When word first started trickling out that HTC considered downsizing One max’s processor and go the Snapdragon 600 way instead of S800, I’ll not lie, I was pretty bummed out. After all, why go the “max” way if you won’t go all the way?

HTC One max2 HTC One max gets redonkulous off contract price tags: $950 in UK, $830 internationally

But then, as pundits tried to explain the inexplicable, it dawned on me: HTC planned to keep the price in check and the best path was to cut a few corners in the raw speed department. And now that the 5.9-incher is official, it’s crystal clear: I was wrong.

So terribly wrong. Despite the scaling back of the phablet’s hardware, Vodafone UK, the exclusive British seller of the One Max, will ask a whopping £600 for it, no contractual strings attached. That’s $956, mind you, which is unwarranted, even for the variant packing 32 GB of on-board storage.

Meanwhile, rumor out of China has it that around those parts the One max will go for the equivalent of 895 US bucks, meaning RMB 5,488. No idea if it’s for the 16 or 32 GB flavor, but either way it’s too damn high.

And according to the same sources, “international” buyers of the 5.9-incher, which probably means folks in most European countries, will not have it any easier, as they’ll be asked to cough up $830, give or take a couple of clams (i.e. RMB 5,088).

HTC One max 21 HTC One max gets redonkulous off contract price tags: $950 in UK, $830 internationally

Finally, a number of Russian retailers have already kicked pre-orders into gear, listing the HTC One max at about $930 (!!!), or 29,990 of their local rubles.

Anyone disgusted? Feeling like running away, a million miles from civilization, just to escape the ridiculously high pricing structure of the handheld? Not so fast. Because while there’s no way to call the One max budget-friendly, it may not be that expensive after all.

Just think about it. UK and Russia are two markets where, from a historical standpoint, mobile tech users have been ripped off since the beginning of time. And if the “international” pricing checks out, $830 converts to about €615, so ultimately the phablet might land stateside for no more than $650. Which is not that crazy when you weigh in the competition, right?

Sources: GSM Insider, Next Power Up