HTC Rhyme announced - the Android phone for the ladies

Back in late July, we reported on Neowin that HTC was developing a new handset, known as ‘Bliss’, and that this new device was being designed with one particular market in mind: women. Today, HTC and Verizon took the wraps off that device, now known as the HTC Rhyme, and bar one or two details, the device we reported on a couple of months ago is the device that you see here.

The most obvious difference between then and now is the colour. It was believed that the Bliss would be released in a colour described as “somewhere between a forest and sea green”. HTC describes the colour of the Rhyme as “plum”, and you’ll see that it also extends to the headphones and optional wireless Bluetooth headset.

Interestingly, both HTC and Verizon seem to be skirting around the notion that this handset is designed solely with women in mind – but one has to wonder how many men would identify the two-tone purple of the device as their first choice. Perhaps the bigger clue that this phone was intended to have a more feminine appeal, though, is the “charm” accessory (yep, also in plum) that contains an LED which glows when a call or text message comes through. The charm plugs into the headphone jack to draw its power, and the idea is that its soft glow will make it easier to locate the phone at the bottom of a handbag.

There’s also a desktop dock into which the handset can be stowed, and which transforms the device into an alarm clock, radio or hands-free speakerphone.

The Rhyme is an Android 2.3.4 (Gingerbread) handset, and introduces the latest version (3.5) of HTC’s Sense user experience. The homescreen ditches the company’s trademark flip-clock in favour of a more elegant and understated text-only version on the lower half of the screen. The grey curved Sense launch bar at the bottom of the screen is gone, replaced by two buttons – one for the app drawer, the other for phone functions. Icons can be docked and personalised on the left edge of the screen. The Rhyme also features HTC’s new camera app, which includes face detection and the option to automatically upload photos to Facebook.

So that’s the software side – but what about the hardware? HTC’s global marketing chief, Jason Mackenzie, said to CNET: “For a feature phone customer, we think this is a better product than the iPhone.” That’s a pretty bold claim given the middle-of-the-road specs that this handset offers.

Powered by a 1GHz single-core Snapdragon (MSM8655) processor, and with 768MB of RAM, the Rhyme isn’t exactly a mobile powerhouse. There’s a 3.7” Super LCD with 480x800 resolution, and a 5MP camera with LED flash on the back, and a VGA camera for video calls on the front.

Verizon will offer the Rhyme with the desktop dock, charm and headphones as a bundle for $199.99 with a two-year contract, and will be available from 29 September. This is my next reports that a ‘silverish’ version will be offered in European and Asian markets from October.

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16 Comments

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For those complaining about HTC software upgrades, you should point the blame at the carrier and not all at HTC. It is up to the carrier to implement the upgrades. The carriers don't want to invest time in doing so to upgrade their bloatware to be compatible on newer OS builds. I do agree with Owen, that HTC hardware needs to step it up, the hardware can seem cheap. Luckily I have had nothing but HTC devices going back to the WMO 2003 days and had no issues.

Mikee4fun said,
For those complaining about HTC software upgrades, you should point the blame at the carrier and not all at HTC. It is up to the carrier to implement the upgrades. The carriers don't want to invest time in doing so to upgrade their bloatware to be compatible on newer OS builds. I do agree with Owen, that HTC hardware needs to step it up, the hardware can seem cheap. Luckily I have had nothing but HTC devices going back to the WMO 2003 days and had no issues.

Carriers may share part of the blame, but its HTC's job to update "sim-free" models and they haven't done that ( and going on xda-dev and rooting/flashing a new ROM may be good enough for us geeks but its not for the rest of the non-IT oriented population )

Mikee4fun said,
For those complaining about HTC software upgrades, you should point the blame at the carrier and not all at HTC.

No, I'm pointing the blame at HTC. Why? A) My carrier doesn't block updates B) HTC simply hasn't released any updates for the HTC Legend beyond 2010. Please don't talk as if all carriers in all countries uphold the same standers because they don't.

Edited by .Neo, Sep 21 2011, 8:12pm :

lothodon said,
xda, root, custom roms...that'll fix most any issue with htc phones and their lack of support.

Yeah because the targeted demographic of this phone are extremely likely to posses the knowhow of how to root and install custom roms.

Nice, another phone HTC can poorly support and don't provide updates for after only a few months after release.

.Neo said,
Nice, another phone HTC can poorly support and don't provide updates for after only a few months after release.

Sounds like you had a bad experience?

tmaxxtigger said,

Sounds like you had a bad experience?

So did I. Never did I think a mobile device would be so poorly supported as HTC's Android phones.

Non-Active-Account said,

Almost all HTC users have. I was ****ed when my hero was 2 versions behind.


Even on WP7 I had a bad HTC experience, their hardware was shonky at best and Iv'e been through four handsets this year. Eventually, they blamed me for water damage.

Owen W said,

Even on WP7 I had a bad HTC experience, their hardware was shonky at best and Iv'e been through four handsets this year. Eventually, they blamed me for water damage.

If i may ask, which WP7 phone was it? Both my HD7 and Trophy are still going strong

Yet again HTC has seen a big loss to Samsung recently who has moved up in the world ALOT since their early days..

.Neo said,
Nice, another phone HTC can poorly support and don't provide updates for after only a few months after release.
You mean just like some Samsung, Motorola, LG, etc? My HTC Incredible was released with Eclair (2.1) and got Froyo and now Gingerbread. I call that pretty damn good for a device that was released in April 2010, considering how often other phones get updates. Besides, HTC receives AMAZING support from XDA devs, unlike other manufacturers, so you have tons of ROMS out there.

tsupersonic said,
You mean just like some Samsung, Motorola, LG, etc?

Nowhere did I suggest HTC is better or worse than those other companies you mentioned, nor do I think it's relevant in any way. Beyond that, is this thread about those companies? No. Try staying on topic.

tsupersonic said,
I call that pretty damn good for a device that was released in April 2010, considering how often other phones get updates

My 2008 iPod touch received updates until March 2011, that's what I call good.

.Neo said,
Nice, another phone HTC can poorly support and don't provide updates for after only a few months after release.

While HTC provides horrible support (like many Android OEMs), it probably won't be an issue for women. The color and the bundle of accessories will most likely be enough for women to purchase this phone.