Holiday Gift Guide: Keeping Up with Kids, Work, Home with HTC Rhyme

My workday is unpredictable. Some days my mornings start bang on time. I put all three kids on three buses with everything that each could possibly need for the day — backpacks, books, lunchboxes, etc. — and head down to my office to work without a problem. Oh, how I love those days!

Other mornings, my day just seems doomed from the beginning. We oversleep. There is no clean laundry…or more precisely the outfit that one of my girls needs is still in the laundry. I spill milk on the floor…and yes it is possible that I shed a tear at cleaning the floor at such an early hour. One of the kids dawdles and dithers and dallies and misses the bus. I realize that I have practically nothing to make lunches. Another kid calls from school about a missing notebook or homework assignment. Basically, my day does not get off to a good start. You know how it is?

On days where everything is off track and I find myself on the road to school with a missing lunchbox or folder or P.E. uniform, I am grateful to have the next best thing to my desk in my pocket. I like to call it my “office away home.” What am I talking about? My smartphone.

Almost two years ago, I did not have a smartphone. If I was away from my home office, I had no way to check email or tweet or post to Facebook. As a social media marketer and blogger, without a smartphone my hands are literally tied behind my back.

I was asked to test drive the HTC Rhyme phone. The Rhyme is an HTC smartphone available through Verizon Wireless. The Rhyme may seem like just another phone in the Android market, but it is the suite of accessories that make the phone a hit with anyone on the go.

  • Comes with a docking station for charging.
  • The phone rests on the dock to charge.
  • I moved the charging dock from the kitchen to my office to my bedroom — very easy to move from room to room
  • Unlike regular charging cards you don’t need to fumble in the dark as you try to locate the charging cord hole. Instead, just place the phone on the docking holder to charge. I never had a problem aligning the 3 pins on the back of the Rhyme with the corresponding 3 pins on the cradle part of the charging dock as the dock is contoured to cradle the Rhyme.
  • While the HTC Rhyme rests in the dock, you can use the phone as an alarm clock or a music player. We listened to music while I prepared dinner and the kids did their homework.

Ever hear your phone ring, know that the phone is in your purse, but not be able to find the phone no matter how much digging you do? Just me? The HTC Rhyme comes with the Charm. You attach the Charm to your phone¬† using the headphone jack. The Charm will light up to let you know about calls, messages, and more. No more digging around in your purse…just pull on the cord attached to the HTC Rhyme to find the phone! Although I didn’t use the headphones, the flat wires would lead to few to no tangles.

The setup of the phone is very similar to the HTC Thunderbolt I currently use. I found all my favorite apps in the Android Market. I set up the Rhyme to mirror as much as possible my Thunderbolt. I use the extended battery with the Thunderbolt, so I missed the battery power. The Rhyme screen at 3.7″ WVGA super LCD is smaller than the Thunderbolt’s 4.3″ screen. I found both screens easy to use and read.

The only downside to the phone was that the opening on the side of for inserting the charging cord is covered by a flap. When I tried to insert the charging cord in to the phone, I fumbled quite a bit. Most of the time you can simply place the phone on the docking station. However, if you need to transfer data from phone to laptop/PC you need to connect the phone to the computer via the charging cord. I was able to insert the charging cord in to the phone, but the little flap was awkward to use.

The bottom line is that both phones are great for moms, dads, and even teens on the go. My two teens both found the Rhyme fun to use. One has a cell phone and the other has a multimedia phone, so both enjoyed exploring all the capabilities of the HTC Rhyme and its platform, HTC Sense.

You can purchase both phones in time for the holidays:

I was sent an HTC Rhyme to facilitate my review. I returned the Rhyme at the end of the review period. Earlier in the summer — during BlogHer 11 — I participated in a focus group with other bloggers where I was given an HTC Thunderbolt phone. The views expressed in this post are my own. I follow the tenets of Blog With Integrity.

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