Tech Review: HTC Rhyme

The HTC Rhyme is available in 2 colours ‘Clearwater’ and ‘Plum’. From the looks of things the one I have (a sort of purple pinkish colour) is geared towards the fairer of the species!

HTC Rhyme Review

HTC have gone all out on accessories for this one and upon opening the box I’m not disappointed. The Rhyme comes with a ‘desk dock’ that also charges the phone via three pins on the back. It’s magnetic too, so has a reasonable grip on the phone and slightly angles the phone towards you for ease of viewing. Upon inserting the phone it also goes into dock mode, with music controls etc available on the screen for ease of use.

Also in the box, is a cool wired hands-free kit fashioned with a wide but very flat purple wire, matching the phone.

Something I’ve not seen before with regards to accessories pops out of the box next, a purple glowing purse charm (of all things). It flashes when you have calls and notifications. Handy I suppose, just a shame it needs plugging into the phone via the hands-free socket so you need a wire going into your bag to use it. This would work much better wireless.

So onto the phone itself. Start it up and you’re greeted with the Google sign in / registration app. This is a good thing! This means the phone will backup your Contacts, Calender events, Apps, Wi-fi passwords and probably a whole host of other things to your Google account. So should you ever lose your phone, you won’t lose all your important information.

You also have access to the Android Marketplace, which has a vast array of Apps (over 500,000 at last count) to keep those bored fingers busy. The quality is varied, but there are thousands worth a look including Evernote, Google Body, iPlayer, Photoshop Express, Swype, and gamers check out Apparatus.

HTC RhymeThe Android OS has had HTC’s flair and finesse laid over the top in the form of Sense 3.5, and the system enables sleek social network integration. Your friends Facebook pictures will come up when they call you (along with their latest status). Sense also includes a few widgets for the Homescreens, such as Friendstream and Footprints.

Friendstream allows you to combine all of your social networks into one easily readable feed on a Homescreen. Very popular this one. And Footprints will show your geotagged photos.

Also with HTC Sense are some handy security features like ‘Phone finder’ and ‘Remote access / wipe’. So should the worst ever happen you can find / backup / wipe the phone remotely.

On to the hardware. There is a 5 megapixel camera with LED flash on the back and as with most mobile cameras you do get blurry pics with action shots and movement, but when you get a good one there are lots of effects / settings you can mess with to get the picture just right. HTC have put a lot into the features on their cameras, and you get much more than the basic Android UI.

You also get a front facing camera which allows for video calling on apps like Skype and GTalk.

It seems actual buttons are going out of fashion and the Rhyme is another phone that has swapped them for the light-up capacitive kind. I find with these you can sometimes hit a button when aiming for the bottom of the screen, backing you out of whatever your doing or springing a menu on you out of the blue!

The volume controls are still on the side, but no camera button on this one, which is a shame as it’s much easier taking photos if you don’t have to touch the screen.

HTC have done a good job getting their ‘Sense’ overlay to run smoothly and efficiently. It has some really great features and security measures. The Android market is also great for its vast selection of apps and the build quality is of the usual high HTC standards. The accessories that come bundled are solid too, especially the Dock. Although I’m not sure how much the glowey thing would get used!

Nine out of 10

My wife is a big fan of the HTC Desire, and she enjoyed the Rhyme saying it resembled a lovechild of the original ‘HTC Desire’ and a ‘Desire Z’.

But of course MOST importantly, she liked the colour! Not too pink.