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Mobile Miscellany: week of July 29th, 2013

Zachary Lutz
08.03.13
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If you didn't get enough mobile news during the week, not to worry, because we've opened the firehose for the truly hardcore. This week brought overwhelming support for MoDaCo.Switch on the GS4, new markets for the budget-priced BlackBerry Q5 and a pint-sized Android handset from Acer. These stories and more await after the break. So buy the ticket and take the ride as we explore all that's happening in the mobile world for this week of July 29th, 2013.

MoDaCo Switch for Galaxy S 4 clears the hurdle at Indiegogo

Mobile Miscellany week of July 29th, 2013

Following the beta release of MoDaCo.Switch for the HTC One, a group of donors successfully funded a £1,000 campaign on Indiegogo to bring the same functionality to the Galaxy S 4 (GT-i9505). With a beta version that's estimated for delivery this month, it seems that GS4 users won't be waiting long for the custom ROM, which offers the ability to switch back and forth between the TouchWiz and stock Android interfaces, all while maintaining a common set of applications, preferences and files. [Indiegogo]

BlackBerry Q5 coming to Canada on August 13th

Based on BlackBerry's initial posturing, you wouldn't be blamed for thinking that the lower-priced Q5 smartphone was aimed squarely at the developing world. As it turns out, those plans went out the window. This week, the BlackBerry Q5 was announced for widespread availability in Canada come August 13th, where it can be found at Bell, Fido, Koodo, Sasktel, TELUS and Virgin Mobile, along with a boatload of retailers that include Best Buy, Future Shop, Target and Walmart. The phone will sell in the ballpark of $350 outright, which includes a 3.1-inch, 720 x 720 touchscreen, a dual-core 1.2GHz CPU, a physical keyboard, a 5-megapixel rear camera and BlackBerry 10.1 [MobileSyrup]

Acer Liquid Z3 makes a pint-sized debut in Europe

Mobile Miscellany week of July 29th, 2013

Acer is making a play at first time smartphone users with the Liquid Z3, an affordable handset that sells for €99 outright and includes four distinct modes that are geared to a wide set of age groups. The successor to the Liquid Z2 features modes for youngsters and seniors, along with a traditional smartphone interface and one that's designed primarily for voice use, which puts the dialer front and center. The Liquid Z3 is a small handset, sporting a 3.5-inch 480 x 320 (HVGA) display, a dual-core 1GHz CPU, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of expandable storage, a 3-megapixel camera and Android 4.2.2. It'll be available in both single-SIM and dual-SIM variants, and will arrive in mid-August in Belgium, Netherlands, Ukraine, France, Spain, UK, Italy, Germany and Russia. [Hexus, Three UK]

Other random tidbits

  • You may recall seeing the red HTC One in our recent hands-on, but @evleaks now contends the crimson handset is coming to Sprint. [@evleaks (Twitter)]
  • Following its recent purchase of Leap Wireless, AT&T is seeking to acquire the wireless licenses and customers of Long Lines, a mid-western provider of broadband, television, mobile phones and landlines. Long Lines holds AWS and PCS licenses in Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, along with 700MHz spectrum in the lower A block, which is incompatible with AT&T's current handsets. [FierceWireless]
  • The Sony Xperia Z is now available at Bell Mobility in Canada for $150 on a two-year contract or for $650 outright. [MobileSyrup]
  • Steve Litchfield of All About Symbian has published an epic smartphone camera shootout that pits the 808 PureView, Lumia 1020, Lumia 925 and Galaxy S4 Zoom against one another. Differences in image processing lead to his conclusion that the Lumia 1020 is a step sideways from the 808 PureView, rather than an upgrade. [All About Symbian]
  • Nokia is seeking authorization from the FCC to release a software update that would enable Bluetooth 4.0 LE on the Lumia 620, which is currently only approved for Bluetooth 3.0. [WMPoweruser]
  • Chances are the Galaxy S4 Mini will be receiving a colorful makeover, thanks to a recent leak that reveals blue, brown and red versions of the handset. [Hi-Tech.Mail.Ru (translated)]

Must-read mobile stories

[Mobile Miscellany photo credit: Thristian / Flickr]

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