Sony Ericsson C905 review

Barry de la Rosa
25 Feb 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT SIM-free From Free on £30 per month, 18-month contract



proprietary, 2.4in 240x320 display

Sony Ericsson's C905 is the first phone to use Project Capuchin; a new development platform that brings Adobe's Flash graphics to mobiles' Java programming environment.

Because of this, it's arguable whether the C905 is a smartphone or just a mobile.

Admittedly, it's unable to display or edit office documents, but it still has many of the features of a Windows or Symbian smartphone. It has a fast web browser and full email capabilities, and there's even a newsfeed reader that downloads RSS feeds and displays them on the start screen. With GPS built in, you can use Google Maps, or the bundled trial version of Wayfinder Navigator, to plan a route or find nearby services.

Although you can browse the web and access your email, the small screen and standard keypad makes this awkward. The keys are arranged in rows separated by slightly raised bars, so there's little tactile feedback between them. The navigation keys are easy to use, though, and the firm spring-loaded slider mechanism adds to the impression of good build quality. With only 160MB of internal memory, you'll need the bundled 2GB memory card for storing photos. Sony Ericsson has included a USB memory card adaptor.

The C905's standout feature is its 8.1-megapixel camera. This has a Xenon flash, which is brighter than an LED flash, plus an image stabiliser to reduce camera shake. Autofocus and face recognition are included, and a Smart Contrast setting helps to bring out dark and bright areas in shots. The smartest feature is BestPic, which takes a series of seven shots in quick succession and then lets you choose which you want to save. The GPS receiver will even tag your photos with the location where they were shot.

Despite that figure of 8.1 megapixels, camera phones still have some way to go. Images were noisy and lacked the fine detail we'd expect from an 8-megapixel camera. The C905 is better than most camera phones and is fine for casual snapping. However, for those who want to record life events for posterity, even a budget digital camera will produce far superior results.

With a battery life of 30 hours in our audio playback test, the C905 lasts roughly twice as long as the smartphones we're used to reviewing. Even taking into account the fact that WiFi, GPS and 3G usage will reduce this amount, it's still an impressive figure. It won't handle office documents and can't replace a smartphone for email or web use. Still, in all other respects it offers a great set of features and has a decent camera.




Main display size2.4in
Native resolution240x320
Second DisplayNo
CCD effective megapixels8.1-megapixel
ConnectivityBluetooth, WiFi
Internal memory160MB
Memory card supportMemory Stick Micro M2
Memory card included2048MB
Operating frequenciesGSM 850/900/1800/1900 3G 850/2100
Wireless dataEDGE, HSDPA


Operating systemproprietary
Email clientPOP3/IMAP/Exchange
Audio format supportMP4 (AAC), MP3, M4A, 3GPP, AMR, AMR-WB, WAV,SMF, RealAudio 8, iMelody, XMF, WMA
FM Radioyes
Web BrowserAccess NetFront 3.4
Accessoriesheadset, USB data cable, travel mains adapter, strap, USB adaptor
Talk time9 hours
Standby time16 days
Tested battery life (MP3 playback)23h 7m

Buying Information

SIM-free price£370
Price on contractFree on £30 per month, 18-month contract

Read more