O2 has taken the wraps of its O2 Cocoon music mobile, a stylishly designed 3G handset with 2GB of internal memory, music heavy features and an eye-catching 'hidden' LED display on the front panel.

The O2 Cocoon has been developed by O2 as its flagship own-brand music phone. It has 2GB of flash storage, capable of storing up to 500 tracks, plus expandable MicroSD card memory up to a further 2GB. The O2 Cocoon has been designed as a curvy clamshell phone with an eye-catching plain white exterior and black interior.

The head-turner on the casing though is its hidden LED display. This can display the time in large type, and also scroll text across screen, including caller ID info, the beginning of incoming text messages, and 'now playing' information from the music player. Also, in a nod to the increasing use of mobiles as watch replacements, a docking nest supplied with the O2 Cocoon enables it to be used sideways as a neat alarm clock.

Among its key music attributes, the O2 Cocoon has subtle music player controls on its side, and comes with a decent set of stereo headphones. Adapters supplied by O2 allow up to two sets of regular 3.5mm jack headphones to be plugged in at the same time. Alternatively, music can be streamed via stereo Bluetooth to a headset or speakers. Stereo speakers are built into the casing.

Music heavy

Inside the shell, the O2 Cocoon's music playing functionality is prominent. O2 has developed the interface of the phone itself, in conjunction with phone manufacturer Pantech . It has an easy to use music player, supporting album cover art as well as all the usual MP3 player options. It also has an FM radio with RDS support. It supports a range of music formats and can be connected up to a PC for drag and drop copying of tracks.

The O2 Cocoon has plenty of other multimedia player features too. It has a headline 2-megapixel camera plus a secondary camera inside for video calling. The phone supports 3G with HSDPA high-speed data transfer, as well as quad-band GSM/GPRS.

O2 has given the Cocoon another interesting music feature. If an O2 Cocoon users enters The O2 music venue (formerly The Millennium Dome), the phone immediately recognises this (using existing cell site ID technology), changes the background to themed The O2 content, and offers users a venue guide and info.

At the launch of the O2 today at the O2 Wireless Festival in Hyde Park, London, Sally Cowdry, O2 Marketing Director, described the O2 Cocoon as "fresh and different, yet simple to use and packed with features."

Asked by Tech.co.uk whether O2 feared the August release of the O2 Cocoon would be overshadowed by the impending launch of the iPhone , Cowdry said: "To be honest we see these as really different markets; first and foremost this as a phone, although an excellent quality music phone."

The O2 Cocoon is due to go on sale in August. It will be free for contract customers signing up to deals of £35 a month and above. On lower monthly contracts, it will cost up to £129. Alternatively, the O2 Cocoon will cost £299 on pre-pay.

O2 Cocoon - key features

  • 3G with HSDPA plus quad-band GSM/GPRS
  • Multi-format music player (MP3, AAC, AAC , WMA, WAV)
  • External hidden LED display
  • 2GB internal memory
  • MicroSD card support (up to 2GB)
  • External music controls
  • Stereo headphones with 3.5mm jack adapter (for up to 2 sets of headphones)
  • Stereo Bluetooth
  • Easy synch with Windows Media Player
  • FM radio with RDS
  • 15 hours music player running time
  • 2-megapixel camera with video recording
  • Video calling
  • Video streaming/download/playback
  • Docking nest supplied
  • Display: 2.1-inch QVGA 262k-colour
  • Dimensions: 94(h) x 49(w) x 21(d) mm. Weight: 114g