HTC Rhyme Review - Multimedia and Apps Review

When it comes to multimedia, the HTC Rhyme doesn’t set new records but is competent. It does a perfectly acceptable job of playing back video in terms of viewing pleasure but format support is mediocre at best. MKV, MOV, DivX and rmvb all fail to play, though avi and mp4 are fine. This is fairly typical but Samsung notably includes better video support in some of its phones.

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The music player is also particularly poor thanks to a custom interface that makes navigating your music markedly more cumbersome than on most devices. It’s not disastrous, and you do get useful extras like a quick player in the notifications drop down and on the lock screen (though they only appear when music’s playing) but it is certainly not the slickest system going. There’s no inbuilt music download service but there are of course plenty of options in the Market. 

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”’The screen on the left is what greets you every time you start the music app when music isn’t already playing. The right shows the rather clunky library interface.”’

Making up for many of these shortcomings is the camera which has a superb interface (though no physical shutter button). Shared by several other HTC phones, it includes a host of options including manual ISO setting, resolution, and white balance. What’s more there are built in effects that are really easy to use and look rather nifty, and after you’ve taken your shot you can apply further filters to get more funky effects.

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Similarly the video camera offers real time effects and has a trim mode for cutting your clip to size after it’s recorded. There’s also a slow-mo mode but it doesn’t actually result in very good quality footage.

The same could be said of the photos and videos this phone generally produces, in so much as they’re nothing special. The five megapixel camera noticeably lacks detail compared to 8 megapixel rivals and it struggles in the dark, while the camera is similarly only 720p compared to the 1080p of rivals. It’s not so much that you absolutely need the extra pixels of these higher resolution modes but by having more detail to work with you do have more scope to get a better picture at the end.

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”’In standard mode, the HTC Rhyme takes a perfectly reasonable shot – not helped by the dusky lighting.”’

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”’Various fun filters create surprisingly nice effects”’

In terms of other apps that come preloaded, there’s not a whole lot of significance but you do get HTC’s Watch app that provides movie trailers and downloads, though the selection is quite poor. You also get Reader, which is an ebook reader app that includes a store powered by Kobo (one of the bigger ebook stores).

Of course, when it comes to the web, you’ve got support for Flash to ensure you can access the majority of online multimedia goodies. That said, it does slow the device down considerably when in use and Adobe plans to wind down support mobile flash, thus admitting that it’s becoming less and less of a big seller (maybe they heard that TrustedReview’s videos now work without flash and realised the game was up).

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