Sony Ericsson C905 review: Cyber shot, cyber hot

GSMArena team, 29 October 2008.
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Display: bigger and better

Sony Ericsson C905 employs a 2.4" 256K-color TFT display of QVGA resolution. Mineral glass coating ensures scratch resistance. The crystal-clear screen excels in both contrast and brightness. Dark colors are really dark. Sunlight legibility is better than your average Sony Ericsson mobile but still is far from perfect.

Another thing we love about this display is that it reflects almost nothing, even when it's blank in power-saving mode.

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The C905 display • Pitch black screen alongside Renoir and Pixon

The latest user interface

Wi-Fi and built-in GPS aside, which are out of the feature phone world, at the core of Sony Ericsson C905 is the usual SE user interface with the latest styling tweaks. By the way, latest is by no means brand new and the C905 has nothing to outdo the former Cyber-shot top dog C902 or high-end Walkmans. By the way, Sony Ericsson have set up a nice little interactive tool here for you to explore the phone interface and features.

The first thing to mention is the main menu structure. Except the traditional 4 x 3 grid matrix, the main menu is perked up with a couple of alternative views: rotating and single icon view.

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Setting up the main menu layout

The rotating view shows three animated front icons on the display, the center one showing the active selection. The other two icons are half-hidden, just as an indication of what comes next. Five other menu icons can be seen in the dim background.

Sony Ericsson C905
Rotating view layout

The icon view displays a single icon at a time and a vertical bar, which this time isn't a simple position mapping graphic but features tiny icons for the other main menu entries. Neither of those view modes works with shortcut keys. Only the Grid view allows quick numeric keypad access - a good enough reason to forget about the other options once you've tried them.

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Icon view layout

The other boost is icon animation, some transitions and visual effects.

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The new and the old animated icons compared

As most previous models, the C905 has a dedicated Flight mode. When turning on the phone, you may opt to start it directly into Flight mode but the Sony Ericsson C905 cannot work in Flight mode unless a SIM card is inserted. The other irritating thing is that toggling the flight mode requires a reboot of the phone.

Sony Ericsson C905 supports Flash Lite themes, which change the color scheme and wallpaper. Our test handset had two themes preinstalled only, but we guess that there will be more on the retail C905 units.

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Clarity and Cyber-shot themes preinstalled in C905

The C905 features the well-known Activity menu. The Running Apps tab of this menu offers basic multi-tasking - for example you can run two Java applications and in the same time listen to the radio or music player. The Activity menu also offers quick access to recent events, the web and My Shortcuts menu, which contains a user-defined list of shortcuts to favorite features.

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