A review of the Sony Ericsson C902 Cyber-shot phone
27 September 2008
The crew at Sony Ericsson recently gave me one of their newest mobile phones, the C902 Cyber-shot to call my own for a couple of months.
Given my love of taking photos, I’ve been waiting for a chance to try out the phone’s five mega-pixel camera up at the nearby UNSW campus (where I have a stack of shots from my digital camera to base comparisons on), but to date Sydney’s topsy-turvy weather has thwarted me.
August is statistically Sydney’s driest month, but a clear sunny day, ideal for the outdoor shots I want, continues to elude me whenever I plan to be on the uni campus. Never mind, maybe next week.
Back to the C902. Mobile phones have continued to evolve far beyond being a simple telephone, and the C902 is the latest in this line of development. I have more than the means to simply phone or text home to say I’m running late, sitting comfortably and unobtrusively, in my shirt pocket.
I can send and receive email. Surf the net (reminding me that I need to create a dedicated mobile device stylesheet for disassociated), participate in conference calls, organise my calendar and tasks (I’ve long since dispensed with a paper diary), film and view video clips, listen to the radio or MP3s, and of course take photos.
It’s certainly a stylish piece of equipment, and the black finish complete with the silver-grey trim, makes for a uber-appealing tool that permits me to take off into the wide blue yonder for days at a time without having to worry about being out of the loop.
Anyway a few observations to date:
So far I have no qualms with the C902 battery. Mobile phone battery life is truly a case of “your mileage may vary” with any phone though. Some weeks my usage has been higher than others, and I’ve needed to recharge the battery after three days.
Another week passed before a recharge was required, with only a few short calls, but the phone was on stand-by the whole time.
I’ve found reception to be very clear, and even if I’m walking alongside a busy road, or in an area where reception is not so strong, I can still hear a caller’s voice quite clearly.
Mind you I haven’t used the phone away from inner Sydney yet, so can’t comment on reception in rural, or more remote, areas.
The keypad is rather compact, and sometimes I press the wrong key. My current phone is a Motorola MOTOKRZR K1 and I find its keypad easier to use. I do have oversize hands though so this may not be a problem for everyone.
I also appreciate that that “clam shell” type phones do have a little more handset real estate, or room, to allow for slightly wider keypad buttons, as opposed to “candy bar” type phones such as the C902.
Despite my fat fingers text messaging with the C902 is simple and straightforward. I especially like what I call the “multi-choice predictive text function”. The C902 will offer several suggestions as to which word, or part of, you wish to use, as you are typing. This took some getting used to, but now I am finding it quite useful.
I was a little confused by some of the icons appearing on the phone’s screen display, particularly a U-shaped like red arrow. Was it some sort of warning?
A browse of the phone’s manual failed to turn up a legend, or explanation, of screen icons. I have since deduced however that the icon is a “withheld”, or missed call, indicator.
Another initial puzzle was an “H” icon 1 which was present on some occasions but not others. I noticed it would vanish from the screen if I stepped into a lift, or was in an underground car park, so I assume it is a “strong signal” indicator.
One little gripe I have is with phone security, or lack of.
While the C902 does feature a keypad lock, this really only guards against accidentally dialling a number while the phone is in your pocket or bag. In comparison the MOTOKRZR K1 has a PIN activated phone lock, meaning I can’t do anything with the phone until I tap in a PIN code.
It’s an extra layer of security I appreciate. If the C902 does have such a phone lock, its activation eludes me.
I was quickly and easily able to synchronise the phone to my laptop by way of the C902’s “PC Suite” software, which is included on the DVD that comes with the phone.
I can transfer photos and videos from the phone to my local drive, manage my contacts/phone book, appointments, and task lists, and best of all, send SMS text messages via the computer keyboard, something I appreciate no matter how big a phone’s keypad is.
Summary to date
Aside from the points I make about understanding screen icons and security, I am enjoying using this phone.
A “quick reference” page in the operating manual addressing points such as screen icons and phone security would be useful, as I consider these primary to the phone’s use, as opposed to, say, the camera, which strikes me as being a secondary function, and something I would expect to have to read more about before using.
Further reading and reviews
Originally published Saturday 27 September 2008.