I’m going to be honest. I wasn’t expecting much out of the Rhyme. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great phone in itself. A 1 GHz Snapdragon processor, a 3.7-inch Super-LCD display, and the latest build of both the OS, Android, and the UI, Sense, is enough to please me. The part that I wasn’t so sure about was the apparent feminine drive of the phone. Regardless of what HTC wants to say or not say, the Rhyme is clearly geared towards a feminine type of person. HTC made quite a big deal about the design of the phone, the included accessories, and the overall experience of using the device. To my eyes, the only difference I could see was the fact that literally EVERYTHING that comes with the phone, including the phone itself is plum-colored.
That was about 32 hours ago. Either I’ve been blinded by the marketing or I’m exactly the type of person HTC is targeting with this phone because I’ve completely fallen for nearly every single “special” feature it comes with. My experience hasn’t been perfect, but the Rhyme is no bust either. Here are my first impressions and I can tell you that they’re pretty darn good.
- I LOVE the included accessories. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “It’s just a dock and ear buds. What’s so special about that?” Well, nothing, except the Rhyme is just about the only phone that comes with those items. I was pleasantly surprised when I placed the phone into the media center/charging dock to find that the dock’s built-in speakers are actually pretty amazing. I’ve always been a stickler for details (read: I’m very picky) and this little thing really made a big impression on me. The ear buds are no cheap, ordinary ear buds, either. They’re high-quality, non-tangling ear buds with alternate sized tips. They may not be unique in the ear bud world, but it’s certainly not what you get with even the iPhone. HTC, color me impressed.
- One accessory that hasn’t quite resonated with me is the charm. What’s sad is that this is the most-hyped feature of the Rhyme and I can’t quite see the point of it. I went out yesterday evening and equipped the phone and my purse with the charm and I don’t see any way it made a significant difference. Even when I did get a call or text, if I couldn’t hear my phone ringing I’m certainly not going to see a little light bulb flashing, at least not unless I happen to look down at it.
- HTC made some noise about the hardware design of the Rhyme. Based on the pictures, I didn’t see any difference between this phone and any other of the cloned smartphones HTC pushes out (besides the color, of course). After a day, I still don’t see a HUGE difference. Now, this may just be all in my head because of what HTC told me, but the soft-touch coating on the back of the phone does feel softer and, I don’t know, the phone feels more slender to me. Call me crazy, but I’m sticking to that assessment. Of course, this isn’t always a good thing. The phone is so slippery that I’ve nearly dropped it at least ten times.
- Overall performance has been great. The Snapdragon processor has kept up with nearly everything I’ve done with it so far. I’ve noticed some minor lag here and there, but I’m quite impressed with the speeds of the device. HTC’s user interface, Sense, has a tendency to slow down a device, simply because it’s such a heavy UI, but I haven’t noticed any major slow-downs so far. Sense 3.5 only has a few differences from previous versions of Sense, but the changes are pretty big. I’ll discuss this more in the full review. As a note, the Rhyme scored a 1,285 on the Quadrant Standard Benchmark test.
- If the Rhyme truly is made for women, then the 3.7-inch display is a perfect size for our small hands. The Super-LCD display is very clear and bright. It’s no Super AMOLED or Retina display, but it is still very crisp and smooth. As I alluded to, typing on the display was also comfortable with my small, feminine hands. Most women should be fine with this size of a display.
- In the Dallas area, Verizon typically offers the fastest 3G speeds for me. This is nothing personal against the other carriers, it’s just the way it is where I live and work. With the Rhyme, average speeds have been about 1 Mbps down and up. That’s slightly slower than typical Verizon 3G speeds for me. I’ll do further tests and then give my full results in the review.
- No thoughts on the camera just yet. I’ve only taken a few photos so I don’t have any comments on the picture quality. As a note, the Rhyme ships with a 5-megapixel autofocus camera that captures 720p HD video and it is also equipped with a front-facing camera.
So that’s all I have for now. I’m really enjoying my time with the Rhyme. Aside from the purple color, though, this phone could really please anyone. If HTC made these features available with all of their phones, I’m sure anybody would enjoy them. Check back in for my full review and check out the unboxing video in the meantime!