Monday, October 24, 2011

Technology as Friend: HTC Rhyme Review

Stewart will tell you that technology is not my best friend. I once tried to get the wireless router at my in-laws house to work so I could watch a bar exam review lecture and managed to bring down the entire system. I had a smartphone for work but didn't use the data feature for a year and a half because I was scared that I would break it. Even something as simple as scanning a check to deposit it online has been something I've been avoiding for some time. But as my mid-life crisis age approached, I've decided that I need to be more adventurous and find my inner tech geek. I downloaded skype and talked to Stewart while he was working in France. I signed up and started reading Mashable. Then when HTC contacted me to review the new HTC Rhyme (available only through Verizon), I signed up to do it because I did not want to simply be comfortable with my old people phone!

The first thing that made me like the phone was that it came in PURPLE. I have long been a lover of all things purple and having a purple phone, even for a little while, to match my purple purse and my purple pea coat was fabulous! When I turned on the phone, one of the first things I noticed was that the screen is bright and vivid. The 3.7” size is more than adequate to allow you to watch video or a quick clip on Youtube without feeling a pressing need for more space. The slick user interface known as “HTC Sense” is an added layer of software that actually enhances the user experience. It allows for quick access to your camera, contacts, friend updates, and any multimedia you might have, and more importantly, doesn’t appear to bog down the operating system or performance in any way. The 1 gigahertz processor readily handles all the tasks that I’ve asked of the phone, including streaming video, without much of a hitch.  This phone doesn’t have access to 4G, but 3G seems to handle all the data requirements I’ve asked of the phone.

I’m pretty impressed by the quality of the camera (5 MP 28mm f/2.2 camera with auto focus and power LED flash).  Outdoor shots look beautiful with vibrant colors.  Indoor shots tend to require more light, but in the right settings, can do the job. The HTC Rhyme takes much better indoor photos than my old people phone. There is an added LED flash in the back of the phone which does provide some additional light when needed. H had fun with the HD 720p video recording feature. The phone comes with 4 GB onboard memory, 768 MB RAM, and 8 GB microSD pre-installed so you can take a lot of photos and video before you have to download to your computer. (The photo on the left was taken with the HTC Rhyme.)

The primary operating system, Android Gingerbread 2.3.4 feels more polished that previous versions of Android. Among my favorite apps that come with the phone is the Google Maps Navigation, which I’ve found to be the most accurate and easy to use GPS systems. That reason alone is almost compelling enough for me to select Android over iOS, which doesn’t not come with a native GPS system.  Sure you can download one on iOS, but I recently had a melt down when Stewart told me to use it and I couldn't figure out how.

I like the fact that the phone comes with great accessories. When you open the box, you’ll see the Tangle–Free Headphones, a multifunctional Docking Station, and the Charm Call Indicator. When your headphones are in the bottom of your purse, they have the tendency to get so tangled up you just decide to forego untangling them and put the speaker on low. The HTC Rhyme’s Tangle–Free Headphones remain untangled, despite the jostling you put them through so the person working out next to you won't get annoyed. It also comes with a multifunctional Docking Station, which is a charger, an alarm clock, and external speakers for your Rhyme phone. For some reason, the alarm clocks in hotels hate me and I can't figure them out. With the docking station, I wouldn't have to anymore! And what mom hasn't missed a call or text because you can't hear the call or notifications over the chaos of a playground playdate? The Charm Call Indicator dangles discreetly from your bag or purse. The Charm illuminates whenever you get a call or text, so nothing or no one goes unnoticed.

I have to return the phone next week so that ends my purple matchy-matchy ensembles. I'm glad I had a chance to be one of the hip next generation phone people! Thanks HTC for expanding my tech horizons.

I was not compensated for this review. I was provided the HTC Rhyme to test for a two week review period. 

1 comment:

Sharon @ Red Poppy | Pink Peony said...

Ooh I like that purple phone! My BlackBerry is a little worse for wear. Anyway, you must be relatively tech savvy since you've been blogging for so long and know how to post photos in different sides of the text. I have no clue!