The quad-band 3G Cocoon is not the first own-branded whiter than white handset I've seen from O2. That accolade went to the Ice. The Cocoon though, is a uniquely oddball mobile in several respects. It certainly looks different enough to be an eye catcher and apparently if you take your Cocoon to the O2 (formerly known as the Millennium Dome) in London, the phone knows what you are doing and will provide you with ‘exclusive content'.
It has a penchant for playing music and while it lacks an outer display it has the mobile phone equivalent of a rolling neon sign on its outer casing. This is actually an LED that scrolls information in large blue lettering across the white front fascia at various times. Oh, and the Cocoon comes with a little stand in which you can pop it to take advantage of some of its features. O2 rather grandly calls this, the Nest.
Let's start with the general look and feel, though. This is a rather large mobile phone for the pocket, measuring 94mm tall, 49mm wide and a rather excessive 21mm thick. It weighs 114g. When the clam is opened it extends to a little under 170mm. The clam doesn't open fully to 180 degrees, stopping short to give the impression of being a little curved and a better fit for your face.
With the clam opened you are faced with a vast number pad and a large rectangular area containing a reasonably big navigation button and Call, End and two softmenu keys. The key arrangement is minimalist and easy to use, which is fine by me.
The screen measures 2.3 inches corner to corner and delivers 320 x 240 pixels and 262,000 colours and crucially, is bright and sharp.
O2's menu system is reasonably clear to follow. Up to eight shortcuts run along the bottom of the main screen and can be customised to show what you prefer, even pointing to individual browser bookmarks. The Cocoon can automatically change its wallpaper daily or hourly.
The Cocoon's curved white outer casing with its rounded top and bottom edges and black sides makes it look unlike any mobile I've ever seen. The casing is made of a plastic that has a semi rubbery feel that's quite nice in the hand, actually.