HTC Rhyme, a phone for all seasons…

HTC’s Rhyme smartphone comes bundled with LOTS of extra goodies, both software and hardware

Originally designed with us gals in mind, HTC’s sleek and slimline Rhyme smartphone is chock full of fabulous features aimed at making our digital lives more efficient – and fun!

Weighing in at just 130 grams, the 1Ghz Rhyme also boasts a supermodel thin aluminium “unibody”, which means it’s lightweight, but also unobtrusive. That makes it perfect for slipping into a pocket or handbag without adding bulk, and the Rhyme’s gentle curves make it more comfortable to hold than chunkier competiors.

One of the phone’s most impressive features is the fact it comes bundled with loads of accessories, most notably an elegant horizontal docking station in which the phone sits flush.

When placed in the dock, which is usually used for charging and syncing, the matching cloth-covered grey-green unit doubles as a tiny, but effective music stereo centre or even alarm clock! The only downside to the docking station’s lovely cloth covering is that it can’t be cleaned as easily as plastic.

The bundled headphones include a nifty glowing charm that lights up when a call or SMS comes through. It’s perfect for those of us whose phones are often buried in the bottom of our handbags because you can leave the charm dangling out of your bag and still be notified of incoming calls or messages!

The Rhyme’s “charm” dangles outside your handbag alerting you of incoming calls.

Though Aussie phone users don’t have access to the gorgeous plum-coloured Rhyme phone released in the US, the subtle grey-green version available here does look elegant and subdued without being too “girly” or overtly feminine. That means that while it immediately stands out from the usual black and white smartphone offerings, it isn’t so outrageously ostentatious that it couldn’t be taken into a business meeting as easily as it could be left on a restaurant table during a night out.

When it comes to software, there’s no shortage with the Rhyme offering a swag of free software including a game, Tango video call software as well as a built-in flashlight and native Facebook, Twitter and even Dropbox links built into the Android Sense operating system.

Of course, being a touch-based phone, it’s all about the screen and the Rhyme’s screen is a large, very responsive 3.7-inch, 480 X 800 resolution offering, which makes watching mini movies and perusing your image collection (as well as snapping photos and shooting images, of course), a cinch.

Like the iPhone, the Rhyme features both a 5 megapixel front-facing camera and a VGA back-facing camera. The front camera is, cleverly, called a “mirror” and the screen handles left and right viewing angles impressively, though it does require a little jiggling about if you’re viewing the screen in strong sunlight (though few phones don’t, non?).

That said, one of the coolest free software offerings on this phone is the ability to take panoramic photographs, making it perfect for sussing out ceremony locations and reception venues!

Take a bunch of sequential shots and the phone will stitch it all together. Clever.

If you’re out wedding dress shopping, the camera’s flexible settings, which includes the ability to correct white balance (very important when looking for white, cream and ivory dresses), means you can snap away in all types of light and conditions and ensure you get the best shot. You can even edit images natively without having to export them to a computer. That means you can take sharp still and moving shots, but also have fun with them and have a degree of control over the final product, which can be shared directly from the phone.

For mini movie moguls, you can even set the video recording resolution on the main camera to anything between MMS quality, right up to widescreen and HD quality.

HTC Rhyme’s docking station which doubles as a music centre and alarm clock!

Other useful tid bits included with HTD’s Rhyme smartphone includes a set of tangle-free headphones, a noise-cancelling microphone (as well as a second normal speaker to boost audio quality) and, for a protective pouch to keep it clean and dust free.

Oh, and, perhaps, the best bit is that the Rhyme will run Easy Weddings’ free Android app!

HTC’s Rhyme smartphone is available exclusively from Optus on their $49 or $59 monthly plan.

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