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HTC Rhyme: Chicks 'll Dig It

By Oonagh Reidy | Thursday | 20/10/2011

Charms, pouches, elegant earphones - HTC's new smartphone is for the birds. Meet Rhyme - the 3.7" bag friendly phone, which alerts you to incoming calls even when buried deep within. It has a quirky powder white docking station and tangle free earphones.

Click to enlarge
The Sensation maker was looking to make waves with its latest brainchild finally launching Rhyme to Australia yesterday in a Sydney upmarket beauty parlour, clearly setting the female contingent in their sights.

The 3.7-inch sports a WVGA, super LCD display on Android Gingerbread 2.3.4, 5-megapixel camera with auto focus, power LED flash, but doesn't spare on other specs either with a powerful 1 GHz processor, 1 GB RAM and HTC Watch for instant-download movies and TV shows.

Rhyme also comes with 'refreshed' HTC Sense, and boasts a new screen interface, unlike previous models Sensation, Desire and Co, sporting a more decluttered screen with just essential icons staring back at you.

Bluetooth, GPS antenna and DLNA for instant TV and PC connections are also onboard.

Rhyme is light and breezy and appears to have excellent functionality - jumping from one tool to the other effortlessly.

Click to enlarge
This 3.7" has an elegant  design and fits neatly in-hand. The materials, the curves, and the dimensions are all designed to deliver a 'sensory' feel, say its maker.

Rhyme is sleek, fast and pretty in a subtle way. It comes in 'clearwater' colour in Australia, although sports a purple hue in other markets.

Rhyme's locked home screen can be customised to display important content, making it quick and easy to see social updates, photos, the weather forecast or snapping a photo by touching the display.

The new Android comes with more accessories (in the box) than you can shake a stick at: Rhyme Charm, the neat tool that alerts owners to calls thanks the small, light-emitting cube that attaches to the phone via white cord that you can dangle from a bag.

Charm also alerts to SMS and flashes discreetly, so no laser reds in sight and can also be used to pull the phone out of your bag, making it easy to find.

Other accessories include Rhyme Docking Station, which delivers excellent stereo sound, and support numerous audio formats including m4a, .mid, .mp3, .wav, .wma (Windows Media Audio 9) to name but a few.

"We were advised" a neutral colour was best for OZ, the HTC rep informed me, and even though the Taiwanese maker insist it is a unisex phone, although the launch in a beauty parlour would suggest it is aimed at the ladies.

However, Rhyme would not look out of place in a manbag, either and doesn't look girlie by any means, keeping the same HTC look.

Phone "designer" HTC (as it now calls itself) also come up with sleek white in-ear tangle free headphones so no matter how tangled they get in a bag you won't get crossed wires - they just magically detangle. Cool.

The powder white dock also doubles as an alarm clock and charging station.

And just a little bit more on the the 5MP camera which was one of the stand out features of this new HTC yesterday, includes face detection, clever 'action burst scene' tool which automatically takes five consecutive shots of a scene; and panoramic mode, which lets users stitch several photos for those larger-than-life views.

So, how much? Well, here's the thing. Rhyme will only be available "exclusively" from Optus free on a $59 cap from November 1. So looks like Rhyme won't be going elsewhere, for now (even though I thought I heard whispers of Vodafone).

"It is a new kind of phone created for people who require advanced features but want a phone that is sleek and fits seamlessly into their lives," say HTC.

 "We've designed the HTC Rhyme based on feedback that consumers want their phones to be more personal and complementary to every moment of their day," said Ben Hodgson, Manager, HTC Australia and New Zealand.

"Together with a family of integrated accessories such as the HTC Rhyme Charm, HTC Rhyme Docking Station, HTC Tangle-free headphones and HTC Rhyme Pouch, HTC Rhyme delivers an ecosystem of style and substance, meant to naturally integrate into people's lives and deliver a more convenient mobile lifestyle."

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