Apple iPhoneI figured, since my Apple (AAPL) stock has done so well in the last few months, that I would go ahead and buy myself an iPhone. (Actually it is, according to my wife, my Birthday and Christmas present)

I stopped by the local AT&T Store and picked it up. They did the credit pre-approval in the store and had the number printed on my receipt for use at home once I started the activation. This helped prevent any delays that could have been caused by online credit checks, especially since I have a Credit Guard thing on my bureau accounts.

The activation was totally painless. The number porting was the only part that took a little while. I could call out on the iPhone, but it took about 2 hours for incoming to work. I guess that isn’t bad considering my previous service was through a small regional provider.

It was very easy to connect to WiFi both at home (Non-WEP Meraki Units) and at work (MID-Level CISCO AP w/ WEP). It seems to remember the APs really well and connects to them immediately without asking after the initial connection. WiFi is the only way to go if you plan on using it for major emailing and/or Web surfing, etc.

At home, I can’t get any AT&T Towers, but I roam through CellularOne and their EDGE Network is slower than a quadriplegic, blind, geriatric turtle with a full hip replacement. I was able to only get between 9-15k average. On AT&T’s network from work, I have received between 80-180k… Much more like true EDGE speeds. For these tests, I used the iPhone Network Test page. From what I’ve heard, AT&T recently bought the local CellularOne (Dobson) here in my region, so hopefully they’ll upgrade the old equipment when they go into the towers for initial maintenance.

Here is a brief feature rundown:

  • The Interface is fast and beautiful
  • Mail is sufficient for reading and replying
  • Google Maps is excellent, even on only EDGE in “MAP” mode. On WiFi, it’s lightning fast
  • YouTube is flawless and works best on WiFi, otherwise it scales the resolution and compresses it more on slow connections (although I have yet to connect through EDGE)
  • The iPod option turns it into a killer iPod
  • The iTunes store is great, previews start instantly, no buffering time on WiFi. Doesn’t work on EDGE.
  • SMS worked well between my iPhone and my brother’s BlackBerry 7130 on AT&T
  • Calendar is functional and provides all the basic options for setting up calendar items
  • The camera is nothing amazing, but is better than virtually 99% of most other cell phone cameras (quality wise).
  • The widgets (Stocks & Weather) are excellent and look just as good as their desktop counterparts.
  • The Clock, Calculator & Notes are fine too.

Probably the most extensive test I did of Safari was to load up an ArcGIS Web Mapping page. I loaded it up, it all rendered correctly and even some of the mapping tools like the Information (I) tool worked although map navigation was impossible since it depends on a mouse.The Interface is very intuitive and it even passed my “Dad Test”. If he can figure it out, anyone can.

Battery life is excellent so far and seems to be lasting longer today than it did yesterday after it’s first full charge.

The only thing I wish there was more of were normal “ring-like” ringtones instead of silly duck and dog sounds. And the maximum speaker volume isn’t really loud enough for either the ringtones or the speakerphone, even after the 1.1.1 upgrade.

There really isn’t much more to tell. The iPhone, for me, has work as advertised. I haven’t had any trouble to speak of besides AT&T having some EDGE problems yesterday (10/8/7) and couldn’t get to it all day.