HTC and Optus have teamed up again to launch a new Android smartphone in Australia, with Optus ranging the HTC Rhyme as an exclusive from 1 November.
Sold in a pack with a range of accessories, the Rhyme will be available for $0 on an AU$59 per month plan over 24 months. This includes the handset, a bedside speaker dock, a protective pouch, headphones with a "tangle-free" cord design and what HTC is calling the "Rhyme Charm" — an LED notification light that clips onto the strap of a handbag (or manbag) which flashes when you receive a call or message.
This last accessory in particular has pundits labelling the Rhyme a smartphone for women. This notion is reinforced somewhat by Optus only selling the handset in a pastel mint colour.
Beyond its design, the Rhyme ships with version 3.5 of the HTC Sense user experience. This is the latest version of the software, and it comes with a number of enhancements to the design of the system to simplify its appearance and unclutter some of its menus.
The handset also has a 5-megapixel camera, which HTC reps described as the best camera from HTC to date. Though its megapixel count may be lower than some of its competitors, the camera includes a backside-illuminated (BSI) sensor, similar to the iPhone 4S, which should deliver good results, even in low-light situations.