A neat trick for the day job becomes a secondary function at night, when the O2 Cocoon slips into something comfortable – a supplied docking cradle "Nest" – to double up as a bedside alarm clock. O2 has figured that as many people now use their phone for their wake up call, they may as well make a feature of it. You can set it to wake up to a tune of your choice, the radio or a standard alarm (we’re hoping a Teasmaid version will be on its way soon).
Flipping open the Cocoon, the keypad and screen arrangement is conventional. The matt black keypad has large, no-nonsense rectangular keys that accommodate the larger-fingered user, though they're a touch less responsive than super-speed texters might like. A five-way control is flanked by call start and end keys, and a pair of keys for activating soft menus is standard mobile phone formation.
Above these is the 2.1in, 240 x 320, 262, 144-colour display. Intriguingly there’s a thumbwheel on the hinge between the display and keypad, but disappointingly it doesn’t help spinning through menus or music track lists - it’s just a simple volume control.
There’s no mould-breaking with the menu system either. It’s all pretty vanilla stuff. A main menu key pulls up a set of icons, or a list with larger icons if you prefer. Nonetheless, the conventional, non-tricksy approach works efficiently - you select options and explore sub-menus by scrolling down then hitting the appropriate number next to the option.
In addition, most-used features can be assigned to a shortcuts list that’s lined up on the bottom of the display, and activated by a joypad click.
Playback controls at the ready
The music player can be activated either through the menu, shortcut options or by tapping the side-facing music control keys. Don’t rely on the key labelling to help – these are minuscule and inexplicably positioned on the opposite side of the flip, so can’t be matched to buttons when the clamshell is open.
Once activated, you get familiar MP3 player-style options for track selection - Artists, Albums, Tracks, Genres and Playlists - and you can select Random Shuffle too. You can opt for viewing tracks in lists or with album cover art. Various settings allow you to adjust your listening options - you can even keep listening to tunes down in the background when answering calls.
Re: O2 have balls
"If you're asking £295 for this as a PAYG shows O2 have either big balls or they've totally lost touch with reality"
If my recent dealings with them are any indication[*], it's definitely the latter and one of the main reasons I've booted them into touch and gone over to T-Mobile instead (I've also 'downgraded' from an XDA Mini to a Nokia 6300 - never been happier)
Having seen a Cocoon in the York O2 shop, the first thing I thought was 'Eeeewwww!' - looks like the bastard offspring of an iPod and a bedside alarm clock and, given the quality of O2s reception round here, is probably more useful as one of these than as an actual phone.
[*] - eg. ringing their customer support to request my PAC code and having to sit through an advert for the bloody iPhone.
Own worst enemy
Is it me, or is O2 going to bite its own arse?, they have already bought a deal for the iphone, why have this aswell
O2 have balls
If you're asking £295 for this as a PAYG shows O2 have either big balls or they've totally lost touch with reality if they think this phone is worth nearly £300. At that money they're saying it's got more to offer than nearly anything coming from Sony-Ericsson, Nokia, LG or Motorola. They're clearly a bit mad.
The phone lacks one thing and the review lacks another..
Why don't manufacturers put a standard 3.5m jack in music phones? My SPV is the same as this, uses some crappy proprietary plug and they charge you a fortune for a new set of headphones. It was cheaper to buy a new MP3 player than it was to replace the orange (nothing special except the price) headphones.
- I know they also need to add a mic. and other control lines too.. but there are ways of dealing with that.
- And yes, it comes with a 'adapter', but I'll bet the adapter has crummy strain relief, breaks after reasonable use, and costs a fortune to replace (if you can even buy it separately).
As for the review, yet again we are not told about how the phone synchronises.. Just mac and windows info and no discussion aboutr wether it mounts as a USB drive (and is therefore compatible with pretty much everything.)
- Simon; this is, unfortunately, in the finest tradition of el-reg reviews.. Please, please give a overview of the sync method (USB filesystem, vs. proprietary/activesync/telepathy) and then note any handy apps they supply for specific OS's. Ta.
Oh wow, there's a bonus.. A corporate entity changing my wallpaper for advertising purposes? It's like they read my mind!
A pint of Bishop's Ringfinger to the first person who hacks that to send out goatse.. :)