The phablet (hybrid of phone and tablet) market is gradually gaining precedence, as the demand for mid-range screen sizes has increased given the need for multi-tasking and gaming on portable smartphones as opposed to tablets. The era of Samsung's domination in the phablet market is under threat, as HTC's One Max, Sony's Xperia Z Ultra and LG's Optimus G Pro pose a serious challenge to the likes of the Note series that includes the highly-anticipated Galaxy Note 3.
The Galaxy Note 3 is expected to debut around the same time as the iPhone 5S, in a bid to garner a considerable portion of Apple's market share at the time of its release. In contrast, HTC One Max is touted as the first phablet created by the Taiwan-based phone maker with the latest reports suggesting that the new phablet will borrow several design elements from the immensely popular flagship phone, the HTC One.
IBTimes UK brings you a comprehensive features comparison between the two upcoming flagship phablets, HTC One Max and Galaxy Note 3, based on the rumoured specifications till date.
Galaxy Note 3 vs One Max: Display
The Galaxy Note 3 is likely to feature a 5.9in full HD (1080 x 1920 pixels resolution) Super AMOLED display, which is contrary to earlier expectations that the device will pack a 5.7in display. Several rumours also suggest that Samsung may implement LCD technology on its Note 3 screen, which contradicts Samsung's tradition of sticking to its proprietary Super AMOLED touch panels.
The HTC One Max is also touted to incorporate a 5.9in full HD Super LCD 3 display, as opposed to initial rumours suggesting a 5.5in display.
Both the Super AMOLED and LCD screens are known to deliver unrivalled contrast and brightness levels with up to 180 degree viewing angles. While LCD displays fail at reproducing accurate blacks, the Super AMOLED units perform badly under direct sunlight.
Galaxy Note 3 vs One Max: Processor and Memory
Several reports hint that the HTC One Max will be powered by a Snapdragon 800 chipset with quad-core Krait 400 CPU (clocked at 2.3 GHz) and paired with Adreno 330 GPU. However, there is some uncertainty over the processor model used for the Note 3.
Speculation is rife that the South Korean company will opt for the Snapdragon 800 SoC over its proprietary Exynos 5 Octa chipset. Though, the possibility of Note 3 shipping in two variants (Snapdragon 800 and Exynos 5 Octa) just like the flagship Galaxy S4 cannot be ruled out. The Snapdragon 800 variant is likely to enter markets supporting LTE and LTE Advanced technologies.
Rumour has it that the One Max will ship 2GB of RAM, while the Note 3 is speculated to be the first phablet to debut 3GB of RAM, along with LG Optimus G2.
Galaxy Note 3 vs One Max: Operating System
Contrary to earlier rumours suggesting that the HTC One Max would debut the release of Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie in late November or early December, it is now speculated that both Note 3 and One Max will feature Android 4.3 Jelly Bean out of the box. Leaked Android 4.3 Jelly Bean firmware has already been tested and rooted on the flagship Galaxy S4 Google Edition (GT-I9505G), which further strengthens this claim.
The One Max is likely to retain the HTC's Sense UI with BlinkFeed function, while the Note 3 will continue the tradition of TouchWiz UI with a host of power-packed features such as Air Gestures and Controls, Smart Pause, Direct Call, Smart Stay and more.
Galaxy Note 3 vs One Max: Camera
On the camera front, the HTC One Max will pack a four-megapixel UltraPixel camera (borrowed from the HTC One), which also features autofocus, LED flash, full HD video recording support, simultaneous HD video and image recording, geo-tagging, face and smile detection, and optical image stabilization.
On the other hand, Note 3 is expected to offer a 13 megapixel sensor with autofocus and LED flash. Its other camera features include dual shot, Simultaneous HD video and image recording, geo-tagging, touch focus, face and smile detection, image stabilization, High Dynamic Range (HDR), and full HD video recording.
Various real-life tests indicate that the UltraPixel sensor revels in producing better image clarity even in low-light conditions without LED flash. However, Samsung's 13 megapixel camera on the Galaxy S4 reportedly outperformed the UltraPixel sensor on HTC One across various tests.
The only notable native camera feature on the One Max is HTC Zoe. In comparison the Samsung phablet will come with a host of attractive features including Dual Shot and Video, Cinema Photo, Sound and Shot, Eraser, Drama Shot and more.
Galaxy Note 3 vs One Max: Connectivity
On the connectivity front, both the handsets will pack similar features including Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP, Near Field Communication (NFC), infrared port and support for 4G and LTE networks.
Galaxy Note 3 vs One Max: Storage
The One Max is expected to ship in a single storage variant of 32GB, while its Samsung counterpart is likely to offer 16GB, 32GB and 64GB storage variants with support for microSD expansion up to 64GB.
Galaxy Note 3 vs One Max: Battery
The HTC One Max will offer a 3300 mAh battery, while there is no word on the battery details for the Galaxy Note 3.
Galaxy Note 3 vs One Max: Price and Release Date
Although there is no word on the price details between the two phablets, it is likely to follow the pricing trend of its predecessors.
Latest reports suggest that the HTC One Max will be officially unveiled at the IFA Berlin 2013 tech fair, while it is widely speculated that the next-gen Galaxy Note phablet will be launched a couple of days ahead of the IFA Berlin 2013 event. In other words, Samsung could officially announce the Galaxy Note 3 on 4 September, during a special unpacked event.