Sony Ericsson C905 Review
This is a global GSM phone. It can be used with AT&T and T-Mobile USA. The American version supports AT&T's 3G network.


In June, Sony Ericsson raised the bar for cameraphones announcing the first 8-megapixel phone intended for the European market - C905. A few months later, it just comes to the market, left behind the competition; Samsung already launched the INNOV8 and Pixon and LG offers its Renoir. The Cyber-shot model wasn’t first to hit the market, but it still might be the best so far. Although it is touted to be a “real camera rival”, the C905 has yet to prove that. The key characteristics in this aspect are a camera-like design, Xenon flash, face recognition, and picture tagging, thanks to the built-in GPS. C905 is the first non-smartphone of the manufacturer with an integrated Wi-Fi support, which can be used for Internet access and DLNA-compatible devices (e.g. to view pictures on DLNA-capable TV wirelessly).

The package includes:

  • Phone
  • Charger
  • USB cable
  • Stereo headset
  • USB adapter for M2 cards
  • Hand Strap

We definitely appreciate the USB adapter, which is a very elegant solution for data transfer from and to the card.


As Sony Ericsson claims, C905’s design really reminds us of the pocket digital cameras. That’s traditional for the manufacturer, but this model is the best so far in this aspect. It resembles a camera from all sides. It has the same dimensions and weight as a pocket camera, which definitely makes it ineligible to be called a small phone. However, this is no surprise for such a pretentious functionality-wise model.

You can compare the Sony Ericsson C905 with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

The 2.4” display is larger than the other screens in the series (2“ in C902, and 2.2” in К850) but is way behind compared to the competition – 2.8” for INNOV8, 3” for Renoir and 3.2” for Pixon. There are no surprises in its specifications; QVGA with 262k color support, typical for Sony Ericsson. The images on it look good not only indoors but in bright sunlight too.

SSo far, all representatives of the Cyber-shot series were candybar, but C905 changes that. It is a slider intended to be used closed as a camera and opened as a phone (it can still act as a camera when opened). On the front, there are two shortcuts for Scenes and Shooting Modes (upper part) and two columns of three buttons on each side of the 5-way D-pad (bottom). We have nothing to say about the two small shortcuts, maybe because they are relatively rarely used, but we are definitely not happy with the rest. There are tiny channels between each button of the two “trios”, and pressing them is hardly felt due to the short drive they have. You’ll always activate them but the lack of a tactile feedback is kind of strange. The most observant readers have probably already noticed the camera function symbols on the D-pad - they light up in blue when the camera is active.

It is very easy to slide the phone open and it reveals the numeric keypad. There are channels between the rows of buttons but every row seems to be one body. Here, the drive of the keys is also short, but in contrast to the navigational ones, they have good tactile feedback, so we like them better. In slider phones, the upper row is usually hard to operate, because it’s too close to the edge, but C905 doesn’t have this problem. Nevertheless, there’s an irritating edge in the bottom. We will not recommend the keyboard to heavy texters, but that’s not a deal breaker.

In order to resemble a camera, C905 has to have similar controls. Those are located on the right side (top when in landscape mode) and they are: a volume/zoom rocker, keys for previewing and changing the shooting modeand the shutter illuminated in blue. The idea for changing the modes is better than the one seen in K850 and INNOV8, employing a 3-way switch. This will allow the user to review the images and go back to shooting by a single press of a button. Previously, with the 3-way switch you had to always check its position before selecting a mode. The left side houses only the M2 card slot and the one for the charger/headphones.

We like the design of the lid protecting the lens. In contrast to K850, it is not automatic and you have to slide it manually like in K800/K810. However, here it is not protruding but leveled. That’s a new type of mechanism where the bottom part sinks when opening the lid and rises back up when closing. We think this is the best idea for a manual camera lid in a phone. Underneath we have “hidden” the Xenon flash and the LED light used for focus assisting and when shooting a video, mini mirror and the lens, of course. It is interesting that such a flash is used even though the manufacturer was, claiming that overall, the PhotoFlash, also developed by Sony Ericsson’s engineers (based on LED and employed in C902), is better.

More content with (C905 and C905a)



1. unregistered

i met a guy who worked for sony ericcson playing with this phone at my brothers swim meet. he let me play with it and then he went back to the internet on it.

2. Igor Efremenko unregistered

Actually I'm very disappointed with the quality of the c905's camera. I expected it to be MUCH better. Its only advatage is in the indoor photos because both daylight and night pictures are horrible. Shame on you SE. As I can see from the phonearena reviews Renoir has the best camera. So I'm almost sure what's much next cell phone. Only if Nokia won't announce their 8 megapixel killer soon.

3. Armo unregistered

u must not have read the reviews then phonearea clearly states that the samsung pixon has a better camera then the renoir. renoir got 8.5 and pixon got 9.5 plus the pixon became a phonearena amward winner!

4. unregistered

i like the pixon too

5. Igor Efremenko unregistered

Yes I read both reviews plus cameraphone test and I was surprised with the phonearena conclusion. I can cleary see with my own eyes that renoir's photos are better. They are extremely sharp in the day and good in the night. Yes it goes in yellow color but it can be fixed in one second with photoshop. As for Pixon I can see bad autofocus work (photos are blured at the edges) and overbrightened image in total.

6. jjjajjj unregistered

it has an old Software ( R1BA035 ) the new/official Software is ( R1BA034 ) or ( R1BA038 )

7. blibby unregistered

has anyone heard how long the delay is from focusing to actually snapping the photo? i heard it was around 4-5 seconds. anyone know ?

13. mark unregistered

5.5 sec

8. unregistered

You give the W980 a 6 yet this phone an 8. This phone costs 50% more and has a wobbly slider and cheap materials. Wake up Phone Arena, you've been disappointing me lately.

9. McMillian

Posts: 29; Member since: Apr 07, 2009

thank god AT&T is getting this phone cause they desperately need to get a good camera phone in its line up.

10. rehnhart

Posts: 103; Member since: Mar 27, 2009

I found it interesting that the phone is not a smart phone, but has wi-fi. I wish this feature was more common place

11. drewsky

Posts: 147; Member since: Jan 04, 2009

I wish it was more common place as well.

12. kronos1

Posts: 12; Member since: Feb 16, 2009

Perfect Camera,indeed one very good phone

14. mark unregistered

im buying this phone. A great phone which is not a touchscreen. Perfect for me..
  • Display 2.4" 240 x 320 pixels
  • Camera 8.1 MP
  • Storage 0.16 GB
  • Battery 950 mAh(4.00h 3G talk time)

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless