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HTC Rhyme. First Impressions
On my way back from London, where I attended the unveiling of HTC Sensation XL I came across another newcomer in the shape of HTC Rhyme. The smartphone comes together with accessories, has intriguing, though risky, design and changed HTC Sense 3.5. No one explicitly labels the model as the phone for female customers, but everything points in this direction: functions of accessories, design coupled with colors and default themes. In this article I would like to share my first impressions and within a week I hope to complete a full review.
Design, Dimensions and Materials
The handset is based on the metal frame and two plastic elements at the back. The upper one is smooth, while the bottom section has soft-touch. The smartphone is pleasant to hold in hands and it does not slip out. HTC Rhyme has average size. You cannot call it compact, but it is definitely smaller than flagship solutions like HTC Sensation.
I tested a coffee colored specimen, though you can also find blue and violet options. The model looks interesting due to fine design details we will mention in the review.
Screen and Controls
HTC Rhyme sports a 3.7″ S-LCD screen with the resolution of 800x480. In terms of characteristics and resulting picture the screen is similar to that of HTC Desire S. Viewing angles and color reproduction are excellent.
Regarding the controls this model is no different from other modern Android handsets: only a couple of hardware buttons (volume and power) complement a large sensor controls block. Above the screen we see light and proximity sensors. The frontal camera is available as well.
Main 5 MP camera is on par with that in HTC Desire S, which is not too impressive. Video recording offers quality of up to 720p.
The phone is built on Qualcomm MSM8255 with a 1 GHz processor. 768 MB of RAM accompany 4 GB of in-built storage for data, while you can also use a microSD card.
I cannot pass a professional judgment in this department as I had only several days of testing. Every day the battery allowed reliable operation from morning till dusk, so there should not be any issue here. Presumably HTC Rhyme has the same operation time as other Android powered devices, i.e. you can count on one day of operation. The battery capacity is 1,600 mAh.
The smartphone attracts with its accessories kit. In the box you will find a branded case, dock station and Charm. Initially the case is difficult to take the phone out, but this problem should ease with time. You definitely need more than two days for that.
The dock station is a beautiful white gadget with the socket, where you have to insert the smartphone with its back down to ensure that slots in the station match the contacts of the smartphone. The charging starts and the phone works in the dock station mode. I liked this approach immensely, though HTC is not the first manufacturer to come up with this accessory.
HTC Rhyme Charm is a small cube of white color (for a coffee model), which connects to a 3.5 mm jack and signals incoming calls, new messages and missed events. This addition is nice, but controversial, because it requires a 3.5 mm jack. Read our full review to know more about Charm and its features.
HTC Sense 3.5
The smartphone has the latest HTC Sense interface, but it differs here slightly from what we will see in HTC Sensation XL and other models. In Rhyme the interface was altered: the lower panel with access to the apps menu is now represented by two icons instead of a large panel as before. Changes affected themes, menu and background colors.
I think people who created new themes and combinations of colors did a good job. More to follow in the review.
Several days of use made me like HTC Rhyme and I found no critical issues in this model. Its success will depend on the pricing, so we have just to wait and see. Read our full review soon if you want to know its difference from the rest of Android solutions on the market and which interesting features were implemented in HTC Rhyme by its developers.
Published 10 October 2011
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