Sony Ericsson C903 review: Slider-shot

GSMArena team, 11 March 2009.
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Inspired by the Sony T-series point-and-shoot digcams with an elegant lens cover, the Sony Ericsson C903 is a compact and attractive cameraphone. The C903 is packed with features you'd expect of a high-end phone and it behaves like one as well. A GPS-enabled 5 MP slider with a nice large display, nifty feature-phone interface and friendly size is a welcome addition to the company portfolio. And yes, we think the Glamour Red version will be a favorite with the ladies.

The C903 official announcement served the humble purpose of warming the crowd up for the Sony Ericsson deployment at this year's MWC. Obviously no match for the Idou and Hikaru, the C903 simply completes the Cyber-shot lineup of the house featuring some welcome upgrades over the C902 like screen size and GPS. There's a distinctive design highlight too and the Sony T-series digicam back styling may as well be a strong selling point.

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Sony Ericsson C903 Lacquer Black and Glamour Red

Key features:

  • Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE and dual-band HSDPA/ tri-band HSDPA in US version
  • 5 MP AF camera with dual LED flash, geo-tagging, face and smile detection, active lens cover
  • Built-in GPS with A-GPS support, Wayfinder Navigator software, geotagging
  • Dedicated camera mode switch and gallery keys
  • Scratch resistant 2.4" 256K-color TFT display
  • Backlit D-pad shortcuts in camera mode
  • Accelerometer sensor for UI auto-rotate
  • Bluetooth (with A2DP), USB v2.0
  • FM radio with RDS and enhanced TrackID, YouTube client
  • Threaded conversations in messaging
  • Smart dialing

Main disadvantages:

  • Video recording limited to QVGA resolution at 30fps
  • M2 card slot under the battery cover
  • Camera key has almost no feedback at full press
  • The glossy surface is a fingerprint nightmare
  • No cover for the USB port
  • No office document viewer
  • No video-call camera

Sony Ericsson C903 has its candybar counterpart in the face of the C901. Presented in a joint launch last month, the two handsets are trying to meet a diverse mix of cameraphone demand in the higher-midrange.

Form factor aside, the major differences boil down to GPS and the camera flash solution. We can't help but note that xenon could've been more at home in the T-series-inspired C903. But no sir, Sony Ericsson C903 is GPS-enabled instead while the more conservative C901 bar flaunts the better camera flash.

The lengthy spec sheet of the C903 only omits Wi-Fi support, while everything else is on board: GPS with Wayfinder 7 software, 5 megapixel AF camera with dedicated setup keys, a large 2.4" display and accelerometer sensor for UI auto-rotate.

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Sony Ericsson C903 at ours

Now then, we're all set for a closer look at the C903, so buckle up and hit the jump.

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