Sony Ericsson C905+ in-depth review -

Look and feel

The C905+ is identical to its predecessor, so its still on the chunky side due to the slider format.

Ease of use

Sony Ericsson handsets tend to take a bit of getting used to, but there is nothing overly complicated to get to grips with.

Features

Added features include the BBC iPlayer, which can be watched via a Wi-Fi connection to save on data charges, smile shutter and SMS conversation, all of which are fun, useful additions.

Performance

The screen is a tad small for viewing the iPlayer and YouTube footage, which results in some pixelated images. The eight-megapixel camera is truly excellent, though.

Battery life

Battery life is above average.

Verdict

Sony Ericsson’s welcome additions have improved on what was already a top notch handset, and the manufacturer should be applauded for offering a free software upgrade via its website to existing C905 users.

 Sony Ericsson C905+ Review -
4

Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:55:01 PM

8

out of 10

Performance

8

out of 5

Look and feel

6

out of 5

Ease of use

10

out of 5

Features

8

out of 5

Battery life

Pros:

Smile shutter joins an eight-megapixel arsenal including face detection, Xenon flash and image stabiliser.

Cons:

The YouTube videos appeared pixelated at times.

Despite enjoying much success with the Sony Ericsson C905, the manufacturer has begun selling an updated version of the handset, called the C905+. Before you angrily begin stomping up and down in protest that you only have the original, fear not; this update will be available to download for free to all original C905’s from Sony Ericsson’s website. So what do you get with this update?

Smile shutter

The excellent eight-megapixel camera remains at the heart of the C905+, and Sony Ericsson has included the odd tweak to enhance its credentials. Smile shutter aims to gloss up a picture with a guaranteed set of pearly whites. Press the camera key once and the C905+ will detect your subjects face before automatically snapping the picture as they grin. While the phone was excellent at picking up faces, and in the majority was equally impressive at detecting a smile, we did find that when the subject was more than a few feet away, the function would take a picture at even the slightest mouth movement, be it a smile or a grimace. Smile shutter can be overruled by pressing the camera key a second time, though.

Camera photos tend to simply sit on the phones memory card, occasionally being viewed by the very person who took the photo. Granted, more people are uploading them to social networking sites such as Facebook and Flickr, but printing out an actual hard copy is rare. That’s why we applaud Sony Ericsson for including Snapfish, a service that enables you to print photographs directly from your phone or manage them in online albums. You can even order a novelty coffee mug with one of your photos emblazoned across it.

BBC iPlayer

One of our favourite additions to the C905+ is the inclusion of the BBC iPlayer. Now, we know we’ve seen this on other devices, but it’s the first time we’ve seen it on a Sony Ericsson handset. Unfortunately, some of the operators have curtailed how much you can use this service via their data packs due to the worry that watching one episode of EastEnders could end up costing around £80 – in fact, T-Mobile has banned the service completely. Thankfully, due to the C905+ housing Wi-Fi, log into a hotspot and you’ll be able to stream all available TV and radio content without fear of a catastrophic bill. When using it through our Wi-Fi portal, the feed was seamless and left us glowing from the experience.

The BBC iPlayer is not the only means of video content to keep you amused. The C905+ has been optimised to provide an improved YouTube experience – if you have 3’s version you’ll also be able to upload content directly. While the videos streamed both quickly and without the need for much buffering, some were a tad pixelated and, as with the iPlayer, the screen is just not big enough to rival other handsets with bigger displays.

SMS conversation

Sony Ericsson has also included an SMS conversation feature, seen on the likes of the iPhone. For every text you send and receive between a particular contact, the text messages will be saved in order, much in the way they are on instant messaging services on a PC. It’s a great tool for reminding yourself of the last correspondence you had with someone, particularly if you want to settle a petty argument. All texts are stored in the usual way too, should you prefer.

Conclusion

Sony Ericsson’s improvements should all be applauded, as should the fact that owners of the original C905 will be able to upgrade to the C905+ for free. The manufacturer has taken what was already a great handset and given the user more (there’s even the additional bonus of an 8GB memory card included). While some may question whether making such tweaks suggest some failings from the original, others will view it as a clever piece of marketing that is bound to add at least a few more months’ shelf life.