Photo: Courtesy of HTC.
You want one of Apple's snazzy fingerprint scanners but don't want to give into the iOS juggernaut. What's a security-conscious person to do? Well, look no further than HTC. The company announced today the arrival of its HTC One Max, a "phablet" (phone meets tablet) that includes, among other features, a fingerprint scanner on the back of the device. As with the iPhone 5S, you can use it to lock or unlock your screen, in addition to designating up to three different fingers to launch various apps. Unlike the iPhone, however, the Max's scanner cannot be used to authenticate purchases.
The HTC One Max's sizable 1080p display measures 5.9 inches, even larger than the recently released Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Inside, the max has 32 GB of memory, which can be expanded with external storage via the microSD slot hidden behind the removable back cover. It also comes with 50GB of free Google Drive online storage. As for its brains, the Max runs on a 1.7 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and 2 GB of RAM. Its camera is the same Ultrapixel camera as the HTC One.
But how usable is it? Joanna Stern at ABC News says that the scanner is awkwardly placed and requires a little more dexterity: "[Unlike] Apple's TouchID in the home button that just requires a basic tap, you have to swipe your finger quite slow for it to log you in." Therein lies the irony, though: Stern notes that HTC thinks of the sensor as more of a convenience feature than a security one. Womp-womp. (USA Today)