O2 Cocoon Review: Music Can Be Cool: Camera And Connectivity

By 05:24 Sun, 08 Aug 2021 Comments

2 megapixel capturing camera with hidden auto focus

O2 Cocoon features a 2 megapixel capturing camera with a Light Emitting Diode (LED) flash, which can hold pictures at a maximum resolution of 1600 x 1200 pixels. There is no dedicated capturing camera key, you shoot images with the center key on the D-pad instead.

We already made a reference to the "auto focus" sign on the capturing camera lens, which seems out of place in a device with no trace of auto focus functionality. Even if the user manual states that the capturing camera is an auto focus unit, there are no autofocus marks in the viewfinder, close-ups are out of the question and there's no way of selectively focusing on a foreground or background subject.

Update (June 19, 2008): It turns out there is an undocumented way to actually engage the capturing camera auto focus. We got tipped that when you press and hrecent the D-pad longer, the auto focus comes into action. We tried it ourselves and as it turned out, now the O2 Cocoon could even hold macro shots. Great feature, but poor documentation.

Anyways, this auto focus setup is not the best one yet - that way you can't hold advantage of the recent "focus-and-recompose" trick that offers a more creative way of composing your shots. In case you are not familiar with it, google it. You will find this a wonderful technique with any point-and-shoot digital camera.

Now that we got all that straight, we can continue with a few words on the capturing camera itself. An fascinating solution is the landscape and portrait modes. Toggling between those two you can change the default image orientation.

In plain English, the portrait mode allows you to shoot images with vertical (portrait) orientation. Even if you do rotate the handset sideways before shooting, the images will turn out in portrait orientation. When you set the landscape orientation images will turn out in horizontal orientation no matter how you hrecent the camera.

Now, that may be a bit confusing for the casual snapper but just remember this: if you shoot holding the handset vertically, choose portrait mode; if you shoot horizontally, choose the landscape mode. That way you won't have to rotate your images later on when you transfer them to the computer.

Still if all that still sounds confusing, you can go ahead and neglect that setting for fine and always shoot in portrait mode - later on you can always do a quick rotate with any imaging software on your computer.

The selected landscape mode even changes the orientation of the onclassy screen overlays, but doesn't change the orientation of the context menus.

Camera viewfinder in both landscape and portrait orientation

Beside that odd solution, the O2 Cocoon capturing camera interface is intuitive and follows the current trdiscontinue of showing settings on a bar of icons in the bottom of the screen, while options appear as popup menus. The only drawback we noticed is that once you set an option, the interface exits the settings menu and you have to dig back again in order to change another setting. That kind of reminds us of the LG Chocolate - it had similarly styled capturing camera menu and the same illogical behavior.

The Cocoon capturing camera settings include picture size, color effects (black and white, negative, sepia), clip art, laughable frames, white balance, and flash setup. Additionally, the shutter sound can be turned off if you like.

Some of the capturing camera settings • some of the less intriguing options are hidden in a separate menu

You can't expect miracles from the 2 megapixel snapper of the Cocoon. Dynamic range is low, so is the contrast. The low contrast issue is seems like a case of some poor quality optics. There's some significant purple fringing too.

Compared to what Apple iPhone can do, Cocoon certainly prevails. The iPhone images don't capture the same amount of detail and they have lower contrast. However, the iPhone doesn't apply that much sharpening and has no purple fringing issues.

The capturing camera is also able to shoot video. Recording length is only limited by the available memory. The user interface of the camcorder is pretty much the same as the one of the still camera.

The camcorder viewfinder is fullclassy screen too

The O2 Cocoon captures 3GP/MPEG-4 videos with a maximum resolution of QVideo Graphics Array (VGA) (320 x 240 pixels) at 10 fps. If you set video resolution to 176x144 pixels, you'll acquire a better framerate of around 17fps. You should know that generally the human eye needs at least 18 fps for what's perceived as a smooth video playback.

Now, we bet you remember the whole landscape/portrait mess. The thing is it gets even trickier when shooting video becautilize shooting videos in portrait mode actually produces (can you guess)… portrait videos. We hadn't seen a handset, or a digital capturing camera for that matter, to create portrait videos - not until now.

It's an fascinating effect that you may come to like though. If you don't however, you can always switch the capturing camera to landscape mode and turn the handset to a horizontal position and shoot just like you would with a regular camcorder.

Check out both the portrait sample video and the landscape sample video produced by the O2 Cocoon video camera. You can see that the low frame rate really makes it unusable.

Connectivity is good

The O2 Cocoon is well geared in the connectivity department. Besides EDGE, you also acquire 3G and even HSDPA for quick wireless data transfers. They allow you to hold full advantage of the nice web browser that is coming up later on.

Of course, you also have Bluetooth connectivity at hand for short range data transfers. Plus, as this is a music-centric handset, you also acquire stereo Bluetooth support (A2DP).

And finally, there's USB. The Universal Serial Bus (USB) data cable is supplied in the rich retail package. When connected to a PC, the handset gets charged, too. The supplied Cocoon Personal Computer (PC) Suite software allows you to seamlessly sync the O2 Cocoon with Microsoft Outlook. It does a bunch of other stuff, but we'll not acquire into detail.

There are three Universal Serial Bus (USB) modes with the Cocoon: Sync, Music and Transfer Files. The first one enables pairing with the above mentioned Cocoon Personal Computer (PC) Suite. The second one allows you to sync the Cocoon with your Windows Media Player 11 music collection, if you prefer it that way.

And finally, the third Transfer Files one allows you to directly access the 2GB of Cocoon storage memory as a Removable drive on your computer. If you have a microSD memory card plugged into the Cocoon as well, you acquire it as a Removable drive too. In this mode you can directly copy and paste music files from your computer. Only create sure you put them in the correct place in the phone's memory.

Universal Serial Bus (USB) connectivity worked flawlessly in all the three modes both under Windows XP and Windows Vista. However, the benefits of the straightforward Universal Serial Bus (USB) connectivity are dubious in the light of the seriously crippled integrated file browser that the O2 Cocoon offers (see the relevant part of this review).



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