I was the first person (at my local Verizon Store) to obtain the new Droid 4 last Friday (10th) and was delighted with it to begin with. I had been waiting for this phone for a very long time, and had passed over my upgrade eligibility several times over 6 months in the process.
The first day I was excited to enjoy the lightning fast speeds of 4GLTE and the phone was everything I hoped it would be. I could argue the point over the fact that there are a lot of unnecessary pre-installed apps that cannot be uninstalled (without rooting/jail-breaking the phone) but the fact remains that I got what I was looking for, a 'Razr' style phone with an excellent, tactile, precise, slide-out 5-row keyboard.
Unfortunately for me, I may work in a 4G neighborhood but I live in a 3G neighborhood and at best I can usually hope to see little more than 2 bars on my signal strength meter for 3G at my abode. Naturally I planned to access my home Wi-Fi, Comcast Cable served by my trusty Netgear 802.11b/g Router.
This is where the problems began. As soon as the phone detected the Wi-Fi and connected (you see the 3G logo go from blue to white in the status bar and the Wi-Fi symbol appear, then go from white to blue) I suddenly noticed that the phone refused to send or receive any data whatsoever. Phone and texting functionality remain solid, but any data related application was failing. Email (Gmail app) , Market app, streaming music or videos, in fact anything at all that required data.
Naturally my frustration grew. Lets face it, what earthly use is a smartphone on an unlimited data plan if I can't even send or receive an email with it!
After two extremely long phone calls (2+hours) with Level 2 Verizon Tech Support (out of Arizona) we were able to narrow it down to the Wi-Fi component of the phone, but no resolution. I replaced the phone with another the following morning but the same problem persisted. Leave the phone in 4G/LTE or 3G modes and data transfer is fine, allow the phone to auto switch in to Wi-Fi (or manually place it there) and I was getting nothing.
Verizon tech support argued that with the phone being so new, and me being one of the first adopters, there was no existing knowledge-base of problems/solutions from which they could draw (my second tech support rep even cited that they used online blogs and forums such as this to assist in their calls). Its nice to be a guinea pig!
Finally, out of sheer frustration and at the recommendation of the last Verizon Tech Support contact, I called Motorola directly and after some frustration getting past the less-than-capable Tier-1 support person, I eventually got put through to a pleasant guy, a level 2 tech support specialist in Boca Raton in FL. We spent the best part of 2 hours on the phone and finally figured out the solution.
The solution is two things:
1. Firstly a phone setting needs to be changed. There is a setting that was set to on by default and (for me at least) needed to be turned off. This setting is called ENABLE AUTO IP and effectively creates a conflict with what my router was trying to assign it automatically via DHCP.
i) Go to Menu (menu softkey)
ii) Choose 'Settings'
iii) Select 'Wireless & Networks'
iv) Select 'Wi-Fi Settings'
v) Press the menu softkey again and select 'Advanced'
vi) Uncheck the checkbox called 'Enable Auto IP'
2. Secondly, come to find out that the new Droid4 does NOT like to play nicely with WEP encryption. This was amazing to me seeing as I have 7 other devices that all work perfectly with WEP encryption on my router, including two iPhone 4S's. So I switched to WPA2 encryption and low and behold, the phone is a go!
Total hours spent on finding a resolution: 11.5 hours.