First thoughts on the O2 Cocoon

Today I received my shiny new O2 Cocoon mobile. It comes courtesy of Peter Kwong at VCCP, O2′s advertising agency and is mine to keep even if I decide not to review it (which would very mean of me so I’ll give it a first thoughts and a proper review).

The O2 Cocoon comes packaged in a large attractive flat box that reflects the design of the phone. On opening it my first impressions was ‘Wow’. The pure white phone with black trim certainly looks the part. And I was impressed to see that it comes with a well-designed user manual.

This is when it started to go downhill. The user manual – a well designed book on nice paper – isn’t actually a user manual. It’s a very substantial quick start guide which says “will give you all you need to get your O2 Cocoon bubbling away, and using some of the cool stuff that the phone is packed with.”

Except it doesn’t. All it actually is, is a very expensive looking promotional booklet for the phone I’ve just bought (that is if I hadn’t received a review copy). It doesn’t tell me much more than the website does. You don’t actually get a manual – it’s on the CD as a PDF. Now I don’t have too much of a problem with a manual on CD, it’s better for the environment. I do have a BIG problem with a company providing a totally pointless full colour book and not bothering with a manual. That is STUPID on so many levels as I suffer the inconvenience of no manual and the environment still takes a hit.

But enough of the stupidity and on to the glories of the phone.

Once I start it up it still looks good. The USP of the LEDs in the cover do look good. Although it does also highlight how pointless the book is as it says you can use it a an alarm clock, but the lights go off very quickly and it doesn’t tell you how to keep them on. The book has a ‘Cocoon tip No 1′ which says “You can customise within Settings, both the brightness of the LED, and the speed at which it scrolls across the skin, to suit you’. Logic tells you that Settings is also where you get it to stay on all night so that it actually is an alarm clock. It doesn’t, guess I’ll have to consult the manual when I’ve got more time.

Installing the O2 PC Suite causes more problems as on connecting the phone I instantly start to get error messages which start in English but then have Japanese (?) characters. None of them appear to be true error messages as it all works, but it would confuse a non-techy user. Contrast this to my wife’s Sony Ericsson Z530i or my HTC TyTN, both of which worked first time straight out of the box with no error messages. The Sony Ericsson was particularly impressive as it was via bluetooth and not a cable.

I was glad to read in the manual that the Cocoon has a combined USB cable and charger as that simplifies what I need to carry around. Except it doesn’t. The USB cable is non standard at the Cocoon end, so forces me to carry yet more junk. Not good.

Attempting to sync my music and podcasts didn’t go entirely smoothly either as on the first attempt it randomly missed out artists. Neville Hobson and Shel Holtz were two of the artists that didn’t make the cut. The second attempt did work. Not sure why as I didn’t do anything different.

The O2 Cocoon doesn’t have a proper earphone jack so you have to use yet another cable to convert it (more to carry and lose).

The next problem is that the supplied earphones are horrible. It’s just a personal thing, but they have awful plastic/rubber cups which either hurt your ears or fall out. Switching them for proper earphones (from my Creative Zen V) improved things considerably.

That done, the sound to my untrained ears is really good and the two gig of space is very generous for a phone. It also has a microSD slot so you can cheaply and easily add even more memory.

The verdict so far is that the phone looks good, maybe even very good, but everything that comes with it go a long way to spoiling the package.

That’s it for now. I’ll report further once I’ve had more of a play over the weekend (and also provide links to other bloggers who are reviewing it).

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About Stuart Bruce

International communications consultant and PR trainer specialising in online public affairs, digital corporate communications, online PR and social media; frequent national media commentator and conference speaker.
  • andy

    haya ive read what you have put and you seem like the person that has looked at this phone very carfuly. i have just got this phone for christmas and i would like to put some of my songs on to it i have read the manual i have asked family but i still cant figure it out. i was wondering if you could enlighten me on how to put musicy phone?
    write back
    andy

  • http://www.digitalsupposition.blogspot.com steve cater

    @andy: we've set up a site around the cocoon ( here: http://www.o2cocoonblog.co.uk ) If you need more, feel free to post on the blog and I'm confident we can help. This may be of some help, http://www.o2cocoonblog.co.uk/2007/11/29/uploading-music/

    sc

  • http://profile.typekey.com/stuartbrucepr/ Stuart Bruce – Wolfstar

    Steve, thanks for responding and trying to help Andy out – good to see a social media campaign being done properly. It's interesting that Andy's question reflects my criticism of the awful Cocoon manual.