The screen of the HTC Rhyme may be relatively modest in its proportions but it's of a decent quality. Its 480 x 800 pixel resolution results in a sufficiently sharp 252ppi. Colours are a little muted and overall brightness is modest but viewing angles are good.
Overall, then, the HTC Rhyme is at least competent on the hardware front with the only outright omission being an HDMI socket for connecting the phone to your TV, a feature that was becoming relatively common but seems to have fallen out of favour again. But how about performance…
A lowly single-core 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon lies at the heart of the HTC Rhyme but despite this it feels reasonably nippy while moving through the majority of the interface. Sliding from homescreen to homescreen, checking your notifications and opening most apps are all tasks it copes with easily, however jump into GoogleMaps, or even the web browser and it will start to chug a little. In comparison, dual core handsets would still be silky smooth.
Oddly it's not just these more demanding apps that cause it to come a cropper. Particularly when scrolling through the main menu, there's a slight shimmer to the display, almost like the display itself is running at too low a refresh rate. We suspect it’s the menu scrolling being poorly coded that is causing this though.
To test this performance we ran the SunSpider and RightWare BrowserMark benchmarks. In SunSpider it scored 3780 compared to 4057 on the iPhone 4 and 2261 on the iPhone 4S (lower is better). Meanwhile it returned a figure of 45024 in BrowserMark, compared to 37827 and 89530 (higher is better) for the same phones.
Both benchmarks are browser-based so performance depends not only on the hardware but the browser and the software sub-system of the phone. As such their results must be taken with a pinch of salt but nonetheless provide an indication of the performance difference you will feel. As such, these results backup our sense that this is a mid-range phone.
When it came to making calls we had no problems with reception, though call quality itself is nothing special and the speaker is particularly poor.
As we suspected given its capacity, the HTC Rhyme's battery keeps it going for a surprisingly long time. We're not talking record breaking figures but two days sensible smartphone usage should be easily achieved.