HTC markets its Rhyme Android phone to women, but there are plenty of things to like about this stylish smartphone regardless of one's gender. In Australia the HTC Rhyme is available through Optus.
It's not likely to blow you away but it is a decent Android smartphone and it does include a number of accessories, such as a great docking station.
The docking station has built-in speakers and when the phone is plugged in the handset goes into dock mode, displaying the time and weather and offering easy access to music and your calendar.
The built-in speakers aren't amazing, but they are fine for a small room with sound and the dock also turns the Rhyme into a perfect bedside alarm clock.
Also included in the box is a "Rhyme charm": This plugs into the phone's headphone jack and will glow when you receive an SMS or phone call. It's designed to dangle out of a handbag. You also get a pair of headphones and a pouch for storing them in.
The version of the HTC Rhyme released in Australia has a steel blue/grey body; in the US a version of the Rhyme released on the Verizon network has a plum colour. The phone is just 10.1mm thick, so it's easy to slip into your pocket.
The HTC Rhyme has a 3.7-inch S-LCD touchscreen, with a 480x800-pixel resolution. It's bright and displays text well, but there are other smartphones with more vivid displays.
The phone runs version 2.3 of Google's Android mobile platform — aka 'Gingerbread' — and it runs HTC's Sense UI software. The Rhyme uses version 3.5 of Sense, which includes updated and new widgets and new wallpaper
By default the phone has seven home screens, but you can choose to remove unused ones. A new 'shortcuts and clock' HTC widget offers access to several commonly used functions, such as mail, messages, music, camera and the Android Market.
Overall, Sense 3.5 definitely improves on previous versions.
The camera app has also been upgraded, with face recognition and burst mode added. You can also upload photos automatically to Facebook, which sounds like a recepie for disaster on big nights out.
Despite HTC's Sense UI being packed full of eyecandy, the Rhyme's 1GHz CPU and 768MB of RAM make it a relatively snappy phone to use, with the odd exception (such as the occasional 'stutter' when attempting to unlock the home screen). The phone has a microSD card slot as well as 4GB of internal storage.
The HTC Rhyme's battery should generally last a full day; during our tests this was the case unless we made excessive use of YouTube.
Rating: 4/5 Original review: Ross Catanzariti