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CNET First Look
Sony Ericsson C902The Sony Ericsson C902's photo quality suffered just a bit, but it remains a solid camera phone with a sharp design, a varied feature set, and good call quality.
[ Music ] >> I'm Kent German, senior editor here at CNET.com. Today we'll take a first look at the Sony Ericsson C902. This is a 5 mega pixel camera phone. It's part of the cybershot series. It brings all those great camera features that you saw on previews cybershot phones and it is 5 mega pixels of course, just one of the higher ones Sony Ericsson has done. It has a pretty slim design. It comes in a nice red color. It also comes in brown and silver and a couple of other colors. I like the silver stripes around the edges, it's kind of a nice touch. It has a very slim design, fits nicely on the hand. It's a very solid feel for as thin as the phone is and for compactness. Actually, it feels a little heavier than you might think but it does give the phone a very sturdy construction so I really like how it feels on the hands. Main display is nice. It's pretty big. It's very bright and vibrant. Sony Ericsson usually does a good job with display so this is no exception. The menu system is easy to use. It's standard Sony Ericsson design. You can get them list or icon, features or you can get one icon on the page at a time that you flip through. The navigation controls are nice. Actually Sony Ericsson can trip up with that once in a while but the toggle is square. It's pretty good size, very tactile. It's raised above the surface of the phone and I like how big the OK button is in the middle so even somebody with larger hands like me no problem using it. Surrounding it are two soft keys dedicated to talk and end keys. Sony Ericsson typically hasn't done a lot of those dedicated talk and end keys. The addition of them doesn't make a huge difference. Some people might like it. Below that is a dedicated shortcut button that launches the shortcut menu that you can program and then there's a Clear button. These controls are just a tiny bit cramped. They're very tactile so rubbing your finger over them you could use them by feel. They'll be a personal choice though. Same thing goes with the keypad buttons, they're also very tactile and they are raised above the surface of the phone but they also feel just a tiniest bit cramped. Also the back lighting could just be a little bit brighter but overall this is a nice design here on the front. On this side there's the jack which accommodates the charger, any USB--kind of USB cable and a wired headset if you have one. It is a proprietary connection like Sony Ericsson always does and having one port means you can only use one peripheral at a time. Here in this side there's a volume rocker and above that is the camera button. The volume rocker, I wish it was located on the top of the phone because typically when I'm used to that I'm used to this finger or this finger, whatever side it's on, activating the volume. I have to move down and kind of go like that, so just felt a little uncomfortable. You'd probably get used to it eventually but I was wondering why Sony Ericsson did that. I think it's because of the camera ergonomics but really this is a phone so I think the phone ergonomics should take priority on that sense. You might notice there's no camera lens. You might be looking for it. To find it, you just slide the phone open like that. It's nice because it keeps the camera lens protected. It won't get scratched or anything like that and also when you slide the phone it automatically starts the camera. So there's a camera lens, there's a flash and there is self portrait mirror so it comes fully equipped. Of course you use the displays, the camera view finder and what I really like is there are several lighted icons that appear on the boarder. They're actually touch controls. They have a little bit of a vibration feedback so you can access all sorts of things like change the scene, turn the flash on and off, go to photo view mode, activate the self timer so nice to see that. Also you can use these keys to manipulate a different--the inner camera menus as well so very nice interface of the camera, very easy to use. I really like these lighted sliding icons. It just puts a lot of information at your finger tips and it doesn't resemble a phone just trying to be a camera in that sense. Things that I don't like about the camera is the flash. It wasn't very bright. I was little bothered that there wasn't any settings for the flash beyond auto and off. It would be nice to have always on so you could you know full the camera and make sure you're using it all the time or red eye reduction, any thing like that so. On the camera phone, this docked. I really wish it will have these features. It does have panorama mode and has all sorts of features like white balance and spot metering and so everything you might find on a standalone camera. Other features, blue tooth, it has a generic music player. It's a lot like a normal Walkman player but it just doesn't have the W Walkman name to it but it's pretty much the same thing. It also has organizer features, speaker phone, messaging and so everything you might expect on a phone like this. Getting photos off the phone is easy. You can USB cable, you can message them off the phone or you can use the memory stick micro slot which is located behind the battery cover and the battery cover also is just a little bit difficult to get off. Call quad is pretty good. Sound is little distorted at higher volumes. Photo quality was interesting. It wasn't exactly what I wanted. Colors were bright. There was a little bit of image noise around some of the smaller objects you saw in the picture and also some images looked a tiny bit washed out but you know it's still pretty good though but maybe not quite what I expect from a 5 mega pixel camera phone. I'm Kent German and this is that Sony Ericsson C902. [ Music ]