1. SevenSixTwo's Avatar
    Hello all,

    I am a new user who has just bought a used BB Strom2 9550 (and will be getting it in a few days). The main thing that got me interested in those smartphones is the standalone GPS feature and the maps that are advertised as being pre-loaded for free on all Storms.

    Now, here's my question... I am currently with Telus on a pay-as-you-go type of deal (prepaid 10$/month), as my actual phone usage is minimal (no data plan except for basic SMS) and this Storm2 is also for Telus (no contract). I plan on simply switching phones without modifying anything to my account, at least for now... Will I be able to use the GPS feature without a data plan and without paying anything extra for it? Since the maps are pre-loaded and the unit has it's own GPS receiver, I presume the answer would be yes (just like any GPS standalone unit - Garmin, Magellan, etc)... but I thought I'd double-check with the experts here.

    Thank you very much for your time and assistance.

    Last edited by SevenSixTwo; 10-11-10 at 02:35 PM.
    10-11-10 02:30 PM
  2. Feeeeg's Avatar
    I do believe the gps part of the phone is free, But not really certain that the maps are preloaded onto the phone, and not loaded from the network as you go.

    I only say this, cause maps have a lot of data on them, and to have them all pre installed on the phone when some people may not use them seems to be a bad idea
    10-11-10 02:37 PM
  3. winnersmw's Avatar
    No, you're going to need a data plan to use any GPS application. Data is almost a necessity with a smartphone, w/o it you may as well just get a dumbphone as most applications use data and all applications require data usage to download if you are doing it ota.
    10-11-10 02:49 PM
  4. SevenSixTwo's Avatar
    I see... what about third party maps being user pre-installed on the phone? I came across a thread on another forum (I think) a few days ago where some members were discussing how to install Google maps for a given area on an older BlackBerry phone, then using the GPS that way for free.

    Any thoughts? Like I said, the most important 'smart' feature to me is the standalone GPS itself... I don't really need a data plan for anything right now, as I have Wifi access where I actually need to use the internet (and the 9550 has Wifi, which is great). Any pointers as far as my options are concerned would be a great help!



    From the BlackBerry site regarding the GPS on Storms:

    GPS & BlackBerry Maps

    * Includes BlackBerry Maps
    * BlackBerry Storm2 9520/BlackBerry Storm2 9550: Integrated GPS with assisted-GPS capabilities
    * BlackBerry Storm 9500/BlackBerry Storm 9530: Stand-alone and assisted GPS
    BlackBerry - Storm 2 Specs for 9550 and 9530 - Discover Blackberry Storm Specifications
    Last edited by SevenSixTwo; 10-11-10 at 03:12 PM. Reason: added info
    10-11-10 03:03 PM
  5. Motorcycle Mama's Avatar
    The BlackBerry Maps application is loaded on the device. But it requires DATA in order to download the map DATA.

    In fact, the BlackBerry Maps application (and ALL of the BlackBerry applications) require a BlackBerry Data Plan in order to work.
    10-11-10 03:17 PM
  6. SevenSixTwo's Avatar
    The BlackBerry Maps application is loaded on the device. But it requires DATA in order to download the map DATA.

    In fact, the BlackBerry Maps application (and ALL of the BlackBerry applications) require a BlackBerry Data Plan in order to work.
    Thanks for that clarification, I appreciate your input.

    Well, that's just beautiful... and way to mislead the customer on BlackBerry's part! I guess printing a little side note which says that their 'standalone' GPS & maps require a 60$/month data plan for the user to actually use the feature would not have the desired result as far as sales are concerned. Funny how they don't mention anything about that anywhere on their products advertisement sites... (and I've looked)

    So... any ideas on good third party pre-installed map packages that would work for the Storm without the data? After all, 16 Gb is a lot of space for maps, lol... Any info would be very appreciated! Thanks!
    10-11-10 03:34 PM
  7. Feeeeg's Avatar
    The gps will lock onto your coordinates it is however no good if you cant view where you are on a map. I have noticed that some map data will store in the cache but that may do you much good since if you are seeing a map for where youve already been, you dont need to see it again.
    10-11-10 03:42 PM
  8. Motorcycle Mama's Avatar
    It's not misleading. The specs also say that it includes "Wireless Email and Browser and Supports BlackBerry App World" but you need a data plan for that too.

    From what I have seen, there are no good map options that don't require data. You might look in the GPS forum and see. TrekBuddy is an option, but the last time I looked, the map coverage is limited.

    You might be better served by an inexpensive dedicated GPS unit such as a Garmin.
    10-11-10 03:42 PM
  9. Feeeeg's Avatar
    Thanks for that clarification, I appreciate your input.

    Well, that's just beautiful... and way to mislead the customer on BlackBerry's part! I guess printing a little side note which says that their 'standalone' GPS & maps require a 60$/month data plan for the user to actually use the feature would not have the desired result as far as sales are concerned. Funny how they don't mention anything about that anywhere on their products advertisement sites... (and I've looked)

    So... any ideas on good third party pre-installed map packages that would work for the Storm without the data? After all, 16 Gb is a lot of space for maps, lol... Any info would be very appreciated! Thanks!
    Ok two things here

    1, if you have a blackberry and have bought it new, you have to have data unless you buy it full retail, and even then if you want to activate it, you have to have full data.

    2, the data package is only 30 not 60.


    sorry i guess there is three things,

    3, if you need gps that bad, go buy a magellan, they are cheaper then a storm anyway.

    I noticed you said that you bought it used, so that makes my point one moot, but if you plan on activating it you will need to pay data anyway.

    So I still say go and get a magellan, or for price a tomtom
    10-11-10 03:46 PM
  10. SevenSixTwo's Avatar
    It's not misleading. The specs also say that it includes "Wireless Email and Browser and Supports BlackBerry App World" but you need a data plan for that too.

    From what I have seen, there are no good map options that don't require data. You might look in the GPS forum and see. TrekBuddy is an option, but the last time I looked, the map coverage is limited.

    You might be better served by an inexpensive dedicated GPS unit such as a Garmin.
    I say misleading because a 'standalone' feature should not require anything else than the device itself to work. I do have a Garmin/Magellan GPS's already... and no data plan to use them, as everything required is already in the unit at no extra cost for life - even real-time traffic updates! The reason I wanted a phone with a GPS feature is because I often forget the 'real' GPS units when I go somewhere, whereas my phone is always with me for emergencies.

    As far as the email and browsing is concerned, I do realize that those features require a data plan (obviously), but the phone also has Wifi, so I can use that as an alternate way of browsing when near a hotspot. Anyway, I will be looking into other options. I am located in the eastern part of Canada, so hopefully there will be some maps available. Thanks again for your help!
    10-11-10 03:52 PM
  11. SevenSixTwo's Avatar
    Ok two things here

    I noticed you said that you bought it used, so that makes my point one moot, but if you plan on activating it you will need to pay data anyway.
    What? Are you 100% sure? So if I want to use it like a 'dumb phone', I still need to pay data charges?

    Look... to put it in simple terms, I want a PDA that's also a phone, a good digital cam and *hopefully* a standalone GPS. And I don't need any features that I don't plan on using. The data plan is totally useless to me at this point. Those phones are available to buy without a contract, so I can only assume that they're good to be activated under any plan offered by the carrier, including simple pay as you go mode. The last time I checked with them a few years ago (when I got my current Motorola Razr), I was told that I can activate ANY phone on my account without any changes, regardless of make, model or features.
    10-11-10 04:01 PM
  12. Feeeeg's Avatar
    What? Are you 100% sure? So if I want to use it like a 'dumb phone', I still need to pay data charges?

    Look... to put it in simple terms, I want a PDA that's also a phone, a good digital cam and *hopefully* a standalone GPS. And I don't need any features that I don't plan on using. The data plan is totally useless to me at this point. Those phones are available to buy without a contract, so I can only assume that they're good to be activated under any plan offered by the carrier, including simple pay as you go mode. The last time I checked with them a few years ago (when I got my current Motorola Razr), I was told that I can activate ANY phone on my account without any changes, regardless of make, model or features.
    Do your research my friend,,, on all carriers here in the states if you have a blackberry you have to pay data, no ifs and or buts about it.

    Sorry
    10-11-10 04:10 PM
  13. SevenSixTwo's Avatar
    Do your research my friend,,, on all carriers here in the states if you have a blackberry you have to pay data, no ifs and or buts about it.

    Sorry
    I'll check this with my provider and see where I stand... because if that's so, then maybe I'll have to move to an iPhone and just sell this thing to the highest bidder. There's absolutely no reason for this, other than the fact that they're trying to score some extra dough off the end user. A cell phone should be able to function without an internet connection.

    As far as research is concerned, I did some online searching prior to the actual purchase, but found nothing about data plans being a requirement to owning such a device and using it.


    As an example of my research, see this link:

    Blackberry storm Data plan required?

    10-11-10 04:24 PM
  14. Feeeeg's Avatar
    Sorry as I am at work, and have some sites filtered, I cannot view that link. So I cannot speak to it, but,,, I believe the iphone is in the same category, requiring a dataplan?

    I know nothing about the iphone, but it would only make sense, and I know that my buddy who switched from att to vzw to a droid with a mandatory dataplan stated that he actually saved money so I can only assume the iphone needs data as well.

    And btw,,, the reason for it is, its a smart phone,,,, as a smart phone requiring data. Data required for email and everything else it does.

    The fact that they are now made with wifi has nothing to do with it being able to internet on its own. The fact that they added wifi to the phones is due to our society as we know it being hungry for information and when you have wifi added to normal 3g it speeds the phone up.

    Wifi was added strictly to keep info flowing into the phone without loading up the cell towers, and henceforth slowing everything else down.
    Last edited by Feeeeg; 10-11-10 at 04:34 PM.
    10-11-10 04:30 PM
  15. Motorcycle Mama's Avatar
    I say misleading because a 'standalone' feature should not require anything else than the device itself to work.
    You are misunderstanding the term "stand-alone" in this context. In the context used, it is used in contrast to a "cell-assisted" GPS function. The Storm GPS chip does not require "help" from the cell towers. It is "stand-alone".

    As far as the email and browsing is concerned, I do realize that those features require a data plan (obviously), but the phone also has Wifi, so I can use that as an alternate way of browsing when near a hotspot. Anyway, I will be looking into other options. I am located in the eastern part of Canada, so hopefully there will be some maps available. Thanks again for your help!
    But you would need an alternate browser to accomplish that. The BlackBerry Browser will not work without a BlackBerry Data Plan even over WiFi.

    And Push Email won't work over WiFi without a BlackBerry Data Plan.
    10-11-10 04:35 PM
  16. Motorcycle Mama's Avatar
    Do your research my friend,,, on all carriers here in the states if you have a blackberry you have to pay data, no ifs and or buts about it.
    Actually, TMobile will allow a BlackBerry to be activated without a data plan in the US. AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint all require a data plan in the US.

    To the OP, you should check with Telus, but I do not recall others saying that it's a requirement for them ... yet.
    10-11-10 04:37 PM
  17. SevenSixTwo's Avatar
    Thanks for the info, yet again. I went on the Telus website and looked up the closest thing available to a Storm: the Torch. Here's the fine print they post for that particular model, with the option for buying it without a contract (for $599, lol)

    Please note: HSPA Prepaid clients will have access to voice and text services only at this time. HSPA Prepaid clients will not have access to data services, such as MMS, web browsing, email or downloads such as ringtones, games and images at this time. Certain non-TELUS devices may not have SMS capabilities, depending on handset configuration settings.
    So, in other words, prepaid HSPA clients will only have basic cell phone functions without the data... perfecto mundo! That also implies that prepaid options DO exist for smartphones on Telus. Also, nowhere does it say that the Torch requires a data plan upon activation.

    Also, I've checked their data plans... the basic one (with 500 megs of data/month) is $60 with taxes. So, if I were to be forced to get it, that would mean that I'd be paying close to 50$ extra/month for features I don't even use (again, this phone's primary function is for emergencies only... I'm not the type of guy who texts/surfs all day on his phone, as I have a few desktops/laptops for that very purpose at home/office). To me, the Storm will be just a cool cell phone, a GPS and a decent digital cam on the go... nothing more fancy than that.

    I know this might seem lame to some of you, but I just can't be bothered with facebooks, chats and other online social gimmicks, especially on a tiny cell phone/PDA screen (hence no need for data). Thanks everyone for all the useful info... you're all a great bunch of people and I'm sure I'll keep coming back here once I get the Storm... as I feel that I'll need to learn a few extra things about it!




    P.S. Once I get the phone, successfully transfer my account and get to the bottom of this story, I'll post a reply in this thread and let you all know how everything went. So far, I am not seeing anything at Telus which would indicate a problem, but who knows what the fine (or invisible) print might be hiding, lol... Also, I am being told that this phone can be 'unlocked' for other carriers... so maybe one of them will be business-savvy enough to offer the possibility of such a service. I guess we'll see...
    Last edited by SevenSixTwo; 10-11-10 at 06:29 PM.
    10-11-10 06:03 PM
  18. SevenSixTwo's Avatar
    By the way... as far as Wifi browsing is concerned, it is possible to browse solely via Wifi according to this article. Check it out:

    http://crackberry.com/blackberry-browsers-explained

    Wi-Fi Browser (sometimes called the HotSpot Browser)

    1. This browser is available if your BlackBerry has Wi-Fi (BlackBerry Bold, Curve 8320, etc.).
    2. This browser does not use any servers but goes directly to the internet.
    3. This is by far the fastest browsing experience since it is just you and the internet
    4. Data path: BlackBerry <-> Wi-Fi HotSpot <-> Internet

    So, it is possible to browse via Wifi without the data plan. I can't wait to actually get the unit, as I'm sure this whole thing will make much more sense once I get to try it out.
    10-11-10 06:43 PM
  19. Motorcycle Mama's Avatar
    By the way... as far as Wifi browsing is concerned, it is possible to browse solely via Wifi according to this article. Check it out:

    http://crackberry.com/blackberry-browsers-explained

    So, it is possible to browse via Wifi without the data plan. I can't wait to actually get the unit, as I'm sure this whole thing will make much more sense once I get to try it out.
    Right. But not with the BlackBerry Browser.

    Good luck. Hope it all works out the way you want .
    10-11-10 06:46 PM
  20. SevenSixTwo's Avatar
    Right. But not with the BlackBerry Browser.

    Good luck. Hope it all works out the way you want .
    Thanks again for everything... and I'm sorry if my questions are kind of dumb, but I'm trying to figure out the basics before I actually get the phone in hand. The closest I've ever come to one of those new smartphones is while watching a coworker playing games on one, watching youtube or checking their e-mail (and making the occasional call too), but nothing more. So it's pretty much a whole new horizon for me to discover. But I'm usually a fast learner, so it shouldn't take too long.

    I'll post the outcome of my Telus adventure soon and let you all know what their deal is with data plans & smart phones. Stay tuned... as this might be interesting to see.
    10-11-10 10:30 PM
  21. Feeeeg's Avatar
    Sorry If I misled you I of course assumed that you would be using the phone on Verizon.

    MCM I was not aware tmo let you get a blackberry without data, good to know, too bad their service sucks.

    I still say that you will be greatly disappointed in trying to utilize the storm as a standalone gps, as the maps are not preloaded, and as far as I know the only way you get the maps is by being in the vicinity. (at least as far as the bbmaps app is concerned.)

    Also be aware the the bbmaps app is not turn by turn, it is simply a map that moves along with you and has a course plotted on the screen. The pre-installed gps will not talk to you.

    and correct me if im wrong, but, wifi will not automatically connect to a hotspot, you have to tell it to connect and manually search for networks?
    10-12-10 08:02 AM
  22. kingkris06's Avatar
    Golly crape them be some long posts. Service providers can sell you just a regular cell phone plan without the internet on a smart phone. However if you buy a brand new phone with a contract they will not sell it to you with out a internet connection. (they got to squez every penny out of you ).

    As for apps without data plan there is a list some where on here for them.

    Mgmaps. You have to go through a complicated prossess for down loading map tiles to your phone but it will show your location on a map with no data usage. (also works with data). It also is the only map program that works over wifi.

    Be carfull installing /opening programs. Even program that have absoluty no need for internet will down load adds (quick pull for one). I usualy turn off my radio if I'm not sure. (I get charged per megabyte from Telus )
    10-12-10 11:49 AM
  23. Feeeeg's Avatar
    hmm, verizon wont, Ive tried with a bb that I acquired from a friend. I was told if its a bb it has to have data, no questions asked.
    10-12-10 12:03 PM
  24. SevenSixTwo's Avatar
    Allrighty, ladies and gentlemen... I finally got my Storm2 and transferred it onto my account. Here's the deal:

    First of all, Telus does not support CDMA smartphones on the Pay & Talk account, although they do support them on a voice-only account (according to the clerk, it's CDMA only that can't be supported on the Pay & Talk for some network compatibility reasons apparently - personally I think it's BS, but who am I to argue with their supposed "network design"). So, I had to drop my Pay & Talk and upgrade to the basic voice plan for $30 a month. The same plan WITH data is over $50, so I said no thanks to that. Luckily, they also transferred my credits onto the new account, so I don't lose that money either (over $100 in accumulated talktime I didn't use). I turned the "data" feature off in the phone's "setup" so that it doesn't download anything at all... because each megabyte of data is 3$ on Telus! (so I'll keep that for emergencies only, I guess)

    Second, the WiFi feature works very well with my home internet. Yes, you do have to configure the networks manually and I also believe it gives you the option to connect to some paid wireless hotspots as well, but I haven't gone that far yet. I've set the browser to hotspot-only mode and set my hotmail account with username/password already filled in and saved as my default homepage in the browser, so now I can check e-mails instantly whenever close to a WiFi by simply opening the browser. I can also use the carrier to check it of course, but at 3$ per megabyte, I'm sure I can resist the temptation most of the time (in other words, when expecting urgent e-mails only).

    Third, I got the GPS to work in offline mode with MGMaps, as some have already suggested. Yes, the process is a bit more complicated than in a standalone app, but well worth it. The downloaded/stored Google maps work extremely well in MGMaps and the standalone GPS works flawlessly with the program. There is a "search" feature in MGMaps that allows to find a specific point on the map, but I haven't had much luck with it so far. Maybe it just doesn't work in offline mode. For me this GPS mode still makes sense (even without the search and routing), as I spend a lot of free time outdoors fishing and out in the woods. Knowing where I am and where my vehicle or nearest road are located can be a huge help sometimes... even a life saver in extreme situations. Navigating downtown Montreal streets is also easy with the multi-zoom feature of preloaded Google maps (I always get lost there without a map close at hand!). The cool thing about MGMaps is that you can download & store maps of areas which have no carrier coverage... so, in other words, you could go to some remote pacific island and still have a GPS with a map of the desired (preloaded) area on your phone. Bottom line is, it's two thumbs up to MGMaps and it's offline GPS mapping feature (that my Storm was never intended to have, but does now... lol).

    Anyway, so that's where I stand. I had to upgrade to a basic voice plan, but was not forced to take data as well... I guess the GPS/map feature (even if not searchable) and the high-end cell camera are worth the upgrade. I just wish the battery was better on this thing, as it seems to drain the battery quite fast in GPS mode. Thanks everyone for all your help, you guys (and gals) are a great bunch!




    P.S.
    Does anyone know where I could get some free games for that phone? I'd like to have something to do when I'm somewhere boring and the games on there now (a scrabble game and a BB version of Arkanoid) kind of suck, lol. A little Tetris or some other "simple classics" would be cool, although I still can't figure out what keys would be used to play those games (as this phone has no buttons, obviously).
    Last edited by SevenSixTwo; 10-24-10 at 02:00 PM.
    10-24-10 01:35 PM
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