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While Apple is content to release just one smartphone a year, incrementally improving the hardware and software and courting only consumers with quite a bit of cash to spare, HTC takes the opposite tact. It produces many mobile phones for a variety of operating systems, catering to both high end users with the likes of the Sensation XE while still including people on tighter budgets with models like the Rhyme, which will be considered here.
The HTC Rhyme is a fashionable, affordable Android smartphone which unashamedly targets the teen and young adult market with its bold colours and sparkly accents. It comes in hues including purple, gold and pastel blue, so it is not for anyone who wants a businesslike smartphone. It also has a distinctly feminine look and feel, which means that it could be more approachable for female users when compared to big, macho models at the higher end of the market.
The style of the HTC rhyme, aside from its colour, sticks fairly closely with what the manufacturer has been going for over the last few years. You get a premium metallic chassis, rubberised battery compartment and multi-tone back panel, coupled with a simple front end with capacitive keys rather than physical buttons for interactions that do not involve the touchscreen display.
The screen itself measures 3.7 inches across, so it is a decent size for web browsing and video watching, outdoing the likes of the iPhone 4S by a small amount and allowing the phone to be far more pocketable than handsets with screens of over four inches in size.
On the inside the HTC Rhyme runs a 1GHz single core processor and the operating system is version 2.3 of Android enhanced with the bespoke and highly attractive Sense interface, which you will find on all of HTC`s modern mobiles. You can customise the homescreens using various widgets and app shortcuts, with even the lock screen giving you the chance to play around with the options and add your own quick launch icons for instant program access after unlocking.
Web access feels fast whether over Wi-Fi or 3G and social networking integration is handled by the People app, which combines Facebook, Twitter and other services to ensure that your notifications all come to the same place. GPS is onboard along with Bluetooth, so you really get the full complement of components and software which should bring the HTC Rhyme to life.
A solid five megapixel camera with LED flash sits on the rear of the Rhyme and you can access a host of other functions such as panorama mode if you delve into the settings. 720p high definition video recording is also possible, which is to be expected, although this aspect of the camera feels a little underrepresented when it comes to options when compared to those which exist for taking still shots.
In all the HTC Rhyme is a powerful, attractive Android smartphone aimed at younger female users. It is not as durable as something like a Sony Ericsson Xperia Active or a waterproof MP3 player but it does everything it intends to without overstepping the mark.