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HolidayBuyer's Guide
Phones

Photos: Sony Ericsson C905, F305, S302, K330 and J132

Yesterday Sony Ericsson invited us to check out its new handsets, including the Sony Ericsson C905 -- which features a whopping 8.1-megapixel camera

In true Sony Ericsson style, yesterday saw the announcement of not one but five new handsets, including the Sony Ericsson C905, which boasts an almost unbelievable 8.1-megapixel camera. We went along with our standalone camera to take some pictures of the new phones and see if the C905 made our shooter cry.

All the handsets pictured will hopefully be available to buy before the end of the year. Exact launch dates have yet to be announced and pricing isn't known either, but we suspect the C905, S302 and F305 to be free on a monthy contract and the K330 and J132 will be under £100.

Sony Ericsson C905
Technological progress is fine, but it's eye-scratchingly annoying when you've just bought a 5-megapixel camera phone on an 18-month contract and an 8-megapixel beast comes out the next day. Enter the Sony Ericsson C905 (above) -- it's closer to a being a proper camera than any Sony Ericsson before it.

From the moment you pick it up you realise Sony Ericsson is taking this convergence business very seriously. It looks and feels like a compact camera, which is great when you're taking photos, but means it's rather chunky for a phone. Unlike the Sony Ericsson K850i though, the C905's keypad is easy to use, which was a relief. Better still, the C905 is crammed with features, including GPS. Click through for more pictures and details. -Andrew Lim

On the top of the Sony Ericsson C905 there's a good-sized zoom key, a shortcut key to the gallery, a camera mode or video mode key and a large shutter button that's easy to press. It's hardly a thin phone, but then again it does pack a whole lot inside. There's GPS, Wi-Fi, HSDPA and of course 8.1 million pixels.

But is the Sony Ericsson's C905's camera any good? We tested it out briefly and it seemed to work very well. The auto-focus was fast, as was the shutter speed. A xenon flash means that shots in low light should come out better than using an LED photo light, and the overall feel of the C905 was conducive to taking photos.

The large screen works very well as a viewfinder and, as we said before, the C905 is more like a standalone camera than any of its predecessors. What's interesting is that the C905 comes with GPS, which means that it can geotag your pictures, so that when you upload pictures to sites such as Flickr, you'll know where the photo was taken.

Sony Ericsson F305
Hyped as Sony Ericsson's 'PSP phone', the Sony Ericsson F305 is aimed at gamers. But it's not just any old gaming phone, the F305 comes with a motion sensor that allows you to play certain games by moving the handset in different directions, similar to the Nintendo Wii.

The Sony Ericsson F305 comes preloaded with three games: bowling, bass fishing and jockey, all of which work using the F305's motion sensor. As you can see from the photo, there's a PSP-like layout, with a D-pad on the left and two gaming keys on the right. If you look closely you'll see a dedicated gaming key on the top left that gives you quick access to all your Java games.

Similar to the PSP, there are two grips on the back to make gameplay more comfortable, but we're not entirely convinced. In fact, the F305 is only a small step in the right direction. With only a 2-megapixel camera and no 3G, this isn't exactly a high-end phone. Add to that the fact that it only plays Java games and you've got yourself a PSP wannabe more than a full-on gaming phone, which is what we want to see from Sony Ericsson.

Sony Ericsson S302
If you're not motivated by a desperate love for all things shiny you're not going to be impressed with the Sony Ericsson S302. It's very shiny indeed and while Sony Ericsson is keen to shout about its 'high-gloss finish', we think it looks rather tacky. It might look alright when it's very clean, but it soon gets slathered with gunky fingerprints, which look 'orrible.

Ignore the shiny front of the Sony Ericsson S302 and you've got quite a slim phone that slips easily into a pocket. Unlike the C905 this won't take up much space -- but there's very little going on inside as a result. With only a 2-megapixel camera and no 3G, this isn't aimed at the high-end market and won't take as good a photo as the C905. It will most likely be much cheaper, though.

If there's one part of the Sony Ericsson S302 we really like, it's the design of the back. It has a minimalism we wish was carried through to the rest of the S302 -- and Sony Ericsson's other phones, for that matter. Less is more in most cases and while we think some people will love the shiny front, we much prefer the humble but attractive back.

Sony Ericsson K330
Variety is the garam masala of life and while we like high-end phones, we dearly love a low-end bargain too. The K330 is a straightforward candybar phone with a 0.3-megapixel camera, Bluetooth and an FM radio. It might not be a smart phone, but it'd be a smart buy if you're counting the pennies these days.

At only 12mm thick, this entry-level lovely will plop into your pocket like a penguin into water. It felt quite sturdy and would probably take a few tumbles, so it might suit if you're laughably clumsy, or you just like throwing your phone around.

What with this and the S302, we're starting to think that Sony Ericsson has got making the backs of phones down to an art form. While it's not a particularly exciting part of the Sony Ericsson K330, it looks good, which is very important -- this is the bit everyone sees when you're on a call.

Sony Ericsson J132
Even more basic than the K330, the Sony Ericsson J132 is a sturdy little handset that comes with a rubber keypad, which helps keep out dust. It's not certified as water-resistant or dust-proof but we feel it could take some punishment. It's a very simple phone, but it's suitable for rugged situations.

What's really interesting about the J132 is that while it doesn't have many features, it does come with an FM radio and -- most impressively -- a 3.5mm headphone jack, which lets you plug in normal headphones. It might not seem like a big deal but even the almighty C905 doesn't have a 3.5mm jack, which means you have to use an adaptor. Equally exciting is the mini USB port, which many people have spare chargers for. Both of these features are small details we think should be included on all Sony Ericsson phones.