Other 2000s Smartphones Based On Symbian OS |
Games for N-Gage |

Starting with a story about such an unusual phenomenon in the mobile industry as Nokia N-Gage (slang nicknames: “Taco phone” and “Gaga”), it is impossible not to mention its origins.

Where exactly did the idea of creating such a wonderful invention come? Because it didn’t happen in an instant. Nokia was on its journey to the release of this legendary machine in a long and meaningful way.



Well, let’s start with the cover. The N-Gage form factor was inheriting from Nokia 5510 and Nokia 3300. In 2001 a fascinating idea (to combine a phone and an mp3-player spiced on top with a full-fledged QWERTY keyboard) was not appreciated by the market, and Nokia stopped producing these devices rather quickly.

Therefore, the consumer may not remember a separate phone 5510, but its impact is undeniable. In general, it’s hard for me to convey my admiration for Nokia because Finns were very much experimented with and enthusiastic about innovations in the world of mobile phones.

A year later, after analyzing all the previous model’s shortcomings, the company was not discouraged but continued experimenting. This time the creation came out even more impressive – both in terms of functionality and appearance.

The black and white screen changed color, and QWERTY-keyboard gave its place to the original executed usual. It made the device look like a gaming console. The coloring became more colorful, and the machine became vividly expressed for youth.

Demand for 3300 was already higher than 5510. And so, seeing the improvement, having had enough training on these two models, insatiable to everything unusual (especially design), Nokia began to work on the embodiment of their most daring fantasy – N-Gage. In 2003, as rock’n’roll in the middle of the last century, it loudly and boldly burst into the quiet steppe of mobile technology.

Technical Specifications

As for the stuffing, Gaga, unlike its two ancestors in design, is a real smartphone and runs on Symbian OS version 6.1. It is noteworthy that it lacks a camera as if emphasizing the calling of the machine for games.

The massive amount of RAM confirms it. As much as 16 megabytes, of which eleven are free at the start of the device (I can already hear the laughter of modern schoolchildren). In other smartphones from the Finns (if we don’t consider QD), the same thing will appear only two years later.

The device has 4 megabytes of memory built into it. The slot for MMC/RS-MMC cards is also available to the user, but the user must remove the battery to reach it. I recommend 512 megabytes as the optimal size and a gigabyte as the maximum. Because with a larger one, you may experience slower reading speeds and other problems. And half a gigabyte is enough for a dozen of the puffiest exclusive platform releases.

The heart of the Nokia N-Gage is a 104 megahertz processor that can quickly and painlessly accelerate to 140-149. That’s more than enough for the heaviest games. And thanks for that, a good man under the nickname ZG, who created the overclocking program itself.

The device also has the best 2.1-inch TFT screen with 176×208 pixels resolution possible at that time. The latter can show 4096 colors.

Gaming Opportunities

Yes, we have come to the point that many, I dare say, have been looking for in this review. Do you remember Sidetalking? Even guys born later than the previously mentioned meme understand that N-Gage games this device “eats” on cheers. 

I see no reason to focus on them in this material because they are devoted to the most extensive section on the Smart2000s blog, where I parse each in detail.

Who else is not familiar with them but wants to hear something from me now – I’ll say: “Guys, drop everything – diploma, report, homework and run to see these reviews. If you haven’t seen N-Gage games, why do you have to do such a complicated activity as living a life? So you have a little less than no choice.”

I would also like to note the convenience of the keyboard of the smartphone itself. Since the company Nokia, this device was openly positioning as the gaming console, has dedicated a lot of time to the type of control. And not for nothing, because playing with it is very comfortable.

It becomes even more relevant when you want to play games from other platforms. Adjust the emulator’s control keys. You’ll be able to experience the regeneration of the world’s most famous giants such as Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega Mega Drive, XZ Spectrum, Nintendo Gameboy, and others in a new format. Even the original Doom and a dozen or so computer bestsellers can come to your attention with a WAD emulator.

Besides, do not forget that Nokia N-Gage supports Symbian games and the Java platform. I will only say that, unfortunately, not all games from Simba will be possible to play. However, this is not always the case. For example, one of the latest major SIS releases, called 7 Days, supports N-Gage, too.


First, I would like to mention the original headphone input. This Nokia phone uses two 2.5mm connectors simultaneously – one three-pin (for left and right headphone channels) and one four-pin (for microphone and headset button).

The device supports many formats, and with additional software, turns into a multimedia monster (by the standards of its era, of course). Users can watch a video in AVI, MP4, and 3GP.

Special mention also worth the possibility of sound reproduction. I mean the player and the quality of the sound of the speakers and the headset (in headphones, the sound is not inferior to modern devices). And all thanks to the fact that MP3 and AAC playback has a separate chip here.

In addition to the formats mentioned above, WAV, AMR, and RNG are also suitable for listening to music. The built-in player is so high quality that I don’t see any particular sense in third-party applications.

It isn’t charming to mention MIDI support. And if you install additional codecs, you can also put OGG with WMA on the ringtone.

It is also possible to record from the line input in AAC 128 kbps stereo format. In the same format, you can record from your favorite station via the built-in FM player.

I don’t know about you, but I’m creating this Nokia N-Gage review right now, and I’m thinking: “Oh, I wish I had such opportunities in 2003. I would…”

Means of Communications

At once, I want to mention a rather funny policy of Nokia to the lack of infrared port for many of its smartphones. It’s kind of an indicator of blue blood. And if you need to exchange some files with the owners of more modest devices that do not have a Bluetooth channel but have an IR port – sorry.

Gaga’s second rather funny feature was the speaker’s location on the side panel (the designers themselves considered this an advantage of the device, because thanks to this focus, the user allegedly did not dirty the screen by its ear). It gave birth to a whole era of Sidetalking meme.

You can use Bluetooth sync or miniUSB cable in Drive mode to communicate with your computer. You can also play N-Gage games with friends, thanks to Bluetooth.

Internet access is providing through WAP and GPRS technology.

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Battery Life

Since it is unlikely that anyone today will buy this legendary device as a means of communication, I will evaluate its autonomy creatively. It is impossible to play games with friends via Bluetooth the whole day without recharging, but a few hours – is quite real.

If you need to go to the jungle for a few days and are bored without your favorite N-Gage, the problem is solving a removable battery – by buying a few ones, you can safely go on a trip.


Nokia N-Gage is a full-fledged living museum of the gaming industry that you can and should immerse yourself in while you have the opportunity. After all, who knows how much more time will be available to buy this device. And without it, you won’t play those exclusive masterpiece games, which I’m telling you about on the channel Smart2000s.

So the choice is yours. Let’s make N-Gage the legend together!

This review of the 2000s smartphone based on Symbian OS is written by

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