After reading a bit about the iPhone in the press recently I decided to give one a try. I made a couple of calls and on Friday night hopped in the car to go and pick one up.
As I'm not into geek box porn I was more interested in getting my hands on the toy, getting it charged (yup, it doesn't ship with a charged battery so 14 hours of toe tapping while you wait for it to juice up) and making my first call.
Saturday morning I grabbed my trusty Windows Mobile K-Jam tapped out the digits and.... success, the iPhone was ringing.
Initially I wasn't that impressed with call quality - there seemed to be a bit of a delay and voice was clipped but after a few seconds it seemed to settle on the network and, while not perfect, wasn't too much of a problem.
The handset feels quite flimsy compared to the K-Jam or the RAZR but very similar to the usual DECT home phones - we'll have to see how well it survives it's first drop!
My only other grip is dialing out requires me to enter the country code and area code, so even when calling locally I have to prefix it with +1 425 which is a bit annoying, and the Skype contacts are not immediately visible unless you copy them to the local contacts list. I know it's only one extra click but seeing as most of the time this is going to be used with Skype it would make sense to make it easier.
Yes, use it with Skype. You look confused. This is the iPhone I'm talking about. No, not the over hyped offering from Apple but the Linksys VoIP iPhone :)
While I'm keen to see the new marvel from Cupertino at home we're trying a pure VoIP solution to see if it's practical and usable, and so far it seems to be. With SkypeIn we have numbers both in the 425 area code and one for folks back in Australia. With SkypeOut we can call anywhere in the world for 2.1c/min and Skype Unlimited gives us unlimited outgoing calls here in the US.
So far it has been fairly trouble free. There are some options you should look at to involve quality of service (QoS) on your network (if possible increase the QoS for the Skype port - randomly assigned when you installed Skype, and set port forwarding to direct Skype TCP and UDP traffic on that port to the specific machine where Skype is installed).
Our Skype PC is connected via WiFi and the DECT handset allows roaming so the experience is pretty good. Of course (just like the cable VoIP offering that costs significantly more) we won't have 9-1-1 coverage but with mobiles I think we're reasonably secure.
I'd like to see the Skype integration become more seamless, and the need to dial the +1 for local calls go away but so far the process has proved to be fairly reliable and painless.
The only major improvement I'd like to see would be one handset that can connect to both Skype and Windows Live Messenger and let me use my preferred VoIP service or talk to users on either service seamlessly