Earlier yesterday, PALGN received the Nokia N-Gage QD from Nokia themselves, so we could test it out and provide the first impressions for our readers. PALGN will be running a few Nokia N-Gage specials in the next few weeks to capitalise on our possession of the Gamedeck.
The Nokia N-Gage QD is in stock now at most phone and gaming retailers and retails for $399.95. So what do you get for your money? Our sales package contained:
- One Nokia N-Gage QD Gamedeck
- One copy of The Sims: Bustin Out Gamecard
- Battery Charger
- Handsfree headset
- User manual
- Software CD
All copies of the Nokia N-Gage QD come bundled with The Sims: Bustin Out (a review of this title will be forthcoming), a pleasant little addition considering the game retails for $69.95.
We were impressed upon further inspection of the QD - it's significantly smaller than the original N-Gage, has a specific slot for the gamecard (no more removing the battery) and features bluetooth support. The N-Gage QD is not network locked so any sim card can be used on it.
As most people know the Nokia N-Gage QD isn't just a gamedeck, it is also a phone. As a phone, the Nokia N-Gage QD packs a punch, containing bluetooth support included N-Gage Arena software and Series 60 Nokia interface. The only real omission from the QD is a camera.
The Nokia N-Gage QD features many refinements in comparison to its older brother, MP3 playback has been removed to cut back on the price but MP3 software can be easily downloaded and transported onto the phone through bluetooth.
A new slot has been added to the QD for inserting game MMC cards, on the previous N-Gage gamers had to remove the battery to change games, this has been rectified and saves a lot of time. No longer are gamers forced to talk on the side either. Nokia have taken all the criticisms of the original N-Gage and made as many improvements as possible.
As a gamedeck the N-Gage is a bit more powerful than the Game Boy Advance. It is taking developers a little while to expose the full power of the N-Gage QD, but games are a significant improvement upon the launch titles. The screen is brighter and makes games easy to see. As can be seen below, the games on the N-Gage look good, but at times are a bit choppy as developers try and push the N-Gage to the limit.
We are very surprised by the N-gage QD. As a phone it is not as good as we were expecting (at $399.95 it's still a bit pricey for its features) but as a gamedeck the N-Gage is better than we'd anticipated. It is the most expensive gaming platform available and game software retails from between $39.95 and $89.95.
We're not sure if Nokia can repair the already questionable N-Gage reputation, but the N-Gage QD is a step in the right direction.
PALGN will have much more on the Nokia N-Gage QD and its games in the upcoming weeks. Fancy an original Nokia N-Gage for yourself? Score one for yourself for under $150 here.