Product Review: Sony Ericsson C902 Cyber-shot

25 Aug 2008

Considering my one-year-old digital camera is a 7.2-megapixel device, the fact that some new mobile phones on the market have a five-megapixel camera means I’m feeling a bit miffed that I may have a duff investment on my hands.

Or maybe not. While the camera on the Sony Ericsson C902 Cyber-shot works splendid, my fingers may be too large to use the zoom feature on the screen of the device so while you have a brilliant camera, functionality has yet to catch up.

The Sony Ericsson C902 Cyber-shot is definitely a device of its time – but doesn’t look it.

The chassis is more 2002 than 2008 and while the device is discrete and slim, it’s ugly.

Also – the keys. In a time when keys on phones are slowing disappearing, there’s no excuse for putting keys on a phone that are more suited to a Lilliputian. But that’s the worst of what I’ve got to say about the C902.

When you snap open the slide that reveals the camera at the back of the device, it undergoes something of a metamorphosis. Beautiful blue lights grace the screen and a camera is born.

Navigating the device for previous shots is simple and elegant and as usual Sony Ericsson excels itself at adding in useful camera software that makes the claim it is a bona fide camera all the more credible. Other phone manufacturers should take note.

Sony Ericsson’s operating system has come along in leaps and bounds and instead of a mix of unstructured applications, everything is neat and easy to find. The device features a nice feature in the media button which brings up a list of your favourite videos, games, web feeds, music and photos.

I think if Sony Ericsson really was on top of its game it would have held back the release of this phone until it had the perfect chassis for it. What were they thinking releasing a super sophisticated device at a time when Apple is parading the iPhone, Nokia the N96 and Samsung the Tocco?

It’s like having a Ferrari engine inside a Fiat Panda! The aesthetics, unfortunately, really suck.

I’m reassured that the company has the technology, just get the packaging right folks.

The device is available in Ireland from O2 at prices ranging from €99 to €209 depending on what package you’re on.

By John Kennedy

Pictured: The Sony Ericsson C902 CyberShot

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years