The fingerprint sensor in HTC’s One Max comes at a cost, said to have lower end Snapdragon

Mobile phone makers live and die by the BOM, which is industry parlance for “bill of materials”. Having worked at a handset company (Nokia), I can tell you right now that pennies matter. If there was a way to add a feature for $1.20 instead of $1.25, then we’d go with the cheaper route, even if the component might have been of lesser quality. Case in point, rumor has it that HTC will release a 5.9 inch version of the HTC One called the One Max. Besides being big, a key feature of the device will be a fingerprint scanner. Unfortunately, that’s not free.

According to @evleaks, who has a track record that’s about as golden as gold can get, the One Max will feature a Snapdragon S4 Pro. That’s the same SoC inside the Nexus 4. Many of you thought the One Max would be a Note 3 competitor, and thus come with a Snapdragon 800, but nope, not going to happen. Some of my sources have told me that the One Max would come with a Snapdragon 600, but it looks like they were wrong too. HTC is going all the way back to the S4 Pro to save a few nickels and dimes.

Now I know what some of you are thinking: The S4 Pro is plenty fast! On the CPU side, yes, you’re not going to get any complaints from me. It’s the GPU that I worry about. The One Max will have a 1080p screen, and that’s not a trivial amount of pixels. The Nexus 4 has a 720p screen, which is why it flies on the S4 Pro inside.

As with any leak, let’s wait until final hardware is out before making conclusions about performance.