Nokia N-Gage QD

7.9/10 AVG.
RATING



7.9/10
Informr score
The Nokia N-Gage QD currently has an Informr score of 7.9 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 72 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

The "1-Minute" Review

Portable gaming is growing rapidly, with more than 20 million people worldwide regularly playing games on dedicated gaming devices, PDAs, smartphones, or a new category of convergence device, gaming-smartphone hybrids. Nokia's N-Gage QD fits into the last category. It¡¯s a new and improved version of the Nokia N-Gage, which along with the hard-to-find Tapwave Zodiac, gave birth to this new class of game-phones. How does the N-Gage QD stack up, as a portable gaming device and as a "smart" cellphone? As a portable gaming device, it offers wireless and Bluetooth LAN multiplayer capability, which no other device does, but otherwise can't compete with Nintendo's GameBoy Advance. As a "smart" cellphone, it's relatively cheap, but you get what you pay for. Potential buyers will have to weigh pros, cons and prices very carefully in deciding whether to buy the N-Gage QD, to opt for separate gaming and talking, or wait for newer and better game-phone convergence models.

The original Nokia N-Gage was not successful, thanks to some downright baffling design decisions. To switch games, the user had to power down the unit and remove the battery to get access to the tiny game cartridge buried in its slot. Speaker and microphone were located in the edge of the handset instead of its face, so that when using the device as a phone, users had to hold the handset edge against their heads instead of flat against their ear, making it look as though they were talking into a metal taco sticking straight out from their skull (this became known, affectionately or derisively, as "sidetalkin' ").

With the release of the N-Gage QD, Nokia has fixed these two mistakes, and reduced the handset's size from 133 x 70 x 20 mm to 118 x 68 x 22 mm. They have also added multiplayer capability with two options: you can connect two N-Gages together using a Bluetooth cable, or you can play a wireless match using a GPRS connection to Nokia's N-Gage Arena. This multiplayer capability is really the N-Gage QD's claim to fame, and paired with a truly popular game, this alone may be enough to sell many gamers on the unit (for those who don't know, playing against a skilled human opponent is far more fun and challenging than taking on predictable software-driven enemies). No real hits have emerged yet among Nokia's stable of N-Gage and N-Gage QD games (the QD can play both) but Nokia has inked a deal with a key player in the game development industry, and hopes to have 50 game cartridges available by the end of 2004.

Multi-player capability is the good news as far as the N-Gage QD's gaming qualities are concerned. In almost every other category that matters, the QD gets hammered by Nintendo's GameBoy Advance and Advance SP. The QD's screen (4,096-color, 176 x 208 resolution) is smaller and displays fewer colors than GameBoy Advance's (32,768-color, 240 x 160 resolution). In addition, the QD's screen is vertically-oriented, whereas the GameBoy's is wider horizontally, like TVs, most computer monitors, and other gaming displays. Without getting into a detailed debate over the merits of wider versus taller screens, it's safe to say that many gamers will find the vertically-oriented screens unfamiliar and awkward. Another significant weakness of the N-Gage QD compared with GameBoy is sound: the QD pipes mono (not stereo) sound from a small and weak speaker on the underside, while GameBoy features dual speakers on the bottom edge (facing the user) that play louder, clearer stereo sound. QD users will find that headphones are a must, and will probably want to swap the basic earbuds that come included for a better pair.

The definition of a "smartphone" isn't exactly written in stone, but this reviewer takes "smartphone" to mean a hybrid handheld device that combines the personal computing functions of PDA with mobile voice transmission and reception. To qualify as a smartphone, a cellphone has to do more than run downloaded Java or BREW applications. It needs an operating system and real data storage capacity that you can allocate however you wish (not just pre-designated memory slots for phonebook entries, ringtones or digicam images). According to this definition, the N-Gage QD qualifies as a smartphone: its 32-bit ARM processor runs Symbian OS version 6.0 with support for Java 2 Micro Edition; it features 3.4 MB of internal memory and optional removable flash memory sticks (32, 64, 128 or 256 MB).

Compared with recent smartphone releases (for example, the latest BlackBerrys, the Treo 600, Sony-Ericsson's P900, and the Samsung i700) the N-Gage QD is under-powered and under-equipped, but also far, far less expensive. In fact, the QD is probably the cheapest real smartphone available in most markets globally, and for this reason alone, anyone in the market for a PDA-phone hybrid should give it serious consideration. For those on a budget, a cheap smartphone is a lot better than no smartphone, and the dedicated gaming capability of the QD will come as a bonus. Potential buyers interested in the QD as a smartphone ought to compare their projected needs with the device's smartphone capabilities and performance, then ask themselves if they need to spend hundreds of dollars more for a leading competitor.

Ignoring gaming entirely, how does the N-Gage QD stack up as a phone and PDA? First, unlike the original N-Gage, the QD is not a tri-band "world phone", and can't travel from North America to Europe or Asia, or vice versa. Instead, Nokia have made the QD dual-band, meaning it uses GSM 850MHz and 1900MHz digital networks. Reception and transmission are adequate, but the sound from the earbuds that come standard is poor. Even with sidetalking a thing of the past and the unit reduced in size from the dimensions of the original N-Gage, it's still too big and heavy to comfortably slip in a pocket or use as a mobile handset (of course, so is almost every other smartphone on the market).

The N-Gage QD is capable of displaying images, MMS (text messaging with video and sound), sending receiving e-mail, and browsing the Web (as always, full use of these features depends on the cooperation of your service provider). The QD comes complete with two suites of personal organizer features and software: one associated with mobile calling (phonebook, scheduler, and the like) and another more complex set associated with PDA functions (calendar, email, and so on). Unlike many smartphones, the QD does not have an MP3 player, which will disappoint some potential buyers. Nor does it support USB, so to sync calendars and contacts with your desktop or laptop, your computer will need a Bluetooth card. On the other hand, Bluetooth compatibility is a real plus, and not all higher-priced smartphones have this. Battery life is also excellent, surpassing many smartphones and PDAs: Nokia claims you can game for ten hours without recharging, or talk for five, and independent tests have borne this out.

Ultimately, the N-Gage QD's strengths are multiplayer gaming and its low price. As a portable gaming device and smartphone, it can't outperform leading competitors, but it does perform adequately. Those seriously considering buying an N-Gage QD might want to wait until later in 2004 when its direct rival, the TapWave Zodiac, becomes widely available. By all accounts, the Zodiac is a superior gaming device. But if you can't wait, don't have the budget to buy a high-end smartphone, and are more interested in gaming than other PDA functions, the N-Gage QD might be just right for you. If you can find a good deal on price in combination with your service-provider contract, this model is your entry into the world of PDA functionality for a fraction the price.


Operating system
Symbian
Processor
Unknown
Screen Size
No
Camera
No



Prices (Where to Buy)




Common Questions


Nokia released the N-Gage QD on July 8, 2004.


We've got you covered! Download a free PDF copy of the Nokia N-Gage QD user manual here.


Nokia backs up the N-Gage QD with a 1 Year parts & labour warranty.


If your N-Gage QD has problems and is still within its warranty period, you could contact Nokia support or the retailer you purchased the phone from. You'll find Nokia's contact information here. If your phone is off warranty and needs repair for a physical problem such as a broken screen or bad battery, you should visit an authorized service centre or a local phone repair shop. You can also connect with others in The Informr Community Forum to find and share answers to questions.



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Quick view

Screen Size
No

The Nokia N-Gage QD's screen size is Unknown with 176 x 208 pixels resolution.

Processor
Unknown

There is a Unknown processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on the Symbian operating system (OS).

Camera
No

You can take photos or capture video with the phone's onboard camera.

There's no secondary front camera.

Storage
No

Internal memory is No. An external, MMC expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
Unknown

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) battery. Nokia's performance ratings are 11 days standby time.

N-Gage QD Specs

Overview
Release date July 8, 2004
Regions available No
Networks
GSM:
850/1900 MHz
Data:
GPRS
SIM card Yes
Dual SIM No
Operating System Symbian

Compare Symbian Smartphones

Processor Unknown
Internal Flash Memory No
RAM No
ROM No
Digital compass No
Flightmode No
Hearing Aid Compatible No
TTY/TDD No
Noise Cancellation No
SAR Head: 0.37 W/kg
Languages No
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Software CD, Standard Battery
Power & battery
Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity No
Removable Battery Yes
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Unknown
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Unknown
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Unknown
Standby Time Up to: 11 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Colors Black
Dimensions [H x W x D] 11.8 x 6.8 x 2.2 cm (4.6 x 2.7 x 0.9 in)
Weight 141 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Antenna Type Internal
Changeable Faceplates No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD
Colors 4k
Resolution 176 x 208 pixels
Pixel density Unknown
Size No
3D No
Secondary Display No
Graphics No
Themes No
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification No
Screen Orientation Lock No
Multi-Touch No
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features -
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key No
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Input Type Standard / 12-key Numeric
Navigation Type D-pad
Predictive Text Entry T9
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key Yes
Any Key Answer Yes
Voice Commands No
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control No
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling No
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) No
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Unknown
Contact Groups No
Auto Answer Yes
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID No
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP
Additional Email Features -
Messaging SMS, EMS, MMS, IM
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB Yes
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth Yes
Bluetooth Profiles No
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi No
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot No
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MMC
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out Unknown
DLNA Support No
NFC No
UMA Support No
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications Yes
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
PictBridge No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Dual lens
No
Zoom
Flash
No
Additional Rear Camera Info
Video Recording Parameters
Front Camera
Zoom
No
Additional Front Camera Info
No
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback No
Audio Formats No
Radio No
Video Playback No
Video Playback Formats No
Mobile TV No
Streaming Video No
External Speakers No
Headset Jack Yes
Custom Ringtones No
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringtone Composer No
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration No
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List Yes
Calendar Yes
World Clock No
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch No
Timer No
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter Yes
Viewable document types No
Weather No
Stocks No
Maps No
NotePad No
Voice Memos / Recorder No
Games Pre-installed
Apps No ()
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments -
Related Links Manual (PDF)
Nokia N-Gage QD Reviews
Where to buy Nokia N-Gage QD
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User Reviews


Excellent Phone.

I bought this phone at a pawn shop over 2 years ago, when it dies I'll be hard pressed to find a replacement for it. Pros - Long Battery Life, Excellent reception even on the fringe of the cell areas, Customizable ringtones(MP3, Wav, Polyphonic, Monophonic), Phone Back-up and program installs easy(Us...More
I bought this phone at a pawn shop over 2 years ago, when it dies I'll be hard pressed to find a replacement for it. Pros - Long Battery Life, Excellent reception even on the fringe of the cell areas, Customizable ringtones(MP3, Wav, Polyphonic, Monophonic), Phone Back-up and program installs easy(Using PC-Suite), Able to run Java programs, Upgradeable memory slot(currently running a 1gig MMC Plus card). Bluetooth connectivity (Computer, headset). User interface is changeable (Icons, colors, locations of programs, shortcut keys). Web browser, RSS feed reader, Instant Messaging (ICQ, MSN, AIM) Email. WILL play - MP3's, Wav's, Real Audio/Video, Movies, Games (N-gage and Java). I use my Bluetooth headset to listen to MP3's. Nice to put it in pocket with no cords to your head. Best of all - It's a big conversation starter. Everybody that sees it, wants to play with it since there's not many around. Cons - Rubber "protection ring" came loose after 6 months(I Ebay'd a replacement one), Bluetooth connectivity is awkward to establish but once you get the hang of it, it's not a problem. I had to buy a memory-card reader(Bluetoothing a GIG of Data to the card takes a long time, Was cheap to purchase tho and comes in handy for other uses) No Camera (Made me drop the Features rank to 9) All in all, this has been one of the best phones I have ever owned. And one that I hope will last a long time. Replies to other's reviews: No built in MP3 player - True, but you can download one. Protruding Buttons get pressed - Use the Keylock function every Nokia has built in.(Menu - *)(Or download the Autolock program, it's free) Games suck - At less than $5 on Ebay, There's bound to be some you'll like, plus there's tons of free Java games for mobile phones(Series 60) that play on it. Less
Yahoo

the N-Gage QD

from Yahoo
Pro: Longer Battery Life, smarter design, smaller and much compact, affordable, hot swap card slot! Con: no built in MP3 player, themes & icons are dull, rubber padding comes off, Mono Output My conclusion is that if you are music type person, Go for the N-Gage classic because of its built in MP3 and...More
Pro: Longer Battery Life, smarter design, smaller and much compact, affordable, hot swap card slot! Con: no built in MP3 player, themes & icons are dull, rubber padding comes off, Mono Output My conclusion is that if you are music type person, Go for the N-Gage classic because of its built in MP3 and Stereo output, but... If your are of a Gaming type then go for the QD, the N-gage QD is specially designed for Gaming. One of it's great features is the Battery Life, you can play for many hours on a single charge plus you charge less, it takes about 1hour and 30 minutes for my QD to be fully charge. More play Less Charge and that means you Kick Enemy butt longer Less
Yahoo

Nokia N-Gage QD

from Yahoo
Pro: Easy to use, Fun multiplayer gaming, Wide variety of games Con: Phone has no camera and no built in mp3 player, it is very big, has no usb cable port, very little internal memory I have this phone for about 2 years now, and it is a very good phone. The games are very fun to play with you friends,...More
Pro: Easy to use, Fun multiplayer gaming, Wide variety of games Con: Phone has no camera and no built in mp3 player, it is very big, has no usb cable port, very little internal memory I have this phone for about 2 years now, and it is a very good phone. The games are very fun to play with you friends, "Rayman 3 and Asphalt 2", it is a very good phone at a very affordable and value for money price. But however there is no camera and built in mp3 player in the phone. You have to make you own enhancments for them. And the sound quality does not come out to well. It is quite big and bulky. But overall i would say its a good phone with good functions. Less
Yahoo

3 of 5 useful

from Yahoo
Pro: the game is very nice Con: the songs sound is very loud i live it this mobile style very diffrenty and control key is very nice and rang is beautiful this mobile speaker is very loud mobile screen is very big.
Yahoo

My current cell phone

from Yahoo
Pro: Cheap, meet the demand of mine Con: Old, so it have some problem... I bought it from my friend-my brother. It's old, so it have some problem that I don't want... However...I love it
Yahoo

Ngage

from Yahoo
Pro: It's okay. In price and the other... Con: No comments in this moment On this day N gage become advanced mobile phone more than anything brand like Samsung and etc.

It is the best

It is the best phone i have ever had if you konw how to use it properly with fexplorer it is dam sexy i can listen to mp3 and play games at the same time youneed to seach for the write site but when you get the right site with good donwload you are on your way. the sky is the limit
Yahoo

A special cell fone

from Yahoo
Pro: 3D game, very ease to use, Great controls and more Con: - For playing game it is the best, for multimedia it is a great one, for using as fone it have great sound, loundspeaker is great. I love it
Amazon

Generally a Bad Phone

from Amazon
I got this phone as a gift two years ago, and after living with it for a while, I'll have to say that it's a nightmare. Sure, it functions as a phone, but that's about where it stops. Let's list my complaints, shall we? - Protruding buttons: The buttons protrude from the face of the phone, so while wa...More
I got this phone as a gift two years ago, and after living with it for a while, I'll have to say that it's a nightmare. Sure, it functions as a phone, but that's about where it stops. Let's list my complaints, shall we? - Protruding buttons: The buttons protrude from the face of the phone, so while walking and sitting down I keys often accidentially get pressed. Every so often, the phone also happnes to make its way into the contacts list and dial someone on there. Also, because of the accidentially pressing buttons, I had to get rid of all my one-touch dialing. - Not durable: After two years, the screen is sevearly scratched and there are even dents in the flimsy plastic casing. Also, there's a thin strip of rubber that covers the outside edge of the phone and protects the charging, headphone, and game slot. Yeah, that started coming off almost the week after I started using the phone. - Falling buttons: One of the buttons actually fell off my phone. No joke, it just popped right off. And since the buttons protrude (as I said before) I now have to stick my pinky finger into a small hole every time I want to dial a 0. - No Downloads: Yeah, this phone doesn't accept downloads. From anywhere. So you're stuck with the crappy ringtones and wallpapers that were preloaded onto the unit, unless you've got a Bluetooth compatable computer (which I only got recently). And despite this fact, all of the download stores come as bookmarks on the built-in web browser. Isn't that a bit ironic? - Bad games: But you don't buy this phone for the phone part, do you? You buy it for the games. Well, newsflash: THE GAMES ALL SUCK. The phone came with the original Tony Hawk, which was fun for about an hour, but mostly for nostalga's sake (I used to play it on my ol' N64). Then I got Puyo Pop, which is a great and fun game that gets old really quickly. And then I bought Ashen, which had been getting some really great reviews. Much to my dismay, the game was so incredibly bad that I don't think I played it more than a few times after I initially bought it. At that point, I decided never again to waste my money on an N-Gage game. - Multiplayer: Sure, many of the games boast multiplayer. Well, I'd assume that after everything, at least the multiplayer is fun, right? I wouldn't know, I've only once in my entire two years of owning this phone met someone who has an N-Gage. And he didn't have any of the same games as me. - Dust: Dust gets stuck between the two panels of glass in the screen, creating a layer of dust that I'll never get rid of, no matter how hard I try. -Awkward design: Nokia wins the award for making the hardest to use phone, ever. People ask me if they can use my phone sometimes when they forget theirs, and I have to teach each and every one of them how to use it. Here's the call button, this button is the one you press when you want to end a call, here's where you put your ear, and here's where you talk. Most of them forget. So you must be thinking by now that after attacking the N-Gage, I'd at least have something good to say, right? Well, the phone looks really cool. Whenever I take it out, people always ask me if its "the new Sidekick." Yeah, I wish. Beauty is only skin deep. The bottom line: DO NOT get this phone. It's bad in every way that I can think of. Less
Amazon

Don't be discouraged by the PSP or Nintendo DS this gaming phone has it all...even more

from Amazon
I've owned a N-Gage Qd since Christmas of 2004 and I must say I am very impressed as this phone clearly has unlimited potential. With a service known as the N-Gage arena you can compete against other gamers all around the world similar to the XBOX 360's XBOX live! Create a buddy list, get their phone n...More
I've owned a N-Gage Qd since Christmas of 2004 and I must say I am very impressed as this phone clearly has unlimited potential. With a service known as the N-Gage arena you can compete against other gamers all around the world similar to the XBOX 360's XBOX live! Create a buddy list, get their phone numbers, text them call them make friends.I would highly sugest buying Glimmerati, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Chaos Theory, Crash Nitro Kart, Ashen, Rayman 3, Sonic N, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, and Lara Craft's Tomb Raider....all excelent games that are only $7 at your local EB games and GameStop. With the purchase of a memory card you can download music, full length movies (with a big enough memory card) and best of all you can download a NES,emulator on your N-Gage and enjoy unlimited fun all for a price of $100 for a pre-paid cingular phone. Less

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