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.