Well, well. Looks like those leaked press shots (and hands-on photos and video walk-through) were on the money. HTC just officially announced the Rhyme -- that womanly handset otherwise known as the Bliss. As it happens, HTC isn't explicitly marketing this as a lady phone, though it bears all the markers of a device pandering toward those of us with XX chromosomes. Which is to say, it's petite and purple with middling specs. What you're looking at is a handset with a 3.7-inch WVGA display, a single-core 1GHz Qualcomm CPU, 768MB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage space, a non-removable battery, microSD expansion slot, WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS radios and dual 5MP / VGA cameras. The phone runs Android 2.3 with "next-generation" Sense (that would be version 3.5) layered on top.

And, as rumored, you can pair it with an optional "Charm Indicator," a bubble that glows purple when the phone is ringing so that you'll never again miss a call because your phone is buried beneath nail files and fifty tubes of lipstick. Other accessories include a wireless dashboard speaker for the car, a dock and a workout armband. As that tell-tale FCC report revealed, the purple version you see up there will land on Verizon as a 3G device, with a silver version arriving in Asia and Europe next month. HTC has yet to confirm pricing or availability. If leaks are to be believed, though, those of you with small hands and deep murses should be able to pre-order yours any day now.

Update: We're told that it'll sell for the typical $199 on a two-year contract (which includes all accessories), with pre-orders starting on the 22nd and availability pegged for September 29th. A bit steep given the specifications, but hey -- you'll pay a premium for style, right? Right?

Update 2: As for global aspirations, we heard from an HTC representative that it'll soon be available on an unspecified amount of European carriers, where it'll be hawked as the "Hourglass," tinged in a "sand-like color." All other specifications and accessories will remain the same, though.

Update 3: Check out our hands-on (with video!) right here.
Gallery | 9 Photos

HTC Rhyme



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