Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sony Ericsson C905 and Xperia X1

Sony Ericsson's C905 features an 8.1 megapixel camera
I'm hunting for a new mobile phone to replace my 4-year-old Samsung which doesn't even have polyphonic ringtones. Hubby said, "What do you mean your Samsung has no polyphonic ringtones!? The Koreans invented that stuff!" Well, yeah, it's THAT old a model, and while it still works, it's starting to get cranky.

Sony Ericsson came out with two souped up devices yesterday. The Cyber-shot C905 which features an 8.1-megapixel camera, and the much awaited Xperia X1, its answer to the iPhone. Here are photos and preliminary impressions from their launch.

Actually this blog started with a Sony Ericsson phone (I borrowed hubby's 2-megapixel w850i, as obviously my Samsung couldn't take decent enough photos to save its life). At first I was just happy for any photos and the ability to take them discreetly, but 12 posts later, I decided I needed a proper camera. For photo quality, cameraphones just cannot compare to a standalone digital camera. So, one extra gadget to carry.

I then wondered if one day, cameraphones might actually catch up but I wasn't hopeful. Well, it looks like there might be a happy compromise now. The Cybershot C905 is almost as full-featured as its standalone cousins. Aside from really big photos (up to A3 size), there's face detection, smart contrast, image stabilizer features, and even on-the-go photo editing. I tried one shot at the dark venue and the colours turned out quite accurately. I still think it might be a challenge for dim-lit dining places though but who knows. Somebody try it and let me know.

Sony Ericsson C905 is the first Cybershot mobile phone that slides up
Another reason this quad-band phone would be good for mobile bloggers - Wi-Fi connectivity! The C905 is also GPS-enabled for geo-tagging and navigation support. There's even an application for Facebook users to share photos of where they've been, geo-tagging via Google Earth. Stereo Bluetooth, FM radio capability, USB and even PictBridge and TV-out connections come standard. Yes, it plays music too.

I like the Copper Gold colour best. Silver and black are the other options
The phones come in black, silver or "copper gold" shown above, which I like the best. You can see the Cyber-shot engraved lens hood, designed to not accidentally slip open and yet slides down easily when you want it to (quite a bit of work went into this, apparently). Once you slide it open, the phone automatically goes into camera mode. No need to fiddle around with buttons in front for cam activation. And all the camera-related function buttons conveniently light up in blue (see first photo). Nice touch.

Phone is S$938 without contract.

The much awaited Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 hides its Windows Mobile OS well with the nine-panel interface
The Xperia X1 is a different creature altogether. It's a business power user's workhorse. This stainless steel smartphone is Sony Ericsson's first on the Windows Mobile platform (apps galore! Also means you will open up a portal through which your email/work documents will come and haunt you).

What's special is the nine-panel dashboard or interface that hides the WinMo platform with Apple-like flair. It lets you view and access the apps you want, with sleek effects. Fully customisable but it is a little slow.

The WVGA (800 x 480) 3-inch display is incredibly crisp and clear. It's capable of showing even the minutest details and tiniest text - which is fantastic but had me squinting a bit too much after a while. The extra wide format is great for movies though. Video playback is sharp and smooth.

I like the Sony Ericsson Xperia X1's brushed chrome keypad with spaced keys that make for easy typing
The keypad slides out into an arc that tilts the display nicely for handheld viewing. The full QWERTY keypad has brushed chrome and wide pitch keys that make for easy typing. Quad-band, HSDPA, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi connectivity ensure you're always connected. There's 400MB internal memory and microSD card expansion up to 4GB.

Interestingly, the 3.2-megapixel camera allows you to select the focus point via touchscreen. Just point to where you want the focus to be! I didn't get to test its photo quality but presume it's less stellar than the C905.

But honestly, after playing with the Xperia X1, I couldn't go back to the C905. You just want the touchscreen, powerful capability and apps. Technolust, such a terrible thing. I'll probably end up with more gadgets to carry than when I first started blogging - from one handphone to smartphone, P&S digital camera and/or DSLR. There is no one gizmo to rule them all.

X1 will be available November in Singapore for S$1,298 without contract.


  1. You used to carry a Sony Point-and-Shoot. But the photos look very good too. I hope you can share a few tips with us:-

    1. Do you use a mini tripod?
    2. Do you use flash?
    3. On occasions when you use neither tripod nor flash, how do you make the pictures so bright?
    4. If you are using slow shutter speed, how to avoid blurring from camera shake? Or do you have very steady hands or Sony image stabilizer does wonders?
    5. If you use high ISO, why is there so little noise in your photos? Or Sony CCD does wonders?

    Sorry for asking so many questions.

  2. wooooah. that's 2 cool and power-packed phones! i want one of em!

  3. Wow! I love that! and the colour you chose too. I would have gotten the same coloured one. :)

  4. I hope they're paying you to help them with the reviews! Nice reviews!

    Wish i've stumbled upon the C905 before buying my SE G900... 8.1mp wi-fi and GPS!


  5. Curious: I still use the Sony P&S camera from time to time. You can tell the difference from the photos, hehe.

    Answers to your questions:
    1. No. Already too many things to carry, especially 12 kg babies!
    2. Flash. Sometimes, when it's too dark.
    3. Actually Sony cameras have this nifty "Slow Synchro" mode that gives you a fill-in flash effect, while taking in ambient light. It does require you to hold the camera for longer though, so you need a steady hand and still subjects! I'm glad my food is fully dead and doesn't move much.
    4. No, I don't use high ISO - the noise is too much, and I'm too lazy to tweak them. I guess the Sony CCD is good. I'm a Sony fan!

    Layla: yeah, I also want!

    SIG: nice right? But I didn't buy any phones. These photos were taken at a launch event. I only got to handle them for a few minutes.

    Ben-G: heavens, no, I don't get paid for writing these reviews. In fact, I have to spend money (transport) to go to such launch events. But I'm glad you like the reviews.

    Hey, SE G900 looks nice too. Guess you wouldn't have been able to stumble upon the C905 earlier cos it just launched on the 29 Oct.

  6. i want to copper gold!!! the shops so far only sell black and silver.

    and their prices are not the same.

    marina sq: S$968
    city hall : S$918 S$868
    vivo : S$988

    all comes with 2GB memory.

    please tell me where to get copper...PLEASE!!!

  7. Yeah despite all the features, i still kinda like my g900 cause of the touch screen... though its camera doesn't capture colours that well when i take food pictures...

    ahaha if you aren't paid for this, then someone at SE should be slipped a little note suggesting they at least sponsor your transport moolah...

  8. Thanks for your reply.

    I have a Fujifilm P&S camera. The photos are either blurry or noisy unless I couple the use ISO 100 + long exposure mode + tripod. It's quite ridiculous to be carrying a tripod all the time.

  9. Nice phone and well taken pictures in your blog!

    sgfoodlover from Singapore favourite food

  10. Curious: Hey, I used to have a Fujifilm too. In fact, my very first digital camera. At first, I was confused why all the shots were blurry. It was so slow, I had to hold it for at least 2 seconds to capture a shot. But that was a VERY OLD model, the 2800Z. Which one are you using?

    Ben-G: transport reimbursement? haha, no lah. I'm just happy to be invited.

    Anon: wow, no copper gold available? Can't be all sold out already! Lemme try and ask the folks at SE...

  11. If it is a old point and shoot, flash might cause the picture to white-out, but a newer point and shoot, maybe like what Camemberu mentions, the slow syn mode is incorporated to preserve the details...

    I have difficulties taking good food portrait when using camera phone, P&S and dSLR, need to follow Camemberu's pointers... Her pictures always retain such nice colours, thus I bookmark her blog on my first visit =)

    However, something that I observed when using the olympus u1010, I often use the cuisine mode since it produce better colour details than the auto mode... the settings is always kept at ISO100 with flash fired... Maybe I should check the EXIF, maybe I can spot more settings...

  12. Thanks, Fen! You're quite the technical expert when it comes to cameras. Half the time I am learning from you! And did you say cuisine mode?? Wow that's new to me!

  13. Hi Camemberu,

    My pictures are no way near yours... Your colours are always so vibrant and so sharp... Of course, yummy-looking

    Maybe technical wise I can bluff my way through since daddy has been chanting camera jargons to me but I still can't handle a dSLR proper... Thus till now, I am still using my P&S...

    Yup, Olympus u1010 has a cuisine mode and the pictures are usually not too bad... You can view it from my blog, most are taken by this camera except for occassional shots when I bring the dSLR out.

  14. Nice Mobile I am having the same Mobile Please help me for unlocking it I got the Unlocking instructions for my same sony ericsson mobile in the site which locked to the Vodafone UK..I want ony the unlocking code please help me thanks in advance..

  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

  16. Nice Mobile I am having the same Mobile Please help me for unlocking it I got the Unlocking instructions for my same sony ericsson mobile in the site mobileunlockguide.comwhich locked to the Vodafone UK..I want ony the unlocking code please help me thanks in advance..


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