HTC is known for the stylish and solid designs of their phones that would cater to the male and female market. Their entry-level phones, particularly the HTC ChaCha and the HTC Wildfire S, have colors that would really appeal to the ladies.
What they’re missing are phones for the ladies who don’t want just the basics. So they turned to the HTC Desire S and made it more ladylike with the HTC Rhyme which was introduced last year. It has the solid specs of the Desire S but with the feminine look of the Wildfire S.
Read on to see how ladies would appreciate one of the most beautiful phones we’ve played with.
The HTC Rhyme in my opinion has the perfect size for a lady’s hand. It’s not grotesquely large and it’s also not too light to feel too fragile. The color we have here is called Clearwater Blue which looks really nice with its different shades of soft blue.
The frame on the front smoothly curves outward highlighting the 3.7-inch Gorilla Glass display with the Android touch panels underneath. On its left side you would see the flap that opens to its microUSB port. A bit annoying to open every time you want to charge but it’s there to make the design look seamless.
On top is the Power/Sleep button and also the audio jack. On its right is just the volume controls. No dedicated camera button here which the ladies would really appreciate.
The back is made of aluminum and hard plastic in three shades of blue giving it a nice accent. You’ll see the 5-megapixel lens and its LED flash beside the tiny speaker grill. Below that are contact points for the included dock.
We’ve been using this unit extensively for a few weeks now without any protective casing (although there’s one included in the box) and were impressed with the durability of the materials used. No scratches whatsoever.
What’s in the box?
When you buy the HTC Rhyme, it comes complete with a lot of accessories. First time for HTC or most phone manufacturers for that matter.
First you’ll get your in-ear earphones (not Beats) with wide, flat cables making it less prone to tangling. There’s also the aforementioned hard pouch in matching colors.
There’s also the charm which you plug in to your audio jack and it lights up whenever you receive a message or a call. What you do is leave your phone inside your bag and leave the charm hanging out so you don’t need to expose your phone every time you want to check if somebody messaged you. I’m sure the ladies would find this useful.
Lastly, there’s the dock which you can connect to your PC or to a power source via USB. Just place the Rhyme on the dock to charge or to access its contents from the PC. The phone also has a dock mode which offers you a different display suited for landscape mode.
Display and UI
While some phones are gunning for the 4-inch and above display, the HTC Rhyme has a modest 3.7-inch SLCD display with a very decent 480 x 800 resolution which should be enough for most ladies out there. The screen looks really vibrant and clear and I would choose this over those Super AMOLED types because it gives a “œwhiter” white.
The Rhyme uses a different kind of HTC Sense 3.5 UI on top of Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread. Aside from widgets, you can now do more from the homescreen with pull-out tabs for Mail, Messages, Music, Camera and Market. They also simplified the static buttons to just the Apps and Call function.
The lockscreen allows you to quickly open to Phone, Mail, Camera or Messages when you unlock. I find it really useful especially when I need to quickly take a photo. Just slide the Camera button on the ring and you’re all set. This lockscreen is also customizable if you want to use your own set of apps.
In terms of performance, the Rhyme feels pretty much the same as the Desire S. Its 1GHz processor and 768MB RAM is very capable to suit your everyday needs. The Adreno 205 GPU is enough to handle your average games smoothly and play flash videos straight from the browser.
Here’s the Quadrant score (1502) of the HTC Rhyme which is above the norm for its class:
Overall, everything runs really smoothly. UI animations are not a problem and switching to different apps is very snappy. Despite not having the latest technology, this phone is already a testament of what a good user experience should be like.
Voice calls are clear as well even in speaker mode. No call drops experienced at all and it even has a call block feature for each contact.
Multimedia and browsing
The Rhyme also doubles as a handy multimedia player. The 4GB internal storage is clearly not enough but you can slap in an up to 32GB microSD for additional space.
Video plays really well including DivX files downloaded and transferred to the SD card. No stuttering or any problems whatsoever. Music files are automatically included in the Music app along with their tags, album art and playlist.
For the ladies out there who loves to play games on their handset, this phone can run your typical games like Angry Birds, Bejeweled, Paradise Island, etc. very smoothly.
Web browsing is also not a problem here. Pages render fast and correct and the 3.7-inch display should be enough for mobile browsing. Download the Adobe Flash Player from the Android Market and you’re all set in viewing multimedia contents on your web browser. Flash videos play quite nicely including online Live streaming.
The 5-megapixel camera on the HTC Rhyme outputs very decent photos if you’re not after those huge resolution photos. It also comes with built-in effects and filters if you want to get creative with your shots.
Here are some sample photos taken with the HTC Rhyme:
At 100% crop it can be smudgy and you can some oversaturation but it’s barely noticeable at smaller resolution. It performs impressive as well even when indoors. Surprisingly one of the best camera phones from HTC. It can also record 720p HD videos by the way.
The 1600mAh battery on the Rhyme is even better than some of its brothers with higher specs. You can do well over a day on a single charge with your usual WiFi, surfing, FB,Twitter and photo-shooting on this phone.
Truly the HTC Rhyme is a lady’s phone. You don’t have the latest and most powerful specs or the biggest screen but often times, women aren’t after that. They want something that looks really nice and unique, a phone that feels good to handle, nice contacts management, with decent camera and can handle your usual apps without any problem. And ladies (or men wanting to get this for their girl), the HTC Rhyme fits the bill like a glove.
There’s really nothing bad to say about this phone because it is what it is without pretending it can do more. Kudos to HTC for giving the ladies the a phone that they can really call their own.
The HTC Rhyme now has an SRP of Php20,800 and only in the ClearWater Blue color. If you want the Plum color, you need to outsource it from other Southeast Asian countries.
|HTC Rhyme Specs:|
|1GHz Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon|
|Adreno 205 GPU|
|Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread|
|3.7-inch capacitive SLCD Gorilla Glass display (480 x 800)|
|HTC Sense 3.5 UI|
|4 GB ROM, 768 MB RAM, microSD up to 32GB|
|HSDPA, 14.4 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps|
|Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP. EDR|
|Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot|
|5 MP autofocus camera with LED flash, VGA front cam|
|Video recording at 720p @ 30fps|
|GPS + AGPS|
|116.8 x 61 x 10.1 mm|
|Li-Ion 1600 mAh battery|
|SRP: Php25,000 Php20,800|