Sony Ericsson C702 is not among the slimmest phones, at 15.5 mm thick, yet relatively lightweight at 105 grams. Generally, we are pleased with the ergonomics of the handset.
The Sony Ericsson C702 has a casing of rounded edges giving the somewhat chubby bar a nice solid feel in hand. It gets even better for the nice rubbery finish of all the cyan surfaces. By the way, the whole casing is fingerprint resistant, the screen the only area vulnerable to smudges.
The 2.2" display has the keypad crammed down the front panel. The 256K-color QVGA display does well in terms of brightness and contrast, and doesn't seem to have reflection issues. Yet, it doesn't fare well under direct sunlight.
Above the screen, the secondary video-call camera is placed, along with the earpiece.
Below the display are the control and navigation keys, grouped in three square patterns. The D-pad's in the middle. On both of its sides there are two rocker-styled sets of buttons.
The left one features a soft key and the Activity menu key, with the tiny convex knob of the Call key embedded amidst. Symmetrically on the right, we get the other soft key, the correction C key and the End key.
The glossy finish and good elevation set the Call and End keys apart from their surroundings and improve tactility. The round confirming center of the D-pad could've been more comfortable and less recessed within the square frame, which does look like the D-pad in K850, only smaller and not integrated within the alphanumeric keyboard.
The dedicated Call and End keys are becoming standard in Sony Ericsson, along with the three-soft-key layout. The proprietary "Back" key is absent in C702, replaced by the right soft key. User-friendliness is greatly improved, except maybe for those who go back a long time with Sony Ericsson handsets.
|"...interesting fact is that this is the first splash and dust resistant Sony Ericson handset. The C702 also features the GPS-based Tracker sports application. Clearly, it's a phone for the youth and the sports minded..."|
The alphanumeric keypad of Sony Ericsson C702 has its ups and downs. Crammed down the bottom of the front panel, with slim and long keys, it doesn't offer the best in ergonomics. The keypad is a pleasure to look at in the dark though. The transparent keys have pleasant blue backlighting.
The right column of keys serve quick camera controls as in K850. In Camera mode they're used for setting the Shoot mode, Scene mode, self-timer and flash. Icons with light blue backlighting explain the function of each key. As opposed to K850 however, they backlight all the time, not only in camera mode. We don't see much point in that, the keypad does feel messy.
The left side of the C702 hosts only the M2 memory card slot. It's properly sealed with a rubber cap to ensure the handset's splash and dust resistance. More rubber is to be found around the battery department when you remove the battery cover.
The right side sports the volume/zoom rocker key and the camera button. Too slim and of little elevation, the volume rocker was quite hard to press in our test unit.
The regular Fast port for connecting the charger, headset and USB cable is at the bottom side of the handset. In our test unit it was utterly exposed. We're not sure if there will be any kind of protection in the release version, and how that goes with the promoted splash and dust resistance. Topside of the C702 there's only a tiny On/Off key, which is also used for changing the active call profile.
The highlight at the back is a oblong nest with the active lens-cover of the 3 megapixel autofocus camera. On its sides are the loudspeaker grill and the Dual led flash. The back panel is all matt plastic, save for the camera lens cover, which has a specific brushed aluminum finish. The cyan-colored battery cover has dimple-patterned surface and quite pleasant rubbery feel.
At the very bottom of the battery cover there's a huge lanyard eyelet - it does look the size to tow a car by. Next to it is the special battery cover latch of the splash resistant Sony Ericsson C702.
Anxious to get that lens cover open, aren't you? It hides the 3.2 megapixel lens and a self-portrait mirror. On the sides of the camera module are the loudspeaker grill and the dual led flash.
The hard to open back cover (yep, the splash and dust resistance mantra goes again), hides a standard Sony Ericsson BST-33 950 mAh Li-Pol battery. Right beneath it is the SIM card bed. The regular Sony Ericsson layout means the SIM card is easy to squeeze in and hard to remove.
The battery is quoted at 300 hours of standby time and up to 7 hours of talk time in GSM-only networks. The same unit is used in Sony Ericsson K550, W850, W880, W890 and K810, to mention a few. In the short time of heavy testing we were quite hard on the C702, but that can't be indicative of the real-life battery performance. Judging by our experience it would most probably get you going for 3 - 4 days of moderate use.