FLASH IN THE PAN

Finweek English Edition - - Communication & Technology - BENE­DICT KELLY benk@fin­week.co.za

IT’S NO SE­CRET I’M a bit of a sucker for cool in­dus­trial de­sign and in the case of the Sony Eric­s­son Cy­ber-shot C902 it was love at first sight. Re­splen­dent in black and sil­ver, the phone oozes class and the sil­ver ridges down its side set it apart from the pack when it comes to the fash­ion stakes. In the gad­get stakes it comes with a five megapixel cam­era and even though megapix­els mean rel­a­tively lit­tle in this kind of de­vice, it’s still some­thing to tick off the list.

The qual­ity of pho­tos is im­pres­sive but the cam­era’s let down by the flash, which isn’t nearly bright enough – re­sult­ing in pic­tures taken with­out the flash look­ing bet­ter than those taken us­ing it, even when rea­son­ably close to the ob­ject. They come out un­der­ex­posed and com­pletely un­us­able. That said, the cam­era does have an awe­some James Bond style slider that makes you feel a bit like a se­cret agent ev­ery time you take a pic­ture. There are also nice touch-sen­si­tive strips down the side of the screen that make ac­cess­ing cam­era func­tions re­ally easy.

De­spite the sub­stan­dard flash there’s a big­ger prob­lem with this phone – bat­tery life. While thin­ner phones do tend to have less bat­tery life, I ex­pected to be able to get through a week­end with­out hav­ing to charge the C902, es­pe­cially when I hadn’t used it a lot. I can imag­ine that be­ing very frus­trat­ing if you make lots of calls.

That said, SonyEric­s­son has made great strides in mak­ing its menu sys­tem easy to use and I was im­pressed with the sim­plic­ity with which I was able to per­form most func­tions. De­spite some nice touches the aw­ful flash and the sub-stan­dard bat­tery life made this a short-lived love af­fair.

Cy­ber-shot C902

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