The Sony Ericsson C903 might be the phone manufacturer's latest entry in the Cybershot line-up, but its imaging features leave a lot to be desired. However, the phone makes up with an easy to use and breezy interface, GPS and a good price-tag.
The Sony Ericsson C903 model we got was made up of black plastic and has a metal band set around its sides. Although small in size, the phone is bulky. A silver keypad slides out from beneath the screen.
One problem we had with the keypad was that at some angles under sunlight, the numbers and characters weren't that visible. Below the screen are a couple of buttons and a central touchpad that aid in navigation. The screen itself is 2.4in and is capable of displaying a resolution of 240x320 pixels. Although the screen looks good indoors, under sunlight it fades out and it's difficult to read stuff on it.
Behind the Sony Ericsson C903's camera is an elegant but flimsy plastic sheet that needs to be slid down to reveal the 5Mp camera and the dual LED flash. Again, design-wise it looks great but practically, we are not sure if the plastic cover will be able to handle all the sliding for a long time.
In terms of features, the Sony Ericsson C903 has one glaring omission- Wi-Fi. Therefore, if you are looking to browse a lot on this phone, then be sure that you have a cheap internet plan from your service provider. The phone has other regular features that we have seen before in Sony Ericsson phones. These include a capable music and video player, an easy to use photo viewer and FM Radio.
However, the multimedia features would have been greatly assisted by the presence of a 3.5mm audio port, which, sadly, Sony misses out on again. Instead you have to make do with the proprietary port and a set of average earphones that plug into the port. The Sony Ericsson C903 does not come with an adapter either. The location services on the phone are nicely fleshed out- it uses Google Maps and the Wayfinder Navigation software.
We have seen some good 5Mp cameras on phones especially those on the Nokia N79 and N86 and the Motorola ZN5. Sadly, the Sony Ericsson C903's camera does not help it fall into that category. The photos we took outdoors under bright sunlight appeared washed out and the colors did not pop out.
There was also no sharpness in the images and virtually no contrast. Indoors, matters did not greatly improve. Although things got slightly better in terms of color saturation, we felt that the camera could have still done a lot more.
However, not everything was bad. The images we captured with the Sony Ericsson C903's camera were quite noise-free. Also, the dual-LED flash is powerful and actually made pictures shot in low-light conditions look good.
The camera also offers a couple of nice features including face and smile recognition, geo-tagging (using the in-built GPS) and best-pic that snaps a series of pictures and lets you choose the best among them.
Unfortunately, there is nothing great about the C903's video recording capabilities. It manages to record QVGA videos at 30fps in MP4 format and these videos can be described as average at best.
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