The Nokia N-Gage came
out to mixed reviews with certain features giving even the most patient of
gamers and mobile phone users a touch of confusion. So what did Nokia do?
They decided to listen to the gamers and re-release the N-Gage that now
makes it one of the smallest gaming units on the market that also doubles up
as a mobile telephone!
Before this review can
start, I must first point out the certain flaws of the original N-Gage that
have all been fixed in the N-Gage QD. The most annoying problem with the
N-Gage was inserting new memory cards or games into the device which saw the
user basically take off the back, remove the battery and insert the memory
card. Once all that was done, the user had to put it all back together.
For gamers, this was
unacceptable because they generally play one or two games at once, sometimes
even more. Solution? Create a readily accessible memory slot on the side of the
device. Another frustrating issue with the original N-Gage device was the way it
was used as a phone that spawned a variety of "taco" related jokes because you
basically had to hold the phone to your head like a taco. Solution? Make the QD
like a normal phone, so no more strange positions in order to hear the person on
the other end.
The original N-Gage had a
fairly short battery life when compared to the GameBoy Advance but now the
battery has been increased from 850mAh to 1070mAh which means gamers can now
rest assured for some highly addictive and long gaming sessions.
Although Nokia boasts
about ten hours of gameplay which is quite simply amazing but while playing
Ashen, I've found that the unit generally lasts for about 4 - 6 hours. Sure, the
unit can last a little longer but it does depend on what kind of game you are
Unfortunately with all
good things, something had to be removed from the QD and Nokia boldly decided to
remove the MP3 player (probably a good idea considering how popular the iPod is
but you can still download a few MP3 players from the net and install them on
your QD) and also the FM radio. This not only made the device smaller, saved
battery life but also made the cost of the unit quite affordable and you can
pick up these units from around $329AUS.
The QD also has a screen
resolution of 176x208 in 4096 colours which is quite adequate for most portable
gaming and unlike the original N-Gage, the screen is a tad brighter than its
Graphically, the QD
performs exactly the same as the original N-Gage but fortunately the current
titles that have been released for the N-Gage actually look 100% better than the
first generation of games. One only has to look at Ashen or Tiger Woods Golf to
see the improvement of games on this awesome little gaming platform.
Apart from the AAA titles
that are now available for the QD, you can also download thousands and thousands
of free java games that is supported by the Symbian OS of the unit. As
mentioned, the operating system of the QD uses the powerful Symbian OS that is
easily one of the most user-friendly interfaces on any mobile and it's almost
like you are using a PDA.
Probably one of the
biggest improvements of the QD is the improved keyboard that actually now feels
like a handheld gaming console than a mobile phone. The main game buttons are
also elevated to allow quicker access to the keypad for all novice and
The unit also has some
rubber protection along the side which also doubles up as extra grip for the
gamer and also more protection for the device... if accidentally dropped or
bumped. The rubber can also be pulled back in certain places to hide the
input/output slots on the QD.
The on/off switch of the
QD has also been relocated which is now found on the side of the device and is
actually makes it impossible to turn off by accident. The QD also supports
Bluetooth that allows N-Gage gamers to connect to other Bluetooth device or even
better, play multiplayer games with other N-Gage owners.
The N-Gage QD weighs an
impressive 143g that is quite light, especially for a mobile phone that also
outperforms the GameBoy Advance. Simply said... the N-Gage QD is an extremely
cool and slick device!
In conclusion, the N-Gage
QD is a brilliant portable gaming device that has all the features of the
Nintendo GameBoy Advance but with the incorporation of a mobile phone with all
the latest bells (Bluetooth) and whistles (polyphonic ringtones) that will keep
even the most staunchest of gamers extremely happy! If you are after a device
that can play games and is also an excellent mobile telephone than I would
highly suggest that you check out the new N-Gage QD... it's amazingly cool!
- Andrew B
The Final Say!
reviewed by Andrew B
Review Date: September 2004
Distributed By: Nokia
Copyright ©2004 www.impulsegamer.com