Sunday, November 6, 2011

TECH REVIEW: 5 Reasons Women will love the new Verizon HTC Rhyme Smartphone

Back in August during the BlogHer conference in San Diego, I attended a HTC Insight Meetup were women bloggers met with HTC managers to talk about what we love and hate about our smartphones.  HTC wanted to know our thoughts on how women use smartphones and I was very happy to give my perceptive because smartphones are really becoming a staple in the lives of busy women.  So when HTC asked me to review their newest smartphone marketed toward women, I jumped at the chance.

For the past two weeks, I have been reviewing the newest smartphone from HTC on the Verizon network - The HTC Rhyme. This is the first smartphone that I know of that is squarely marketed at women. When I first saw the TV advertisement for the HTC Rhyme, I was spellbound in front of my TV. The ad shows a woman with 6 arms which is suppose to visualize how the HTC Rhyme's many features work together to make life easy for busy women.

I have found the HTC Rhyme to be a very "smart" smartphone that is stylish and comes with lots of useful accessories. It runs Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) on a powerful 1GZ processor and comes with a 5mp rear facing camera and a VGA front facing camera for making video calls. The phone can also be used as a Mobile Hotspot for up to 5 devices. I have always loved the HTC Sense experience and I particularly loved the interface of the HTC Rhyme where the phone figures out and displays a tab of apps that you use the most. The phone also makes scrolling through the list of apps easier by scrolling a page at a time instead of a row at a time.

5 Cool Features...
This smartphone has a lot of great features, but there are 5 things in particular about the HTC Rhyme that I think women will really love:

1. The Color - I was wondering when a manufacturer was going to make a smartphone that is not basic black.  The HTC Rhyme comes in a pretty shade of purple that is very stylish. Plus all the accessories that come with the phone match in color.

2. The Purse Charm - This is a simple idea that is a blessing for those of us who carry our smartphones in our purses. The purse charm is a tether that plugs into the headphone jack. When the phone rings or you get an alert, the charm on the other end of the tether lights up to let you know you have a call or message. Then you can fish the phone out of your purse using the tether. Simple, but genius!

3. The Desk Dock - This is my favorite feature since I use my smartphone as my alarm clock.  The Rhyme come with a docking station that charges the phone and automatically puts the Rhyme display into landscape mode and shows the time and weather. The dock can also display photos and play music through the bluetooth speakers. And you will not be annoyed while sleeping by an overly bright display at night since the dock automatically dims the brightness after a few minutes or you can dim it manually with the press of a virtual button in the right lower corner of the touchscreen.

4. The Size - The HTC Rhyme is a very slender phone that weights under 5 oz.  I use both a Verizon HTC Thunderbolt (I call it "the beast" with its 4.3" screen) and a Virgin Mobile LG Optimus V (3.2" screen) and the HTC Rhyme is sized in between the two phones with its 3.7” WVGA Display. It fits nicely into most women's hands while being not too big nor too small.

5. The No-Tangle Headphones - I carry a set of small in-ear headphones in my purse and they are always tangled in knots when I need to use them. The HTC Rhyme comes with a pair of in-ear headphones that match the color of the phone and are very hard to get tangled because the cords are flat like a pancake.

3 Needed Improvements...
I really enjoyed using the HTC Rhyme, but there are 3 improvements that would make this smartphone even more attractive to women:

1. More Internal Storage - The HTC Rhyme is marketed at the woman who uses her smartphone for everything, which means she downloads tons of apps to turn her smartphone into all kinds of devices. But the Rhyme only has 4GB of internal storage and an 8GB SD card. I am always in the Android marketplace downloading more apps and some of my apps, like Google Music, takes up tons of storage. It took me close to an hour to load all my apps on the Rhyme and I filled up the entire 4GB of internal space. Most woman are going to load as many apps as possible. The reason I love my HTC Thunderbolt is because it comes with 8GB of internal space and an 32GB SD card. I think women would flock to the HTC Rhyme if it also came with 8GB of internal space.

2. Verizon 4G LTE -I was quite surprised to find out that the Rhyme is not on the Verizon 4G LTE network. Although Verizon 3G is still fast, Verizon 4G is lightening fast and what women would not want her data to load as quickly as possible using the newest Verizon technology.

3. A Docking Station with adjustable volume - It also would be nice if the HTC Rhyme docking station had speakers with adjustable volume. It appeared to have one volume level no matter if I had the phone's volume up high or down low.

The HTC Rhyme is a very nice smartphone that I think will appeal to women who want their phones to be an extension of their personal style and those looking for smartphones that will double as mini home entertainment centers. It has smart accessories that really should be included with all smartphones.

It will be interesting to see if other manufacturers also market phones targeted to women. I guess time will tell based on how well the HTC Rhyme does in the marketplace.

The HTC Rhyme is priced at $199 with a two year contract on the Verizon network.


Disclosure: HTC loaned me the HTC Rhyme in order for me to try it out and state my unbiased opinion.  I was not compensated for this review.

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