The C905 is on the chunky side, partly due to its slider format.
The camera can be fired up by sliding open a protective lens shield
found on the back of the device. The hinged system is not as smooth as
the phone’s main slider mechanism, but it is reassuring to have your
With on-board GPS, you can also geo-tag your pictures so you can refer back to the location in which you took the shot.
Locating a GPS fix proved tricky and tiresome.
The C905 has a decent battery life.
Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:53:59 PM
Look and feel
Ease of use
The C905?s snapping credentials include, among others, an eight-megapixel resolution, Xenon flash, face detection and smart contrast.
Locating a GPS fix proved tricky and tiresome.
Eight-megapixel camera phones are all the rage. Samsung and LG have their big hitters and now Sony Ericsson has jumped on the bandwagon. The Sony Ericsson C905 has been on our radar for some time now. We first got our hands on the super-savvy Cyber-shot device back in June, though only for a few minutes. It was not until October that it arrived in stores, by which point Samsung had unveiled the i8510 and the Pixon, and LG had launched the Renoir. So the gauntlet has been thrown down. Will the C905 rise to the challenge?
While the Pixon and the Renoir battled it out for slimmest eight-megapixel device, the Sony Ericsson C905 has avoided any petty squabbling. The C905 is actually on the chunky side, partly due to its slider format. Slider phones have an annoying habit of accidentally springing open in your pocket, resulting in accidental key commands and wasting precious battery power. We were pleased to find the C905’s mechanism provides some resistance (and a satisfying snap) to ensure this isn’t a common occurrence.
Available in night black, ice silver (exclusive to O2) and copper gold (exclusive to Carphone Warehouse), the C905 sports curvaceous contours. The front fascia is adorned with a 2.4-inch screen that is so vibrant it belies its 240x320 pixel resolution. Below are the standard array of hard keys, a shortcut key and call and call end keys that Sony Ericsson users have become so accustomed to. Sandwiched between these is the navigation pad and confirm key. We found all these keys a little too cushioned and would have preferred a bit more of a click as found on the keypad. The keypad is roomy enough, though some users may bemoan the fact that definition is lacking between each individual key.
Talking of keypads, Sony Ericsson, once again, enables users to call contacts by typing in their name as you would when using T9 predictive text. For example, to call ‘Anna’, simply slide the phone open and press ‘2’ (A), ‘6’ (N), ‘6’ and ‘2’ and up will pop any Anna’s you have in your address book. It is a simple yet effective process.
The camera can be fired up by sliding open a protective lens shield found on the back of the device. The hinged system is not as smooth as the phone’s main slider mechanism, but it is reassuring to have your lens protected. Once in camera mode the phone’s navigation pad glows, revealing four icons that represent shortcuts to your flash, timer, focus and exposure levels.
While some may criticise the C905’s bulk, we felt that it actually gave the phone more of a dedicated camera feel, something that is only enhanced when its snapping credentials are laid bare. Not only does it have an eight-megapixel resolution, the C905 also sports face detection, auto-focus, image stabiliser and a truly remarkable Xenon flash. This type of flash is preferable to the more common LED flash found in most camera phones, as it provides a brighter burst of light that captures night time shots without losing detail. The C905 certainly achieves this and, if anything, the flash may be a little too bright.
When using the face detection mode, it was pleasing to find that it located more than one subject. However, we did find that you needed to be relatively near to be able to use the feature. Smart contrast was another useful addition, balancing the light and colour to ensure a better quality shot. It works much the same way as Photo fix, the difference being that Smart contrast is set before the picture is taken while Photo fix corrects the image after it has been snapped.
As demonstrated by our array of photos (see overleaf), the C905 is capable of achieving cracking picture quality and can proudly hold its own among the other eight-megapixel snappers. However, while the images looked fine on our phone, when we enlarged them on screen on our PC, shots where we used the zoom did appear pixelated.
With on-board GPS, you can also geo-tag your pictures so you can refer back to the location in which you took the shot. In fact, Sony Ericsson has placed a great deal of emphasis on the C905’s navigational services. Not only is Google Maps present, but so is a trial of the excellent Wayfinder Navigator that provides turn by turn directions, with an easy route planner, from your current location. And that is not all. Although previously downloadable to both the GPS-enabled Sony Ericsson C702 and W760i, the C905 is the first handset to come preinstalled with NearMe. It is a great little application that provides names, addresses and phone numbers for 11,000 recommended bars and restaurants and over 1.9 million businesses. Results are displayed on an optimised multimap and it is a great application if for example you want to find the nearest cinema or restaurant to your current location.
It is all very well to have such a wealth of navigational services, but these will only benefit from a decent GPS system. Sadly, the C905 is somewhat lacking. Standing outside our office (in the freezing cold may we add), it took an age for our location to be pinpointed. In fact we needed to wander into an area that was not shielded by tall office blocks in order for it to work. While this may have once been forgivable,
with the likes of the excellent Nokia N85 raising the navigational bar, the C905 ultimately falls short.
With additional features such as Wi-Fi (that will automatically hook up each time you re-enter that hotspot), HSDPA for speedy internet when outside a Wi-Fi hotspot, and tilt-sensoring accelerometers, the Sony Ericsson C905 is a well-equipped handset that can take on the likes of the Nokia N96 and Samsung Pixon in terms of specifications.
However, the experience as a whole is not as smooth and flawless as one would hope. There is no 3.5mm headset port or adapter, and only a measly 160MB of internal memory (although Sony Ericsson does include a 2GB memory card). That said, the camera is up there with the very best and despite its heft, we were fans of the C905’s overall build. A case of what
might have been rather than a complete travesty.