Price (RRP): $$0 on 59 Optus Cap Plan; No outright price
A no-nonsense touchscreen phone, the HTC Rhyme debuts some never-before-seen features, including a rechargeable speaker dock a design feature that helps you find and retrieve it from within the dark, murky interiors of a handbag.
One of the few not-black handsets released this year, the HTC Rhyme’s plastic chassis features three ‘kinda’ turquoise colours that cover the frame and rear of the handset. It’s a unique aesthetic that, without being overly pretty, manages to communicate that the Rhyme is intended for the ladies.
Handset design doesn’t deviate much from other HTC handsets, including the recently reviewed Desire S. It shares this phone’s 3.7 inch capacitive touchscreen, but not the excellent scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass from Corning.
Under the hood, it’s all pretty much standard fare, with the Rhyme running on the same 1GHz processor and Adreno 205 GPU found in the Desire S. The latest version of Google Android – 2.3, Gingerbread – is included, and there’s a microSD slot for storing up to 8GB of music, photos, videos, and apps.
Connectivity has been given a minor upgrade with the Rhyme, shifting Bluetooth 2.1 to 3.0, although most other options remain the same as provided in the Desire S. You’ll still find WiFi 802.11 b/g/n here, as well as GPS, and a downlink of 14.4Mbps when you connect to 3G. The standard microUSB port is also included, covered here by a little hinged door.
The camera is also very similar, with a 5 megapixel rear camera with LED flash and autofocus, and a VGA front camera. It’s possible to record video in 720p HD from the rear camera, too.
Like other recent models from HTC, the Rhyme benefits from the latest version of the company’s overlay to Android: HTC Sense 3.5. This new iteration includes smarter homescreen widgets, a better menu layout, and the same animated weather seen in the HTC Evo 3D and Sensation handsets.
In the box, you’ll find some bonus bits and bobs that make the Rhyme package a strong one. One of these is the “Rhyme Charm”, an LED cube corded to a 3.5mm headphone jack that you can clip to your handbag or shirt. When your mobile phone receives a phone call or message, the LED lights up to alert you to it.
A dock is also included, complete with a three-prong mechanism that will charge your phone when you rest it in the phone recess. With its built-in speaker, it also allows you to listen to music or amplify the alarms from your smartphone clock when needed.
Inner-earphones with a flat tangle-free cord are also included, as is a white slipcase for keeping the handset scratch-free.
Out of the box and in the hand, the HTC Rhyme reminds us very much of the original HTC Desire and to an extent the Desire S. Like the original Desire, the plastic body is easy to grip, although we do like the new “clearwater” colour scheme.
Taking technology from the Desire S should make this handset fast enough for most things, with apps, social networking, and web browsing performing fairly well.