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O2 Cocoon mobile phone

Nothing to do with pods, pensioners or swimming pools

O2 supplies the Cocoon with Windows Media Player 11 software for PCs to manage and synchronise tunes, via an in-box USB cable. Mac users can drag and drop tracks onto the phone or memory card, but syncing with iTunes requires additional third-party software such as SyncTunes.

Twin speakers sit on either side of the hinge, which produces some volume, but little real stereo effect. Regulation speakerphone tinniness is not as harsh as it is on some cheaper models, but you can tweak up the bass levels to maximum without getting any extra real thump.

A hands-free stereo headset is included. O2 has smartly allowed regular headphones to be plugged in by supplying a two-part headset to plug into the phones USB socket with a 3.5mm jack adaptor on one end. Nicely, a small splitter is packaged too so that two sets of headphones can be attached simultaneously. O2 has also thought about listening when the phone is cradled - the Nest has headphone sockets so you can tune in when charging.

O2 Cocoon
Cunningly concealed LED lighting

Sound quality through the supplied in-ear 'phones is impressive. They’re better than many supplied sets - iPod earphones, certainly - and produce a welcome level of bass and tone clarity. There's neglible spillage at listening volume, too. Cocoon has stereo Bluetooth, and O2 has usefully added a fastkey on and off option.

The two-megapixel camera on the back of the Cocoon doesn’t enjoy the one-button access that some other handsets provide. It has autofocus and a flash, and up to 10x zoom at lower resolutions. Some picture tweaking controls - white balance, brightness and quality options - are provided, plus there are a few "funny" frames and effects, if that makes you chuckle.

Images taken by the Cocoon are reasonable, but the camera is far from the best 2Mp mobile we’ve seen. Some shots are slightly soft - although mid- to close-in shots benefit from the autofocus. Colour balance is generally acceptable.

O2 Cocoon
O2's Cocoon: nested

Video at the top resolution - 320 x 240 pixels - is no great shakes, as with most mobiles, and the Cocoon won’t be kicking your camcorder into touch any time soon.

The O2 Cocoon has a browser on board, configured for quick access to the O2 Active portal. Regular websites can also be accessed too, along with POP and IMAP email.

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