Sony Ericsson C903 review: Slider-shot

GSMArena team, 11 March 2009.

Tracker application for the sports-minded

The phone also features the Tracker sports application, which allows you to keep track of your speed, distance, route, and calories during training. Using the Tracker doesn't require connection to the Internet, and there are no costs for using it. When the Tracker application is started and "Start training" is selected the application looks for available satellites. Users can choose between time, distance, route based or no limit trainings.

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The main menu of the tracker application

The menu of the Tracker application consists of Start training, Routes, Results, Summary, and settings submenus. Under Routes the routes covered so far are stored. The distance covered is shown in either meters or kilometers. Each route can be viewed in a graphic map.

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The Tracker application and starting a new training

Results sort all the activities in a calendar month view. Sessions saved for the particular month are indicated by a small icon. The same holds true when day view is selected. Each result can be analyzed on a graph or replayed. The graph shows the average speed and the total activity time.

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Under Summary an overview of all activities is available with the total results, distance and time

In the settings menu there are plenty of customization options for the Tracker - units, energy consumption, personal profile, auto save routes, etc. In the personal profile you are prompted to enter such details as gender, height, weight, and year of birth. Having defined a speed zone when starting a training session, you will be prompted with phone vibration and on-screen text to speed up or slow down to keep within the preset speed.

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The settings menu and the prompt option

We liked the Tracker application - it proved a handy piece of software. Bear in mind that it requires access to satellites and cannot be used in covered areas such as indoor gyms or the like.

Games

Sony Ericsson C903 has four games preinstalled: Bubble Town, Crosspix, Real Football 2 and Treasure Towers.

Bubble Town is a tetris-like game where you have to match similar faces to free up the board.

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Bubble Town

Crosspix is a puzzle-based game. You have to decorate the galleries you enter with pictures based on the puzzles.

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Crosspix

Real Football 2 is as you can guess an action sports simulator with rich options and settings.

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Real Football 2

Treasure Towers is also an action based game where you play as Dr. Tatou climbing up each tower, collecting treasures and avoiding obstacles. It is quite an amusing game - actually.

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Treasure Towers game

Final words

Sony Ericsson C903 is a cameraphone but it also likes to come off as a genuine all-rounder. Our traditional competition comparing has moved to the conclusion, bit it's still as relevant as possible.

The C903 competition consists of several phones all of them sharing the the major specifications with the C903 - a slider form factor, quad-band GSM and HSDPA support, GPS and A-GPS support, 5 megapixel camera, and a 2.4" or bigger display.

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More views of Sony Ericsson C903

In our latest Sony Ericsson reviews we've had a hard time finding direct competitors for the corresponding Sony Ericsson phone, but here we seem to have a perfect match in the form of the Nokia 6260 slide. In many ways though, the 6260 actually outperforms the C903.

With almost the same phone dimensions, the Nokia 6260 slide has a bigger resolution of 320 x 480 pixels on its 16M TFT 2.4" display, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g, a 5 MP camera with Carl Zeiss optics and VGA video recording, 200 MB internal memory and faster data speeds (HSDPA 10.2 Mbps). A final conclusion would be impossible with the prices of both phones still unknown, but the spec sheet is a good starting point for comparison.

Nokia 6260 slide
Nokia 6260 slide

Another attractive offering is the Samsung S7350 Ultra s, also known as the S7350 UltraSlide. This phone was also officially presented for the first time at the MWC in Barcelona. At only 12.6mm it's a very thin slider but this is well at the expense of width and height. The S7350 Ultra s has the advantage over the C903 with its bigger 2.6" 16M TFT display with 240 x 400 pixels resolution, faster HSDPA (7.2 Mbps), WVGA video recording at 30fps, DviX/ XviD codec support and document viewer. The C903 has more camera extras, including dedicated controls, camera shortcuts, and accelerometer sensor for UI auto-rotate, better multimedia application (Media center) as well as TrackID. The same goes for the comparison with the Nokia 6260 slide.

Samsung S7350 Ultra s
Samsung S7350 Ultra s

Another MWC newcomer is the LG KT770. This Symbian-based slider has a bigger 2.8" TFT display of WQVGA resolution and again outperforms the C903 in terms of Wi-Fi. Its 5MP camera also packs lots of goodies: geo-tagging, face, smile and blink detection but on top of this records VGA video at 30fps. Faster HSDPA (7.2 Mbps) and a document viewer round off the KT770's advantages over the Sony Ericsson C903.

LG KT770
LG KT770

All that being said, we come to rounding up our impressions. As we type our final words on the Sony Ericsson C903 review, we are left with nothing but good feelings about this phone. Its story has some ups and downs, but - on the whole - this sweet phone is definitely a positive and pleasing step forward.

One could grumble about the lack of Wi-Fi, but you cannot expect Sony Ericsson or any other company to incorporate it into every hi-end feature phone.

Our only wish would be to see the superb imaging quality from the camera of the C905 on this baby. It has the same camera quality as on the C902, and that's definitely in need of some improvements.

Generally, the materials, phone design, usability and new UI features leave us very satisfied with the Sony Ericsson C903. We cannot comment on the retail price of the phone, but we think it will be almost the same as the Sony Ericsson C902.