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Sony Ericsson C902 review




  • Recommended by TR

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Sony Ericsson C902
  • Sony Ericsson C902
  • Sony Ericsson C902
  • Sony Ericsson C902
  • Sony Ericsson C902
  • Sony Ericsson C902
  • Sony Ericsson C902
  • Sony Ericsson C902
  • Sony Ericsson C902
  • Sony Ericsson C902


Our Score:


We are in Cyber-shot territory with the C902; a quad-band 3G mobile with HSDPA. My review sample came SIM-free from Expansys, but you can get it SIM free elsewhere too and it is available widely on contract.

Right from the outset I liked this phone, which manages to combine a no-nonsense attitude to design with some neat high end features. The all round blackness with flashes of silver and white give the C902 a minimalist look which makes a change from some of the bright colours I've seen recently.

Handset design isn't always Sony Ericsson's strong point, with tiny or awkward buttons sometimes the bête noire of its phones. However, all is sweetness and light here. The numberpad buttons are large, individually shaped and very easy to hit at speed. Fast texting is no problem, and I was comfortable with the number pad from the outset.

The other front keys are also very comfortable to use. The D-pad is large and its central select button, although small, is slightly raised which makes it very easy to find. To its left and right, the Call and End keys, softmenu keys, Cancel and Sony Ericsson Activity menu key are all the same size but have slightly different shaping which again assists ease-of-use. It is all no-nonsense stuff.

The screen's 240 x 320 pixels and 262,000 colours are pretty much par for the course and as I've come to expect from Sony Ericsson the screen is bright and pin-sharp. It does, though, look a little lost most of the time. It measures 2 inches diagonally and there is a band about half a centimetre wide on both its left and right long edges, which seems like dead space when you first switch this mobile phone on.

However, this empty space gets filled when you are using the camera. At this point the screen flips into wide format, and those bands are top and bottom of the image framing area. They are now populated with four touch-sensitive icons, each backlit a nice deep blue.

Tapping these you can quickly perform a range of functions: switch from shooting to viewing mode, switch back to camera mode, switch to video mode, change focus setting (for example choosing macro and face detection modes), switch between normal, BestPic, panorama or frames shooting modes, choose a scenes mode (portrait, sports, document etc), set the self timer and set the flash.

Tap an icon and you then use the D-pad to choose between available options. Some of the features are replicated in the usual Sony Ericsson camera settings area, but it is handy to have them so quickly and easily accessible.

Carrier pricing updates & information supplied by WhistleOut


July 13, 2008, 7:01 pm

Congratulations Ms. Vogel. Now don't OD on those 9s now.


September 26, 2008, 3:44 pm

I just don't understand why they would create a phone that seems to be trying to be a market leading camera phone (going by the adverts and seeing as it clearly has no ambitions to be a smart-phone) yet they have taken out the Xenon flash which makes all the difference when taking photos in any conditions other than bright day light whilst outside.

And why oh why oh why do they insist on sticking with their proprietary connections?

In the end I moved over to the N95 (after years of SE loyalty, T610, W800i & K800i) as the camera and flash are fairly similar (although Sony's software/image processing seems to give better/more realistic colour reproduction than Nokia's) yet it can do far far more and I don't have to carry the PC connector cables around with me, as almost every where I got someone has the USB cables needed and any old headphones will work.

Was the person who decided on the removal/non inclusion of the Xenon flash from the c902 the came person who decided on the keys for the K850i?

If so they need to be fired out of the Sony-Ericsson headquarters by catapult, asap.

Sort it out Sony, I used to be a loyal customer but you seem to have hit a wall or something with the K800 and everything since has been rather underwhelming.


September 26, 2008, 5:54 pm

Absolutely awful phone. I've used Sony Ericsson faithfully since 2000 but unless you stand beneath a phone mast you can forget having a conversation. The camera is good during the day but what happened to the flash?? So close yet so disappointing. I offered to GIVE it to someone whose C902 screen broke but he refused a free phone. Enough said! I wish I hadn't recycled my old phone.


October 4, 2008, 3:48 pm


My girlfriend got this phone recently as she doesn't like Nokia and didn't want a touch screen.

I think she'll change her mind after using the c902 for much longer.

It is pretty rubbish, I can't see how it's been given anything over a 7 in this review and that would be being generous.

Tiny screen, useless flash, no wifi, nothing new, a retrograde step. Everyone will see the first line of your texts as you can't change this option like you could on the older Sony's, a little clue as to how this phone can never be seen as an upgrade.

5MP camera you are saying? Yes it has one, but all that means is that the photos are bigger, take up more memory so it runs out faster/fewer on your card and it takes longer for anything to be processed and therefore uses more batter power.

The flash isn't worth bothering to turn on, it's even worse than my N95's and I thought that was bad. It's like going back to the "flash" on the w800i.

Oh but it's slim and pretty. It is uncomfortable to hold and weighs a ton some how?

Seriously Sony, what are you doing?

Your last few phones have been rubbish rubbish rubbish.

You will not be around much longer if you carry on like this and whereas I would have been sad to see you go a couple of years ago, now I wouldn't notice.

Long story short.

If you are thinking of buying this phone as you have used Sony phones before and have one now, DON'T!!!!!!

If the joystick isn't broken on your k800i go for the cheaper contract/calls option you will be offered and keep the k800i. This phone IS NOT AN UPGRADE.

Is that clear enough?

So disappointed, so happy to have jumped ship when I did.


November 13, 2008, 4:53 pm

I have just changed to this phone from my Nokia 6300, which I did come to like (never having liked Nokias in the past).

So, how do I rate this phone after the 6300? It is great! No freezing, and it all seems fairly intuitive so far. Many of the options are accessed via shifting along tabs so you CAN have individual ringtones, and pictures, for each contact member (so ignore that comment by the previous 'reviewer') - which aren't always obvious, so maybe Sony Ericsson should have made those a bit more obvious? Then again, I found them within 5 mins!

The only negative thing so far is Sony's insistance to use their own connector and not a mini-USB or jack plug hole - so my aftermarket earphones won't work - unless someone has produced a patch lead for that sort of thing?

The memory of c.160MB is okay, but I'd reccommend buying a memory card - my 2GB cost 㾸 from Jessops so am sure you could buy it cheaper elsewhere but even so thst isn't so bad.

I have short fat fingers, and found the 6300 okay to use, and the c902 is okay so far, but maybe not quite as good, but as I have only had the phone less than 24 hours maybe I just haven't got used to it yet?!


March 5, 2010, 7:43 pm


Okay, after another 14 months or so, I do now feel entitled to comment on this phone...

It is a real curates egg.

The good bits...

Overall a great camera for outdoors (which is one main reason I like it)- easy to do one handed if one hand tied up (with dog for instance). So good I have used some for publications.

What the phone can do is great too - I like the radio, appointments, alarms, etc, BUT there is a BUT, see below...

Bad bits

- Camera is rubbish in low light / indoors

- The way the software works is SO frustrating! It is very slow to react to inputs so you are often waiting for it catch up with what you want to do

- The keypad is utterly dreadful. This is why I cannot wait to be able to upgrade my phone. I absolutely hate the keypad! Maybe it's my fingers but the whole user interface is horrid, for me anyway. Maybe you'd be okay with it?

So, I am looking forward very much to changing my phone. I have to say though that I just don't know what with, as there doesn't seem to be a phone with comparable camera (and I do use that all the time). Pity there doesn't seem to be an option for selecting camera phones on TR website - unless I've missed it of course!

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