HTC Rhyme, a plum colored phone with matching "charm," set for Sept. 29 launch

The HTC Rhyme gets a plum-color scheme, a svelte shape, and a dangling 'Rhyme Charm.'

The HTC Rhyme, pictured here, will arrive in the US on Sept. 29, via Verizon Wireless.

On Tuesday, HTC took the wraps off the Rhyme, a svelte purple handset equipped with Android Gingerbread, a 3.7 inch screen, a decent amount of memory, and a dangly purple thing called the "Rhyme Charm," which hangs off the side of the Rhyme like a Christmas ornament. (More on the "Rhyme Charm" later.) The Rhyme is set to debut on Sept. 29 in the States; the handset will be available only through Verizon Wireless.

So what to make of the Rhyme? Well, although neither HTC nor Verizon are saying it explicitly, this device is clearly designed to appeal to the female half of the smartphone audience – those consumers turned off by what Gizmodo describes as the "butch" lines of the Droid. The Rhyme is all soft edges and "plum" color schemes, along with a shape that is designed – according to HTC – to "feel great in your hand."

That's not to say that HTC has skimped on the hardware. The Rhyme gets a super LCD display, high-quality stereo sound, a 5-megapixel camera with auto focus, a power LED flash, and an "instant shutter for capturing those memorable moments whenever they arrive." (Seriously, the HTC press release is written a little like a Hallmark card.) Over at Engadget, Dana Wollman got her hands on a Rhyme, and she likes what she sees.

"Maybe it's because yours truly is a woman," Wollman writes, "but the Rhyme doesn't feel small, per se; it's just not as gargantuan as all the 4-, 4.3- and 4.5-inch handsets we've been manhandling lately. It does feel positively featherweight, though. And why shouldn't it? There's really not much to this device. HTC's playing up the minimalist design but, as is the case with so many gadgets aimed at women, it skimps in the ports department."

Included on the Rhyme are a 3.5mm headphone jack, lock button, volume rocker, and a USB port – and "that's it," Wollman reports. Still, she likes the interface, which runs HTC's in-house Sense on top of Gingerbread. "For what it is, the performance was brisk and precise as we swiped the display and pinched it to get an aerial view of all seven home screens," Wollman writes.

Meanwhile, over at This is My Next, Joanna Stern evaluates the aforementioned "Rhyme Charm."

"From a cloth covered cord hangs a plastic cube that’s slightly bigger than a die," Stern reports. "When plugged into the Rhyme’s 3.5mm headphone jack the purple cube lights up like a glowing tentacle when a call or new message (email or text) comes in. It’s certainly an out-there accessory, but I can actually see it being quite useful — I constantly lose my phone in my bag and use my headphones to fish it out."

So there's that. Interested in the HTC Rhyme? Drop us a line in the comments section.

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