Storm 2 review - day 3
Ok, here's my contribution to BBOS for all the awesome info I've gleaned off the site thus far.
I upgraded from S1 to S2 Wednesday morning and have now put the phone through it's paces for 2 days. I also talked to Verizon tech support this morning and learned something very useful in my decision on whether to keep the device or trade it in hoping to get the Droid next week.
First, from a speed standpoint, the S2 is a big improvement over the S1. I'm running a BES setup and the reconciliation speed is noticeably faster. Web browsing is much better, there's much less latency on the device when typing, and in general I'd say it's a big improvement. Whether it's worth the upgrade fee is debatable.
On the Wi-Fi side, I'd been running wi-fi along w. the radio and hadn't noticed a big speed improvement. Last night, I tried turning off my phone radio just to see what would happen (left wi-fi on) and noticed a huge improvement in speed for emails and surfing, however when I tried calling my device from my home number, it went into voice mail. So this morning I called Verizon tech support and asked them how the wi-fi works. They said that if you're on the Verizon data network (radio on), the device will always surf the web on the Verizon network and not on wi-fi, even if you're connected to a wi-fi network. They said this is standard for any device on Verizon's network...even if it's a wi-fi device, unless you have the phone radio off, it's going to do everything on the Verizon network and not on wi-fi (so keeping your wi-fi on while your phone radio on is kindof pointless). They also said that if you turn off your radio and use strictly wi-fi, you won't get any calls b/c calls always go across their network. You also won't get any text msgs b/c those go only across Verizon's network. In other words, for any Verizon device w. wi-fi, the only way to utilize the wi-fi is to turn off the phone's radio, which means no phone/texting. After hearing this, I asked the Verizon person what the point is of wi-fi and they basically said it's for use when you don't have access to Verizon's data network. I can see using wi-fi at home after-hours while I'm not expecting any phone calls, but otherwise, see very little use for wi-fi.
I then asked the Verizon person why I wouldn't just trade in the Storm 2 on the Droid and reduce my monthly data fee from the BES level ($45) to the standard data plan ($30) and use the Droid's integration w. my Exchange email system to manage my emails. He looked up the specs on the Droid and informed me that if I use the Droid to access Exchange, they'll still be charging me $45/mo...in other words, the higher-capacity plan at Verizon is Exchange-based, NOT Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES) based. That was a big surprise for me and puts a big damper on my hope for using a Droid to reduce my monthly fees.
Which leads to my conclusion. Would I upgrade from a S1 to a S2 just to get wi-fi...absolutely not (it's only usable when your phone radio is off). Would I upgrade from a S1 to a S2 to improve the functionality/speed of the Storm...only if I was positive the Droid wouldn't do what I need. If you're using Exchange email and want to reduce your monthly data fee w. Verizon by getting rid of BES, you'll be disappointed to find out the monthly fee from Verizon will stay the same.
So will I keep my S2...I'm 90% sure I will but will reserve judgment until I hold the Droid. The Verizon tech person had used one and said it's very heavy and while not significantly bigger than the S2, it's dimensions are bigger. For me, the S1/S2 is about as big as I want to carry on my belt...I suspect the Droid will be slightly over the threshold I'll be comfortable with. The Droid also weighs .46oz more than the S2, which while not huge, is a noticeable weight gain on a percentage basis (8.4%), especially when it'll be dangling from my belt.
I use my Berry 80% for email (where email speed/reliability is crucial), 15% for news/stock related stuff, and 5% for phone. Having a bigger screen would be nice, but if I'm going to sacrifice the known reliability of the BES for a Droid, I need to get something in return, and if I'm not going to save money, I think I'll need more than a snazzier screen to make the change.
Hopefully this'll help someone that's been on the S2/Droid fence like me.
WiFi on a CDMA phone will help you receive email, bbm, browse the web while you're on call, if you are in a flight you can't use your phone but most Airline companies are offering WiFi on their flights now a days so that's also a good reason for having a device with WiFi.
Thanks for clarifying that. The Verizon person mentioned the airplane scenario. I haven't tried surfing the web while on a call, but it sure would be nice to be able to set a default connection of different applications so if you're connected to wi-fi the default for all data apps is wi-fi. Seems like it'd be an easy software fix.
Originally Posted by Le0_Br4zuC4
Yeah it would be really nice, I would love to browse the web using my WiFi connection all the time when available
Originally Posted by snmemx
I'm gonna have to disagree with the "only the wifi works when the radio is off" statement from vzw. Right now, I'm surfing the web and only the wifi symbol shows up in the top right corner. It clearly is using wifi while my radio is on.
Have you turned off your radio? If not, I'd suggest turning it off, leaving wi-fi on, and surfing to the same site...I suspect you'll find the speeds much faster, which suggests that you were initially surfing via Verizon's network.
Originally Posted by oilman
I wish it were possible to surf on wi-fi while the radio is on, but having tried it myself last night, I'm 99% sure (until someone can point me to a link confirming otherwise) that if the radio is on, the default data source is the radio.
In going to the S2 because the screen on the S1 is driving me crazy! I'm on storm #6 because of it...
I think I'm going to have to "correct myself"...this paper would appear to support the claim that the Storm 2 uses both wi-fi and radio simultaneously. Can anyone chime on the technical aspects of this b/c I know for a fact that when my radio was off and wi-fi was on, the browsing speeds were noticeably faster.
Originally Posted by snmemx
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