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Sony Ericsson Cyber-shot C903 - Sony Ericsson Cyber-shot C903

By Sandra Vogel



Our Score:


The 2.4in screen delivers the usual 240 x 320 pixels. Sony Ericsson's screens are usually sharp and bright, and this one is no exception. The front fascia design makes it look as though the screen dominates, too. An optical illusion, but one Sony Ericsson must be quite pleased with.

The C903 has an accelerometer that ensures the screen rotates when you are in some applications. Picture viewing is one, web browsing another. The rotation sensor is very responsive and screen rotation was fast. I just wish it worked all the time, in every application, on the main screen, everywhere, really.

There is no Wi-Fi here but there is GPS. You can geotag photos and in the main menu on the handset there is a group of applications called Location Services. Open this up and there's quite a bit to let you take advantage of the GPS. For example, Near Me finds facilities that are close to your current location, and its database includes things like cinemas, clubs and gigs, food and drink locations, cashpoints, chemists and petrol stations. There is also Wayfinder, a point-to-point navigation application; and Tracker, a GPS tracker you can use, for example, on training runs. Google Maps is here too.

This is a 3G handset with HSDPA. There is a search function mapped to the right softkey on the home screen and this calls up a Google search box. Slap your term in and you are online in a jiffy. It is fast, efficient, and very useful.

Here's an annoyance. TV-Out is supported but Sony Ericsson doesn't bother to supply a cable. I always like to see this feature on a phone, but if you have to fork out for extra kit to make it work, I doubt many people will get to see their photos, video or other screen-based stuff on a telly.

There is no front-mounted camera for two-way video calling. The main camera lens sits under a slide-away cover. This fits lengthways along the whole of the backplate giving the phone's back a very 'digital camera' look. The cover protects not only the lens but also a dual LED flash unit.

Camera features map to all the number buttons and if you memorise them it is really quick to get around the settings. Among the camera highlights is BestPic with up to nine images, face detection and smile shutter modes.

The camera quality is very good. The coloured dish, photographed indoors under normal household lights, has good colour reproduction and is sharp. Outside, the level of detail captured on the chair is perfectly acceptable, and the flower, shot quite close but without the macro mode turned on is also good. The colour reproduction and detail both impress. There is a 16x digital zoom if you feel the need.

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July 10, 2009, 4:58 pm

"This time round, Sony Ericsson has got the ergonomics of use right. On the front fascia, the navigation button is basically a large square with rounded edges, which is raised from its surroundings to make it easier to hit accurately. The softkey buttons are very small but are again raised to aid location. The larger Call and End keys are raised too. The only flush buttons on the front fascia are the Activity Menu and Clear keys. These sit right at the bottom of the casing and are large enough to hit accurately despite their low-profile. "

This paragraph could be shortened to:

"This time round, Sony Ericsson has got the ergonomics of use right - its almost exactly the same as the nokia N85".

seriously, how much does this phone look like the n85?


July 10, 2009, 9:00 pm

Intersesting and detailed review folks as always many thanks BUT>>>

" the C903 doesn't BETTER the C905's"

Does not better???

Come on guys!! you can do better than that ;-)

- I realise there is an inevitable and almost compelling desire to pander to modern 'Yuff' vernacular, prose, Americanised writing style and usage. But why bother with correct (British) English at all if it does not even sound right when mixed in ad hoc?

I know I cant spell or create good text but surely your editorial staff can? - And yes I do realise that you have a global audience to cater for....


July 10, 2009, 9:41 pm

What's wrong with Sandra's use of the verb 'to better'? Maybe you should invest in a dictionary!


July 11, 2009, 3:04 pm

Excepting the grammatical errors listed above, I thought it was a useful review. I'm in the market for a replacement for my three year old K800i. I don't believe Sony Ericsson has produced a phone worthy of the name successor, to the K800i. No one has! Every so often a product comes along and defines the state of the art. Three years down the line, the K800i is still the King, although others may have some 'better' features, overall, as a package, the K800i is waiting to lose it's crown!

Nokia and Samsung couldn't even dream to have a phone as good as that one, so what's all the fuss about the Nokia N(aff)95?

I would like a new candybar phone. I believe that there will be C901, candybar version of the C903? Any news on that one?


July 11, 2009, 5:39 pm

please judge speed and reaction of the camera part of the phone.

this test was one of your worst.. sorry.. no fun or really interesting to read.

some photos of the phone in different hands to give some sense of proportion would be nice too :-)

keep writing and testing ;-)


July 12, 2009, 9:19 pm


If this is correct, I bow to your superior knowledge as an expert.

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