This week, AOL unveiled Project Phoenix an updated web e-mail client.

According to a post by CNET, the new design looks a lot like Gmail – “It looks a lot like Gmail’s interface, with a few extra bells and whistles. There’s a “quick bar” at the top for sending short e-mails, instant messages (which pop up in very Google Chat-like windows), and text messages.

A side bar of “smart view” content previews attached files and maps of locations detailed in the message (AOL representatives assured that these previews only show up from confirmed contacts, so there’s no chance of porn spam making mischief here). Messages open in a tabbed interface for easy flipping between messages and the main in-box.”

Here’s the official Project Phoenix preview video;

Project Phoenix by AOL Mail from Team AOL on Vimeo.

Phoenix supports e-mail addresses on all AOL-owned domains, including aol.com, ygm.com, wow.com, games.com and love.com, and it will also bring in messages from Yahoo Mail, Hotmail or Gmail.

The application is currently in the beta testing stages and is due to launch to the public early next year, but if you can’t wait til then, you can request an invite at the Project Phoenix website.