Sony Ericsson C905 Review

Introduction and Design
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.

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