By Joe Levi | October 14, 2013 11:09 PM
And that’s okay
HTC has found a form-factor that looks good, functions well, and is very obviously scalable between small and large — at least when we’re talking about smartphones. Many will tell you that it’s simply not enough. They’ll say that HTC needed to pour the latest and greatest of everything into their newest device. Some will even call this “another nail in the coffin” and will predict that HTC is one step closer to the grave.
One of the hardest things for a consumer electronics company to do is to come up with a really good design. That design must be functional, durable, and it must survive the test of time as consumer tastes change. Let’s look at another company that is all about design and user experience: Apple.
Apple, in case you didn’t know, makes an insanely popular line of phones that goes under the “iPhone” moniker. Perhaps you’ve heard of them, you may have even seen some of their products “in the wild”. Stop for a moment and ask yourself, how do you know it’s an iPhone and not some other phone? It just “looks” like and iPhone, right? Is it an iPhone 5S or just an iPhone 5? Maybe it’s an iPhone 4S or even just an iPhone 4. Other than color, they all look pretty much the same until you get back to the iPhone 3, right? Yes, you and I both know the differences between each of these devices, but the average person does not. They just know that it’s an iPhone, and that’s good enough for them.
That’s what HTC is doing, except instead of changing the insides like Apple is, HTC has managed to take the same exterior design and develop three different sizes around it. That’s not an easy task, but HTC has managed to do it. After having been introduced to any of the devices in the One family, anyone who sees another will immediately recognize it as an HTC. That’s what HTC is after: device recognition, and along with it, brand recognition. It’s done a good job at it, too!
But now we have the uncomfortable topic of “innards” to discuss. Yes, the One max isn’t running the latest and greatest processor. No, it doesn’t have a removable battery. Those are okay, too. We spend far too much time talking about lines on the spec sheet, and although I’d love having a removable battery, I’ll make do with an sdcard slot and a third-party portable battery solution instead.
At the end of the day, people may say the One max is a 7-month old phone in a bigger, phablet body. They’re right. But HTC has done its due diligence to make sure that it doesn’t matter. Give it a chance, and give it a try. No phone is perfect, and despite its shortcomings, I think HTC may have finally hit upon a winning strategy.