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Dec 19 2011

Review: HTC Rhyme, The Ultimate Feminine Phone

Adam Shear

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Many smartphone manufacturers today are focusing not just on power and software, but also style. Phones have to look just as good as they perform. HTC mainly focused on style when it comes to the HTC Rhyme. The phone just looks so nice, mostly because of its unibody design. While the HTC Rhyme may look good, does it have enough to stand out amongst its competition? Find out in my review.

The Hardware

On the outside, the HTC Rhyme is one of the best looking Android phones on the market. Its purple color and unibody design make it stand out. The Rhyme feels good in the hand and is not thick or heavy at all. In fact, the Rhyme is so light that I thought it had no battery inside when I first held it. Not only is the phone purple but it comes with a purple charm which plugs into the headphone jack and lights up when you receive a call or notification. I really could not figure out the significance of the charm but girls certainly will know their way around it. In terms of the look and feel of the device, the only major problem I had was that it sometimes overheated. There were a few times where I was streaming music on 3G data and that phone felt very hot afterwards. Phones do get hot after a lot of usage but this was definitely hotter than normal.

In the case of its internals, the HTC Rhyme unfortunately does not impress. For a $200 phone, it has only a 1 GHz single core processor. I can name so many phones at the same price that are more than twice as fast as the HTC Rhyme. This is pretty unacceptable. The speed difference is very noticeable, enough to say that Android phones really do need dual core processors to be decent phones. At least it has a decent amount of RAM at 768 mb. The amount of storage you get is also fine which is 4 GB of internal memory as well as 8 GB included on the micro SD card that came inside. The Rhyme’s battery at 1600 mAh actually was fairly great. I was able to get up to four hours of streaming music over 3G and the phone easily lasted a full day of moderate to heavy usage. The screen size at 3.7 inches is only small when being compared to other Android phones on the market. In general the screen is a nice size but the screen’s resolution is fairly low at 480 X 800 pixels. Phones half the price of the Rhyme has higher resolution screens. Just from what’s inside, it is clear that the HTC Rhyme is pretty overpriced for what one would actually get from any other phone with the same price tag.

The Service

Believe it or not, the HTC Rhyme is the first phone that I have ever reviewed on Verizon’s 3G network. I never used it before and I gotta say, the EVDO Rev.A technology is fairly decent. AT&T’s 3G network is still faster but Verizon’s service for the most part was on par with Sprint and maybe surpassing T-Mobile. The only difference with Verizon’s network was that I didn’t lose connection as much as I did for the other 3G networks. While in the Syracuse area, the other 3G networks were much better, Verizon was much more reliable than T-Mobile and Sprint and on par with AT&T everywhere else I went with the phone including areas in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and the New York metro area. I give two thumbs up to Verizon’s 3G network. I’d give more thumbs up to its incredible 4G LTE network as I’m using it now with the Galaxy Nexus but unfortunately the HTC Rhyme is only a 3G phone.

The Software

In terms of software, I have no complaints. I love HTC Sense and Gingerbread so if you have used any of those, you know exactly what to expect. Only real difference is that it comes with some more girly themes and wallpapers. My only complaint about software is that the single core 1 GHz processor limits what can be done on the phone and slows everything down. It’s clear that Android phones need dual core processors.

Final Thoughts

The HTC Rhyme is a pretty phone that feels great in the hand, but that’s all it really is. The HTC costs $200, probably double the price it should cost. There are so many other phones available on Verizon’s network at the same price that have more than twice the power and use Verizon’s amazing 4G LTE network. The Rhyme should be worth $100 at most. With so many better choices, I sadly cannot recommend the HTC Rhyme.

The Good

    • Pretty unibody design
    • Feels great in the hand
    • The charm is kind of cool if you’re into that thing
    • Runs HTC Sense and Gingerbread
    • Battery life is not pretty good

    The Bad

      • Overpriced
      • Underpowered with its single core processor
      • Overheats

      Final Score: 5.5/10

      Special thanks to Verizon for loaning TripTronicTech an HTC Rhyme for review.


      Nov 27 2011

      Documents to Go: Productivity in Your Pocket

      Eric Engoron

      With smartphones becoming more and more popular among teenagers, they have begun to lose their true meaning, productivity on the go. In an attempt to bring back the productive side of smartphones, DataViz inc. has released Documents to Go, an app that aims to be Microsoft office in your pocket, and succeeds in being so.

      Continue reading


      Nov 16 2011

      Taking The Hassle Out Of Data Transfer – Presenting CloudFTP

      Eric Engoron

      Have you ever wanted to take data off of a USB and put it on your iPad, iPhone, or any other wireless device? If you have, you know that this process is a hassle that involves your computer as a middleman to bridge the USB and your device, and then you have to do all that tedious dragging and dropping. However, CloudFTP, a kickstarter project by the Sanho Corporation, promises to be a game changer that eliminates the middleman.

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      Nov 15 2011

      HTC ZETA – Concept Or Flagship? We’re Hoping For The Latter, & If So, HTC’s Bringin’ Sexy Back

      Tarndeep

      HTC created the first, consumer Android phone, the HTC Dream, which was later re-branded as the T-Mobile G1. Little did we know that phone would start a smartphone revolution, which Apple deserves credit for as well. There was a time when HTC was the king of Android phones, and many people, myself included, wouldn’t by an Android phone, if it wasn’t by HTC. In fact, HTC was once so developer friendly that ROM developers and hackers, like CyanogenMod, would recommend waiting and getting a new Android phone, only from HTC. Unfortunately, somewhere along the road, HTC lost its path, and we were unpleasantly introduced to obstacles which made hacking and rooting HTC, Android devices harder and harder, ranging from the HTC Desire Z’s removing root on boot up to locked bootloaders, however, in many cases, Android developers were able to get around these, eventually. It only got harder and harder from there; while possible, it took more and more work and time to get these devices hacked and rooted, so one could run custom ROMs/firmwares, etc.

      Later, something many didn’t expect, Samsung became the next developer friendly company, and if you don’t recall, Samsung used to be the slowest to deliver their upgrade promises for their Android phones, but for whatever reason, Samsung decided those times were over. Samsung started releasing great phones, with their signature, beautiful AMOLED screens, and these phones, like the Galaxy series came to all carriers, making it the biggest Android threat to HTC, to date. Continue reading


      Nov 14 2011

      Review: HTC Flyer – This Thing Really Flies!

      Adam Shear

      Honeycomb seems to be all the rage these days when it comes to Android tablets.  Manufacturers are not even thinking about using Gingerbread, the same version of Android used on smartphones, for a tablet.  HTC thought different in this case with the HTC Flyer.  The original Samsung Galaxy Tab did the exact same thing before Honeycomb was even announced.  The one big difference with the Flyer is that it utilizes HTC Sense.   Is HTC Sense enough to make a tablet running phone software actually useful and enjoyable?  Find out in my review.

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      Nov 9 2011

      Review: HTC Status

      Neel

       

      HTC Status has captivated many Facebookers ever since its pre-launch. Never before has a phone been released, simply for the purpose of making mobile Facebooking easier. Most people recall the phone as the phone with “a big Facebook button at the bottom.” HTC Status is essentially the American version of HTC ChaCha, which is being sold overseas.


      Hardware

      On the hardware side of the phone, there is nothing really spectacular that separates HTC Status from other phones. It comes with the now usual, 512 MB memory, 802.11n WiFi, mobile hotspot connectivity, and Bluetooth 3.0. But probably the most disappointing part of the hardware, is its 800MHz processor and performance. Immediately after opening the box and booting up the phone, the phone initially froze whilst setting up the facebook account – the problem persisted throughout the review period. The slow processor in conjunction with the poorly programmed Sense, often led to many bugs in the phone. For example, the phone would reboot when the home key was pressed while watching a video on YouTube, more than once. Another disappointing aspect of the phone is its camera. Although, the phone comes equipped with a 5 MP rear facing camera and a VGA front-facing camera, like most other phones, it feels and looks slightly blurry. Even though the camera comes with an auto focus and anti-shake system, occasionally the pictures taken from the rear facing camera became blurred, even though the phone was held perfectly stable. Continue reading


      Nov 8 2011

      Move Outta The Way, Samsung. HTC Wants The King Of Android Phones Title Back, With The HTC Edge

      Tarndeep

      Thanks to Pocketnow.com, we’ve got some nice details on a new phone by HTC, HTC Edge. Apparently HTC Edge will be one of the first quad-core powered Android smartphones, with Nvidia’s AP30 Tegra 3 CPU, along with other internals making it a top of the line headset and a likely upgrade from HTC Rezound. The other supposed sepcs are, a 4.7-inch screen, with a 720p resolution, like Rezound, 1 GB of RAM,an internal storage increase to 32 GB, bluetooth 4.0, a backlit eight-megapixel camera with 28-millimeter f/2.2 lens, and all this allegedly slightly under 11 millimeters thick. What’s great about the AP30 Tegra 3 CPU, it’s clocked at 1.5 GHz – that’s 4 cores at 1.5 GHz each! Aside from the specs, I love how wide this phone is, as well as the recently announced Rezound. As a former Sensation user, as much as I loved the phone, I absolutely hate how narrow the phone was; it didn’t do my fatty fingers justice…

      On the software end, we should see Beats audio, not to mention HTC’s latest version of HTC Sense UI, on top of Android 4.o, Ice Cream Sandwich. If for whatever reason this phone comes with Gingerbread, Android 2.3, we should see a quick upgrade to Android 4.0. According to pocketnow, “Edge may also see the rollout of new or improved HTC content services, such as the previously tipped HTC Listen music store, HTC Read bookstore, and HTC Play gaming hub; the HTC Watch movie portal will reportedly begin to offer HD fare.” Continue reading


      Nov 7 2011

      Reminder: We’ll Be At The CES Press Preview Tomorrow!

      Tarndeep

      We’ve reached an amazing milestone; we’re going to the CES Press Preview tomorrow! Getting to this point requires a lot of hard work and dedication, and it’s nice to see the fruits of our labor! CES, short for the Consumers Electronic Show , is one of the biggest internation Consumer’s Electronic Show. Straight from the CES website -

      With more than four decades of success, the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) reaches across global markets, connects the industry and enables CE innovations to grow and thrive.

      The International CES is owned and produced by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the preeminent trade association promoting growth in the $186 billion U.S. consumer technology industry. CEA represents more than 2,000 corporate members involved in the design, development, manufacturing, distribution and integration of consumer electronics products. All profits from CES are reinvested into industry services, including technical training and education, industry promotion, engineering standards development, market research and legislative advocacy.

      Needless to say, we’re extremely excited and can’t wait to cover the Press Preview, followed by the actual event in January, hopefully!


      Nov 5 2011

      Reminder: You Can Pick Up The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0+ Today!

      Tarndeep

      In case you don’t remember, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0+ is available today from Amazon! In case you don’t remember, Google had another 7 inch Tab that launched with Android 2.2 some time ago, but now, this 7-incher’s got it good! Running Android 3.2, honeycomb with Samsung’s TouchWiz UX user interface built on top, the Galaxy Tab 7.0+ has got an extra bit of polish than other tablets in its range. Some of the other notable specs include:

      • A 7-inch display with a great resolution of 1024 x 600
      • Dual cameras – 2 megapixel front facing camera and a 3 megapixel rear facing camera with LED flash, capable of 720p HD video capture!
      • A 1.2 GHZ dual-core Samsung Exynos processor
      • 1 GB RAM
      • Your choice of built in storage of 16 GB or 32 GB, expandable with a microSD card slot!
      • Peel Smart Remote – You have the built in infrared capabilities to turn your 7-inch tab into an overpriced, awesome, useful, universal remote!
      It’s really not your run of the mill Android tablet, and the fact that it’s 7 inches and packing such power makes it attractive. Personally, I prefer something a little bigger, but there are many people that prefer tablets smaller than 9-10 inches, and I think this is something they can appreciate. Also, our very own Adam Shear will be reviewing this tablet, as well as the 7-inch HTC Flyer, so we should be able to see a greatly detailed comparison! Stay tuned!

      Nov 3 2011

      Introducing HTC Rezound!

      Tarndeep

      Today, we had the privilege to see the launch of the HTC Rezound. It was a great press conference, with appearances by music veteran, Jimmy Iovine, HTC CEO Peter Chou, who honestly seemed like a great guy; we started talking about dual-booting WP7 and Android on the HD 2, he told myself, my colleagues over at Techguy$martBuy, and someone at Verizon PR how carriers were telling him the HD 2 is a ridiculous device to release because of it’s big screen! We were laughing about that for a bit, considering we have 5 inch phones now. And, of course, Dr Dre was there for a bit, promoting his beats brand.

      HTC said they are extremely focused on the mobile experience. Amazing audio is a big part of the mobile experience. It was music professionals that created this greats beats technology. According to Jimmy Iovine, years ago, we’d show off our speakers to people, showing how good they were, in terms of sound quality, bass, etc, but now, it’s about headphones. “How can you play music through one dollar headphones?” HTC Rezound is another example of talking audio to the next level. Rezound takes red accents from the Droid Incredible and it has that familiar translucent back, under the battery cover. It looks like a crazy , good marriage between the HTC Incredible and Thunderbolt, and to be honest, I want this phone! From our 4G tests, we were getting 9 MBPS download speeds and 3 MBPS upload speeds consistently, whereas our Sprint and T-Mobile review units struggle to reach 2 MBPS download, let alone upload! Continue reading