Should I Buy An iPhone? – The Checklist

Having an iPhone means people stop you on the street or at the ballpark and ask if they should buy an iPhone also so this general checklist will help you decide. This is not a comprehensive checklist discussing technical specs – this is for the average person deciding if they want to switch.

The iPhone’s strength is it’s straightforward and within days, you get nearly 100% use of its features – not many things hidden beneath cryptically named settings.

The main foundation reasons you’d want to buy an iPhone is of course, it’s a video ipod that can play back music, movies, audiobooks and your photos on a gorgeous 3.5″ screen that auto senses what direction you are using. The screen is also viewable very nicely even in direct sunlight.

The “magic” feature is the finger pinch that allows you to zoom in and out of photos, webpages google maps, and mail.

It is also one the nicest cameras included with a phone


(yes, taken with iPhone camera using just the stadium lighting).

But of course, it’s also the easiest phone to setup & use and unlike most phones where the feature list sounds impressive, where at a least a dozen feature turn out to be pointless (why exactly do I need a battery sucking screensaver for a phone? Or doesn’t having 150 speed dials defeat the point of it – how many speed dials can one person remember?)

Or while the keys are programmable, which is the “Left Soft Key” and which is the “Left Key,” and why is the video camera a key but the phonebook requires three menu deep to access it?

The iPhone in addition to the above video ipod and finger pinch features is…


A quick review …


iPhone – Press on/off key to power up, sleep or power down.


iPhone offers a visual slide on the front screen that locks the phone until you slide your finger – – no random calls to your friends or spouse listening in on your lunch conversation.


iPhone – On/Off/Sleep on one button at top. Ringer/Volume (during call) Up & Down on left side of phone. Ringer on/vibrate on/off on side of left side of phone also. Middle “home” button also activates phone from sleep.



iPhone – 16 icons with a description word underneath that explains EXACTLY what each will do. Hard to mistake what STOCKS or MAIL or PHONE does.


iPhone – Use your finger and press the icon.


iPhone. Press PHONE. ICONS at the bottom offer RECENT or CONTACTS.

Icons remain no matter what your choice is so you can select another one – only top portion with info changes. Choose from favorites list, recent calls list or scroll through address book with flick of finger. You can also shorten your search by grouping contacts in folders.

To dial, press with finger on name.

Keypad comes up with name and contact info.

No having to return to main or home menu to look for names, or recent. To add to FAVORITES, just click ADD TO FAVORITES on every contact page – no need to add a number so phone will alphabetize your “favorites” or “family” members at top.


In ADDRESS BOOK or OUTLOOK, using your computer keyboard, add as many phone numbers as you need, during sync – will also copy over notes associated with name – you can also add contact notes during phone call. You can also add a contact photo.


Listen randomly by looking at your voicemail list and selecting the one you want to hear. No more having to listen through all messages not knowing if the one you really want to hear is the 7th one. Can forward those voicemail by dragging playback counter forward (or backwards to repeat). If Caller ID phone # is provided, just press down to re-dial – no need to try and memorize a number or try and decipher if the number was a 3 or 4?


During call, speaker on/off is on the screen – you can also launch NOTES or recall the keypad (for entering in numbers to navigate phone paths).


Press MAIL to check mail messages. A number by each account lists mail received.


Every other one is self explanatory from YOUTUBE TO (GOOGLE) MAPS to CLOCK. After you set CLOCK or WEATHER or STOCKS, pressing on icon brings up your page.

The only area with “sub-menus” is SETTINGS but unlike most phones, not scary (the iPhone does NOT need to ask you if you want your DTMF Short or Long …).

SOUNDS – Pick a ringtone. Right now, you cannot buy or load anything ebyond the Apple 25 choices.

BRIGHTNESS, WALLPAPER, IPOD & PHOTO settings very straightforward and what you’d expect.

PHONE asks you how you want to view contacts (first, last or vice versa) and other easy choices (Caller ID on or off?), etc, etc.

MAIL is the trickiest because of the arcane setup for mail anyway but unlike most phones, you can access a multitude of email addresses.


Loads music, movies & photos via iTunes. Same rules – you can buy songs and movies via iTunes or load own music tracks from CD’s. Movies from your own DVD require Handbrake.

And that’s it. The revolutionary thing is ironically, you have easy access to 100% of its features while other phones might save you a few dollars upfront, you end up only using 5% of its “features” because they are pointless or just too difficult to set up.

There is also the factor of having the latest gadget but again, unlike some other gadgets, this is designed for nearly everyone who can press a button and can move their fingers around.

You can also go down to the Apple store and test it out yourself. Unlike most phone stores that display a facsimile with a big sticker that reads NOT WORKING PHONE – the Apple iPhones are on and you can spend some time playing with it.

As for the cost of service. It’s pretty comparable to most of the plans out there. It’s not the cheapest choice but it’s also not the most expensive if you factor in that $20 dollars more buys you 200 text messages and all the internet access – making it pretty much on par with every other plan out there.

Is the iPhone perfect, no, of course not and like anything else, it could use with some improvements but is it a great syncing, great iPod, internet access, advanced touchscreen camera, email phone – of course it is. If that’s what you’re looking for – there is no other choice.

Are there other phones that are better than the iPhone in one aspect or another? Yes, there are but if you’re looking for one that is great in a multitude of features along with easiest of use and easiest to access all of its features, the iPhone is the one phone.

And I’m not the only person who thinks so

Our October 2007 Update as to why you should buy an iPhone …


Filed under Apple, Computing, Internet, iPhone, mobile, Toys

11 responses to “Should I Buy An iPhone? – The Checklist

  1. cannibalmushroom

    Really, a big toy for big boys.
    And damn, if it’s harder to use than Nokia 3310, it’s no way “easy to use” phone.

    (METROXING: If the search is correct, the Nokia 3310 looks like a monochrome phone from 1997. I’m guessing I can’t check email with one push or another push shows my stock or another push of a button shows my weather … or that I can make phone calls with one extra push of a button versus the Nokia with no music or video capabilities? If you don’t need the capabilities of the iPhone, that’s fine but if you want 35 features, only the iPhone offers it to you with the fewest buton pushing).

  2. So in summary….. to buy or not to buy? *Laughs*

    (METROXING – Well, if you want like 50 features, easy to use, easy to setup, a video ipod, camera and email access all in a world calss design, I think the conclusion is pretty obvious 😉 )

  3. Thank you for posting this. I’m glad someone’s had an easy time with the phone. I just entered hour 6 of trying to activate mine. I’ve been to the cingular/at&t store twice, called 4 different customer service numbers, been informed my order was canceled by me (not the case) and am now, as I type this, on hold once again with an agent who claims he’ll be able to help me.

    (METROXING: I had heard the horror stories but it literally took me about 2 minutes to get credit approval and less than a 1 minute for the phone to announce “PHONE ACTIVATED.” Now, I got a phone a few days after the 29th and I did turn off my older phone but for me the process has been incredibly smooth. It took just a few minutes to buy the phone from Apple and while promised 2-4 weeks in shipping, it actually arrived in 4 days without expedited shipping).

  4. 10 minutes short of 7 hours, and my phone is activated and syncing. It’s a beautiful thing. I can’t wait to start using this!

  5. Steve

    The best iPod platform ever and with all the other electronic gadgets you need included. Control flows so smoothly under your fingers that it is almost mesmerizing to use. They have instantly generated the largest installed base for a single type of intelligent phone. A steady stream of software enhancements (delivered via iTunes) will continue to leave others in the dust.

    For July 14th, 10 of 165 Apple stores are out of stock as of 9AM.
    “state stores un-stocked-stores un-stocked-city,store/…”
    CA 36 2 San Luis Obispo/Santa Rosa
    CO 5 2 Broomfield/Littleton
    FL 13 1 Estero
    OK 2 1 Oklahoma City
    OR 3 1 Portland
    TX 12 3 Austin, The Domain/Houston, Houston Galleria/The Woodlands

  6. cannibalmushroom

    iPhone. It about phone, right? Why in the hell there is also 1000 and 1 unrelevant actions, which have nothing to do with phoning? Just face it, it just a geeks’ toy, nothing more.
    And btw, 3310 has one button dial, honey.

    (METROXING: The iPHONE allows “I” to look at photos of Adriana Lima while I’m calling McDonald’s to get $4.75 back because I’m not completely 100% satisfied … and that’s worth 100 Big Macs 🙂 )

  7. Steve

    For July 15th, 11 of 165 Apple stores out of stock
    “state stores un-stocked-stores un-stocked-city,store/…”
    AZ 3 1 Chandler, Fashion
    CA 36 3 Costa Mesa/Glendale/Santa Clara
    CO 5 2= Broomfield/Littleton
    FL 13 1 Miami
    MA 6 1 Hingham
    NJ 9 2 Marlton/Short Hills
    UT 1 1 Salt Lake City
    Only the 2 stores in CO were out of stock the day before.

  8. cannibalmushroom

    Yeah, but what about talking with it? As an operator of Nokia, I certainly know that large screen phones are awful simply because of the all the dirt what is attached from your skin (fingers, cheeks, ears).
    And secondly, what an ergonmy! Really, I hate thin phones mainly, because it will make my hand cramp just talking with it five minutes. We are talking about phone, which is bit wider and thinner than regular phones. Really, I really wonder why the design have been made before the function itself, because, dude, that’s bad marketing.

    (METROXING: If you buy something that requires you to touch it, of course, it’s going to show use … or as you call it, “dirt.” Just like your steering wheel will get show use as will your windshield when you drive … if that bothes you so much, you can avoid any contact with any other objects or buy a case for the phone – any phone … and until you actually use the iPhone, do not compare it to the other previous phone experiences. The Apple store unlike other stores that say NON WORKING PHONE has them plugged in and ready to go. Go spend some time with it).

  9. Here in the Philippines, the iPhone is also eagerly awaited by rich kids and yuppies who always have a never-ending thirst for the latest gadgets, never mind if it’s unusable for the moment.

    Actually, one of the Filipinos who happened to be in the United States during the iPhone’s launch brought home his iPhone during his vacation last two weeks ago, and was immediately featured on a local news program the next day. LOL

    He said that even if the phone feature cannot be used yet in the Philippines, he’s still very proud of his purchase, due to the other features it had.

  10. Steve

    For July Monday, 16th, 19 of 165 Apple stores out of stock, the 8 additional unstoked stores as of Monday vs Sunday are listed
    “state stores un-stocked-stores un-stocked-city,store/…”
    FL 13 1 Estero
    MA 6 +1 Cambridge
    TN 3 1 Nashville
    TX 12 5 Austin, Barton Creek/Dallas/Highland Park/San Antonio/Southlake
    The Santa Clara store is closed this week for remodeling.

  11. Nice photo! Looks like Apple has hit a home run with its first generation iPhone.

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