Sunday, March 18, 2012
While we love apples as much as the next person, when it comes to smartphones we are an HTC couple. When Alfie finally decided to enter the 21st century and get a smartphone, a little over a year ago, he did his research and passed up on the iPhone in favor of the HTC Inspire 4G. He loved it so much that when it was time for me to upgrade my own smartphone, he convinced me to get an HTC. I thought I was firmly wedded to smartphones with slide-out keyboards, but Alfie persuaded me to try the HTC EVO 4G -- and I haven't regretted it one bit.
We love the HTC's sleek design and responsive touchscreen. We love the long battery life. We love the great photos and videos we can take with your HTCs. We love all the apps available at the Android Marketplace. We love the way we can easily mount our smartphones as devices on our laptops. We love the fact that both phones work with the same charger, so we can use each other's chargers interchangeably. Based on our experiences with HTC so far, it's highly likely that our next phones will also be HTCs. So when HTC invited me to review a couple of their latest phones, we were delighted -- all the better to see and try out our future choices, right?
HTC lent us the Rezound and the Rhyme for a couple of weeks, and they are just as great as the HTC phones we already own -- and in many ways, better. If you're into his-and-hers phones, this is the duo to buy!
About the Rhyme
The HTC Rhyme offers a fresh take on the traditional smartphone. Specifically designed with women in mind, this stylish device delivers the advanced features people crave, in a sleek and lightweight body that effortlessly fits into a consumer’s life. From its distinct plum color finish, to its 5-megapixel camera with fun features such as action burst and panorama, the HTC Rhyme is something truly refreshing in the mobile space. HTC’s user experience, HTC Sense, can also be seen throughout - for example, instead of a screen full of icons, HTC Rhyme gives you the most commonly used applications right up front. Each of these icons lives on a preview tab that gives you a quick glimpse into your calendar, messages, mail, photos and more. The HTC Rhyme’s unique accessories include a wireless Bluetooth headset, tangle-free headphones, a wireless charging dock which turns your phone into an alarm clock and music station, and a notification charm which alerts you to missed calls, texts and voicemails. The HTC Rhyme is available exclusively at Verizon Wireless for $149.99
The Pea really gave the Rhyme an extensive workout. She used that phone everywhere, and she was the envy of all her friends. From taking photos to watching videos on YouTube to playing the Fashion Story app to checking email, there was nothing she couldn't do with the Rhyme. We both love the deep plum color, which definitely puts it into the "girly" category.
I was initially a bit concerned that the screen seemed small (compared to my gigantic EVO, that is), after a while you do get used to it, and since the resolution is so great, we never had any difficulty with reading anything from text messages to tweets to comments on websites. Another thing I had to get used to was the protocol for activating the screen and starting an app: you have to drag the app's icon into a big circle at the bottom of the screen instead of just taping on the icon.
One of my favorite features? The cool photo effects that you can apply to your camera photos. This feature is not available on my EVO and since I post lots of photos on my blog and on Facebook, I really, really wish I had it!
Here's a collage of some of the effects available with the Rhyme's camera software (the same effects are available on the Rezound). Cool, huh?
Now, on to the Rezound.....
About the Rezound:
The HTC Rezound, the first smartphone in the U.S. with Beats Audio integration and headphones, is a multimedia powerhouse delivering unparalleled audio and entertainment capabilities. The HTC Rezound enables consumers to hear music the way the artist intended with unique audio tuning and incredible stereo sound - the perfect gift for any music lover. With a true HD display, the HTC Rezound is great for enjoying high-quality entertainment available through HTC Watch on the device’s 4.3-inch LCD screen. In addition, the HTC Rezound boasts an 8-megapixel camera featuring autofocus and dual LED flash with enhanced camera features, such as panoramic mode and action burst, to ensure you capture every moment - in the moment.. Featuring the latest version of HTC Sense, the HTC Rezound allows customers to create a personal and intuitive user experience that matches their preferences and lifestyle. Equipped with a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor and access to Verizon Wireless’ lightning-fast 4G LTE network, the HTC Rezound enables customers to enjoy their favorite music and entertainment without compromising on speed or experience, all for $199.99.
The features, functionality and feel of the Rezound are almost identical to that of the Rhyme. The Rezound doesn't come with the charging dock, but it does come with these really cool earbuds. Thanks to Beats Audio integration, the sound is awesome! Alfie really enjoyed listening to music all day long in his office (he's an engineer, and he writes code while listening to music, so the sound quality is really important to him).
The only thing I did not like about the Rezound? For some reason, the Rezound's charging cable is completely different from that of the Rhyme, Inspire or EVO. The other 3 phones use the standard flat jack while the Rezound has a funky jack that's difficult to put in and take out.
With all the cables around the house, it's much easier if the same charger can be used on all phones, so when it's time to charge a phone, you can just grab a cable, any cable.
We were quite sorry to have to return the phones after our trial period was over, but HTC won't be leaving this household any time soon. The Pea has already told me that when it's time for her to get a smartphone, she wants the HTC Rhyme. The Rezound and a Rhyme, are both available on the Verizon network, so as it stands we won't be able to get those exact same models (I'm on Sprint and Alfie is on ATT). But we can hope, right?
Disclosure: HTC lent me an HTC Rhyme and HTC Rezound in order to facilitate this review. Product information was provided by HTC and is indicated in italics. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.