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HTC Rhyme phone wants to charm women

Sep 20, 2011 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive

HTC announced an mid-range Android smartphone for Verizon Wireless that appears to be marketed at women. The “Rhyme” is equipped with a 1GHz processor, 768MB of RAM, 4GB of flash, five-megapixel and VGA cameras, plus accessories including a free docking station, headphones, and a “Charm” device that flashes a light to indicate an incoming call.

It has been widely claimed that the iPhone is for women and Android is for men. Although far from universal, this Venus/Mars trend has been backed up by various demographic studies. The preference has perhaps been exacerbated by Verizon Wireless' very successful truck-commercial style marketing for the Motorola Droid line of phones, although we note that the recent Droid Bionic advertising features a La Femme Nikita-style secret agent who might well appeal to both genders.

HTC has now stepped in with a Verizon phone that is more clearly marketed at women, although without specifically stating the fairer sex as a targeted demographic. The HTC Rhyme (pictured at right and below), formerly tipped as the HTC Bliss, features a "smart, elegant unibody design with every detail carefully crafted to deliver a unique sensory experience," says HTC.

The curvy phone is "defined by its soft, simple design and distinct color scheme," and available in Clearwater, Hourglass, and Plum, says the company.

The Rhyme runs an unstated version of Android on an unnamed 1GHz processor and will be available on Verizon Wireless in the coming weeks, with a global launch in October, says HTC. Engadget says the phone runs Android 2.3 on a Qualcomm CPU — presumably a Snapdragon — and will go on pre-order Sept 22 on Verizon for $200 with a two year contract, with shipments beginning Sept. 29. The European version will be sold as the Hourglass, says the story.

The HTC Rhyme is equipped with 768MB RAM and 4GB internal storage, 1GB of which is available for storage, says HTC. A microSD slot is said to be SD 2.0 compatible.

The phone is notable for its numerous accessories, including a "tangle-free" Bluetooth headphones, and a "Charm" device — a small cube attached to the Rhyme via a cord "that can dangle from your bag and also be used to quickly pull the phone out of your bag," according to HTC. The Charm lights up for incoming calls and messages.


HTC Rhyme accessories, including Charm device, directly to the lower right

In the U.S. these accessories, as well as a charging docking station that also features Bluetooth capable speakers "will be included in the box," says HTC. This would help explain the reported $200 plus contract price, which otherwise seems high considering the feature set. Extra-cost accessories will include a standard Bluetooth headset, a sports armband, and a Bluetooth car-speaker clip, says the company.


Rear view of the Rhyme with HTC's relentless marketing

A 3.7-inch, 800 x 480 (WVGA) pixel, super LCD touchscreen is available along with a front-facing VGA webcam and a rear-facing five-megapixel autofocus camera, says HTC. The latter offers LCD flash, "instant shutter," and 720p video recording, says the company. Other camera features are said to include face detection, panoramic shots, and an action burst scene, which automatically takes five consecutive shots of a scene.


HTC Rhyme dimensions

Wireless features include 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, GPS, plus both HSPA/WCDMA and quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE 3G cellular services, making the phone at home just about anywhere. Also available is Bluetooth 3.0, which can piggyback on faster Wi-Fi bandwidth when available, and which seems to finally be approaching ubiquity on mid- to high-end Android smartphones.

Other Rhyme features include ambient, G-sensor, digital compass, and proximity sensors, as well as a 3.5mm audio jack, says HTC. DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) support is also said to be available.

The 1600mAh battery supports talk time of between 480 minutes (WCDMA) and 620 (GSM) minutes, with standby ranging from 340 to 295 hours respectively, claims the company. The 4.58-ounce (130-gram) Rhyme offers a reasonably svelte 0.43-inch profile.


HTC Rhyme with different views of its Sense user interface

(Click to enlarge)

Software features are said to include the latest HTC Sense user interface, which offers a customizable locked home screen for viewing social updates, weather forecasts, or photos, as well an easily accessible photo-snap feature, says HTC. The phone also features HTC Watch, which offers downloadable movies and TV shows. Beyond that, software details appear to await specific carrier launch announcements.

Availability

The HTC Rhyme will be coming to Verizon Wireless in the coming weeks, and will appear across Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Asia-Pacific in October, says HTC. More information may be found on HTC's HTC Rhyme product page.


This article was originally published on LinuxDevices.com and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.



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