A Whole Slew of HTC Goodness


HTC Sensation XE with Beats Audio & HTC Rhyme

A Serving of the New HTC Delights

In the midst of the flurry of smartphone news (iPhone 4S, Steve Job's passing and the Samsung Nexus Prime), HTC has parked a spot for its own new lineup: the HTC Sensation XE with Beats Audio, HTC Rhyme, HTC Radar and HTC Explorer. Different names for different games - well, it stands true in this case as these phones are specific in that they clearly cater to different groups of people. Take a quick look at what we saw during the Taiwanese company's regional launch today.

Bass with HTC Sensation XE

Sensation - sounds familiar? Well, we are talking about HTC's very own dual-core Sensation, released just a few months back (review here). The HTC Sensation XE with Beats Audio is essentially a souped-up version of its sibling with an emphasis on providing the ultimate audio experience via an included Beats Audio sound profile and exclusive custom-made Beats headset. Other note-worthy improvements include a faster and more powerful processor (1.5GHz dual-core processor vs Sensation's 1.2GHz dual-core processor) and a bigger battery capacity (1730mAh vs Sensation's 1520mAh). For $30 more, the Sensation XE definitely offers much more than its Beats Audio-less sibling.

 Aesthetically, the phone hasn't changed much save for a couple of choice red finishing and highlights.

The phone shares the same dimensions with the HTC Sensation and is 3g heavier at 151g. As mentioned, the red touch buttons clearly differentiate it from its predecessor.

At the back, the Sensation XE spots a 8-MP camera with dual-LED flash. The smartphone comes with a unibody black chassis just like the Sensation but spots a few cosmetic changes at the back such as the Beats Audio logo.

You can either select to enable or disable the Beats Audio profile from the Sound enhancer tab after launching the HTC Music app. Alternatively, an easier way would be accessing the option from the notifications tab.

Want more bass? Packed with the HTC Sensation XE, the exclusive custom-made Beats headset comes with a remote control and extra earplugs.

 HTC Sensation XE with Beats Audio

Key highlights of the HTC Sensation XE with Beats Audio

  • Android 2.3 Gingerbread
  • 1.5 GHz dual-core processor
  • 768 MB RAM
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, WiFi hotspot
  • 4.3-inch S-LCD capacitive touchscreen / 540 x 960 pixels
  • 8-megapixel camera (3264x2448 pixels) /
    autofocus, dual-LED flash
  • 4 GB + microSD (up to 32GB)
  • 1730 mAh battery
  • 151g
  • 126.1 x 65.4 x 11.3 mm
     
  • Price and Availability: $868 (available by end Q4 2011)

 

Bells' n' Whistles with HTC Rhyme

The fashionable and mid-range HTC Rhyme comes with a suite of dedicated accessories, including the HTC Rhyme Docking Station, HTC Rhyme Tangle-Free Headphones and the HTC Rhyme Charm - all of which would be bundled along with the smartphone. If you like to complete the HTC Rhyme collection and have the cash to spare, you can choose from other accessories that are sold separately, namely the HTC Rhyme Sports Armband, Bluetooth Headset and Bluetooth Car Speaker. While the smartphone isn't equipped with what we call state-of-the-art hardware specifications, its 3.7-inch touchscreen, 1GHz processor with 768MB of RAM, 5-megapixel camera and 1600 mAh battery will satisfy the average user.

 

The HTC Rhyme is equipped with the Android 2.3 OS as well as the latest HTC Sense 3.5 UI. Having given the UI a light spin, we found that the latter is similar to its Sense 3.0 cousin, offering a few cosmetic changes and more HTC widgets.

Check out the three contact points at the back of the HTC Rhyme. Then check out the Docking Station. The station recharges the phone while transforming your phone into an alarm clock and music player of sorts. The station comes with built‐in Bluetooth capable speakers for the required morning blast of music.

While in the dock mode, the HTC Rhyme retains some of its smartphone features... in a non-obtrusive fashion. You can access your apps via the extreme left bottom icon; on the other hand, you can assign two app shortcuts to the main screen.

Connect the Charm to the Rhyme's 3.5mm jack and voila, the light-emitting cube acts as a notification light of sorts. Dangling from a cord, the Charm is meant to be clipped on to the outside of your bag so that you can be easily alerted to activity on your phone even while it's buried deep with your belongings.

To light the Charm up when messages are received or only for incoming calls and missed calls? It's your choice under the Settings menu > Charm section. 

 

HTC Rhyme

Key highlights of the HTC Rhyme

  • Google Android 2.3
  • 1GHz processor
  • 768 MB RAM
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • 3.7-inch capacitive touchscreen / 480 x 800 pixels
  • 5-megapixel camera (2592x1944 pixels) /
    Autofocus / LED flash
  • 4 GB storage + microSD (up to 32GB)
  • 1600 mAh battery
  • 130g
  • 119 x 60.8 mm x 10.85 mm
     
  • Price and Availability: $699 (available by end Q4 2011)