By Maria Boggan
Smartphones nowadays are all about the oft-masculine mantra “bigger is better.” Touchscreen displays are reaching excesses of 4.5 inches, and the phones themselves are often so large that the overall size of them have literally gotten out of hand. I realize that majority rules and there are alternatives out there and some of them are decent but there still hasn’t been an option for the female side of the spectrum. I’m not expecting a “pink power” fluffy powder scented phone, or something overly feminine either, but give us something that’s actually geared towards us. I was starting to give up on hope of something like this ever happening until our Fed-Ex guy dropped off the new HTC Rhyme here at Nerd News. Normally, Rob gets first dibs on the phones but I’d heard so much about the Rhyme that I decided to test it out for myself. Prayers answered. A feminine looking phone, with accessories to match. This is awesome! But does it work as good as some of the other phones I’ve owned or is it just another pretty face? Check out my review of the HTC Rhyme
Once I removed it from the packaging, the first thing I noticed was the beautiful grape exterior, and the soft touch finish coating the entire phone. I’ve used some clunkers before and some light phones as well, and the Rhyme definitely fits in as one of the lightest phones I’d ever used before. Compared to the Droid Charge I’m currently using, phone itself feels more comparable to a phone and less like a tank. There is something amazingly minimalist about it, and I actually like that. The back of the phone is slightly curved so it fits perfectly in the palm of my hands (I have small hands) and has the HTC logo etched in dead center. Also on the back of the phone is the 5 megapixel camera and connectors for the included desk dock. The front display looks sharp and also houses the front facing camera which can be used for video chat and self photos. Volume toggle is on the side of the phone along with the charging port, which is possibly the most difficult charging port to get to due to the dust cover that feels like it’s glued in place.
Phone calls were pretty clean and audible and network coverage was present everywhere I went. Having a phone that runs off LTE, seeing that the Rhyme was only capable of 3G speeds was a little bit of a disappointment. Although the specs on the Rhyme feel a bit last year, I can honestly say I didn’t notice a tremendous difference in performance (outside of web speed) between my Charge and the Rhyme. I love that the Rhyme runs so smooth and doesn’t have to have the latest and greatest processor and unlimited RAM to do so. Battery life was one downside to this phone, as like my Droid Charge, I would have to charge it almost halfway through my day. I think I understand why HTC decided to include the desktop dock now, due to the short battery life and the fact that you CANNOT remove the battery from the phone. This combination really led to a lot of frustration because I had to constantly charge the phone, and unless I was around the dock it was even more maddening because the dust cover over the charger felt like it was glued in place.
The cameras on the Rhyme were probably my favorite parts of the phone because they took really good pictures. I know the HTC brand as a whole is associated with having good cameras (I loved both my Incredible, and HTC Eris) but the camera on the Rhyme really takes the cake. For this to only be a 5MP camera, I really couldn’t tell. Most pics I snapped with it were really sharp and vivid, and turned out very nice. I didn’t use the video mode on the Rhyme as much as I probably could have, but the few videos I did shoot were pretty impressive.
The included accessories with the Rhyme left me feeling a bit jaded as they could’ve been a bit less…….well “fluffy” I guess. The included headphones and wires were so chunky I literally didn’t even bother trying to use them. The purse charm is probably the most useless thing in the whole package for me because my phone is usually in my hand or in my pocket. I tried using it, but the novelty of being able to find your phone buried in your purse dies down after the adapter plugged into the phone unlatches if your phone happens to get pinned under anything in your purse(that happens a lot to me). The desk dock I did use quite a bit due to the short battery life, but it’s actually a pretty useful inclusion. I liked how I could easily access my pictures and calendar without launching an app whenever my phone was docked. Little did I know, but the dock also acts as a bluetooth speaker that pairs with the phone whenever its docked so music playback and any alarms that may be set can be played right back through here with minimal fuss about connection.
While not the most advanced phone out, the Rhyme will definitely get the job done for those who are looking for a lightweight phone, with easy setup. Including some decent and mostly usable accessories was also a big bonus, but battery life dragged down my overall feelings towards the Rhyme. It’s not a terrible phone by any means, but I definitely sent this device back with the feeling that a lot of substance was sacrificed in place of style. A worthy option for the woman on the go, or as my husband puts it “A Woman looking for a chick phone” the HTC Rhyme is a solid alternative to the monstrous male driven smartphones of today, but still has a bit of work that needs to be done before it can be looked at as a great device.