Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZW) will begin selling the HTC Rhyme, a 3G smartphone based on Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android 2.3 "Gingerbread" operating system Sept. 29 for $199.99 on contract.
With its plum color and special "charm" alert device (see it on The Verge blog), the Rhyme is targeted toward female customers, HTC executives indicated at a launch event in New York City Sept. 20.
"HTC Rhyme represents an entirely new approach, based on recognition that there is a substantial group of consumers who want their phones to be more personal and complementary to every moment of their day," Scott Croyle, vice president of design for HTC, said in a statement.
Powered by a 1GHz processor, the handset includes a 3.7-inch, WVGA super LCD touch-screen (800 by 480 resolution) and a new version of the HTC Sense user interface. Sense 3.5 boasts a new, cleaner home screen that provides users quicker access to their calendar and email and text messages.
There is also a front-facing VGA camera for video chat and a 5-megapixel camera in the rear.
The rear camera comes equipped with face-detection software to promote better picture taking, as well as instant shutter, which automatically takes five consecutive shots of a scene. The panoramic mode adds continuity for consecutive photo shoots together.
The Rhyme also provides users access to HTC Watch, which includes movies and TV shows for viewing via the smartphone.
There are several accessories for the Rhyme, three of which come packaged with the phone.
These include a docking station that lets users recharge the phone and use the Rhyme as an alarm clock, music center and photo frame; a tangle-free headset; and the "charm," a small cube that attaches to the phone's headset jack via a cord and glows to alert the user to an incoming call or text message.
Target is the exclusive national retailer for the HTC Rhyme on Verizon in the U.S.
From Sept. 21 through Sept. 26, consumers can preorder the HTC Rhyme at nearly 1,500 Target Mobile locations before it launches in stores on Sept. 29.
The Rhyme will also be available in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Asia-Pacific in October in Clearwater and Hourglass colors.