So I've now spent a week using an O2 Cocoon as a primary phone for all my personal stuff. In fact this was a test of several things: the handset itself, a clamshell (which I've never used in real life before), O2 as a network, and being a PAYG customer (which I noticed made me *way* more price sensitive and less inclined to use 118 or mobile data in general).

I've been gently impressed by the phone in many ways (it grew on me to a disturbing extent over the first few days of use), and I reckon it's the best operator-branded handset I've yet seen, but there's a few things about it which were frankly awful and had me pining for my trusty Sony Ericsson K800i:

  1. Despite the manual saying it does, I've not managed to get the device to sync with my mac, or even appear visible to it;
  2. I couldn't tell whether the charging cradle ("The Nest") worked or not. Certainly the phone charged when I plugged the cable directly into it, but via the cradle things were less clear;
  3. A biggie: I couldn't get photos off it by Bluetooth. For some reason the handset fell over when I tried to pair it with my laptop or send photos from it, leaving me with a load of pics I just cant get off;
  4. The phone sped up when I removed the animated wallpaper from the home screen; up until that point it was annoyingly slow;
  5. I couldn't work out how to reply to an MMS with a text message, which was *really* annoying;

These aside, it's quite a decent device though; and whilst it's not for me I could see it taking serious market share away from the RAZR and chums or LG. Not everyone I showed it to liked the aesthetic, but I suspect it's a love-it-or-hate-it look, and I fell on the side of loving. As version 1, I think it's really interesting, but wouldn't buy it or use it myself. Version 2 I expect to be more tempting tho. Things I particularly liked about it:

  1. Having the first few words of a text message appear on the outer casing when it arrives; great for glancing at, though I can see how this might lead to problems depending on the content of the incoming message ;)
  2. The use of colour in the UI; nothing fancy, but it was clear and felt very coherent as an O2 device;
  3. It makes such a good alarm clock - to the point that, when the device is nestled in its cradle, it almost looks like a cheap and rather tacky digital clock. I don't think this is a bad thing, personally - it's recognising a behaviour that might belittle the lofty aspirations some operators have for their devices, but is nevertheless important to real people;

So there you go. I've been sent some other documentation on the background to the design of the device by the guys at O2s agency; but I don't want to get into the habit of posting anything they send me up here unless folks specifically want to see it. Drop a comment if you do.