Hands-On with the HTC Rhyme, the Accessory Driven Smartphone

Rumor of the HTC Bliss, a phone designed specifically for women from HTC, has circulated for several months now. Today, HTC finally revealed this new fashion oriented and it’s being called the HTC Rhyme. But although HTC is not labeling the device straight out as a phone for women, it’s pretty obvious that this phone has been catered for a woman’s lifestyle.

HTC is describing the HTC Rhyme as stylish, essential and intuitive. Instead of focusing on hardware and specs, HTC spent most of the time during their presentation talking about how the phone is designed to be personable and how its accessories are all about helping to integrate the phone into your lifestyle.

The Rhyme sports a duo-tone plum color with clean simple lines, along with a 3.7″ display –  which really hits the sweet-spot in terms of form-factor. Overall, the phone’s design is inspired by fashion, but it’s also all about being elegant and refined.

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HTC is well aware of the power of accessories to help better integrate a device better into your lifestyle. And no one knows better than us that women love accessories! The HTC Rhyme manages to come bundled with three significant accessories – a docking station with speakers that helps transform the phone into a serious alarm clock, a pair of tangle-free headphones, and a neat Light-Up Charm accessory that notifies you of calls. HTC will also be offering cases, a bluetooth headset, sports armband, and a clip-on wireless speakerphone designed to use in the car.

HTC has gone ahead and updated their slick HTC Sense U.I. on the Rhyme too. The user interface now features a redesigned flip clock. They have also created preview tiles for your home screen that quickly flip out so that you can view your most recent messages, calendar appointments and photos, etc. HTC has also packaged the phone with 12 new homescreen photo wallpapers.

Under the hood, the Rhyme is running on a 1GHz Qualcomm MSM 8655 processor, Android 2.3.4 with the latest version of HTC Sense (3.5), it packs in 4GB of internal memory plus it comes with an 8GB external SD card, as well as a 5MP rear camera with 720p video capture, and a VGA front facing camera. Unfortunately, the device is not a 4G device. HTC also made sure to mention that the camera features auto focus, face detection, and an Action Burst Mode able to shoot up-to 5 frames every 2.5 seconds

HTC hasn’t labeled this straight-out as a phone designed specifically for women, but it’s obviously geared towards women since the phone is less about hardware, and all about accessorizing, personalization, and integration into your lifestyle. It’s nice change of pace to see that a company has realized that making a phone designed for women isn’t just about adding bling or making it pink. That said, we kinda wish they hadn’t made the device plum, which isn’t for everyone – or at least that they had offered several color choices.

The HTC Rhyme will be available exclusively for Verizon in the U.S. It goes on sale on September 29th for $199 with a two year contract and will be sold at both Verizon Wireless and Target stores. Starting tomorrow, September 21st, Target is accepting pre-orders for the phone.

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