Android Phones

HTC Rhyme Review: Strong enough for a man, but made for a woman?

November 7, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka

HTC, Verizon

HTCRhyme

Camera

While someone could definitely deduct points from the HTC Rhyme for its lack­ of advancements in internal computing power, that person would have a tough time disparaging the camera app and results of the device. The Rhyme packs a VGA front-facing camera and a rear 5 megapixel camera with LED flash and auto focus. The video aspect is alright, but the picture-taking is pretty impressive. The camera app promptly focuses in on the subject and has what HTC claims is “instant” capture. It instantly responds to the touch and snaps a photo as soon as the button is pressed. Processing time between snapshots takes longer than what we saw in the Ice Cream Sandwich demo, but this is definitely a quick-moving camera app.

The standard features for switching between scene, shooting, and lighting modes are present. Users can take a panorama, backlight HDR, or macro to optimize settings based on the environment. And once a photo is taken, they can even add effects for vignettes, vintage, or black and white. Here’s a look at what the camera can produce.

Taken at night with rear camera on standard settings

Taken under fluorescent lights

Taken indoors with sunlight coming in through open window

Taken in the early morning with standard settings

Macro shot taken under fluorescent lights

Conclusion

The HTC Rhyme is, regardless of what HTC will publicly admit, a phone designed for women. Everything from the marketing campaign, from its strange commercials and early promotional videos, to the color choices and accessories are blatantly designed for women. So why does HTC whisper suggestively that women will love this phone with one side of the mouth but say anyone will love this phone regardless of gender with the other? Well, because as much as HTC wants women to love this phone, the company probably knows admitting that its idea for a woman-friendly smartphone is a last-generation, dumbed-down version of its marquee software would probably not go over very well.

And that’s a shame, because the Rhyme really is a phone that both genders could love. The plum color is allegedly effeminate, but I felt no subconscious threats to my manhood when whipping out the Rhyme in front of crowds. I was too busy trying to adjust to a normal size screen, loving the photo-taking capabilities, and going about my Android business almost like I do with any other phone. HTC built a device that’s geared for women stylistically but more than capable for most men functionally. The only areas in which I found the Rhyme lacking are gaming and media options. It may not have the massive gaming abilities of a Tegra II-powered phone or large and luscious video options of Samsung’s latest crop of phones, but the Rhyme is an otherwise great phone. Man or woman, someone looking for a chic device for the everyday life of a “normal” user will consider this a rhyme worth repeating.

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