Sony Ericsson may have whetted appetites for truly top-end cameraphone quality with its recently announced 12.1-megapixel Satio, but the mobile maker has also been taking care of business in its mid-range portfolio, with the Sony Ericsson C903 its latest 5-megapixel Cyber-shot sharp-shooter.

Taking up position below the 8-megapixel C905 but above the C902 in the photo-centric Cyber-shot line-up, the Sony Ericsson C903 is a tidily turned out sliderphone.

Its 5-megapixel camera has a similar set of controls and software as its higher-end stablemate – including a decent autofocus system with face detection, Smile Shutter and BestPics gadgetry – although it has a dual-LED flash rather than the xenon type used on the C905.

A-GPS satellite location finding technology is on board the C903, while the phone also has HSPA high-speed data connectivity – useful for swift downloading of content or uploading of images and video from the handset to online services.

Sony ericsson c903 review

Unfortunately, as well as a few megapixels lighter than the C905, the C903 also lacks the C905's appealing Wi-Fi capability.

Design

Lighter on features it may be, but weighing 96g against the C905's 136g, it's also considerably easier in the pocket too. It's a few millimetres slimmer, at 97(h) x 49(w) x 16(d) mm, though the weight difference is more a result of the bodywork – the glossy plastic frame of the C903 feels less substantial than that of the chunky C905.

Sony ericsson c903 review
Sony ericsson c903 review
Sony ericsson c903 review

The presentably tidy design of the C903 includes a smattering of chrome-style trim around the navigation D-pad, the edge of the phone, and rather neatly in a strip across the back panel – contrasting well with the glossy 'lacquer black', 'techno white' and 'glamour red' colour schemes in which the C903 is available.