02 unveils the innovative 3G "02 Cocoon" mobile phone

02 has granted us a sneak preview of their forthcoming music phone - the 02 Cocoon.

Not due to be launched until August, free on certain monthly tariffs or £299 on pay as you go, some pictures and spec have been revealed to us today.

The 02 Cocoon is quite "different" and includes a never-before-seen LED display that appears on the outside of the body of the clamshell phone.

The blue LED display can be programmed to show time, "now playing" info, caller ID and the beginning of text messages as they arrive in the users inbox.

The time display mode will be a handy feature for anyone who uses their phone as an alarm clock, as you won't have to grab it to check how much longer you have before it's time to get up.

O2 are pitching the new device as a music phone, it has an FM radio and 2GB internal memory for around 500 songs with the option to double this storage via a 2GB micro SD card.

Other music related functionality comes in via the drag and drop ease of use, two stereo speakers, a 3.5mm stereo jack and Stereo Bluetooth output for music streaming.

Another unusual feature is the O2 Cocoon’s "Nest", its docking station, which it uses to charge, to go on your bedside table for that previously mentioned alarm clock functionality, or to dock into and play songs via the speakers.

Staying with music, one innovation which sounds interesting is the ability to select the option to have the music fade down and continue playing the background when a call comes in, rather than make it stop altogether, although you could still do that.

The O2 Cocoon will also have an innovative "location aware" feature enabling the handset to take on a "new life" when users enter The O2 (the new name for the old Millennium Dome, now a venue).

Upon entering the venue, the O2 Cocoon's wallpaper will transform and O2 Cocoon users will be provided with a venue map, hints and tips as well as the latest news direct from The O2.

The mobile also boasts a two megapixel camera, complete with auto-focus, 4x digital zoom and flash, and claims a standby time of up to 350 hours,a talk time of up to five hours and up to 15 hours music playback time.

It's a little bit different, which is surely a thing to be celebrated in what can sometimes be an indentikit world, but hold your horses until we can bring you a first look and let you know how those innovative features work out in use.

The O2 Cocoon will be available from August 2007.