Sony Ericsson C905 review: Cyber shot, cyber hot

GSMArena team, 29 October 2008.
Pages: 12345678

High megapixel count is the rage these days and Sony Ericsson C905 is adding fuel to the fire. The first 8 megapixel GSM cameraphone to make headlines is shipping as we speak. On top of geotagging, Smart Contrast, face detection, and xenon flash, the elaborate camera-centric outfit hides the extra sweet Wi-Fi, GPS and turn-by-turn voice guided navigation. Is it us, or are cameraphones and smartphones alike lining up to negotiate a truce with Sony Ericsson C905?

The Cyber-shot squad has its trustworthy captain and its job is to keep spirits high in the face of cut-throat competition by Samsung and LG. Is it just us, or isn't Nokia missing quite some action here?

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Official photos of Sony Ericsson C905 Copper Gold

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Official photos of Sony Ericsson C905 Night Black

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Lifestyle photos of Sony Ericsson C905

Key features:

  • 8.1 MP autofocus camera with Xenon flash and active lens cover
  • Dedicated camera mode switch, two camera/gaming keys over the display
  • Face and Smile detection, smart contrast, image stabilizer, geotagging, red-eye reduction
  • Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE and HSDPA (3.6 Mb) / tri-band HSDPA for US version
  • Scratch resistant mineral glass 2.4" TFT 256K-color display
  • Built-in GPS with A-GPS function, Wayfinder Navigator software
  • Wi-Fi b/g with DLNA and SIP VoIP support, Bluetooth (with A2DP), USB v2.0
  • Enhanced user interface with basic multi-tasking
  • Media Center, Smart search, Manage Messages, extended TrackID
  • FM radio with RDS and TrackID
  • 160 MB built-in memory, M2 card support, 2GB included

Main disadvantages:

  • Display is relatively small for a high-end device
  • Video recording limited to QVGA resolution at 30fps
  • No front facing video call camera
  • No office document viewer
  • Sliding lens cover of questionable durability
  • Exposed connectivity port
  • Fiddly battery cover

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Sony Ericsson C905

Sony Ericsson C905 is no doubt trying to give it all. Now, finding room for all those goodies is a tough one indeed. Despite its massive thickness we love the C905 design and its imaging-related ergonomics. The impressive girth isn't that striking alongside the Pixon and will only get in your face against a real thin shooter like Sony Ericsson C902. You do get used to this in a while, and it's an enjoyable feature set after all.

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More C905 views

Sony Ericsson C905 will be remembered as the first announced 8 megapixel GSM phone. That alone earns it a line in history but it's performance to decide if the line should become a chapter. By the looks of it, the Sony Ericsson team is going for a whole page, putting a great effort to dealing with the skeletons in the Cyber-shot closet. Now, that's about the closest it comes to a spoiler.

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Sony Ericsson C905 with the display off

Anyway, the C905 is well aware it takes quite a bit to keep a bunch of sharpshooters off its back. Things have been heating up lately at ours, with the cameraphone finest scrambling and tail-wagging for a pat of approval.

Outflanked and outnumbered, Sony Ericsson C905 finds itself right in the middle of the Samsung - LG brawl. Both LG and Samsung are hedging their bets with two 8 MP cameraphones each. The Symbian-powered Samsung i8510 INNOV8 flaunts a formidable spec sheet and already has a head start on the rest, selling for about a month. Samsung M8800 Pixon is the other Samsung offer we just recently reviewed in-depth. LG stake their cameraphone fortunes on KC910 Renoir and LG KC780.

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The 8 MP line-up

ComparisonSony Ericsson C905Samsung i8510 INNOV8LG KC910 RenoirSamsung M8800 PixonLG KC780
Networkquad-band GSM, tri-band HSDPAquad-band GSM, dual-band HSDPAquad-band GSM, dual-band HSDPAquad-band GSM, HSDPAtri-band GSM/EDGE
Dimensions104x49x18-19.5mm106.5x53.9x17.2mm107.8x56.9x14mm107.9x54.6x13.8mm107x52x13.9mm
Display2.4" QVGA 256K TFT2.8" QVGA 16M TFT3" WQVGA 256K TFT3.2" WQVGA 256K TFT2.4" QVGA 256K TFT
GPS/Wi-Fiyes/yesyes/yesyes/yesyes/nono/no
Camerageo-tagging, face detection, smart contrast, xenon flash, QVGA@30fps videogeo-tagging, auto-panorama shot, face/smile/blink detection, flash, VGA@30fps, QVGA@120fps videogeo-tagging, face/smile/blink detection, xenon flash, VGA@30fps, QVGA@120fps videogeo-tagging, auto-panorama shot, face/smile/blink detection, flash, WVGA@30fps, QVGA@120fps videoface/smile detection, flash, WVGA@30fps video

OK then, the scene is set and the all-star support cast will be enjoying a day-off. It's the Cyber-shot act and curtains are parting on Sony Ericsson C905.

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