Back in October 2008 we gave Sony Ericsson’s C905 a ‘Hot Buy’ rosetta, and it remains our favourite camphone. Rivals like the Samsung M8800 Pixon and LG KC910 Renoir have since provided stiff competition, but its combination of excellent photos, onboard Wi-Fi and GPS has kept it a camera lens ahead.
Of course, there’s always room for improvement so Sony Ericsson has rolled out the C905 Plus to keep its flagship at the top. There’s no change to the hardware, but the new software includes Smile Shutter technology and a BBC iPlayer app.
Smile detection trickery has already featured on its closest rivals so it’s good to see Sony Ericsson catching up. Its Smile Shutter magic debuted on the 3 exclusive mid-range C510 Cyber-shot but proved hit and miss. Thankfully it works perfectly on its higher-end stablemate.
With the smile mode activated via a press of the shutter key, it automatically captures the photos as soon as your subjects grin. It’s very sensitive and instantly takes the snap to nail that happy Kodak moment.
The only other addition to its photographic arsenal is an HP Snapfish app so you can order prints direct for your handset and get them delivered. You can easily set up an account from the phone and the first twenty 6x4 photos are free.
Mobile Auntie Beeb
The C905 Plus is the latest phone to support the BBC iPlayer app so you can watch on-demand, live TV and listen to DAB radio. If you’re on the Vodafone or 3 network you can stream the programmes over HSDPA, but we recommend using Wi-Fi for a more stable connection.
The C905’s average-sized, QVGA 2.4in display restricts the viewing footprint for comfortable extended watching. Not unsurprisingly, picture quality isn’t pin-sharp either and suffers from occasional digital noise, but it’s not unwatchable.
DAB radio on the other hand sounds very lucid, although sports fans will be disappointed you can’t access Radio 5 Live and 5 Sports Extra.
Watch the Tube
Video watching fiends will also appreciate the YouTube app that allows you to stream videos over HSPDA. The app is great to use and once logged in you can access your account favourites. However, like the BBC iPlayer, quality is variable but adequate for snacking.
Rounding off the new extras line-up are three new toys: a handy new SMS thread conversation tab has been tagged onto the messaging inbox, there’s the new Wayfinder 8 sat-nav software version to try out, and Sony Ericsson has bundled an 8GB Memory Stick Micro to considerably up storage capacity.
Original C905 owners will be chuffed to hear they can upgrade for free by downloading the new software over-the-air via the update service in the general settings menu. But be warned – some networks won’t support certain features because they conflict with their own services.
The C905 Plus represents more of a fine-tune than a major feature boost, and apart from the neat Smile Shutter tech and the BBC iPlayer, there’s not too much to get overly excited about. But it remains a five-star phone and the finest camphone around.