
  • Sony Xperia SP
    7:27
  • HTC One mini
    7:23
  • Nokia Lumia 610
    7:23
  • LG Optimus G
    7:16
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 Active
    7:03
  • ASUS Nexus 7 (2013)
    7:03
  • Huawei Ascend P6
    6:55
  • HTC Desire 600 dual sim
    6:49
  • Nokia Lumia 720
    6:43
  • Huawei MediaPad 7 Vogue
    6:40
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    6:33
  • Nokia Lumia 620
    6:32
  • Nokia Lumia 625
    6:29
  • HTC Windows Phone 8X
    6:27
  • Sony Xperia E dual
    6:27
  • Nokia Lumia 810
    6:27
  • HTC Desire V
    6:26
  • HTC One X (AT&T)
    6:26
  • Nokia Lumia 820
    6:25
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace Duos
    6:25
  • Gigabyte GSmart Maya M1 v2
    6:24
  • Nokia Lumia 510
    6:23
  • LG Optimus Vu
    6:23
  • Samsung I9103 Galaxy R
    6:21
  • Nokia Lumia 920
    6:19
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    6:12
  • HTC Sensation XL
    6:12
  • Samsung Galaxy Pocket
    6:06
  • Samsung Captivate Glide
    6:04
  • Sony Xperia ion LTE
    6:03
  • Samsung Galaxy Nexus
    6:02
  • Sony Xperia T
    6:01
  • Motorola Atrix HD
    6:01
  • HTC Vivid
    6:00
  • HTC Radar
    5:54
  • Nokia Lumia 800
    5:52
  • Nokia Lumia 520
    5:50
  • HTC Titan II
    5:50
  • BlackBerry Bold 9790
    5:47
  • HTC One X
    5:45
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia Pro
    5:44
  • Sony Xperia Z
    5:39
  • Sony Xperia acro S
    5:38
  • HTC Desire X
    5:38
  • Pantech Burst
    5:38
  • Sony Xperia ZL
    5:28
  • Meizu MX
    5:27
  • HTC Rhyme
    5:23
  • HTC One V
    5:20
  • Acer CloudMobile S500
    5:18
  • Oppo Find 5
    5:18
  • Nokia Lumia 900 for AT&T
    5:18
  • BlackBerry Curve 9380
    5:09
  • HTC Rezound
    5:03
  • Samsung Galaxy Fame
    5:02
  • Google Nexus 4
    4:55
  • Sony Xperia L
    4:44
  • Samsung Galaxy S Duos
    4:30
  • Sony Xperia P
    4:30
  • LG Nitro HD
    4:17
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    4:14
  • LG Optimus 3D Max P720
    3:28
  • Nokia Lumia 710
    3:27

With wins in two out of three tests and low standby power draw, the HTC One Max scores a highly impressive overall rating of 81 hours. If used moderately, the phablet will easily last you three days and it's all but impossible to kill its battery in one day, even if you stress it real hard.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3's rating is very good too, at 75 hours. However, in virtually any task or use scenario, it will run out of juice a couple of hours before the One Max does. Yes, you can carry a spare battery to double the battery life, but few people do that. Maybe in a few years changing the battery for a fresh one will help the Note 3 outlast an old One Max, but not today.

Winner: HTC One Max. Phablets are expected to have great battery lives and the One Max did splendidly here.

With the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 you can still get three days of moderate usage, but heavy users will run out of juice a few hours sooner than their One Max-wielding collegues.

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