This phone won’t win any prizes for being exceptionally pocket-friendly, but at 105g it isn’t too heavy to tote and at 106mm tall, 48mm wide and 16mm thick it is fine for most pockets.
The screen measures 2.2 inches diagonally – slightly more, in fact than the 2.0 inches of the C902. Its 262 thousand colours and 240 x 320 pixels are a match for that other handset, though.
The navigation key has a raised rim that indents towards the select button. I don’t like this as it doesn’t feel smooth under the finger, but it worked well enough. To its left and right sit a trio of buttons. On the left, we have a softmenu, Sony Ericsson’s superb Activity menu and, nestled between them a tiny Call key. On the right another softkey, the Clear key and between them a tiny End key.
While the Call and End keys are weeny they are usable thanks to their physical design which raises them from their surroundings and has them in a different colour – black against silver on my review sample.
The number keys are long and thin and the centre column is slightly offset vertically adding a little spark of individuality to proceedings, which doesn’t affect usability. The 3, 6, 9 and # column has some camera shortcuts which are backlit blue when the camera is in use.
Tap them to turn the flash on and off; turn the timer on and off; get to the scenes mode; and choose between normal, frames, panorama and burst shooting. Each press of the key in the two latter cases cycles you through the options available.
Sony Ericsson says the phone is splash and dust resistant so you should be able to use it on the beach with confidence. Don’t expect it to survive immersion in water, though, as the standard is about ‘resistance’ not complete proofing.
Still, maybe this partly explains the difficulties I had removing the back cover – it looks to have been designed with a no-leak seal. Indeed the soft rubber-band style part of this seal is easily dislodged but just as easily replaced.