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Sony Ericsson Cybershot c905 Review

After about two weeks with the Sony Ericsson Cybershot c905, I have had a fair appreciation of the camera phone. Check out my full review below and the previous unboxing photos I took.

More of a Camera, Less of a Phone.
Sony Ericsson

The construction of the phone itself gives you an impression that the device was built as a camera rather than a phone. That’s not saying that this phone is not well-equipped — WiFi, GPS, and 3G/HSDPA are all present so I give it high ranks on connectivity. There’s Bluetooth, FM tuner and DLNA support so you can send your photos wirelessly from your phone to the TV via Wi-Fi.

This is the first time I ever used a Sony-Ericsson phone but I’m impressed with the UI and the very responsive menu. There’s much eye candy actually but I’m surprised that didn’t slowed down the phone a bit.

Pushing the Megapixel Limit.

se c905

If my memory serves me right, it was Sony Ericsson that first announced a camera phone in the 8.1 megapixel range.

You can set the resolution between VGA, 3MP, 5MP and 8MP but at full picture size, a single photo can reach over 2MB (3264x2448pixels). The lens module size is 5.91mm and has a large fixed aperture of f/2.8. The ISO is rated between 80-320 but my Adobe Lightroom reads an ISO 64 on some of the pictures.

Dedicated Camera Functions.

se c905A lot of the external buttons of the phone are dedicated to the camera function. On the right side of the device, you will find the zoom function, switch between video and photo, a dedicated play button and a large circular shoot button.

The buttons at the front side of the phone also doubles for camera function shortcuts — exposure, focus, timing and flash as well as the center shoot button. On the top corner, just beside the earpiece, two more buttons control the preset scenes and shoot modes.

Most of these buttons are back lit so you can easily find them even on low light or shooting at night.

Powerful Flash.

Haven’t seen any phone with as much flash output as the SE c905. The camera lens is encased in an aluminum housing along with two flash sources – a small circular one with 4 LED lights for taking videos and a bigger Xenon flash for taking photos.

I took several shots at daylight, at night as well a controlled environment using my DIY lightbox (more sample shots to follow).

se c905 se c905 se c905

No alterations were made on the pictures except for a resize and high JPEG compression. Without the flash, the picture quality becomes a little grainy on low light. You can zoom in up to 16x but resolution on that end isn’t pretty — that’s just cropping out the image but the 8.1MP helps even out the quality. There are many other bells and whistles that came with the camera functions but I might ran out of space if I list them all down.

se c905 se c905

The phone comes with a 2GB Memory Stick Micro (M2) and an external USB adapter so you can just plug it in and hook up to your PC for easy file and photo transfers.

SE c905

All-in-all, I’d call this a solid camera phone and I’m sure Sony-Ericsson fans will love this model. I’m not sure though if the price tag of Php28,000 when it comes out later this month will appeal to many.

Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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55 Responses

  1. Calvin says:

    sarap ng food abe. nagpa-cater ka sa bahay? :)

    that’s an expensive camera.

  2. quezacolt says:

    abe parang sa pancake house yung sa gitna ah? haha XD

  3. yuga says:

    Yup, the food pics are taken at Pancake House and Joey Pepperoni.

  4. Patrick says:

    That is indeed expensive. If I needed a camera, I’d get a DSLR. I consider the camera function in my K800i just a bonus feature useful when I just want to take quick shots.

    And Samsung was the first one to release an 8MP cameraphone IIRC. ;)

  5. WEBMASTER says:

    It nice but I think it is much better to have a separate unit for the camera and a phone, I will still consider the camera phone but for this this phone I rather buy a DSLR.


  6. parenghilton says:

    I have to wait until it goes down to 10,000 hehehehe.. my k800i is still enough for me..

  7. quezacolt says:

    abe, pork vienna yun no? hehehe XD

  8. That tiny camera looks cute.

  9. i’ve lost my Sony Ericsson Cybershot c905…

  10. joyce says:

    Fab pics! What about audio & video playback?

  11. edzhstar says:

    wow i love cybershot dati K seiries ang cbershot gagawin na nilang C series


  12. Yoolee says:

    Any final word about the price of SE c902? When will it be released in the Philippines? I mean the exact date. I am considering this phone as an alternative to iPhone.

  13. dalen says:

    when and where will this be available? , i can’t wait..

  14. Braveheart says:

    i heard that Ericsson comissioned jun de leon
    to do an exhibit using the C905…
    guys,he is the author of Tracing the Wind.
    its the first ever book publ
    ished using a cellphone camera.

  15. Shino03 says:

    Great review. I wish na sana mka2bili ako ng C905 this christmas kya lng hihintayin ko na lng ang C510 this coming january or february.

  16. frazam says:

    Just got a c905… nifty little camera phone! Perfect in times when I don’t have a camera with me… a photographer’s camera! I have 2 DSLR’s and a digicam, and yes they take great pics, but I don’t bring them with me all the time. My phone? It’s always with me, thereby assuring me I have a capable little imaging device anywhere I go!

    question: where do I get an 8gb or 16gb M2?

  17. taxation says:

    I was always a fan of SE, and just the other day bought a Samsung U900. Because of the low ring volume I went back to a SE. C905 is twice the price (almost) as a U900, and although the C905 is generally good, it has some big disappointments specially for the price. The first disappointment is that the camera for video calls is at the back of the phone which is totally useless. So, if you make a video call you will not be able to see each other at the same time. The other disappointment is the modem function. This can only be used in my case if you switch of the 3G phone function. U900 was much better here. The last disappointment was with obtaining the settings for the phone on the internet. SE tells you on their site that they will sms this to you. I tried this by using various (countries) sites, but untill now I did not receive any settings. Obviously this service doesnot work, I hope SE will improve on this

  18. ocelus lambert says:

    yes, it’s good but rather wait to go down the prize to P5000. hehehe

  19. Hp high end Sony ericcson C905 yang katanya ok kamera dan kualitas canggih ternyata hanya “lagu bohong” dari soner saja..

    Saya beli C905 ini baru 1 bulan lebih 5 hari, eh ternyata sdh ada masalah dengan speakernya..suara penelpon tdk terdengar kecuali dengan loud speaker..begitu dibawa k Sony ericcson center, ternyata sdh ada komplain serupa sebanyak 3 orang termasuk saya..
    dan yang paling mengecewakan, hpku ini harus dibawa k jakarta dengan alasan hp ini masih produk terbaru dan tdk memiliki spare part (flexible) di kota tempat saya komplain tadi..
    dan paling menyakitkan, masa perbaikannya harus memakan waktu 1 bulan (skrg sdh 1 bulan,tp blm ada kbr juga),

    baru pake 1 bulan, eh dipegang orang 1 bulan..percuma deh beli hp 5,5 juta kalo bobrok kayak ini..buat yang belum beli..mendingan pikir2 deh beli hp produk soner yang mahal-mahal..mending tunggu waktu harganya turun saja, daripada beli mahal dan terus kecewa dan sakit hati

  20. hp c905, ternyata cepat rusak flexiblenya..jelek kualitasnya..dan rusaknya mesti diperbaiki selama 1 bulan..pake 1 bulan dipegang orang lain 1 bulan alias diperbaiki 1 bulan

  21. [email protected] kok ga pernah nyambung ya..katanya siap melayani complain..percuma juga nanya call center soner..bilangnya ga bisa bantu dan mohon maaf trus..it sucks!!!

    woi soner..percuma gaya pasang kamera 8 mega kalo kualitasmu jelek banget..

  22. ver says:

    parts of c905 is it available on the market? ESPECIALLY EARPIECE ON THIS THING???? where can i buy it pls inform me tnx,……

  23. lacar says:

    hello, help naman po. nag software update po ako kaso wla naman ung smile shutter. pano un?

  24. ruth plan says:

    nice phone!!!i wish i get one for my self

  25. crys says:

    I would so buy this, but it looks a little thick. And im not a fan of thickish kinds of cell phones.

  26. Ochie says:

    I’m having problems with my C905. It was the fourth time I’ve returned my unit at Memo Xpress because of the faulty keypad. Keypad Number 1 and the Dpad malfunctions. I just bought my unit last December 2008 pero parang gusto ko nang pagsisihan kung bakit ko binili.

    Ok naman sya, this phone serves me well just like any digicams (except for the zoom, wala syang optical zoom eh, sayang..) at magaganda rin ang features nya. My k800i busted on me after 2years.

    Naiinis lang talaga ako sa faulty keypad. Yun lang…

  27. Mark Alcaraz says:

    I just bought a C905 a couple of weeks ago. I recently lost my n82. I wasn’t very sure that switching to a C905 is a good idea until I’ve tried it.
    Being a nokia-loyalist, this will be hard to admit but… c905 is a very good camera-phone. It can replace some stand-alone digicams available on the market (yes, you can throw away your digicams that is less than 5mp). That being said, you can’t expect that the quality of the images produced by this phone is up to par to that produced by a DSLR. It’s like comparing a vios to an SLK mercedes. Still, the images produced by the phone is excellent. It takes better photos than my n82 (make that my now gone n82). The face detection works like magic. That goes the same for the smart contrast and best pic.
    I updated the phone’s firmware about a week ago. I didn’t have any difficulty during the process. It now comes with a “smile shutter”. As most of you know, the smile shutter feature can be enjoyed on a Sony Cyber-shot camera. Kudos to Sony for incorporating that feature into the phone. It made it truly a Cyber-shot camera-phone.
    The phone also comes with a GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth and a bunch of other stuff. What makes this phone unique is that it is DLNA certified. I can connect it to my Vaio without a problem. Just make your home network as a “favorite” and voila, it works perfectly.
    The phone is well built. Unlike to that of the Nseries of the Nokia, this feels expensive (and it is. I bought mine for 25k). Although it feels more expensive and more elegant than nokia phones, I personally think 25k is too much because Nokia Nseries phones have more capabilities than this phone. I can open office applications and files on my nokia whereas I’m only able to store it here. It can’t open word, powerpoint or excel files. The web browser of the Nokia is better too. I’m able to watch youtube videos in the web brower on my nokia phone.
    But then again, this is first and foremost a Cyber-shot handyphone. It is (as of today) the best camera-phone on the market. I’ve used and compared the images produced by a Nokia, Samsung, LG and iPhone (yes, although it is pointless, i also compared it to an image prodiced by an iPhone) I can confidently say that this phone is a league of its own.

    So… to those looking for a decent music-player and an (dare i say) amazing camera, and a neat phone, then the C905 is for you. A bit pricey but worth the extra bucks.

  28. jhaycel says:

    i bought my phone last feb 8 and after 18 days i think, i returned it co’z its to sensitive!!!! mxdong crain ng phone… in just 4 months 4 times n ung phone bmlik sa service center!!!! i really like this phone before co’z of its 8.1 mp cam.. put bukod dun… wla ng maganda pa.. X(

  29. vangos says:

    i want to know if the this phone has a language option for greek …. thank you

  30. vangos says:

    i want to know if it has a option for the greek language

  31. mohammed kuhail says:

    i need to know how can i open word, powerpoint or excel files

  32. gregzky says:

    i just bought my c905 2days ago and i’ve been using nokia phone before as well as ASUS phones. wlang maxadong extravagant sa kanya it’s just that it has 8.1 MP camera, maganda naman but that’s just it.. ndi q xa mapersonalize like what i’m doing with my N73.. another thing is that kelangan mu laging timplahin yung camera wheneer you’re gonna take a shot unlike with the Nseries na on the spot pwede mung gamitin ung camera once you open the lense gowh na agad..ang dami pang emot before mu magamit tong c905..

  33. Thennek Onamor says:

    my boss bought a SE c905 unit. after a few days, the earpiece malfunctioned. we returned it to the shop and asked for replacement. the H.O. too received complaints of the same kind.

  34. Ma. Laureen M. Sanchez says:

    so the earpiece is really a problem. and i thought my defective earpiece was brought about by the fact that i dropped it (just 20inches height). and my unit has been with Smart Communications for 2 months now ( what greater injustice could there be?). Pictures with this phone is very good, but like i said, the earpiece died within 3 weeks, and Smart Com has been sitting on it for 2 months.

  35. Thennek Onamor says:

    I suggest you bring it directly to Sony Ericsson shop and ask for replacement. We got our replacement unit after a month.

  36. Dominique Balabat says:

    Hi Thennek Onamor,

    I wonder if they gave you the rules on replacement… Did they extend the warranty for another year? Would you be able to get the phone with different color?

    Please let me know as I forwarded my phone to Sony Ericsson a week ago.

    Thank you for your advise.

  37. Sony Ericsson Cyber-shot C905 has the high quality camera.There are many fascinating features in this mobile like stereo Bluetooth, GPS, a music player Together and many more.It’s quite sleek and also deliberate phone with a sharp design. The keypad device is very good, very spacious.This cell phone will be loved by the music lovers.

  38. Thennek Onamor says:

    Only d unit was replaced, same color, and warranty wasn’t changed because the unit has lapsed it’s 1 week replacement period. We were just given a favor by SE as it was proven that the unit was defective.

    But it took 1 month for the replacement to arrive.

  39. pao says:

    hey Thennek Onamor , how much did the phone cost ?

  40. nicky says:

    sira c905 ko cra ung navey key na down kpg press down ngeexit.. kahirap pa nman mgpagawa ng SE.. mahina ba talaga slide panel nun? guys give me some advise or something kung my prob din kau katulad ng sakin.. tnx

  41. coppergate says:

    hi! I need a phone where I can view and EDIT my MSWORD and EXCEL files. What phone can you recommend?thanks!

  42. migz says:

    se c905..though i like it alot…even though i haven’t purchased one yet…im having second thoughts about getting one for myself…
    these are my reasons why i’m having second thoughts
    1st. from the reactions of the other guys on the review of c905
    2nd. complaints…this phone gets alot of complaint..faulty keypad…earpiece malfunction..screensaver malfunctions..and etc.
    3rd.they say that the 8.1 mp ain’t really 8.1 mp compared to digital cameras…

    please help me decide if im going to get one or not

  43. Edward says:

    the WIfi is problematic, and after a quick software upgrade, now the GPS… Why can’t they make it more durable like they used to, which is one of the reason I stop being a Nokia user.

  44. Peterpan says:

    Good camera,but the problems difficult to connect to computer to make internet.needs more setting adjacement.

  45. x0x0 says:

    magkano na po ngayon ang isang SE c905 i like the features pati yung slim sizes niya LOVE it

  46. Mark Alcaraz says:

    I made a comment/review earlier. After 4 months of using the phone, the earpiece stopped working and the keypad started to loose it’s tactile feedback as well. It’s been with SE for exactly a month now and they still haven’t started repairing it. They said that the parts still isn’t available. I used to love this phone but now i’m just waiting for it to be fixed so that I can trade it in for the new SE Satio.

    For you guys who are still thinking on buying this phone… I’d say go ahead IF you’re willing to take the risk that the unit you’ll buy won’t malfunction after a few months of use. I think the next best thing to this phone (considering the price range and camera quality) is the Nokia N82.

    For those asking which phones are capable of opening and (on selected models only) editing office documents, go with Nokia Nseries and/or Eseries phones. SE Satio can also do the job (because it makes use of a symbiam firmware)

  47. Mark Alcaraz says:

    I take back what I wrote earlier. I’m switching back to Nokia. I’ve read and heard that Satio has many software problems as well…

  48. MrLeche says:

    98% of the replies are positive. but my wife had the phone first hand 30,999 SE trinoma. dec. 2008. It had tons of repairs na if you compute your fare or gasoline, you can already buy a cheap nokia or se phone. first off, the earpiece is crappy a lot of uk users replace it every time. (nevr happened to us though). second, the dreaded flex cable is so easy to deteriorate on wear and tear. Even if you don’t have a habit of sliding in and out of your phone, the slider wares down the cable inside that makes the keypad malfunction, thus making the phone malfunction, ang dami naming balik. Altough slide phone are often have these problems, c905 tops them all.

    Satio would be a very good alternative, since it doesn’t slide in or out. (or does it?). Hay naku, c905 drops from 30,999 to ewan ko kung magkano na lang, but this isn’t good buy for a superb camera feature that wouldn’t surpass the packaged dissappointments.

    Yes, for us pinoys, our hard works should be rewarded at least 3 years of what we paid for. nde 3 weeks or 3 months. I’m a loyal SE. but do not cover it’s weakness. sheez, I haven’t even started to talk about my X1.

  49. Mark Alcaraz says:


    I had the same problems with mine… It’s fun at first but once the defects starts to manifest it’s frustrating, wouldn’t you agree? My phone’s been with the service center for 2 months now… It’s very very VERY unnerving. Now I’m just waiting for them to return it to me so that I could get rid of the damn thing. I’m planning to replace it with a Nokia e72. Its camera is not as good as the c905 but at least it’s very reliable and sturdy.

    Anyway… To all SE C905 owners out there (and to those planning to buy it) I read an article about a certain company in the United States recalled all c905 and Satio phones due to the C905’s faulty hardware and Satio’s faulty firmware. It seems SE is desperate to compete with the market that they didn’t put much thought on their products. I just wish the X10 would save the company from this embarrassment.

  50. MrLeche says:

    @ Mark Alcaraz

    At least software problems can be resolved by fw. just a few fw updates until it’s perfect but with the c905? My wife using it for 13months now, but just came back from it’s last replacement last august, and it’s running superb for 6 mos. Yep, just like a spare tire. The last replacement made the keypad tougher to press though I guess made it a little sturdier.

    SE’s never been this way, even on ericsson days, the line ups of t10, gh688, a1018, then t68, t610, k700i, k750i, and w800i. naka ilang taon din sa’kin and my relatives on those models. Bumped, dropped, rolled over, name it! But with my X1 & the c905? never been scratched, pressed, nor bumped, treated like a raw egg. it’s not worth it.

  51. Mark Alcaraz says:


    I used to own a k700 a few years back… It was a good phone… I had a problem with the rubber cover at the bottom but other than that, the phone’s quite decent. I’ve mishandled it a couple of times and it didn’t even break. I’ve been changing phones probably about every year since the 3210 came out. Most of the phones I bought were made by Nokia and a few by SE. The C905 is by far the most problematic phone I’ve had. Sure it doesn’t scratch easily and it feels solid when you hold it, but the earpiece and keypad problem is unacceptable. Those two are the most important aspects of a phone. Hell, that’s what makes it a phone. haha! If those two fail, then all I have is a camera. A good camera but wouldn’t compete with the cameras of today.

    If you want to buy a new phone I suggest the X10 that will be coming out soon. It has the potential to be a really really good phone. It has 4″ capacitive touch screen, android OS, & the camera I think is 8mp (not sure though)… Check it out when you have the time. =)

  52. Juztin888 says:

    Beware to Sony’s C905 owners, there is definitely a problem with it’s earpiece! I had it fixed twice, and the problem still occurred. So I have to use the speaker phone while making a call, what a hassle! I had to get it jumped by a technician…and still the problem came back! i take of my phone really well, never fell or whatsoever. There are some reviews regarding the problem of the earpiece of this model on the net that i reviewed. I can’t bring it to Sony ‘coz the warrantys’ fried, so i’m stuck with it. Not I’m planning to get the Sony Ericsson Satio, hehehe:) Hope i the reviews willn be good and no defects for the Satio, i’ll check the reviews…

  53. Mark Alcaraz says:

    @ Juztin88

    I had the very same problem… What I did was, as soon as I got the phone back from the service center, I immediately sold it. You said that you plan on getting a Satio… I would suggest against it. Satio has a LOT of software problems which unfortunately, haven’t been addressed by SE.

  54. grace says:

    how much is this phone?

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