The HTC One Max May Be Inbound, but About That Fingerprint Sensor…

The jumbo version of HTC's flagship phone could follow Apple's lead.

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Jared Newman for TIME

After appearing in countless leaks and rumors, it looks like HTC might finally announce its oversized smartphone, dubbed the One Max.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the HTC One Max will be announced on October 15. Previous reports have claimed that the One Max looks a lot like its critically-acclaimed smaller sibling, but with a 6-inch display, a more powerful processor and a bigger battery. It’ll apparently basically be HTC’s answer to the Samsung Galaxy Note, but without a stylus.

It’ll also have a fingerprint sensor, according to the Journal’s sources and numerous earlier leaks. The sensor is reportedly capacitive, which could provide the kind of accuracy found on the iPhone 5s Touch ID sensor, but it would reside on the back of the phone, underneath the camera lens.

I do worry that we’ll see a lot of “me too” fingerprint scanners from Apple’s competitors that miss the point. The clever thing about Touch ID is that it’s the same Home button you use to turn on the phone. Unlocking the iPhone 5S with a fingerprint requires no extra effort. The fingerprint sensor’s usefulness is also limited without software support. Touch ID allows users to not just unlock their phones, but also to sign into iTunes without entering a password, and Apple’s in a good position to improve Touch ID’s capabilities over time. HTC is just a single hardware vendor, so it’s unclear if the company can do much with the sensor beyond unlocking the device.

Anyway, that’s enough speculation for now. With or without a fingerprint sensor, I’m looking forward to hearing more about the HTC One Max next week.

1 comments
IntangibleGuy
IntangibleGuy

A 6" display is long overdue to round up HTCs product lineup. The fingerprint sensor however makes me shiver because such gimmicks tend to go awry quite easily and then besmirch HTCs otherwise good brand name.

Little is more annoying than a feature prominently displayed that doesn't live up to its promise and users expectations.