Optus exclusively nabs 'elegant' HTC Rhyme for the girls

HTC Rhyme coming to Optus on 1 November

Optus will exclusively launch the HTC Rhyme Android phone in Australia on 1 November. Described as "elegant" and clearly marketed towards women, the Rhyme includes a charm accessory that glows when you receive a call or text message.

HTC Rhyme preview
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The HTC Rhyme is clearly marketed at women. It's a lightweight and compact Android phone with a 3.7in touchscreen, mid-range specifications and an included charm that glows when you receive a call or text message. The charm is designed to dangle out of a handbag or purse, emitting a soft glow when you receive a call or text message.

"We've designed the HTC Rhyme based on feedback that consumers want their phones to be more personal and complimentary to every moment of their day," said Ben Hodgson, HTC Australia and New Zealand country manager. "We believe the market is ready for more choice in terms of different form factors and colours and the HTC Rhyme is stylish, distinctive and different."

The HTC Rhyme includes a number of accessories in the sales package that you normally wouldn't find with other smartphones. Aside from the charm, Australian models of the Rhyme sold through Optus also include a docking station with built-in speakers, "virtually tangle-free" headphones with a flat cord and a pouch to store the phone in.

"The design is a fresh interpretation of what we come to expect from smartphones," said Gavin Williams, Optus consumer marketing director. "With an impressive host of practical accessories and advanced features, the HTC Rhyme is a great new addition to our handset range."

Aside from its stylish coat of white and blue paint the HTC Rhyme is a similar phone to the Desire S. It has the same 3.7in capacitive touchscreen, is powered by the same single-core 1GHz processor and has the same 768MB of RAM. However, the Rhyme boasts 4GB of internal memory compared to the Desire S's 1.1GB and its also a multi-band 3G smartphone, meaning it will work on all Australian 3G networks.

The HTC Rhyme runs the Android 2.3 operating system and also includes the latest 3.5 version of HTC's Sense UI overlay. New features include an updated clock widget on the home screen, a preview window that lets you view your most recent e-mails, photos, messages and apps, and 12 new wallpapers. You can also take photos with face recognition and burst mode and upload photos to Facebook automatically — a feature first introduced in HTC's ChaCha and Salsa Facebook phones.

As the Rhyme is a Sense 3.5 Android phone, its the first smartphone that will work with the company's new HTC Sync software. The program is now compatible with both Windows and Mac PCs and will sync music playlists from iTunes, along with your contacts, calendar, photos, videos and Web browser bookmarks.

The HTC Rhyme will be available from 1 November exclusively through Optus in Australia for a period of three months. It will be sold for $0 on Optus' $59 cap plan over 24 months. The plan includes $750 worth of calls, unlimited SMS and MMS, 2GB of data and unlimited access to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, eBay and Foursquare services within Australia.

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Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

PC World
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