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

Today’s hero began to be developing even before the classic N-Gage’s official release, as some of the latter’s defects became apparent even at the stage of its creation. The main ones among them were, first of all, the inconvenience of the device as a means of communication. Although it is close to perfection as a game console, it remains a phone.

Secondly, there are no hot-swapping memory cards. It’s one thing now to buy a volumetric MMC card for Gaga, fill it with the right applications and forget all about it. Quite another thing – to buy, as before, each game on a separate cartridge and change it to another.

Thirdly, it’s expensive. The main competitor to N-Gage at the start of sales was Nintendo Gameboy Advance, which was almost three times cheaper. It’s ironic that today, thanks to emulators, you can easily play games from this platform on our smartphones.

But Nokia had no time to fix these nuances because there was already a planned date for the start of sales. And so, for some time, the work went in parallel on both devices.

Nokia N-Gage QD was born in early 2004, that is, six months after classic Gaga. People began to call this model simply “QD .” However, many people do not divide these game consoles on fundamentally different devices, so mentioning the terms “N-Gage” and “Gaga” may mean both smartphones. Or even “Nokia N-Gage 2.”

Well, let’s figure out what the difference is between these devices.



Form factor QD inherited from the classic Nokia N-Gage. The latter, in turn, bought it from Nokia 5510 and 3300. However, the appearance of the devices is still far from identical.

QD’s body is 2mm coarser, but the front part is noticeably more compact. It allows the device to lie down more comfortably in hand. The confirmation button is separate from the joystick and the number of keys placed in the lapping. Also, the answer/reset buttons have moved from the top to the bottom.

But there were also some flaws. Since Nokia consciously took a course on cheapening QD compared to the classic N-Gage (the Finns thought it would save the product on the market), it had to include lower-quality materials for the case. In some fundamental ways, they don’t differ, but sometimes you have to clean the joystick.

Also, some device owners complain that the rubber band around the device’s perimeter falls off over time. Its place leaves a slot, which can be quickly closed with any other rubber band of similar size. Enthusiasts even create interesting handmade products for this function.

Technical Specifications

Theoretically, this N-Gage phone has the same “iron” as its colleague: OS Symbian 6.1, 4 megabytes of memory built-in and 16 RAM, 104 megahertz processor, MMC/RS-MMC card slot, 176×208 pixels TFT screen with 4096 colors transfer and, then again, no camera.

But there are slight differences. First, after starting the free RAM device, QD has half a megabyte less – 10.5. Second, there is a hot-swappable memory card – now, you don’t have to turn off your smartphone and remove the battery to get to the MMC slot. Third, the maximum brightness of the screen is higher. 

Fourth, a user can’t overclock the processor for a straightforward reason – ZG (the creator of the program for this very process) didn’t have a Nokia N-Gage QD, but only a classic Gaga.

Gaming Opportunities

There are practically no differences in terms of gameplay between devices. Except, as I said, the keyboard became different, and thanks to this decision, it became even more convenient to play (according to QD owners).

Of course, we can also mention the built-in N-Gage Arena, for which the device has a separate G drive. But since it has already been closed, this difference is not so significant anymore.

Anyway, it’s still the same tremendous opportunities:

  • the exclusive game world of N-Gage;
  • SIS format (first edition applications for Symbian Series 60);
  • Java platform;
  • and of course, emulators of Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega Mega Drive, ZX Spectrum, Nintendo Gameboy Advanced, WAD (90s computer games), and others.


It must be where Nokia came in for the most radical changes. Firstly, the headphone jack. Here we already use one 2.5mm four-pin slot, which was standard for that time’s devices.

Secondly, the standard Nokia N-Gage QD lacks MP3 hardware support. In turn, there is no built-in player to play it, nor a separate chip that made the sound of its predecessor merely incredible for its time.

However, the problem is solving by installing additional codecs and a separate player. I recommend LCG Jukebox v.2.30 – this is the latest version of one of the best players for Symbian, which both N-Gage support.

If you take the device specifically for games, you have nothing to worry about because the smartphone will play all sounds and music in them, such as N-Gage games and SIS, JAVA, emulators, etc.

It’s also worth mentioning that the phone’s menu has been transforming from the standard (for all first-generation S60 smart devices) to exclusive coloring, where black and orange colors prevail.

Means of Communications

It will not be possible to call the owner of this Nokia phone a Sidetalker anymore because the conversation speaker has moved from the side panel to the front. Besides, there is no miniUSB in the device.

All the other parameters are the same. With Bluetooth, you can sync your device to a computer, play games together with friends, and share files. With WAP/GPRS technology, you can access the World Wide Web.

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Battery Life

QD’s Li-Ion battery capacity is slightly higher, and you can play with it for a couple of tens of minutes longer. But in general, there is no principal difference.


As you saw in this Nokia N-Gage QD review, the device came out quite a successful model, which makes up for the errors that were allowed in the classic version. However, I should say that the developers have also sacrificed several factors, which may be decisive for some customers in choosing between these two smartphones.

These are multimedia functions and case materials. If the first one is not so important for gamers, the second needs to clean the joystick, and the dubious quality of rubber around the perimeter of the device is unlikely to go unnoticed.

But in general, QD has its impressive advantages, thanks to which can argue with Nokia N-Gage for the title of the best game console. And that’s it for today, friends. I’ll see you in new materials!

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

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