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N-Gage Reviews: N-Gage QD

Slicker... cooler... awesome!

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 playing.

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 older brother.

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 professional gamers.

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!

Nokia N-Gage QD  
reviewed by Andrew B 
Review Date: September 2004
Review Score 9.6/10
Distributed By: Nokia

Copyright 2004 www.impulsegamer.com