Thursday, October 30, 2008
Sony Ericsson C905 and Xperia X1
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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