This week during Mobile World Congress 2014, Hisense introduced a 6.8 inch 4G smartphone, further blurring the line between phone and tablet. Called the MAXE X1, this device is dubbed as the only smartphone that combines the features of a handset, a tablet, a TV, and a set-top box.
Slated to arrive in March, the MAXE X1 is powered by a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 clocked at 2.3 GHz, 2 GB of RAM, and Android 4.4 "KitKat." The huge 6.8-inch screen provides a 1920 x 1080 display, and there's no mention of a front-facing camera, just a 13MP camera mounted on the back that supports full HD (1080p) video recording as well as panoramic, fast-burst and camera modes.
"In terms of the phone's dimensions, in much the same way that the Samsung Note was designed and sized for a 160 cm (5'3") tall woman, the Hisense X1 was tailored to feel just right in the hands of a 180 cm (5'11") tall man. Yet, the X1's 9.2 mm thickness is perfectly sized for a woman's smaller hands," explains the company's press release.
The specs also include two stereo front speakers, 5.1 Dolby virtual surround technology, three noise-canceling microphones, and an HDMI port that supports MHL device charging. This super-sized phone also supports a mini NFC/Bluetooth phone that weighs only 0.7 ounces, allowing the user to take calls, and send and receive SMS messages without having to whip out the X1 "phablet."
The company's announcement reports that this phone can be used as a "smart" TV box. Owners simply plug the device into an HDMI port on a non-Smart TV and switch the MAXE X1 into "TV Mode." This allows the user to run Android apps on the big screen, and the phone to serve as a wired remote control. How this "TV Mode" is different from any other tablet or phone with HDMI output is unknown at this time.
"Its built-in wireless transmission function also supports content sharing with the TV. In addition to the MHL feature, X1 supports WFD, DLAN, Hisense Sharing as well as other multi-screen sharing protocols," reads the press release.
The Hisense MAXE X1 will be released in March or April in markets worldwide. Currently, the pricing is unknown, so stay tuned. Meanwhile, we've reached out to Hisense to find out what makes the TV Mode unique.