Review: Sony Ericsson C905a

Say you’re in the R&D labs at Sony Ericsson and you want your latest handset to stick out amid an ocean of fierce Darwinian competition. You have three possible routes:

A.) Overhaul the UI.

B.) Slap a touchscreen on the device and dub it an “iPhone killer.”

C.) Cram in a powerful camera and boost the megapixels to obscene levels.

Overhauling a user interface is freaking hard, and it’s costly while touchscreens draw unfavorable comparisons to Apple. So, you go for the Hail Mary and shoehorn that ultra-powerful camera inside the new phone.

It’s not that Sony Ericsson fumbled the slick, sliding C905a. Meat-and-potatoes features like call quality, user interface and button configuration are all passable on this handset. Goodies like stereo Bluetooth, aGPS, quad-band GSM connectivity and a selection of 3-G-powered music and TV apps fatten up the feature set, too. In fact, one could say the C905a is just as full-featured as some of Sony Ericsson’s other multimedia phones.

Ah, but the buzz about the C905a has less to do with these staples. The phone’s main attraction is clearly its pumped up 8.1-megapixel camera.

Hidden by a nifty lens cover, the phone’s camera not only takes decent pictures, but also sports a retina-dazzling Xenon flash. This addition allowed us to take a number of high-res snapshots in low-light settings, and painlessly post them to sites like Facebook and Twitter.

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