We mentioned the C905's GPS pick-up, and Sony Ericsson has included a three-month trial version of Wayfinder Navigator 7 voice-guided satnav software. This uses over-the-air map and info updates. The A-GPS set-up seemed to get our positions rapidly – usually under a minute in our tests, though tested side-by-side with an N96 it didn’t appear to be quite as sensitive as the Nokia.
While the Wayfinder app is welcome, it’s far from being as slick or refined a system as an in-car satnav, or the best smartphone satnav packages. It's limited, and we found that the GPS receiver wasn’t always as responsive as we’d have liked when using it in-car. You’ll also find that having the A-GPS on, particularly with onscreen guidance lighting up the display, saps battery life remarkably quickly.
Wi-Fi and HSDPA included
Sony Ericsson’s NearMe location-based service is included too, providing information on local entertainment, services and amenities, based on your current location - though we found that its definition of ‘Near Me’ somewhat curious, with some entertainment listings over 50 miles away.
The full web browser is a zippy way of checking out sites, with Wi-Fi providing a speedy alternative to HSDPA. It’s reasonably straightforward to operate and functionally effective. The C905 has plenty of regular apps too. All the usual organiser functionality is accounted for, plus there’s a sound recorder and a spread of standard apps including a world clock, an AccuWeather.com weather forecast app, VideoDJ, PhotoDJ, MusicDJ, Bluetooth remote control, and TrackID song identfication. An FM radio function is included, and three games come pre-loaded.
On the fundamentals of voice calling, the C905 was absolutely fine, with consistently good-quality audio performance and reception. Battery life was a concern, though. Sony Ericsson estimates that optimum battery life can run to nine hours' talktime on GSM networks or four hours in 3G coverage, with a standby time of up to 380 hours on GSM networks or 360 hours on 3G. These figures are broadly in line with other recent mid-tier 3Gers, but in our real-life usage tests, we found ourselves charging up every day if we indulged in some of the power-hungry features like Wi-Fi and A-GPS. If kept on constantly, the satnav app can run-down power in a few hours. We’d recommend judicious monitoring of app usage if you don’t want to find yourself with low power at inopportune moments.
The C905 is certainly the best Cyber-shot handset we’ve seen for picture quality and overall functionality. It’s no waif, and its heayweight build may put off some buyers. There are some handling issues, too, and battery life could be a problem if you want to make heavy of the on-board gadgetry. But the presence of Wi-Fi and A-GPS, combined with a fine camera, make the C905 a very attractive cameraphone. ®
More 8Mp Cameraphone Reviews...
Sony Ericsson Cyber-shot C905 eight-megapixel cameraphone
Return to form after the K850i excuse for a camera phone
I've had this phone for a couple of months and it's excellent. Infinitely better than the K850i as a camera phone.
- Fast and slick user interface.
- Brilliant call sound quality and from external speaker.
- Did I mention the excellent camera?
- Eats battery with wi-fi enabled. Even in power saving mode. Even when not actively used.
- No manual lock. You have to open and close slider again, or wait for auto lock timeout.
- Texting is very tricky. The T9 software is very good, but I still haven't got used to the spongey feel of the number keys.
I recommend it, unless you're one of those people that sends tens of texts a day then I'd look at something else.
Also as another point, Orange seem to let me send MMS's with 2MP pictures included. What's the maximum now, or do they scale it down on their MMS server for the recipient?
Re: Meaningless megapixels
I wholeheartedly agree, I had a conversation with someone at an airport who said that their 8mp cameraphone produces "almost identical" pictures to my 10mp Canon 400d (and I had my 70-200 F2.8L hanging off it at the time, cheeky get), but he really was convinced.
How about a proper review? take the same photo with several cameraphones over a range of lighting conditions (with/without built in lights) then add these pictures to the article, with some zoomed areas, both native digital zoom and "post production", would take a couple of days to do but it would be worth it.
got one for the missus.
... all piks come out a bit yellow unless you turn on the auto levelly wossit thingamibob.
Paris. Cos she's yellow too.
Poor review of the most superior phone on the market.
I'm sorry this review, whilst highlighting some of the features of the SE C905 does fail to show just how good it is. SE's sensors and camera pedegree has been well established now for some time and SE will always have the better Camera capabilities, that's not in doubt at all. I have a Nikon DSLR and a Panasonic FZ-8 as a backup and let me just say that side by side the C905 not only equal's the FZ-8 but rival's my (admittedly old) Nikon in basic shooting modes. (If you want to see pictures taken with it I'd be glad to post a link to some if asked)
As for the GPS, there are 3rd party mapping softwares that mean you don't pay a penny for usage of the GPS (Trekbuddy for one). Using this software side by side with a standard GPS unit it is obvious that the phone is not as sensitive but this is because it never seems to pick up all the available satellite signals...not sure why. Either way the SE is good enough for hikers as a backup.
As for touch screen....anyone who owned, as I did the K850 will have seen that the touch area was not brilliant. Personally I think SE did the right thing by pulling out of the idiotic touch screen market with this phone. I was one of those who complained because I don't want touch screen on my phone. Quite frankly after toying with the iPhone I can't see why anyone would want it either.
My only real problem with the C905 is the slider. I HATE slidy phones and would have preferred a K900 candybar style myself. The other thing I worry about is that on other SE phones I've got (I've had K 700, 750, 800, 850 and have used for a good portion of time Z530) where they have tried something new there it does take a couple of batches to get everything prefect. My advice with ALL new SE phones is to ensure you wait about 3 months and get a later batch...you'll save yourself the repair later down the line. In the above case it has been the K700 (mouse/nav button), K850 (Touch area), and Z530 (Microphone failure).
In any case SE's tend to be the better phones by a mile. K700, K750, K800 and K850's all lasted about a year as the best camera phones on the market. I have no doubt it'll be that long before the C905 is superceeded, and my prediction is it'll SE who superceed it.
Great phone, annoying butons
I've had a C905 for a few months and am quite happy with it. It takes great pictures in all sorts of conditions and the connectivity options are great (even if they do suck battery life!). Only issue I have so far is a couple of the buttons have lost their 'click' so need to be pressed quite hard to function - annoying when texting.