The HTC Rhyme is a phone like no other from HTC on Verizon Wireless’s network. While HTC doesn’t come out and bluntly say it, it’s obvious that the HTC Rhyme is a phone for women, or for some men out there. From its purple color and charm accessory to the peaceful wallpaper of a woman walking with her bright purple umbrella on a wet street, everything about this phone screams “lady phone”.
Besides trying something for women with the HTC Rhyme, HTC also decided to focus on something else with this phone: accessories. The HTC Rhyme on Verizon Wireless comes with a number of accessories right out of the box, the number being the new charm that lights up to notify one of missed calls, emails, and messages.
Besides being dubbed as the “lady phone” does the HTC Rhyme have what it takes to compete with other phones in its class? Is it worth getting? Find out in my review of the HTC Rhyme on Verizon Wireless.
- Build: The build on this phone is great. It feels like it is made out of top-notch material. Holding the phone feels right. It’s not too heavy, not too light.
- Battery life: The 1600mAh battery will power your phone for hours without needing a recharge
- Accessories: The number of accessories that you get bundled with this phone is great. Right out of the box, you get a speaker dock, tangle-free headphones, and charm that lights up to notify you of missed calls and messages.
- Processor: The 1GHz snapdragon processor makes things fast. Yes, it’s no dual-core processor, but then again, this isn’t a high-end phone like the Galaxy Nexus or Droid RAZR.
Not all is good in the land of the lady phone. During my testing, there were a few things that I didn’t like about the phone. Here they are:
- Small display – In the land of phones with screen sizes as big as 4.65 inches, it would have been great if the Rhyme had at least a 4-inch display
- Lack of color options – I know that this phone is supposed to be a lady phone, but why not offer more colors. Not all women like purple. While the phone is available in two other colors in other parts of the world, it’s only available in plum in the U.S.
- No 4G LTE – Now that Verizon Wireless has 4G LTE in over 178 markets in the U.S., it would have been good if this phone had access to the higher speeds
- Non-replaceable battery – The battery on the Rhyme is not user replaceable. It’s not a deal breaker, but it does suck that you can’t replace the battery.
Hardware / design
HTC went hard at work with the HTC Rhyme to try and make it look different from other HTC phones, but in the end, it differs only slightly from the typical HTC phone you’re used to seeing. It borrows the same unibody design that you’ve seen in the HTC Radar, Flyer tablet, and HTC status. Holding the Rhyme feels like holding the Incredible S, but in a thinner body. The phone is graced with a smooth back and round edges that makes it a delight to hold.
On the front of the phone you have your 3.7-inch WVGA touchscreen display with front-facing VGA camera, flashing LED notification light, Verizon logo, and proximity sensor. The bottom of front display has your typical Android home, menu, back, and search capacitive touch buttons.
The edge of the screen meets the metal purple body of the phone which wraps around to the back and makes it look like a metal strap for the phone’s display.
I was a little disappointed with the small 3.7-inch display size. The display itself is decent, but the size wasn’t for me. If you prefer small screen sizes, like then maybe you’ll like the Rhyme’s smaller display. I think that it would have been better if HTC went with a bigger display, at least a 4-inch display.
On the back of the phone you have the 5-megapixel rear-facing camera with LED flash that is capable of capturing video at 720P HD, a low power speaker, and 3 small gold-platted electrical charging points that are used when the phone is docked to the speaker dock that comes included in the box. Also gracing the back of the phone is HTC’s logo in the phone’s metal body.
The bottom cover on the phone comes off to reveal the micro SD card slot that is easily accessible. The phone comes with an 8GB microSD card that provides a lot of room for storing pictures, music, movies, and apps. Unfortunately, the phone’s internal storage is only 766MB.
If you can’t find a battery after removing the back cover, it’s because HTC decided to include a non-removable one. I can understand if they did this in order to achieve something greater, like making the phone super-slim, but in this case, I don’t in this case, there’s no reason for removable battery to not be included.
Along the top of the phone, you have you typical 3.5mm headphone jack, power button, and a noise-cancelling microphone. The right edge features nothing but a volume rocker with the left side housing nothing but the micro-USB port. The micro-USB port is covered by a flimsy piece of plastic. Surprisingly, it stayed intact during my whole time with the phone. The bottom of the phone is graced with nothing but a microphone. So, HTC kept it pretty simple with this one.
Internally, the HTC Rhyme features a 1GHz single-core Snapdragon processor, while it’s no dual-core, you still see the speed and power of the processor. That coupled with the 768MB of RAM makes navigating through the phone fast and smooth. It would have been even better if they would have just given the phone a full 1GB of ram instead.
For storage, the Rhyme comes with 1Gb of internal space with an 8GB microSD card.
All of this hardware is inside a phone that measures 4.69 x 2.39 x .43 inches (119.13 x 60.7 x 10.9 mm) and weighs just 4.58 ounces or 130g.
The 3.7-inch WVGA display isn’t Super AMOLED Plus material, but it does a pretty good job. The viewing angles are great from far left and far right, and the display offers bright and sharp images. Under strong sunlight, as expected, it was a little hard to view things on the WVGA display. Increasing the brightness solved that problem sometimes. Overall, the display on the Rhyme is good.
The HTC Rhymes runs on Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread. Lying on top of Android is version 3.5 of their custom UI. When it launched, the Rhyme was actually the first phone to launch with the new version of the Sense UI. Sense 3.5 features new animations, and a completely revised look and feel. The widgets have been moved to the side of the screen on the home screen. The clock and weather widgets have been reduced in size and now appear on the bottom of the screen in a less conspicuous manner.
As usual, you get your fair share of Verizon bloatware such as V Cast Music, V Cast Videos, VZ Navigator, My Verizon Mobile. Other apps that come pre-loaded on the Rhyme include Amazon Kindle for reading ebooks, Endo-mondo for tracking exercises, and Polaris Office for document editing.
Performance and battery life
While it’s true that the processor in the Rhyme isn’t a dual-core that you’re used to seeing on high-end phones, it still does a good job. The 1GHz processor paired with the 768MB of ram give the Rhyme enough power to get the job done without feeling too tired. Moving between screens felt fast and very responsive. Sometimes, once apps were opened, I did start to experience some lag when switching between screens. I guess the extra ram wouldn’t have hurt in this situation. When it comes to quadrant scores, the Rhyme scored anywhere from 1,500 to 1650 during my tests.
When it comes to battery life, I was really impressed. I guess that was expected considering the fact that the Rhyme features a 1600mAh battery with 3G connectivity (4G is a battery drainer). I was able to go the entire day on a single charge, and I’m a heavy user. I use my phone with multiple email accounts, Twitter, Facebook, Google +, Reddit (lots’ of Reddit via Bacon Reader), so to go the whole day without requiring a recharge until late at night is pretty impressive. HTC promises 7 hours of active use on the phone, and I was able to get more than 7 hours on a single charge. So the Rhyme is definitely a winner when it comes to battery life.
The Rhyme features two cameras; a front-facing VGA camera, and a rear-facing 5-megapixel camera that is capable of recording video at 720P HD resolution. The camera app features a bunch of cool little effects that you can set on the pictures that you take, such as distortions, vignettes, black and white, dots, and more.
In addition to effects, the camera app also lets you select a number of scenes to help you take better pictures. Scenes include auto, portrait, landscape, action burst, panorama, and backlight HDR. If you want more control over your pictures, there are additional settings for the seasoned photographer.
When it comes to taking pictures, I was very happy with the quality of the pictures produced by the HTC Rhyme. The shutter lag is very low, which means that you’re able to snap pictures very quickly.
The back camera captures video at resolutions up to 720P HD. If that’s too much for you, there are options to produce smaller videos, with the lowest setting being MMS quality at 176 x 144 resolution. The front camera maxes out a 640 x 480 resolution. Take a look at some of the sample pictures and videos shot with the HTC Rhyme below.
HTC Rhyme camera sample
HTC Rhyme 720P Video Sample
Mobile viewing link
The Rhyme is not like your typical phone for phone, it’s purple and marketed towards women. Second, it comes with a so much free stuff, well, 3 to be exact. Inside the box, you will find three cool accessory that comes standard with every HTC Rhyme: the speaker dock, light-up charm, and tangle-free earphones.
The main of the three items that HTC pushes with the Rhyme is the notification charm. The notification charm is nothing more than a glorified notification led. When you have your Rhyme in your purse on vibrate or mute, like at a meeting or at in the theater, you keep the HTC Rhyme Charm dangling out, so when someone sends you message or you get a missed call, it lights up to notify you, and iIt does a great job at doing that.
A nifty little thing that HTC could have done to make the Charm more effective was if it the phone sensed when the charm was inserted and automatically muted the phone. After all, if you’re using the charm, chances are you’re using it because you don’t want the phone to ring. That’s not the case though; you still have to make sure that your ringer is off if you don’t want your phone to make any noises while using the Charm.
The second accessory is the tangle-free earphones. It’s nice that these earphones don’t tangle. Surprisingly, the audio quality they produced was also good. Don’t get it twisted (pun intended) here; these aren’t any Beats by Dre headphones on an HTC phone, but for free and tangle-free, they do a pretty good job.
My favorite accessory on that came with Rhyme was the speaker dock. As you can imagine from its name, the speaker dock is a dock that is also a speaker. I was really surprised by the quality of the sound emitting from the speaker dock; it is definitely a keeper.
The speaker dock also holds the phone at a nice angle, which is great for watching videos and navigating the phone when it’s docked.
Besides being asked countless times why I was rocking a cute purple phone, I had a good time reviewing the HTC Rhyme. Overall, the phone is pretty decent phone, and I’m pretty sure that many of the women (and some men) who pick up this “lady phone” will be very happy with it.
I was happy with the speed of the phone (especially since its a single core CPU. The phone doesn’t feel too light or too heavy and feels like it’s made out of quality HTC material. The number of free accessories that comes with the phone are also a major +.
I’m sure that HTC could have done many things to make the Rhyme an even better device. Maybe we’ll see an improvement in a successor, if there’s ever one made.
For more information on the HTC Rhyme, check its product page at HTC.com. The HTC Rhyme can be purchaseddirectly from Verizon Wireless. The phone sells for $199.99 when you sign a new 2-year contract with a qualifying data plan. If you prefer going contract-free, the phone will set you back $439.99.