HTC One Max vs. Nokia Lumia 1520: Battle of the Giants

In the summer of this year, the film Pacific Rimpitted giant robots against giant deep-sea monsters.Now fast-forward to the winter and a similar battle seems to be raging in the world of smartphones. Both of these devices represent the recent trend of giant display sizes making their way onto smartphones as well as consumer demand for such devices.


Keeping with the theme, the HTC One Max fights from the side of the giant robots while the Nokia Lumia 1520 will be representing the giant monsters. So let’s see which device comes out on top.

Display and Design

Let’s start with the most eye-catching aspect of the two devices, the display. Both the One Max and Lumia 1520 slot into the category of phablets and for this reason sport 6-inch displays. The size may be the same but the displays are different. The One Max comes with a Super LCD3 display with a resolution output of 1080×1920 pixels and effective pixel density of 373 ppi.

The Lumia 1520 has been given an IPS LCD display, which also has a resolution output of 1080×1920 but with an effective pixel density of 367 ppi. Both displays come with Corning Gorilla Glass protection. For any consumer the differences in pixel density are negligible and both devices are similar to each other in terms of their displays.

The difference, however, will be seen in the two devices taking different approaches to their LCDs with the One Max, on paper at least, more equipped to produce a more richer visual experience than the Lumia 1520.

In the real world, there is again no difference between the visual experiences of the two devices as The Lumia 1520 comes with Nokia’s ClearBlack technology, which produces better blacks and as such improves the visual experience up to the standard of the One Max.

The design of the two devices is where differences can be found. The One Max follows in the tradition of the smaller One to offer an aluminium body to wrap around that gigantic display. The Lumia 1520, on the other hand, has also followed the tradition of past Lumias, offering a polycarbonate body to compliment the large display.

The metallic body, while being more premium in feel, restricts the colour offerings of the One to just silver. In keeping with tradition, the Lumia 1520 comes in four colour options of black, white, yellow, and red with the red 1520 receiving a glossy finish while the others receive the matte treatment.


The camera sensors on the two devices also follow a divergent path. The One Max receives the sensor that also featured on the One while the Lumia 1520 receives a brand new sensor. The HTC have brought their 4MP Ultra Pixel camera sensor to the One and while this may seem like a low quality offering, HTC’s Ultra Pixel technology ensures the pictures are comparable to many 8 and 13 MP sensors.

In addition to this the sensor size on the One Max is 1/3that should provide good low light performance and an LED flash to brighten up subjects in the dark. The One Max is capable of recording video at 1080p resolution at 30fps and 720p resolution at 60fps using the rear camera. The front camera is a 2.1MP sensor that allows 1080p video recording at 30fps.

For the Lumia 1520, Nokia again went big with the camera sensor. While the device doesn’t come with the massive 41MP sensor found on the Lumia 1020, Nokia have fitted the Lumia 1520 with a 20MP sensor, bringing it on par with the Xperia Z1.

The massive 20MP camera easily trumps the One Max’s offering and with a sensor size of 1/2.5”, the low light performance, complimented by the dual-LED flash, on the Lumia 1520 also puts it ahead of the One Max. TheLumia 1520 can record video at 1080p resolution at 30fps while the 1.2MP front camera allows recording at 720p resolution at 30fps.


The processor offerings on the two devices are also divergent with the One Max getting slightly lower tech than the Lumia 1520. The One Max receives a 1.7GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor while the Lumia 1520 receives a 2.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor.

The graphics units on the devices also reflects this as the One Max receives an Adreno 320 unit while the Lumia 1520 gets an Adreno 330 unit. The lower clock speed on the One Max does mean that it will be slightly slower than the Lumia 1520 when carrying out various tasks.

While the processors are different, the memory offerings on the two devices are exactly the same. Both devices ship with 32GB internal memory (the One Max has a 16GB variant as well) and 2GB RAM on board. In addition to this, both devices also feature expandable memory slots that can take up to 64GB microSD cards.

Good news indeed for many consumers who carry everything with them in their phones. The batteries on the devices are also very close in terms of capacity with the One Max receiving a 3300mAh unit and the Lumia 1520 receiving a 3400mAh unit.

While the Lumia 1520 will last just a tiny bit longer than the One Max, both phones should still be more than capable of seeing a full day’s use, maybe more, on a single charge.

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