HTC has unveiled an Android-powered smartphone that seems to target the female demographic.
Dubbed “Rhyme,” but nicknamed the “lady phone” by Joanna Stern, the Rhyme boasts some fairly respectable specs, including a 3.7-inch WVGA Super LCD display, 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S2 (MSM8655) CPU, 768MB of RAM, a 5-megapixel rear camera and a VGA front-facing shooter.
The $200 handset – available from Verizon on September 29th – also features a color coordinated LED “charm,” which plugs into the phone’s 3.5mm headphone jack and lights up to indicate an incoming call or text message.
Additional “integrated” accessories and specs include:
- Android 2.3 / Sense 3.5
- 5-megapixel camera – Auto focus, power LED flash and instant shutter.
- Photo-taking and sharing – Face detection, action burst scene and panoramic mode.
- Docking station – Simultaneously recharges the phone while turning the Rhyme into an alarm clock and music center.
- Sports armband.
- Tangle free headphones.
- Bluetooth headset.
- Bluetooth car speaker.
As Gizmodo’s Brent Rose points out, there is, of course, no such thing as a “lady phone” or “dude phone.”
“HTC would be crazy to out and out assign a gender norm to a piece of hardware,” wrote Rose. “But my goodness, these flowy pink curtains and rhinestones do seem to be planting some sort of flag.”
I think I’d have to agree, even if HTC strenuously avoided mentioning gender in any of its official statements.
Yes, the Rhyme is an obvious marketing ploy, but I guess you have to give HTC credit for trying – and offering some really cool accessories to go along with its, er, “lady phone.”