November 7, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
There are many people who believe that HTC has lost its way. The same folks who raved how beautiful Sense UI looked when vanilla Android was ugly have come to see the interface as overdone and lacking in the intuitiveness that first attracted them. The HTC Rhyme strips Sense UI to its core purpose and delivers a better-looking interface. Sense is still very graphical and has cartoonish icons, but is less gaudy. Home screen widgets have less opacity, the edges from menus are smoother, and the launcher looks neater than what you’ve seen on an EVO 3D or other recent HTC devices.
However, HTC kept most of the great advancements that they’ve made in past year. The home screen uses a 3D rotating carousel, and the awesome lock screen that allows jumping directly to certain apps – which I consider to the best default lock screen available on any Android phone – is also present. Speaking of home screens, there’s a nice widget that provides quick access to mail, messages, calendar, camera, and weather reports. Along with the replacement app launcher and phone icons that are less in-your-face than previous versions, this is actually a better version of Sense that HTC should consider bringing to its premiere phones.
The Verizon went light on the bloatware this go-round. Pre-loaded applications include Amazon Kindle, Endomondo, My Verizon Mobile, Polaris Office, Vcast Music and Video, VZ Navigator, and the HTC Watch video streaming app. Endomondo, My Verizon Mobile , and Polaris Office are the only ones you’re likely to ever use, but things could be worse. The Mobile Hotspot feature will turn your phone into a Wi-Fi access point to Verizon’s 3G network (tethering plan required).