Last week we took a quick look at the HTC Rhyme it’s got a strong, unibody design and comes with a headset, docking station and a charm device that will flash when you have a text or incoming call. The battery cover doubles as the antenna and the handset is definitely a very sleek design. We gave it a try in our hands-on video below..
On the lower left, behind a small flap, is the microUSB port. This is used for charging and connecting to your computer via mass storage etc.
On the upper right you will find the volume controls.
Up top there’s a 3.5mm audio port and the power button. The upper and lower parts of the handsets are rubberised on the rear, with a metal band around the centre.
Above the HTC logo is what looks like an second microphone for cancelling out background noise. To the left you can see the three small connectors which hook onto the dock. Above that, the 5 megapixel camera with 720p HD video recording. To the left is the LED flash and, on the other side, the external speaker.
On the front there’s four soft keys at the bottom of the 3.7″ 480×800 resolution screen. They light up when in use – there’s Home, Menu, Back and Search. All fairly self explanatory.
At the top, just to the left of the HTC logo, there’s the light and proximity sensors, a wide earpiece and the VGA camera for video calls.
By the way, on the back – if you take the battery panel off – there’s the microSD card slot on the right and the SIM card…
The Rhyme has a 3.7″ screen with 480×800 pixel screen. It has a 1GHz CPU, 3.5mm audio jack, Bluetooth 3.0, WiFi, DLNA for streaming media to connected devices, ambient light sensores, G-sensor, digital compass and GPS. The camera around the back is a 5 megapixel camera with LED flash and HD video recording. Up front there’s a VGA camera and it’s all powered by a 1600mAh battery.
What struck me about the Rhyme was the build quality and just how useful the docking station was. I wanted one of these docking stations for my existing Android smartphone. Plonking the phone onto the cradle / docking station in the office or at home – it just felt natural. The phone starts to charge, it switches to landscape mode and you can listen to music from the in-built speakers. The viewing angle was perfect, and as an interface it was beautiful. I could imagine future models perhaps sync’ing with you computer and downloading your days travel and other items without you even thinking.
I also liked the flat-cable 3.5mm wired headset. There was a lot less tangling going on and the in-line volume control box was a great addition. That charm was interesting too. It does take a bit of thought – you need to ensure that the charm has been plugged in before you pop it into your bag, but it does mean a lot less checking of your phone, plus my wife told me that it looked quite cool.
As for the phone itself, this felt incredibly nippy and it was very quick to snap pictures. The HTC Sense interface has never felt better and the HTC Friendstream interface kept you up-to-date with your Facebook and Twitter friends. Pictures and video were easily shared and you could use the mass-storage capability to quickly move images to your computer.
The battery lasted a day without charge but, whilst checking the battery life in the “Settings” option we noticed something a little strange. For reasons we can’t understand, someone (perhaps by mistake) had given this unit the Bluetooth name of “Desire S”. That made me think a little because, if we’re honest, this phone isn’t a great deal different from the HTC Desire S we received a short while back. It’s got pretty similar specs… 1 GHz CPU, check. 5 megapixel rear camera, check. Front-facing VGA camera, check. Sensors, WiFi, microSD expansion, 3.5mm audio port, unibody design, check, check, check and check.
So what makes the HTC Rhyme and different to the HTC Desire S? The truth is, it’s the accessories. The rear connectors, the dock, the purple colour and the charm – these are the only real differentiators here.