Imagine our scepticism when we heard rumours that HTC was holding focus groups for females in their 20s and 30s and was on the brink of releasing a phone named the Bliss. Eyebrows were raised and frowns deployed.
The launch came and went however, and instead of the Bliss, we got the HTC Rhyme -- a 'lifestyle' phone with a plethora of accessories, all of which you can see in this video review with Amie Parker-Williams.
There's nothing to say the Rhyme is explicitly just for ladies,
but a less than subtle advertising campaign in women's magazines which
pairs the plum-coloured device with similarly hued fashion accessories
has led us to suspect that this purple blower, complete with glowing
charm, might well be aimed at the female demographic. Quite the detectives, aren't we?
Take a look at our video review though and you'll see that the Rhyme isn't to be sniffed at. It's classy rather than garishly girly, and while the charm is a little patronising and the earphones are naff, the docking station that's included is a thoughtful addition that wouldn't go amiss if it were to be bundled with future HTC phones.
The Rhyme boasts a 3.7-inch screen, which is modest compared to HTC's other recent efforts, such as the 4.7-inch displays on the Titan and Sensation XL. HTC's attractive Sense 3.5 interface, one of our favourite manufacturer-made skins, sits on top of Android Gingerbread 2.3, and makes for a top-notch home screen and scrolling experience.
Overall, this mid-range Android phone has much to recommend it, but we can see neither reason nor rhyme why HTC would feel the need to create a phone specifically for women. Quite frankly, the ladies we know would demand better specs than can be found on the Rhyme -- better headphones too, especially considering the partnership between HTC and Beats by Dr Dre.
Do you find the Rhyme patronising, or is it a savvy move by HTC? Hit play on the video review above and let us know what you think in the comments below or on our Facebook page.