Sony Ericsson launches 8.1-megapixel camera phone

Anyone looking for a camera phone that packs a little more punch than the obligatory low-end cameras found on most phones these days will undoubtedly gravitate towards the new C905a Cyber-shot

Anyone looking for a camera phone that packs a little more punch than the obligatory low-end cameras found on most phones these days will undoubtedly gravitate towards the new C905a Cyber-shot.

With an 8.1-megapixel lens, it boasts the highest camera resolution available through AT&T. Supplementing the snazzy new image sensor is a feature set for snapping photos on the go: Face detection, red-eye reduction, smart contrast sensors, and BestPic options that let you take several successive pictures and save the best ones. Like the previous Cyber-shots, the C905a has a slider phone form factor with dedicated camera keys on the body of the unit ensuring you don't miss choice photo ops because you're muddling around in menus. All that will cost you $US230, though if you start a new two-year contract you can get a $US50 mail-in rebate.

Social media mavens, on the other hand, will prefer the W518a Walkman, a flip phone that emphasizes the mobile music functionality. When shut, the outside has a small display that shows the ID tags of whatever you're currently listening to, and it has Play/Pause, Next Track, and Previous Track buttons to make it easy to control without having to open the phone up. It comes preloaded with a Facebook app, so you don't have to wait until you get to your home computer (or shell out the money for a full-fledged smartphone) to get your hourly dose of the mundane, and it has a standard-issue 3.2-megapixel camera. You also don't need to wait to get home to download new music either; both Napster Mobile and eMusic Mobile are available for your digital downloading dollars.

Perhaps most noteworthy, however, are the new control options: Advanced Shake Control lets you shuffle or skip songs by flicking the phone with your wrist, and "Gesture Control" lets you deny calls or set your alarm to snooze by waving your hand in front of the camera. It's also substantially cheaper than the Cyber-shot: the W518a will only run for $US100, which comes down to $US50 if you sign a new two-year contract and get the $US50 mail-in rebate.

If that caught your attention, don't forget to check out some of our recent phone reviews, like the high-end Sony Ericsson W995a or the details on Sony Ericsson's Android phone from earlier this month.

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Patrick Miller

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